- Exquisite file syncing
- Remote wipe
- Mobile API
- Outlook plugin
- Free 30-day trial for all plans
- Multiple device support
- Various sharing options
SugarSync is a Californian start-up that specializes in building premium online backup services ever since it was founded in 2008. As opposed to many other online cloud backup services, SugarSync can accommodate any type of file with real-time changes visible on any number of devices through advanced syncing, along with versioning and recovery. Remote wipe, instant photo backups for phones and e-mail upload and syncing are a few of the other key features that differentiate this provider from its competitors. The company’s offers packages for both individual users and teams of three people and more, with storage space and more in-depth control options being the main distinguishing factors between accounts in the same category. Customer service is available at any time of day via the dedicated help portal which features live chat, e-mail, FAQs, a community section and video tutorials. SugarSync won the 2012 Mobility Award for the best mobile Software for Productivity, as well as two mobile Merit Awards for Best iPhone App and Best Android App, the same year.
The service comes with a desktop client downloadable immediately after your account is activated, a web app and different mobile apps. SugarSync of course wouldn’t have “sync” in its name if its syncing options weren’t perfected. The power of this online backup service lies in the ability to set exactly which folders you want to be synced and where they should be stored. As soon as you activate the account, you are given a My SugarSync folder. Using any of the SugarSync apps, files and folders in My SugarSync will download to all computers or devices connected to the account. The online backup software runs all by itself and runs backups automatically, while also storing up to five previous versions of files so you can restore them from any of your devices. The Remote Wipe feature makes it easy to erase your files remotely in case your computer is lost or stolen, while still being able to access them in the cloud at any time. Large files can be sent as links via Outlook, including ones that are not saved on your computer.
The online control panel is a lightweight, user-friendly web app with a clean structure. Navigating through the tabs and folders is smooth sailing, regardless of the device you’re using to access it since it’s mobile-optimized. Its online file manager has the exact same functionality as you have in the desktop client, allowing you to upload any type of file to your cloud space. With the online SugarSync app, photos are rendered flawlessly. The photo browser is easy to operate and it slides through photos quickly. You can opt to view the images in a gallery, as large tiles or in a list, and you have the basic share, copy, rename, download and upload function for an entire folder, as well as individual photos.
The desktop app for both Mac and Windows is also clean and organized, with smooth transition from one action to the next. The upload process is as simple as 1-2-3 and you are shown a list of all the file types on your computer that you can start uploading right away, although you can also select files manually. Opening a media file automatically starts playing that file in your preferred media player through flawless and fast streaming from SugarSync’s top-of-the-line servers. Media files can be shared and synced in the same way as any other file, using the My SugarSync folder.
For larger files, there is the option to share via Outlook. Sharing a large file in this way will give collaborators access to a shortcut version of your file that can be rendered smoothly. You can disable sharing and limit access for your files in Outlook, as well as monitor the number of downloads your files have had. The sharing feature allows you to view files you’ve shared and those that others have shared with you. With the editing option your selected file will automatically download so you can update it and easily copy the file or update its sharing options as you wish. Using the contacts section enables you to restrict access to your files for each collaborator.
To ensure the safety and security of your data, SugarSync uses the latest industry standards and best practices for file protection. All files are transferred via SSL v3.3 TLS, encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption standards, and stored in a tightly secured cloud environment. As this type of protection is identical to the one used in online transactions, the data is uploaded and downloaded securely and file sharing is safe. The company maintains several geo-redundant storage facilities for permanent access to files even in the event of a natural disaster. Your files will automatically be backed up in two data centers, one of which is Amazon’s unimpeachable S3 facility.
What’s more, you can customize your sharing permissions, granting or denying collaborators the right to make changes to files. As the online backup is automatic, your data is protected continuously so that you may restore any number of files at any time. Synced copies of files are backed up in the same way as backed-up files.
SugarSync was awarded the TRUSTe Privacy Seal as it complies with the EU Safe Harbor Framework and the Privacy Certification for its policy on use of personal information and for its transparency.
Devices and Operating Systems
You can sync multiple devices and computers automatically, including ones with different operating systems, such as PC’s and Macs. For offline access to files, you can sync to the cloud, while online sharing is made possible by syncing shared folders. The number of computers and devices you can use with your account is unlimited.
SugarSync also has a range of mobile apps for iOS devices such as iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as for Android devices, which makes the service accessible remotely. You can virtually access, browse, backup and sync files from any mobile device. SugarSync is compatible with iOS version 5.0 or later, Android OS version 2.2 or higher, BlackBerry version 4.5 or later, Symbian S60, 5th Edition and Symbian^3, Windows Mobile 5 and 6, Mac OS X and Outlook 2007 and 2010 on Windows 7, 8 XP and Vista.
