SugarSync is not among the regulars of the cloud back up software category, developed first in 2009 in the U.S . As its name suggests, it is developed largely for the purpose of file synchronization, and given the years behind it, the expectations of users parallel to Sugar sync being a huge competitor in the software market, particularly to other services such as Dropbox. With time it has emerged to be a great option for users who want a comfortable experience in file synchronization.
In contrast to the above-mentioned statement, Sugar Sync does have some similarities with other types of cloud software: it is not devoid of flaws and is not immune to criticism. Our review of Sugar Sync will give weight to how this service fares off against others in terms of pricing, packages, speed, flexibility, security, and, most importantly, synchronization and sharing.
SugarSync is for who?
SugarSync software is an efficient, effective and elaborate cloud back up service for both individual and business use. Its features are created as such to facilitate users, with utmost simplicity, for data storage, file synchronization, information backing and sharing. SugarSync offers various solutions, in the form of packages for business purposes and personal storing. This is further made easy by making this facility available on a broad spectrum of OS and devices, particularly mobile devices. This makes data available on the go, and one does not have to worry about being online or offline.
Simply put, SugarSync is for anyone anywhere; one person, two people or a large conglomerate.
Comparatively Sugar Sync price plans are not easily affordable and hence do not find a place among best deals for cloud storage. The packages it offers are as follows:
The first plan is $7.49 a month, but only a small amount of 100GB storage is provided to the users. In order to obtain a cheaper option, the yearly-basis payment can be done in which case the price drops to $6.25 per month.
The next plan provides 250 GB of storage for $9.99 a month. Compared to pCloud and and Sync.com there are much better packages. That is to say that there is a better offer in terms of storage space given to users, underpinned by a decent price tag. For instance, the subscription to pCloud’s 2TB plan will cost a user the same price, and the year discount package makes it even more cheaper and better.
The 500GB plan is not much credible for value, with the cost being $ 24.99 a month.
Business 1 TB
However Sugar Sync's Business 1 TB plan is a much better deal.
$55 per month is the payment for one to three users of the storage. With each number of user the prices hikes until there are 10 users for which the cost is $133/ month.
In order to provide businesses with effective monitoring. The main components of this plan are a strong control in the hands of the administrator, support through a live phone call, and a powerful option to completely wipe data from devices.
Another deal is available for businesses, which is the Business Custom plan, which has the same features as the Business 1TB plan, however it is open to increased pricing.
Free 30-day trial
All plans are available for a 30 -day free trial option for users: customary to other cloud storage software and has another option of a 90 day use of 5GB storage.
SugarSync Cloud Features
Organization and Management for Back Up
Overall, this software was able to bring exciting prospects to this field, with a major ease of access being in the syncing of any folder to the SugarSync cloud. A constituent of SugarSync is called Magic Briefcase. This feature promises apt file distribution and arrangement should the need arise for the user while backing up data categorically. Amazing organization is the essence of this feature as it provides users with freedom to hide or view the files as they please within the system and make an arrangement which is favorable and desired. This reduces the cumbersome task of organizing by a mile and makes the SugarSync experience even more durable and reliable.
Earlier than this, no such option had been provided in any other synchronization software: all requiring users to upload files into one predetermined folder. This had caused a lot of data to jumble and create categorization problems for users, as it had become cumbersome to access desired information.
Easy User Interface
SugarSync has a quick and easy set up which can make experience really good for PC and mobile. For the latter, a very slick app has been manufactured. This app mirrors the interface similar to that of the website and hence adds to the convenience. It avoids unwanted complications and cumbersomeness for users.
The SugarSync is fairly easy to use, such that users will easily be able to understand their way around it. The folder organization is in a list-manner which makes management an even easier task.
There is one interesting element in SugarSync. One is able to keep track of various versions of documents and files as SugarSync saves all. For instance if one file is altered, its previous type will still remain for review and use. By marking the folder as 'Protected' the option of tracking even more changes is available.
In front of ransomware, this feature is particularly useful. That is because it helps to recover versions of data before the corruption encryption took place.
However a drawback is in the number of versions available. It is only limited to five previous versions which can be retrieved.
On that very interface are a variety of options which makes accessibility not a daunting task anymore. Prior to SugarSync there had been various issues regarding the number of devices that can be synced to one's account. This software, in a cutting edge upgrade, has brought unlimited access to the number of devices that can be paired with it: translating data over each for one's comfort.
In order to change a device or add a new one, a simple step to disable sync on one of the devices would disconnect the desired device and give option for selective synchronization.
