Now I have laptop and PC running Microsoft Windows 7 and I want to synchronize some important files between the two computers. My friends recommend me to use Dropbox and SugarSync. Which file sync service should I use, Dropbox or SugarSync?
Dropbox and SugarSync are the two famous data synchronous service. Each one has its pros and cons to consider before going use. I am now using Dropbox just because I using it from beginning and do not want to make my life confused with more services.
Below I will make a comparison by score between Dropbox and SugarSync. And the result by score indicate that Dropbox is the winner. It’s just my opinion and you should keep your decision.
Service Purpose: Dropbox and SugarSync are basically the same purpose: both of these applications help users back up and synchronize data on multiple computers and multiple devices together.
Support OS and devices: Both support Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry.
- Dropbox: support Linux.
- SugarSync: does not support Linux, but in return, it supports Nokia’s Symbian operating system.
Number of devices limitation
- A fatal weakness of SugarSync is that it only allows data synchronization between the 3 devices only. I was not clear whether this limit applies to a premium account or not, but certainly free account is limited.
- With Dropbox, this is unlimited.
Both services have free versions for personal users. Users can upgrade to the charged version to get the higher capacity and some other convenience.
- Dropbox: initial capacity for the free account is 2GB and you can increase capacity through the recommendations of the Dropbox as connect with Twitter and Facebook accounts, “followers” on Twitter Dropbox … The total capacity you can upgrade is 1GB.
- SugarSync: initial capacity for a free account is 5 GB and you can increase capacity by installing a SugarSync on your computer, sharing a file for everyone to share a folder for all users, upload file by email, share registration link on your Facebook… The total amount you can get is 512Mb.
File size and bandwidth limitation
SugarSync does not limit the file size and the bandwidth you can upload.
Dropbox: Dropbox unlimited upload file size. If your account is empty and space is 5GB then you can upload 5GB file. However, if you upload via the Web interface, the maximum capacity is 300MB. In addition, by supporting the direct path, Dropbox limited access bandwidth is 10 GB / dad, hardly one can achieve this size .
Both services have policies to give space for you if you refer anyone else to use their services. But wait, there are differences:
- Dropbox: 250MB if you are refer one else register and the maximum size is 8 GB. Also people with email .edu register to use then you will get more 500MB. Limit size for registration by mail accounts .edu is 8 GB. In total you will have to 16Gb. Dropbox sometime holds programs DropQuest for the fan to give more space.
- SugarSync: you are given 500MB if someone registered and a maximum capacity … unlimited!
As you can see from the picture, Dropbox give you simple GUI like Google. All you need is copy your desired folders or files to this folder, Dropbox will do the rest.
With SugarSync, you have more options to do. But maybe it makes life more complicated than Dropbox.
Everyone that loves Dropbox always says “Dropbox is the best”. Actually, when I tried and found out that SugarSync upload speed a bit slower Dropbox. But it is not at all, this criterion depends on your environment, your network and so on. So I think the two has the same speed.
As you can see, Dropbox only uses nearly 8MB memory while SugarSync eating over 70 MB.
Synchronize data structure
- Dropbox has weakness that people maybe don’t like is: if you want to sync something, you must copy it to Dropbox folder.
- SugarSync: you can sync any folder without having to copy it to anywhere, just right click and select the sync. That’s all. This is a great plus for SugarSync.
However, I think Dropbox also has reason to centralized management. Distributed data in some aspects make people difficult to control and operate.
Support synchronize via LAN
In local network environment like home, office, … there are needs data synchronization via LAN:
- Dropbox: support. This works so great with LAN speed.
- SugarSync: not support.
Support direct links
- Dropbox: support.
- SugarSync: not supported
Many people prefer Dropbox because it supports the direct link. For example, the image on Dropbox can be accessed via direct link like: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1234567/BlogsImage/2011-09/nice_sunday.jpg
- Dropbox: No
- SugarSync: yes
Dropbox has no concept of backup. All things are synchronization. If you change a file on the web, it will be updated to the computer and vice versa. So you want to backup the data, why? Maybe not!
SugarSync has WebArchive feature. This feature allows you to copy data to the server and get it back. All changes (add, edit, delete) made under the PC (or other devices) will not affect the data stored on the Server. If you want to delete or update, you must perform manually.
Let me explain the meaning of this section as follows: You have a Word document has letter A. Then you updated the file, changed the letter A into letter C. Now you want to restore the first document (i.e. the letter A). Dropbox and SugarSync two services have different treatments:
- Dropbox: By default, Dropbox save all edits files so you can restore any version: the version file to be recovered is within 30 days after it is edited. If you want to exit the 30 day limit, you have to buy a packet of the Dropbox service.
- SugarSync: SugarSync free version only allows you to restore the 5 versions of files without time limit.
Supports file sending
- Dropbox: not support. After you upload to Dropbox server, you can only use features: download, rename, delete, copy path. There is absolutely no feature that allows you to send files to anyone else. If desired, you must copy the link of the file and send email to others.
- SugarSync: lets you send files to one or more persons. They click on the link enclosed in the mail to download the file. In particular, SugarSync can notify you if the recipient download file.
After you upload files to Dropbox or SugarSync, your property is on cloud. Dropbox or SugarSync can do anything with your data even both of them claim that user data is secured. It depends on you to choose which cloud to use like you use Google cloud to store you information (calendar, contacts, so on).
Hope this is enough for you to decide which service to use.