Performing a routine backup is extremely important if you don’t want to lose the important data on your hard drive. From financial statements to your cherished old photos, despite the utter practicality, everything that is digital is prone to various catastrophes. You may not realize until it is too late that your hard drive is dying. You can’t be one hundred percent certain that your personal computer will never get infected by malware. Once the hard drive fails or a ferocious malware corrupts your data, there is no cheap, easy way to recover. Having a backup is much more convenient in case that either of those catastrophes happens.
And what can be a more convenient way to back up your data besides using one of those cloud backup services? With a cloud backup service, you won’t have to buy hard drives or servers and you won’t have to set up everything by yourself. Often, a cloud backup service is more cost-efficient than the traditional methods. Right now, there are two popular cloud backup services: SugarSync and Dropbox. Which is the one that you better choose? See the comparisons below for the answer.
Of course, when you are about to buy any product or service, the cost makes one of the most considerable factors. Especially if you are shopping for your business. Choosing the wrong price package may break your business in no time. So, before we proceed any further, let’s take a look at the pricing options that these two companies offer.
For individual consumers, Dropbox is available in two versions: Dropbox Basic, which is free and provides 2 GB storage space for each account, and Dropbox Pro, which is a paid version with 1 TB storage space and various additional features including sharing controls with passwords. There is also a business plan, which comes with unlimited storage space, unlimited file recovery, multiple user access, and advanced file sharing controls.
On the other hand, SugarSync comes with a free plan for individual customers with 5 GB storage space. However, there are three paid versions for individual customers, which vary by the storage space: 100GB, 250GB, and 500GB. The business plan is also a multi-user account that enables multiple users to manage and access the files simultaneously and with unlimited storage.
Dropbox is quite user-friendly, especially for those people who prefer to upload files directly from the hard drive. Once a file is placed in the folder, its data is automatically sent to the desired cloud account automatically. In addition, after a successful data transfer, the uploaded file can be synced right away across all related devices, including your mobile devices. The files can be sorted according to the file type, and sharing is fairly easy to do. However, the web interface is not very intuitive because the upload button and options are not clearly visible.
SugarSync has a right-click extension that allows you to add any folder to your account quickly and easily. Interestingly, SugarSync is able to perform autosave and periodic update, allowing you to edit a file on the office’s PC and continue on it again later from your home’s PC. The separate mobile apps are great if you are always on the go.
Having a wide range of compatibility is not always better; it all depends on the platforms that you are using. If you only use Windows devices, there is no need to choose a product or service that is compatible with one hundred and one other platforms. On the other hand, though, if you work from Windows at the office, Mac at home, and Android when on the go, you may want to make sure that the cloud backup you are using is compatible with all of them.
Dropbox is compatible with all popular platforms, such as Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, as well as Linux and Kindle Fire. On the other hand, SugarSync is also compatible with those platforms except Linux and Kindle Fire. It is, however, able to work with Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.
File Sharing and Synchronization
Dropbox features a special folder to which you can put the files that you wish to share and sync across multiple devices and users. You can organize the files inside the special folder by creating subdirectories, but the files must be inside the folder first before they can be put in the subdirectories. So far, Dropbox is unable to sync folders outside the user account.
When an attempt to share a file is made, SugarSync creates “Magic Briefcase”, which serves as a connector for all files to be shared. This is almost like the special folder used in Dropbox. However, SugarSync also offers a nice feature called “Get Public Link”, which gives you a unique link to access a specific file. You can send the link to another user who needs to access the particular file. The users possessing access to the file can be granted permissions. To stop a file from being shared, you can click on the “Disable Link” option. Finally, with SugarSync, you can choose specific folders to be synchronized to the cloud, allowing you to upload a directory without having to reorganize and move things out.
Humans make mistakes – sometimes, we accidentally delete a file that we don’t mean to. That’s why file recovery is an immensely important feature, especially for a cloud storage service. Both Dropbox and SugarSync allow you to retrieve deleted files, but with different manners.
On Dropbox, any versions of files that have been deleted within the last 30 days can be recovered. All you have to do is to click on the trash icon, and it will show you a list of deleted files and versions with the restore options. If you have just deleted a file or multiple files, you can quickly restore them with a simple keyboard shortcut. In most cases, the 30-day period is sufficient, but if you ever need to recover files older than that, there is the Rat Pack property, which will recover those files at an extra cost. You can also upgrade to the Extended Version History Feature, which will allow you to restore files deleted within a year since the deletion. Note that the business plan has unlimited file recovery.
On the other hand, SugarSync is quite significantly different – it keeps up to five versions of the deleted files for an unlimited period. The unlimited period is great, indeed, but if you have deleted the same file six times, the oldest one is no longer accessible and is lost forever.
|- 5 GB free account, three paid options (100GB, 250GB, 500GB), enterprise plan (unlimited storage)||- 2 GB free account, 1 TB Pro version, enterprise plan (unlimited storage and unlimited file recovery)|
|- Only up to 5 file versions for an unlimited period||- Unlimited file versions within 30 days|
|- You can add any file/folder to the cloud just by right-clicking||- No way to sync files/folders outside the special Dropbox folder|
|- Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, as well as Windows Phone and Symbian||- Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, as well as Linux and Kindle Fire|
|- Better sharing controls in the consumer version||- Advanced sharing controls in the Pro version and enterprise plan|
Dropbox’ file recovery is actually very nice – it allows you to restore all file versions within 30 days, which is a sufficient duration for most cases. The enterprise features in the business plan are also great, with the unlimited storage and unlimited file recovery. However, individual users may benefit more from SugarSync. First of all, the free version has a significantly larger capacity. The features are also much more practical.