SugarSync is a service created by Sharpcast. It was launched in 2008 by a team of wireless and consumer Internet industry veterans who have a proven track record for building large-scale wireless data systems and successful Internet businesses. It is a feature-rich product that securely backs up computers, synchronizing them across multiple platforms. SugarSync allows users to access their data anywhere they have access to the web, including mobile devices.Excellent Cloud Backup for those wanting extensive file sync and sharing abilities.
- Strong mobile component
- SugarSync Optional Magic Briefcase
- Excellent Share and Sync Functionalities
- 5GB Free Version
- No scheduled backups – not unusual for online storage providers
- No sync of outlook files or other open files
Access: (Rating: 10/10)
Automatically organize files onto a secure personal interface accessible from any web browser and smartphone, even when your computer is offline. Sync files to it from other devices and the next time your home computer is online, file edits made will also sync automatically. Upload files remotely to SugarSync and they will sync back to your desired computer. SugarSync also creates an archive on a special, password-protected Web page. You can access the latest version of any file even when you are at a public or borrowed computer that lacks the SugarSync software.
SugarSync also has a feature that lets you send any file from the SugarSync Manager, your personal website, or smartphone. Send files that are too large to attach to an email. Users can also share SugarSync folders to groups of friends but can be read-only or read-write. Recipients access the shared folder via the web interface. The owner can access the shared folder via the Web or directly on the desktop. An access code is available to provide enhanced security.
Backup: (Rating: 4/10)
When SugarSync users update a file, the previous versions are archived for them. They can easily view old versions, comparing them to find changes and make sure the project is going in the right direction. You’re limited to five previous versions. The sixth oldest version is deleted and replaced upon uploading a new version. This is a continuous file sync program, but it is NOT a solution for archival type scheduled backups.
Access: (Rating: 4/10)
Versioning would be frustrating without the ability to restore. With SugarSync, users can select a previous version of individual files, rolling them back to fix mistakes. With SugarSync you do not have the ability to do a full data restore in the event of a catastrophic event however.
Share: (Rating: 10/10)
The Outlook plugin gives users several features that help alleviate common Outlook issues. Many users are limited by the size of a file attachment they can send via email. With this plugin, Sugarsync sends them a link to the file rather than the file itself. The person receiving the email simply clicks on the link and saves the file – and they don’t even have to be a SugarSync user. You also have the ability to send a file from any computer synced via SugarSync, so if you are working and need to send a file from a home computer, you have the ability to do so right from Outlook, no matter your operating system. Track how many times your file has been downloaded to see if people are reading your attachments. Disable a link and the email readers won’t be able to download the file until you resend it.
Share files both privately and publicly. With SugarSync, you can directly share public links on Facebook, Twitter, email, Instant Messengers, or blogs. You can share any file type up to 5GB. When recipients click on the public link, they’re directed to a download of the file. They won’t have to register and won’t get prompted to view marketing pages. There’s no limit to the number of downloads.
Sync: (Rating: 10/10)
The Magic Briefcase is a folder that SugarSync creates in the Documents folder upon installation. This feature allows SugarSync users to drag-and-drop files to synchronize across all devices. Any changes made to a file in this folder will sync. SugarSync can sync any file or even large folders, whether you have a single 3MB music file or 100GB of HD movies.
Security: (Rating: 4/10)
SugarSync has both secure downloading and uploading. The data is also encrypted before it leaves SugarSync’s servers. The company assures customers that they use the same level of security typically used for online financial transactions. While this sounds great, banks sometimes receive flak for their lack of security, and SugarSync isn’t even referring to banks, just online purchases in general, which can be very insecure.
We couldn’t find detailed information about their servers or other security measures. The good employees at SugarSync might offer exceptional security, but if they’re doing so, they’re remaining mum about it.
Help & Support: (Rating: 4/10)
SugarSync isn’t the most helpful cloud-sharing service. They have an FAQ, but it’s limited to five questions. Their hours are Monday to Friday, 6am to 5pm PST for phone service. However, only business customers receive live phone support. If you have a free or Individual account, your only option is to email them. You can email them any time. They don’t offer a live chat option.
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Version History: 5
External Drive Support
Encrypted File Transfer
Encrypted File Storage
SugarSync Pricing and Plans
100GB: $7.49/month ($74.99 annually)
250GB: $9.99/month ($99.99 annually)
500GB: $24.99/month ($249.99 annually)
Unlimited computers on all plans
All prices are before coupons and discounts
What we Like about SugarSync
NEW SugarSync for Outlook Plugin: This plugin gives users several great features that help alleviate common outlook issues. One of the biggest problems it solves is the common issue encountered by many users where they may be limited to the size of a file attachment they can send via email. With this plugin, Sugarsync will send the a link to the file rather than the file itself. Then the person receiving the email simply has to click on the link and save the file – and they don’t even have to be a SugarSync user. You also have the ability to send a file from any computer that you have synced via SugarSync – so if you are work and need to send a file from your home computer you have the ability to do so right from Outlook (Mac or PC – it doesn’t matter). You will be able to track how many times your file has been downloaded – so you can see if people are actually reading your attachments. Did you send an email too soon? With this plugin you can disable a link and the email readers won’t be able to download the file, until you resend it.
