I know I should be ballyhooing Windows Live Mesh. And yes, Mesh is AWESOME. However I’ve been using Sugarsync as my cloud storage/ backup/ synchronization service for years now and it’s a great service. My subscription is paid into the future and thus “sunk costs” so I don’t really see a need to switch to Mesh any time soon.
However, with the recent “Dropbox debacle” (Stop & go do some research if you don’t know what I’m talking about) I thought I’d write a bit about some of the great features of Sugarsync that people should take into consideration if they are planning on moving from Dropbox.
- Single Instance Storage
Imagine uploading the .ISO of “Windows 7 w/ SP1 slipstreamed” to your cloud drive. That’s a LARGE file so that’s gonna take a while right? So you start the process and seconds later… BOOM. It’s done. No, really. It’s done. Someone else using Sugarsync already uploaded the same .ISO file and so YOU DON’T NEED TO. The file is already there so you don’t need to spend hours uploading it from your network connection – you just get a pointer to the identical .ISO file that’s already been placed up there. Same goes for .MP3s, MPEG4 videos, EXEs, PDFs, etc.
- Byte-level Differencing
So you decided that you want to sync your 2GB Archive .PST file to your cloud storage. It takes forever but whatever. Then you make a modification to the .PST – say, you add a few messages to it. Do you have to upload the entire 2GB .PST again? NO. Only the changes are needed to be replicated up to the cloud. The sync takes less than a few seconds to complete and you’re now backed up again.
- Sync/Backup. Any file. Any folder. Anywhere on your system.
You’ve got a \DOCUMENTS, \PICTURES, \MUSIC, \VIDEOS, & \FAVORITES folder and they’re all in your Profile directory you want them all backed up. But what if you also have a C:\CONFIDENTIAL directory and a D:\EXTRA\PHOTOS directory that you want synced? No problem: Sugarsync will synchronize ANY file, in ANY folder, ANYwhere on your system and you’re not confined to one lousy folder structure.
- Custom Replication Fabric.
I don’t just want my WORK computer to be backed up to the cloud: I want it stored in the cloud…
…and I want my \FAVORITES to be synced to my HOME computer and my LAPTOP.
…and I also want my \DOCUMENTS to be synced to my LAPTOP computer but not my home computer.
…and I want my \PICTURES to be synced between my WORK computer and my HOME computer but not my LAPTOP.
…and I want my \MUSIC to be synced between my HOME computer and my LAPTOP but not my WORK computer.
No problem. Complex replication fabrics are easy to configure and setup.
- Free Storage for Hooking Up Others.
For every friend you refer to SugarSync, Sugarsync will give you both 500 MB of bonus space. If your friend joins a paid plan, you each get 10 GB storage EXTRA. It’s totally win-win. If you appreciated the work I did writing this up and want 10GB of extra storage, (for both of us!) please use the following referral link:
- Web File Sharing… made easy.
There are two scenarios in which you might want to share a file or set of files:
1) Synced File: The file is already synced to the cloud and you just want to give someone the ability to download it. No problem – use the Sugarsync File Manager utility to right-mouse button click on the file and get a “public link”. It’ll copy to your clipboard and that’s all there is to it. Paste that link in email or IM to someone and they can download the file no problem.
2) New file: The file needs to be uploaded and shared. No problem – there’s a special place called the “Web Archive” in the Sugarsync File Manager in which you can just upload content into your cloud storage (and NOT synchronize it) just for one-off- sharing. Then again, right mouse click on the file and get a “public link”. DONE.
- Secured File/Directory Sharing.
”But I don’t wanna have a public link that anyone can download from!” Fine fine fine. Just take the file or directory you want to share and click “Share”. This will allow you to share a directory or file to a specific email address. The user will need to register to Sugarsync and verify that they are the owner of that email address by receiving an email from the service but this has a nice consequence of introducing the person to the service and potentially getting you 500MB-10GB of free storage if they join up for either the free Sugarsync storage offer or a paid subscription.
- No limits.
At least none that I can see. There’s no network utilization limits. (Although I’ve seen d/l bandwidth throttled to 3Mbps) No file size limits. (4GB .ISOs for example work for paid accounts) No file count limits in directories. No directory structure limits. Again, as far as I can see, there’s no real limits to what you can do. That’s cool.
- Manageable Upload/Download Speed.
GAH! I don’t want Sugarsync to consume all my upstream bandwidth when I have a lot to backup to the cloud… I have work to do! No problem. Sugarsync’s agent has a throttle on it to ensure that you can actually do things on the network OTHER than backup your files to the cloud. It will leave bandwidth available for other things like email, surfing, etc. Y’know: Getting real work done.
- Windows Mobile Support. (And iPhone & Blackberry)
This one’s for me: I still have a Verizon HTC TouchPro 2 Windows Phone 6.5 device and Sugarsync has a CLIENT for WP6.5 that makes it easy to pull down any file necessary from the cloud.
- Past Versions.
Holy crap. I just overwrote my mission critical Powerpoint with crap and I don’t have a “Previous Versions” copy on my hard drive. Hyperventilating… must… get… a… grip…
Wait. I have Sugarsync. There’s previous versions of my files already stored in the cloud. Sugarsync keeps track of the last 5 versions for me so I don’t have to worry about local versioning.
And I don’t consider this a FEATURE so I’m not going to list it as such, but something else I love?
Get 60GB of storage online for $99/year. Never have to worry about posting files to web servers to share with people… or worrying about backing up your data. Too pricey? Shuttle down to the 30GB plan. Get 30GB of storage for $49/year. Flat rate. No bandwidth charges, no nothing. Annual cloud storage & “piece of mind for your data” for the meager price of a business lunch. Wary? Try the FREE plan:
Get 5GB of storage for FREE. That’s right. Totally free. They’re so sure you’re gonna upgrade (they got me) that they’re giving away 5GB to start out with for no charge. No credit card required.
So, that’s my piece. I’m a reasonably technical guy that has some reasonable technical requirements and if you’re like me, I’ll bet you have the same general needs. Check it out: 5GB of storage is FREE.