Another groundbreaking feature of SugarSync is that it allows users to have more Bandwidth control. After an initial backup, SugarSync’s software constantly runs on the computer in the background, performing automatic gradational synchronization, or 'back up' of the folders and files that have been selected and assigned for upload/back up .
Upon saving a new file or altering a previous one, this sync takes place . As a result, a comparatively less bandwidth is utilized, and this does not reduce internet connection speed. In a nutshell, the back up procedure is similar to other sync programs, only in a much faster and efficient way.
Storage and File Restoration
SugarSync also provides file versioning that stores different versions of previously saved files so that you may access a copy of your file that has already been saved and backed.
For file restoration on the PC, SugarSync Manager Software can be downloaded, the function for which is very convenient: simply drag and drop backed up files from the software into your desired location folder on the hard storage/ hard drive.
With SugarSync, files can be restored by users in a snippet of time. The developed apps each respective of iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android ensures that there is considerable easy access to documents in all places, at one touch of a smartphone. SugarSync is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems, and having it on the Programs list is surely beneficial.
Another thing worthy of being noted is that the file restoration is available in two methods: a user can either log in to his/her SugarSync account from the website and download the desired files in ZIP format, or, in another suitable manner, add SugarSync to a new device, access account from there and retrieve all the required files and folders. There is also the option of priority restoration on this cloud service, where users can specifically select which files or folders are restored over others.
Privacy and Safety
In this digital age, it has become a necessity to store personal information and data on cloud storage, and equally important is the need to ensure its privacy and safety. Sugar Sync utilizes an update form of SSL certificate, TSL, which creates a trusted environment for customers to purchase, store, restore and manage information. It is the same security as it is for online transactions.
What is SSL?
A secure connection is created via a SSL certificate, one which carries a public and a private key encryption. The SSL certificate also includes the 'subject'. This shows the identity of the server or the website. The key inscription is a feature that gives access to users to the content they wish to view, and share. Data is stored at rest with a 128 bit encryption key at SugarSync to make sure the content is private and secure.
www.digicert.com describes SSL as:
"One of the most important components of online business is creating a trusted environment where potential customers feel confident in making purchases. SSL certificates create a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection. To assure visitors their connection is secure, browsers provide special visual cues that we call EV indicators — anything from a green padlock to branded URL bar.
What is key?
SSL certificates have a key pair: a public and a private key. The function of these keys is to construct a connection which is encrypted, or 'jumbled'. Another component of this is the 'subject' which gives is the name of the company or software which is utilizing the encryption.
A Certificate Signign Request is needed when in order to create encryption on a server. This request is then sent the Certifiate Authority who grants a SSL certificate to a server. Using the CSR file, the CA creates an encryption which is suitable to the data provided, without compromising the key itself. The CA never sees the private key.
The SSL certificate is then installed onto the server. SugarSync makes use of this method to enable file sharing through various other social media software.
However there is a drawback to this feature. With there being public encryption, SugarSync does not have offer the option of a private encryption on cloud. This results in an unsure space where it is very probable that third party intervention can expose private information to the risk of being disclosed. Key management rests largely with SugarSync, which places it in a position to be able to hand key encryption to authorities should a need or a want arise in particular situation.
What is an encryption?
www.lifewire.com describes encryption and private encryption key as:
Encryption is the process in which information is transformed into a unique or disjointed form which cannot be read, understood, accessed and changed by any party other than the desired recipient . This scrambled form of data can then return to its original form when it goes through the process of 'decryption', when it is received.
Using another form of encryption, the private encryption, is a feature common among an online back up software. Private encryption utilizes a algorithm which acts as a layer to cover up information from third parties. Private encryption can only be opened through a password/ encryption key which is exchanged by sender to the receiver. Unfortunately, SugarSync does not have a private encryption facility for users.
More on End-to-End Encryption is provided by www.lifewire.com.
End to end encryption locks down information on both ends. That is to say it is secured with an algorithm layer which is inaccessible by anyone other than the desired recipient and the sender. It is a way to ensure privacy. This layer is so strong that even hackers and agencies cannot penetrate it.
There exists however another security problem. SugarSync does not have a two-step verification system. This largely puts security at risk. In simple words, the password which keeps you in control of your data and its privacy is the only barrier that is.
Between you and a hacker, a few numbers, symbols and alphabet are the only security measure. Other services, such as the likeness of Google Drive, offer this service.
As previously mentioned, SugarSync uses key encryption to make a certain pack of data exclusive. Most of it is done through the integration of Boxcryptor. The use of this software is done in easy steps, which are as follows:
- Download and Install SugarSync on your PC.
