Spoilt for Choice
In the last twelve months or so, there has been an explosion in the number of cloud hosting and synchronisation services available. At CDW, we use them regularly and have tried all the big names. SugarSync is one of our favourites. Before I explain what SugarSync offers, I’ll do a quick aside for those of you whose brain is currently saying something like:
[quote style=”boxed”]”People keep talking about the ‘Cloud’. Clouds make rain and funny shapes. What’s that got to do with the internet?”[/quote]
Dan’s Cloud Primer
“Cloud” is a buzz-word in internet technology right now. Many companies are using it as a synonym for the internet, but really it refers to the idea that the user experience shouldn’t be based on which computer or device they are using, but should follow them around. Users should be able to move from their desktop to their tablet to their phone and access the same information and services, particularly their own files and documents. Cloud-hosting services such as SugarSync, Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive aim to make all your important files available to all your devices automatically, and also via their webpage. This means that no matter where you are, you can get to your stuff. Left your laptop at home? No problem, you can still get that important report you’ve been working on, or show those photos to your friends that you promised to bring. The other bonus is that if you lose all your devices, you know your precious (sometimes irreplaceable) files are safely backed up on the provider’s servers. When you get a new device, you just install the app and login, and your files will be synced automatically onto the new device.
Many of the services also offer features like version control, shared folders, and integration with social media. So don’t be intimidated by the “cloud” – it’s a great tool for both your personal life and work.
…and back to SugarSync…
All the cloud storage services offer the same basic features, so it’s their advanced features that make them stand out (or not). SugarSync have obviously thought very carefully about how their users will use the service, and what features they would find useful. SugarSync’s more advanced features include:
- Backup of ANY folder on your computer (many services are more limited)
- Version control up to five past versions, with restore ability
- Upload via email
- More unusual platforms and plugins, such as Kindle Fire, Symbian and Outlook supported
- Shared folder permissions
For a more comprehensive comparison of SugarSync’s services compared to other providers, see this table: https://www.sugarsync.com/sync_comparison.html
You might be thinking that you don’t want someone else to be handling all your important files. Are the CIA going through them? Have the company sold your details to other companies? It’s always worth reading the privacy policies for services like these ones. In terms of security, SugarSync stack up well. Your data is stored encrypted with AES (that’s good), and all transactions with SugarSync use TLS – that’s the newer, better replacement for HTTPS (the thing that gives you the ‘padlock’ in Internet Explorer). This means that your files are only unencrypted at your devices, or when you share a file with someone via a link.
SugarSync have paid particular attention to how their service handles pictures, music and movie files. You can share a photo album with friends by sending them a link via email, SMS, or many social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Your friends don’t even need a SugarSync account to view the photos (or any other files you might share). The service also allows you to post photos directly to Facebook.
Earn Extra Space While You Learn
With any service or tool there’s a learning curve to get the most out of it, and SugarSync is no exception. However, their website (especially) is very clearly laid out and offers very useful tips on what’s going on and how to do things. The mobile app has the same information, but is more basic-looking, as you’d expect. SugarSync even includes a series of introduction tutorial-like activities that you can complete to get extra free storage using the website interface. There are additional tasks to complete for the mobile app. If you get some of your friends switched on to SugarSync, you can earn several gigabytes of free extra space.
If you don’t know anyone who uses SugarSync already, by all means use my referral link, and we’ll both get extra space: Join SugarSync Here. Don’t worry – I won’t be able to see any of your files.
You can get a 5GB account (plus any extra you earn) for absolutely nothing, free, gratis, zero. If you need more space, you can buy subscriptions:
- 30GB for $4.99/month or $49.99/year
- 60GB for $9.99/month or $99.99/year
- 100GB for $14.99/month or $149.99/year
- 250GB for $24.99/month or $249.99/year
- 500GB for $39.99/month or $399.99/year (special offer correct at time of writing)
There are also plans available for businesses.
We love SugarSync. It’s feature-rich and easy to use – no mean feat! We award SugarSync our 5/5 Gold Award for Excellence.