If you been looking for a cloud storage provider that isn’t Google Drive or Dropbox, SugarSync is an option you should consider. Although not very different from Dropbox in functionality, SugarSync is a popular cloud storage service on its own.
One area where SugarSync excels is cross-platform availability. SugarSync has apps available for the following operating systems:
- Mac OS X
- Windows Mobile
- Samsung SmartTV
- BlackBerry OS
Unfortunately, there is no official app available for Linux. However, one third party client can help those of you that need to backup their Linux systems. Additionally, SugarSync also offers a web-based interface that can be accessed from any HTML5-enabled machine.
Why Use SugarSync ?
As with all cloud storage providers, the main attraction towards using SugarSync is that the service lets you store files on the company’s server so that they can be accessed from any machine that runs a SugarSync app. Additionally, SugarSync also allows you to share files publicly or create privately shared folders that can be used to collaborate with other people on documents and files.
Getting Started With SugarSync
The first step one should take to get started with SugarSync would be to go to the company’s official website and download the application for your main machine’s OS. After the install process, you’ll be asked to sign up for a plan (the free plans and the paid plans will be explained just a bit later).
Once you set up an username and a password, SugarSync will create a “SugarSync” folder on your hard drive. A shortcut will be placed so that you can use that folder as you would an hard drive partition, but please bear in mind that this folder will draw from the space available on your internal hard drive. We’ll talk more about how to use this folder a bit later in our review.
SugarSync Pricing Information
This is how much SugarSync charges for its paid plans:
|60 GB||$ 7.49||Save 17%
|100 GB||$ 9.99||Save 17%
|250 GB||$ 24.99||Save 17%
If you’re not sure that SugarSync is the right cloud storage provider for your needs, you can sign up for a 30 day trial. This way you will be able to use the full service for 30 days before being asked to pay. It’s a great way to properly explore SugarSync’s features and capabilities before committing for a paid plan.
SugarSync also allows its users to create a free account that has 5GB of cloud storage space, but one that is limited to 90-days of use.
As most other cloud storage providers, you can earn extra cloud storage space with SugarSync by performing various actions:
- Download the mobile app and gain 125MB
- Share a file/folder publicly and earn 125MB
- Share a file/folder privately and get 125MB
- Refer a friend to a free account and get 500MB
- Refer a friend to a paid account and get 10GB more cloud storage space
Folder Sync & File/Folder Sharing
Folder sync with SugarSync works in very much the same way as it does with all cloud storage providers: everything you place in the SugarSync folder will be automatically synced across all of your devices. Once the files are copied, they can be accessed from any location in the world, from either a dedicated app or the web-based interface.
SugarSync also allows you to sync only some folders between certain computers. Additionally, with SugarSync, you can share files/folders either publicly or privately.
Sharing files publicly is done by right clicking on any file in the SugarSync folder and selecting SugarSync->Share. The app will show a share window that allows you to create a public link. These public links can be shared via email as well as on Facebook and Twitter directly from the app (although you can use whichever method you desire to pass on these links). SugarSync’s public links work for both folders and files.
To share a folder with someone privately, add the folder the “Shared Folders” subfolder in the SugarSync drive, then go to SugarSync->Share->Private Share. The same dialog also presents a checkbox that can be used to allow your colleagues to perform edits on the files in the folders. If this button remains unchecked, other people will only be able to access the folder in a read-only mode.
Once you understand the system, things don’t seem all that complicated, but it should be mentioned that other cloud storage providers have much simpler systems in place to achieve the same functionality.
File Versioning & File Recovery
If you work as part of a team in a publicly shared folder, chances are that your files are constantly edited and saved, thus overwritten. To avoid the unfortunate scenario of corrupt edits, SugarSync allows you to recover any of the previous versions of a file. The best part about SugarSync’s file versioning system is that only the last version of a file counts towards your data usage.
To help keep your files safe at all times, SugarSync also allows you to recover previously deleted files (although these files will count towards your quota until you delete them permanently).
Sugarsync Data Security
According to SugarSync’s website, their cloud storage service uses TLS (SSL 3.3) encryption each time your data is transfered to the servers and back. Additionally, you can install a separate plugin that will make sure your files are encrypted with AES on 256 bits locally.
The combination of AES-256 and TLS (SSL 3.3) is a tough nut to crack, although it would have been better if SugarSync could handle AES-256 encryption without the need for an additional plugin.
Sugarsync Pros And Cons
- File versioning & File Recovery
- Available on an impressive number of platforms
- AES-256 local encryption (via plugin)
- TLS (SSL 3.3) encryption when moving files
- Flexible sharing system
- 30-day free trials for all plans
- File sharing could be simpler
- Free accounts are limited at 90 days
- No unlimited cloud storage option