Redefines remote access: You can automatically organize your files into a secure personal website that you can access from any web browser or mobile phone even when your computer is offline. You can still sync files to it from any other device and the next time your home computer is online, any file edits you make will sync automatically. You can also upload files remotely to your personal website and they will automatically sync back to your desired computer. View and share files located on any of your computers right on your phone’s browser with no phone software required. It also creates an archive of these files on a special, password-protected Web page. That way, you can access the latest version of any file even when you are at a public or borrowed computer that lacks the SugarSync software.
Strong Mobile Component: Not only can you view your synced files on your mobile phone, but there’s a mobile application that hooks into your phone’s camera and will automatically upload new pictures to a directory on your PCs.
SugarSync’s Optional Magic Briefcase: The Magical Briefcase is SugarSync’s way of quickly setting up a computer to sync to their servers. You don’t actually have to use the Briefcase. Instead, SugarSync keeps a tutorial on how to sync a regular folder with their servers instead.
5GB Free Version: Sugarsync provides up to 5GB of free storage without having to purchase a plan. You can try it out before committing to a long-term plan.
Music and Photos: Not only are your files backed up by SugarSync, they also automatically sync your music and photos and arrange them into an organized and secure website for you to use and enjoy your media.
Send files of any size and share folders: This release includes a new feature that lets you send any file from the SugarSync Manager, your personal website, or your phone. You can use this to send files that are too large to attach to an email and to send files from your phone while you are on the go. Users can also share SugarSync folders to groups of friends but can be read-only or read-write. Recipients access the shared folder via the web interface. Owner can access the shared folder via the Web or directly on the desktop. An access code is available to provide enhanced security.
File Sharing: Share files both privately and and with public links. With SugarSync, you can directly share your public links on Facebook and Twitter, or through email, IM, your blog, where-ever you’d like. You can share any file type up to 5 GB in size. When recipients click on the public link, they get a direct download of the file. They won’t have to register in any way, won’t get prompted to view any marketing pages, and there’s no limit to the number of downloads.
What we Don’t Like about SugarSync
No “Sync” for Microsoft Outlook files: If you use Microsoft Outlook, SugarSync does not recommend syncing Outlook data files. However, you can back them up to SugarSync’s web archive. You have to close Outlook first because SugarSync will not backup open files. SugarSync provides easy to follow instructions for accomplishing this backup using Microsoft’s Personal Folders Backup tool.
If you have a data program that runs all the time, such as a contact management program like ACT, your important data won’t be backed up, because SugarSync doesn’t back up open files. The company says it is working on adding this feature in the near future because they see it as a limitation to their current functionality.
Deleting files online: When you synchronize files between multiple computers using SugarSync, you have to realize that this can be dangerous. If a document folder or file is deleted online, it syncs this to all of your computers including your main computer. This is one of the dangers of online syncing. If something goes wrong and the syncing program interprets this as a file delete, it will delete the files everywhere. On the plus side, if you are deleting a file on the website from a folder that is not syncing to your computer, such as the Web Archive, this will not delete any files on your computer and will be protected from future changes. It will disappear from the corresponding folders on other machines, but a copy is preserved in your Deleted Files folder. You also selectively control which folders you ‘sync’ on which computers and devices, but it is something to be aware of.
No scheduled backups: Since SugarSync is an “online storage” provider versus a true “online backup” provider it performs backups automatically in the background, you have no option to schedule or manually upload backups. This is again, typical for online storage providers versus a true online backup provider.
No Sync of network or mapped drives: This is a feature that relatively everyone would like to see. Although there is not a straight-forward method of accomplishing file syncing for mapped drives, there is a hack that will allow SugarSync to sync the contents of those drives. You can find an example of it here.
Backing Up with SugarSync
Adding Files or Folders to SugarSync: SugarSync allows users to add individual folders or files to the system using either the web application or the downloaded software. To use the software, it must be on the device the user wishes to backup. Opening the SugarSync Manager, the user then selects the files or folders they wish to “sync”. Once selected, the user clicks Add and SugarSync will automatically backup the file.
Restoring Files or Folders with SugarSync
Recovering Old Versions: SugarSync saves five previous versions of a file on their server. To recover an older version, the user goes to their account management, then Show Versions. The user can then select which version they wish to restore and click Download.
Restoring Deleted Files: SugarSync keeps deleted files on their server temporarily, which allows users to access files that were accidentally deleted from their device or computer. From the SugarSync menu, the user will click on View Deleted Items. Here they will see a list of items deleted. Selecting the items they wish to restore, the user then selects Restore to move them out of the trash and back to their original folder.
Full Restore: For a full system restore or to restore multiple files and folders at the same time, the user must go to the SugarSync web app. Select the Cloud tab, then check the box next to each file or folder that must be restored, then click Download to begin downloading those files to the device.
Sugarsync is best suited for those looking for a solution to keep files in sync between multiple devices. It does this very well. If however, you are looking for a true cloud backup solution that will routinely backup files to the cloud and provide you the ability to recover complete data file systems in the event of a computer crash for example, then SugarSync isn't the solution for you. SugarSync is best for syncing and sharing files, and it’s usable by individuals, study groups, and large groups of coworkers.