Looking for an easy way to backup your important files? …synchronize your data across all your devices? …quickly share your files (documents, music, videos) with friends, family, co-workers and everyone in between then SugarSync may be what you’re looking for.
Read our Ultimate SugarSync Review to find out in the next few minutes who SugarSync is REALLY for and if it’s even right for you without pulling out your credit card or installing any software.
What is File Synchronization (SugarSync)?
File Synchronization is simply the process of making sure your files are in two or more locations (i.e. – saving a file on your computer and having it available on your tablet or smartphone)
What File Synchronization (SugarSync) is NOT?
File Synchronization is not extra storage. Keep in mind when you use services like these (i.e – SugarSync) if you delete a file on your computer it will be removed from your account and thus removed from your other devices as well. It’s not a place where you can dump files to get them off of your computer.
Here’s our quick run down of the Really Good and not so good points of SugarSync:
Version 2.0 makes it VERY intuitive and simple to sync and share your files from your desktop
Sets up a Virtual Drive (S:) for easy access to your SugarSync files and folders (see if you can sync files by saving them to the S: drive)
Stream media from your SugarSync account where ever you’re at (never be without your media)
Work on files and documents using your web browser (good for people on the go)
Ability to see and restore previous versions of a file
Restore deleted files (from your SugarSync Account)
Don’t see special sync icons at times
No unlimited option
Cannot search through documents
SugarSync is compatible with virtually all the major platforms which makes it a convenient choice for those who need to sync their files across multiple platforms seamlessy. SugarSync is compatible with:
- Mac (OS X 10.5 and later )
- PC (Windows XP, Vista and 7)
- *Linux app is in the works
SugarSync is also compatible with practically all the major mobile platforms including:
- Apple IOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
- Android powered phones and tablets
- Windows Mobile
Cost & Comparisons
As far as cost goes SugarSync appears to be a little more costly on a per GB (GigaByte) basis than some of the alternatives and delivering some of the enhanced features that very few companies attempt to offer (that we’ll touch on in a sec)might be the reason. As of today here is pricing on SugarSync’s storage options:
$4.99 / mo
$49.99 / yr
$9.99 / mo
$99.99 / yr
$14.99 / mo
$149.99 / yr
$24.99 / mo
$249.99 / yr
SugarSync’s setup is a fairly simple 5 minute process from beginning to end. Once you download the software and run the installer you’re given the option to customize your SugarSync install before jumping into the heart of the installation…
Setting up what files and folders you want to upload and sync to your account
SugarSync actually does a pretty good job of helping you setup what data you want to upload to your account on the “cloud” and which data you don’t by giving you a list of the most common folders your files are likely to be stored in by other programs (My documents, My Pictures, My Music, iTunes, etc).
Where SugarSync is actually different is that you can sync virtually any folder except for critical Operating System folders like the infamous “C:\Windows” folder to your account. And yes “Program files” are a GO (if you choose to sync Program Files, SugarSync will pop up a warning letting you know that your programs may not work if you sync them to another computer)
Once you select what you want to initially sync to your SugarSync account the setup will install your Virtual Drive (S:) and your Magic Briefcase folder (more on these later)
Ease of Use
Compared to itsprevious version, SugarSync 2.0 makes things a lot more intuitive for the everyday, casual computer user (in other words requires alot less digging around menus to perform very simple tasks like sharing and syncing.
The first and possibly most important feature of SugarSync is the ability to sync your files and folders. And with SugarSync 2.0 it’s actually very simple to sync and essentially backup your files to your account “on the cloud” and other devices.
Unlike the previous versions, SugarSync 2.0 actually provides Drag and Drop functionality, a feature that appears to add Dropbox convenience to a formerly complicated task in SugarSync (yes, the older SugarSync version lacked this feature BIG TIME).
To sync your files, simply open your SugarSync File Manager located on the lower right hand corner of your screen (PC).
Once opened you simply drag and drop (virtually) any* file or folder into the highlighted area (can’t miss) and your data should instantly begin syncing to your online account ready to be synced to another machine, streamed to your mobile device (for audio and video files), shared with your friends, family or colleagues, worked on through your web browser or updated and backed up instantly as you work on it locally on your computer as you normally would.
And for you Right Clickers out there, SugarSync also allows you to sync your data by “Right Clicking”on the file or folder you want to upload as well.
Sugar Sync’s Top Features
There are additional syncing features within SugarSync’s File Manager that give you even more control on what you want and don’t want to sync to your account (just expand the “Advanced” tab when viewing a file or folder) These features include: “Add or Edit a Folder Label” (Helps you tell your folders apart, pretty helpful for those who sync ALOT of files) – “Exclude Subfolders from Sync” – “Remove From SugarSync”
– File Transfer Status
You can check on the progress of your file transfer by clicking on the SugarSync icon in the System tray and selecting File Transfer Status.
There you can see how many files are remaining to be uploaded to your SugarSync account. You can also check to see what files / folders are waiting to be downloaded onto your computer once you setup SugarSync on another device (more on this feature as well).
– Set Priority (Upload First – Download First)
There’s actually a key feature I like with SugarSync that I haven’t seen in it’s #1 competitor (Dropbox). And it’s the ability to set which files you want to be synced first by switching the priority from low to high.
