The new version of Google Desktop includes a potentially useful new feature that lets you search across your computers for files. So if you have a file on one PC, you should be able to find that file from a different one, even if you’re halfway across the world.
In theory, it sounds great. In practice, it’s only so-so. First, there are privacy implications, because a partial index of your files lives on Google servers as a kind of way station. While there are plenty of protections against privacy invasions, and the index that is on the server is only a very small slice of your files, you still may not like the idea of any of your index being on a Google server for any amount of time.
The other problem is that searching across computers doesn’t work very well. I won’t go into the dirty details, but you’ll only be able to search for a very small subset of files on a distant PC. And when you have more than two PCs involved, it becomes nightmarishly complicated.
There is, however, a great solution to the problem. Use LapLink Everywhere along with Google Desktop. It lets you make a secure, remote connection to another of your PCs, and then use Google Desktop to search the whole PC. When you find what you want, you can transfer whatever you find to your local PC.
No indexes are stored on Google servers, all your files are indexed, and you can get the files themselves, rather than an indexed image of them.
So if you like the idea of Google Desktop, but think that its implementation leaves a lot to be desired, check out LapLink Everywhere. It’s a keeper.
What do you think of Google Desktop?