Online storage / cloud data storage have become the most common ways to back up computer files. There are many websites that offer all sorts of storage options and it seems as though any company with a server large enough is offering online storage. The most popular are probably Dropbox and Sugarsync:
Dropbox and SugarSync are definitely two of the best providers of online storage. As a rule of thumb, if you are looking for fast upload and download speeds go with Dropbox. If you need more customization, go with SugarSync.
- Fast Upload and Download, Dropbox will save older versions for thirty days
- Not Very Flexible For Users With Multiple Computers
- Many Features, Customizable, Better Pricing,
- Slower Upload And Download Speed, Customer Service, Only Saves 5 Versions Per File
Dropbox / SugarSync: Available Storage Plans
The exact details of pricing and the amount of storage space vary between the companies, but they both feature a similar set up. Dropbox’s free plan includes 2 GB of storage, whereas SugarSync’s offers 5 GB. For paying customers, there are personal accounts and business accounts that offer additional storage and other benefits. The business accounts also allow for extra users as well. Both companies offer promotions which give extra storage space for getting new users to sign up using a referral link.
Supported Operating Systems
Both programs are compatible with Windows and Mac, but only Dropbox can be used on a Linux system. When it comes to phones, Dropbox is at a definite disadvantage, since it is only compatible with the iPhone. SugarSync, on the other hand, can be used on Windows Mobile, Android, and Blackberry in addition to the iPhone. SugarSync also offers real time streaming of music and videos from both phones and computers. However, SugarSync requires administrative abilities to install, which may be inconvenient on a work computer, whereas Dropbox can be installed by anyone.
How Does DropBox/SugarSync Work
Both Dropbox and SugarSync offer storage in the clouds, or the ability to back up files online. The files can then be viewed online, or more commonly, accessed from multiple computers. Each computer can read and edit the same files and changes to the file will be saved on all the systems. Dropbox features an all or nothing approach and downloads all files to every computer in the system, but SugarSync allows for selective syncing. Business accounts offer the additional option of syncing more than one user and SugarSync offers the ability to restrict the rights of some users on the account.
Pros and Cons of SugarSync
SugarSync is newer to the scene and has been pulling in users through many of their gimmicks. They offer an abundance of cool features, including real time streaming, customizable file syncing, and the ability to upload pictures directly to Facebook. They also have better pricing options. However, unless the stored files are very small, SugarSync’s upload and download speeds tend to be very slow. In addition, many of their users complain bitterly about the company’s customer service, which is said to be rude and incompetent, and they often fail to answer complaints altogether.
Pros and Cons of Dropbox
The biggest disadvantage of Dropbox is that they do not offer users the option of which files to sync to which computer, which may at times be very inconvenient. However, this is counteracted by the speed of uploading and downloading, which is significantly faster than SugarSync’s. Another huge benefit is that while SugarSync only stores the last five versions of a file (nearly useless for people who save multiple times a minute), Dropbox will save older versions for thirty days. Dropbox also offers Dropbox Rewind, which will save versions from the very first back up.
It is hard to say for certain whether Dropbox or SugarSync is the better program, since it varies by need. For simple usage, SugarSync may be a better choice, since they offer extra features and very good basic plans. However, Dropbox seems to win with the bigger users, mostly as a result of its superior speeds and customer service.
I haven’t tried sugarsync for a while. But when I did try it last the issue was not so much that you needed admin privileges to install ( I would think you’d need them to install anything actually – including dropbox.) but that you needed admin privileges to run it.
This is poor design.
But then windows itself has pretty poor design when it comes to normal and admin account usage. Most people just end up going cowboy I think, which is too bad. But windows becomes confused/confusing in many tasks if you are not admin.
Which means extra hassle and confusion for new users, of course.
Just tested Sugarsync and found it’s major flaw. We have 2 computers and it was great to easily sync them both. If you are looking at the files online, no problem – go to Sugarsync’s website, login and you’re in. However, it installs a SugarSync Manager program to the desktop that DOES NOT require a password to access, so if you computer is stolen, the thief can have access to more than one computer!
In SugarSync’s help section, they said they are aware of this issue, but have no foreseeable date when this will be changed.
I’m testing Dropbox now, and so far I like it. Kinda expensive for the 100MB ($200/yr), but I haven’t found major faults yet.