- Create a SugarSync account or Login if you already have one
- Download and Install Boxcryptor from http://www.boxcryptor.com/
- Choose the folder to encrypt
- The Master Briefcase can be encrypted as well.
- You can encrypt another subfolder or synced folder
- A shareable folder can be chosen too.
- After the desired folder is chosen, the next step is to set Boxcryptor.
- Opening BoxCryptor will make a padlock option appear on the taskbar tray.
- Right clicking on it brings a series of options available.
- Click on 'Preferences'
- Then chose which directory you wish to encrypt.
After encrypting with BoxCryptor, files and folders will be protected and secure from interceptors.
Help in SugarSync
SugarSync offers a search bar which searches keywords to help users. The access to the Help Center is available for information on all aspects of downloading, installing, choosing files and folders for backing up or synchronization and sharing. This is also followed by notes on troubleshooting, should any issue arise while using SugarSync.
Live Support Option
There is a tiny twist here as well. The option of Live Support is only available for businesses who have subscribed to SugarSync business packages. Individual users are not provided with this facility.
Live Support facility is further described by Techopedia.com as:
'Live support is a Web service for businesses that allows visitors to communicate with the business, usually through real-time live chat. Live support is designed to provide customers and clients with immediate support and information. The Web service is integrated with the business website and generally includes invisible website traffic analysis and secure administrative controls. '
Remote Wipe Option
Another feature of SugarSync which is exclusive to business plans only is the Remote Wipe Option. This is a strong tool utilized to erase all synced data from root of the cloud storage for a number of reasons:
- Departure of an employee who has stored sensitive data
- A synced device with sensitive information is lost or stolen
SugarSync's Wipe Option can be carried on in the following steps:
- Login to SugarSync Account
- Select My Account by clicking on username on the top right of the SugarSync Web App
- Scroll down to Settings, then Connected Devices, and then select Manage
- There will come a Manage Connected Devices page. After Scrolling on it there will come the device that you wish to remove. Click on Wipe and Remove.
- Confirmation can be done by clicking on the red Wipe button. This serves as a two step verification to filter any mistakes.
- The Wipe is requested to the servers.
- Once the Remote Wipe is complete, the confirmation will appear.
This feature is really important and powerful for administrative and management purposes in businesses.
SugarSync Pros and Cons
- Easy to Use
- Compatible on Mac and Windows OS both
- Compatible on android and iOS
- Background running means lesser bandwidth use
- Selective synchronization
- Provides with Proxy
- Flexible multiple folder storage option
- Easy to use App for mobile devices
- More devices can be synced
- Option for merging folders and creating a new folder available
- Ability to prioritize backup on cloud/ synchronization
- Easy sharing of files and folders through public link sharing
- Link sharing available for multiple social apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook etc.
- Download of files available for offline use
- Automatic cloud back up available for SugarSync mobile app
- Any synced file can be shared: even with those who do not have a SugarSync account
- File restoration can be done for indefinite amount of time
- Advanced collaboration tools
- File permissions can be set by the user
- Files can be 'dragged and dropped' easily for cloud back up
- Bonus storage space provided as referral reward.
- Integrated with BoxCryptor
- Restoration available in ZIP method
- Previous versions of synced files and folders available
- Neat organization in list manner
- Search tool available to locate synced files and folders
- Remote wipe option available
- Adjustable business plan pricing packages
- Slick mobile apps
- More usability than Dropbox
- Bandwidth controls rests with user
- No Linux support
- Software update problems on different problems leads to lag in sync
- Complication due to syncing of any folder
- Management can be cumbersome because of too many folders
- No private end to end encryption facility
- No back up schedules
- Can only back up files and folders
- Cannot back up any OS
- Only met data is considered.
- Key management under SugarSync
- Not the fastest: 5 MB/s upload speed
- Remote Wipe option is largely permitted for business plans only
- Remote Wipe option is not available on mobile devices under SugarSync App
- Occasionally, syncing stops and has to be troubleshooted and rebooted
- Organizing synced folders is problematic as folders are arranged in a strict numerical pattern
- Synced files cannot be edited online
- SugarSync PC App uses 30% and more of processor power.
- Updates to SugarSync can be extensive and time consuming
- No free subscription
- Combats on resources with other programs across devices.
- Slow on Web browser download
- No free to use tier
Alternatives for SugarSync
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Resilio Sync
- Amazon Drive
- Allway Sync
- Storage Made Easy
- ASUS Webstorage