After all the time and money it takes to set up a small-office wireless network, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to easily share files between the desktop that sits in the office and the wireless laptop that a builder uses out in the field. The only thing worse is losing the data altogether through fire, theft, or a hard drive crash.

Windows XP does a fairly good job helping users set up a shared network and Internet connections, but the file-sharing utility in XP doesn't let users synchronize folders in real time to a second computer or to an attached storage device on a laptop, according to execs at Peer Software, which develops synchronization software.

Now, Peer Software's Save-N-Sync promises to solve this problem. When new or modified files in a folder are synchronized in Save-N-Sync, the folder is updated in the source machine (the desktop), and a duplicate folder is created in the target machine (the laptop). This kind of two-way updating is called bidirectional synchronization. When a builder is out in the field, he can still synchronize in real time by saving the file to an attached storage device on his laptop.

"What this gives you is an automated method of keeping your files in two or more places," says Roy Seaberg, sales director at Peer Software, who adds that the product lets builders more accurately keep track of changes.

Another important benefit is data backup. "If the laptop is stolen, you can go to the desktop, or if the hard drive fails, you have backup data on the laptop,'' says Seaberg. "It's great for small companies that don't spend a lot of money on data backup."

Save-N-Sync Corporate sells for $79. For that price users can select up to 15 source/target combinations. Save-N-Sync Standard is economical at $29, but it only lets users update one source/target folder.

STEP 1: Establish a wireless connection network between a desktop and a laptop.

STEP 2: Install Save-N-Sync software on the desktop.

STEP 3: Select source (desktop) and target (laptop) folders to be synchronized.

STEP 4: Select bidirectional synchronization on source machine and click "Run Tasks."