(give example of why this is important to the reader)
– Syncing Your Files to Other Devices
Syncing your files to other devices is actually very simple and robust with SugarSync.
True Story: Recently I found myself tasked with helping my girl friend snap photos of items in her boutique with her iPad. After taking the pictures we found ourselves scratching our heads wondering how the heck are we going to get ALL these pictures off the iPad.
That’s when I decided to give the SugarSync Apple IOS app a shot. And it might have saved the day. As I was snapping away it synced the photos to her laptop where she was able to organize them and put them into their appropriate folders so she could use later on.
From that experience I can tell you that the app was actually pretty easy to use. You pretty much tell the app what files / folders you want to sync and upload to your account and you’re good to go.
I was also able to sync files pretty easily between my office Mac and my Windows PC at home.
– Quick Guide: How to Sync Files to Multiple Devices with SugarSync
To sync your files to multiple devices all you need to do is install SugarSync on the device and log in with your account. From there the setup will ask you to choose which files (if any) you’d like to sync from that device to your account.
Once everything is all setup you can view all the files in your SugarSync account from that device. But to sync that file or folder (so that it’s automatically updated as its updated on one of your devices) you need to enable the syncing function for that file / folder
(SCREEN SHOT – BMC Salesletter)
Once that’s done your files will magically be updated on that device as soon as it’s updated on any of your other devices or via the web.
Sharing your files with others also appears to be a rather simple task with SugarSync 2.0 as well. Just like syncing your files, you’re able to drag and drop virtually any file or folder into designated window within the Sharing Tab to share your files with anyone you’d like (they don’t even need a SugarSync account for you to be able to share your files with them either – which comes in handy)
With SugarSync you can apparently control any and all access to your file(s) within one menu anytime you want. Some of these sharing controls include: Setting “Add & Edit” and “View Only” Permissions, and “Stop Sharing Privately” which disables sharing and eliminates all access to that file / folder from other users in about 2-3 mouse clicks.
Why is this important: Because at anytime on the fly you may find that you want to deny or even give someone access to certain files and folders within your account (like a presentation or a song for a party) and by putting all the “Sharing” options pretty much at your fingertips you can quickly share files with your family, friends and colleagues or turn off sharing to your specific files with ease.
SugarSync also provides its users with Search functionality. It appears to work just as you would expect a Search feature to work except for one little thing. It seems that the Search feature only searches the name of files and folders in your account. Which means if you’re trying to search for a keyword or phrase in a document to try and locate it, you may be out of luck unfortunately.
– Activity Logging
A feature I found useful with SugarSync is the Activity Logging feature. This feature gives you the ability to see which files and folders have been updated and when. Some of the Activity that is logged are: when files are updated, added, removed and shared within your account.
From my experience when you start dealing with more and more files and folders being synced and updated within your account it’s nice and sometimes more efficient to go to a particular day to see where a particular file is and when it’s been last updated.
– Restoring / Recovering Files
Another feature that some folks may find useful is the ability to restore and recover files.
Through a process called “Versioning” SugarSync actually stores multiple “versions” of each file you sync.In Simple Terms: Every time you make a change to a file and save it, that version will be stored to your SugarSync account. So let’s say you changed a paragraph in a word document but you like the wording you used for a specific sentence that’s now been changed, you can go back to the previous version of the file and retrieve the data you need.
VERIFY THIS – Also when you “delete” a file in SugarSync instead of it being deleted and lost forever it’s sent to a special place like the Recycle Bin or Trash Can (like on a Windows or Mac) which allows you to a) recover that file if you still need it or b) permanently delete that file if you don’t
SugarSync Customer Support is pretty much what you would expect from a company offering a “light weight” cloud service, they basically offer the essential support options of a knowledge base and email support as well as live chat.
If you go to their “Help Portal” you’ll see a Knowledge Base where you can search for a solution to your issue. This is probably the first place you should go if you’re having an issue since more than likely that issue has already been resolved and the solution is instantly available.
If you don’t find the solution to your issue there’s also email support and live chat support to help resolve your issue.
From my experience SugarSync’s Email Support is pretty responsive and offers valuable tech support if you need it.
And the live chat option is actually a step up from most cloud services who just offer email support. Just note that live chat isn’t a 24 hours service so if you feel the need to chat with a SugarSync technician at 3am then you might want to check out their support hours.
At this time there’s no phone support option.
Who is SugarSync Really For?
SugarSync is really for those who:
Work on multiple devices (i.e. home computer, work computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone) and would like a simple way to sync files between them
Typically share files (i.e – music, photos, documents) with others
Want an easy way to backup really important data that’s on their computer or mobile device
For this reason I think SugarSync is a strong match for:
High School Students
On the Go Professionals
Anyone who works in a collaborative team environment (with non techy people)
If you’re looking for an easy to use solution that allows you to place your most important files (documents, music, videos, etc) on the cloud (from your iPad, iPhone, Android and Computer) and instantly accessible (across all your devices) anywhere you go.
And you’re for a way to make your files easily “shareable” to anyone you want with very little fuss (save, sync and share files located anywhere on your computer and mobile device not just in a magic box) then I highly recommend you at least test drive SugarSync to see if it’s right for you with a Free 5GB account.