By Paul Niemeyer
July 9, 2013
One of the most important considerations in today’s digital age is what’s going to happen to your data if something goes wrong with your computer. If your PC should break or go missing, do you have a way to retrieve all of that important data? Our personal computers have become vast repositories for all of our most important personal data including important documents, photos, home videos, and music. Some of these are replaceable, and many more are not.
If you don’t want to be left wondering “What do I do now?” if the worst should happen, it may be time to consider turning to a cloud storage solution. Specifically, we’re talking in this review about SugarSync: one of the most impressive cloud file storage and syncing solutions on the market today. Granted, in my opinion in doesn’t beat JustCloud – but that’s just me. You should read on to make yourself an opinion.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Before we dive into the details, let’s get an idea of what to expect from a cloud backup provider. In its simplest terms, cloud storage refers to the practice of storing personal data – of any kind – on a server instead of a local hard drive. Hard drives are, even today, a somewhat imperfect technology that can be prone to unexpected failure. By turning to cloud storage, you ensure that your data is up-to-date and stored securely in a remote location. If your computer crashes or gets stolen, all of your important data is still available for you to re-download.
SugarSync Stands Out in the Crowd
There has been a veritable explosion of cloud storage providers over the last couple of years, ever since people first began to truly appreciate the convenience of cloud storage. Some of the most popular cloud storage and backup providers include Dropbox, Carbonite, Backblaze, Mozy, and of course, SugarSync. This is just a handful; there are many, many more services out there to choose from.
SugarSync has made a name for itself in this crowded marketplace by offering competitively priced cloud storage and backup plans. Founded in 2008 and hailing from San Mateo, California, SugarSync has expanded its user base greatly over the last five years or so, and now has millions of individual and commercial users. World-famous brands such as Lenovo, Best Buy, SanDisk and Telecom have chosen SugarSync as their preferred partner to provide cloud storage solutions to their own customers.
SugarSync: A Collaborative Tool
One of the marquee features of SugarSync is the ability to not only back up, but also synchronize all of your most important files and folders across all of your devices. What this means is that you can pick up where you left off on any document or file on any of your computers and your changes are synced back to your other computers.
In the main program pane your can switch between cloud storage and file sharing mode and see which folders are currently active and synced across your registered machines. You can also select new folders to be synced. Here is what’s really nice about SugarSync and which sets them apart from competitors like Dropbox. You can literally choose ANY folder to be synced.
- Sync any folder
- Control and monitor your files where ever you are
- Share files with friends and family
Home computers are just the beginning for SugarSync. Mobile access is included with all of SugarSync’s various subscription plans, meaning that users have access to well-designed mobile apps for their favorite devices, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or Symbian. If your career has you on the road a lot of the time, SugarSync can be a terrific way to ensure that your business documents are always at your fingertips.
If you accidentally deleted or saved a file you can always go back in time with SugarSyncs files versioning tools. It’s like time travel. As a writer I can’t tell how many times I’ve used that feature to recover old versions of my documents that I ended up liking better than the current draft.
Best of all, SugarSync’s sync feature is automatic and happens in the background, meaning you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to manually sync, or having the process interrupt what you’re working on.
Another great feature on offer here is the ability to securely share files and folders with individuals that you select yourself. You can grant other parties the ability to simply view your files, or give them access to edit them as well. This makes SugarSync a great tool for collaborative work and best of all, you can banish your annoying thumb drives to the junk drawer for good.
You can either share files privately or create a public link that you can send to anybody. What I’m missing here is further control over that shared link, for example set a download or speed limit.
- File versioning
- Great sharing ability for collaboration
- Mobile access with native apps for Android and iOS
SugarSync Makes Backup Effortless
All of these features so far have revolved around productivity. One of the principal beauties of SugarSync is its ability to do most of this work without your ever being aware of it. As a tool simply for backing up your data, SugarSync can prove indispensable. You can select which files and folders you want backed up, and then SugarSync simply goes to work, automatically backing up your files in the cloud. It’s that easy. Turn it on and let it do its work.
SugarSync detects changes in your folders automatically. So in this case I just added a file to my test folder and SugarSync began to upload that file immediately. What I’m missing here is the ability to schedule my backups in case I don’t want SugarSync to upload that file yet.
If you should experience problems with your computer, such as a hard drive crash, loss, or theft, SugarSync ensures that there are redundant backups of your data on their servers; you can retrieve your data any time you need to.
What Does It Cost?
By visiting the SugarSync website, you can begin a 30-day free trial of the service. You can even create an account for free and start off with 5GB of free storage just to get a feel for the program. You’re under no obligation to follow through and begin a subscription, but you’ll probably want to.
Subscriptions begin at $7.49/month, which gets you 60GB of storage. For businesses, storage plans start at $55/month and provide 1TB of storage.
SugarSync is one of the most immediately impressive offerings in the cloud storage industry. Their desktop and mobile applications are beautifully and intuitively designed, which translates to ease of use. Their sharing and mobile access features are among the most impressive on the market right now, meaning that it’s a great tool not just for the individual with backup needs, but for groups looking for an indispensable collaboration tool. When all is said and done, you have noting at all to lose by visiting SugarSync’s website and beginning your free trial. You won’t look back.