With copying through networks in the XP days I always had good experiences with TerraCopy
. Copying 4Gbyte archives and Oracle dump files over the LAN took 5 to 10 minutes less with TeraCopy than with the the standard explorer copy routine from MS. More secure too, as there was a function to verify if the hash of the copy matched the hash of the original file and it would show you a report of files that were copied correctly and which failed. Repeating the copy action would only copy the files that failed.
Now I'm on a gigabit LAN and copy speeds are a magnitude higher, even with the standard copy routine from MS, so I don't bother with copy optimizer software anymore.
Anyway, there is a piece of freeware, PathSync
which is in essence sync software. The reason I mention it would be that the installer is only 130KByte in size, very easy to configure even as a one-way copier, it is very fast with checking for changes between the destination and the source, you can filter which files/folders you want and do not want to be copied or synchronized.
It also keeps logs of everything it does if you enable that functionality. The whole configuration can be stored as a file and reloaded at your desire. Also, after it is installed once, you can copy the installation folder and use it as portable application.
To say it isn't actively developed would be an understatement...the last stable version is from 2007 (v0.35), the latest beta from 2010 (v0.40).
When I discovered this software many(!) moons ago, I really appreciated the simplicity this software offers for the rather advanced features it contains. It's speed is awesome and it works absolutely fine on any version of Windows 2000 and onwards. Again, free, small and portable, what more could you want ;-)