Having released a mobile API for developers, SugarSync has made it possible for app makers to create mobile apps that work with its cloud storage, meaning that you could find that several of your favorite apps work with SugarSync.
Ease of Use
As soon as you fill in the necessary personal information to create an account, you’re presented with the download of the SugarSync desktop client for your Mac or PC. Completing the installation takes just a few clicks and minutes and doesn’t require you to be tech savvy. The desktop app itself is just as user-friendly; you simply drag and drop your files onto the app window and they start syncing instantly. The “All Folders” section allows you to sort files synced to specific computers and label them accordingly. You can also view the source location of your file on any other computer and edit these files at leisure even though they are not stored on the current device or computer.
Dragging and Dropping in SugarSync
SugarSync downloads these files from the cloud and displays a progress meter so that you know how much time you may expect the transfer to take. Sharing files is a breeze, as you can simply drag and drop files over the names in your contact list on the desktop app. Public sharing is enabled via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail and simply sends your friends a public link on one or all of these platforms. Recipients then have instant access to the files without needing to download the desktop client or app. There is an “Activity” tab to take you to your latest files and also a search function to help you identify the file you’re interested in. You can also stop people from viewing files sent by mistake by disabling these links with one simple click.
Plans and Pricing
SugarSync has three plans with different storage sizes aimed towards individual users, and two business options for teams with multiple users. Whichever plan best suits your needs, you can try the service for free for 30 days with no commitment.
If you’re the only person who’s going to use the service, you can select between SugarSync’s Individual plans with 100GB, 250GB and 500GB storage space plans for $9.99, $24.99 and $39.99, respectively per month when opting for monthly payments. A one-year subscription comes with a discount amounting to the equivalent of two monthly payments. Monthly charges are therefore reduced to $6.24, $8.33 and $20.83 if you opt for an annual subscription.
Individual plans come with SugarSync’s complete set of features including: backup and syncing for any type of folder, real-time change upload, versioning with recovery for 5 versions of any file, instant phone photo backup, discretionary file syncing, e-mail uploads and syncing, sending and sharing files of all sizes, and compatibility with a wide range of operating systems.
As a business customer, you can select between two Business plans. One is dedicated to companies with 1 to 3 team members who require 1,000GB of storage space. On top of the features of the Individual account, the admin control feature of a business account allows you to manage user access, to delegate and grant permissions, monitor user activity, and to set desired storage limits. You can also use the remote wipe function to erase data from a lost or stolen computer or device, all with extended support over the phone as well. This plan is priced at $55 per month or $550 per year, the equivalent of 10 stand-alone monthly payments.
The other plan can be customized to suit any company that needs more than 3 users per account with administrative control, live phone support and remote wipe. SugarSync’s sales team will advise you on the best custom plan for your business’ needs and provide a customized quotation if you give them a call through their site.
Entering the referral program can boost your storage space with an extra 500MB per friend, even if your recommendation did not lead to him accepting a plan. If your friend goes for a 60GB account or larger, both of you receive 10GB more storage space. You can earn as much as 40GB from referring friends. Occasionally, SugarSync will issue vouchers and coupons for extra storage space and discounts. SugarSync accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards as form of payment.
The company provides customer services to potential customers over e-mail. The business sales phone line operates from Monday to Friday, from 6am to 5pm PST. There are video tutorials, along with an online community, an FAQ section and support via email and live chat. Individual account holders can upgrade to phone support for an additional fee, while Business plan subscribers have phone support included in their package. SugarSync maintains a lively social presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube and runs its own blog. The company holds BBB accreditation for its commitment to resolve customer complaints, it was awarded an A+ in 2011.
SugarSync is packed with features and customizable elements aside from the basic backup and sync service across multiple devices and computers that you’d expect from a provider nowadays. There is a downside to this outstanding service, though: it does not provide unlimited storage space on its individual plans and it is more expensive than similar, slightly less comprehensive packages. It is however an outstanding choice for those who can appreciate its wide range of unique features: the real-time changes visible on any number of devices, versioning and recovery, remote wipe, mobile API, instant photo backup for phones and its outstanding file syncing. What’s more, you simply can’t fault SugarSync’s efforts to draw in new customers with the generous free trial, promotions, vouchers and referral program. The company’s commitment to customers, its awarded policy on privacy and security and its determination to produce cutting-edge applications are major incentives to try this service.