UPDATED: Test driving SugarSync

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For the uber geeks who like to setup RSYNC to do offline storage to FTP sites, I’ll save you the time — nothing to see here, have a nice day. Wink

Today, on a bit of a whim, I decided to take SugarSync for a 30-day test drive. I went ahead and signed up for the 30GB plan, which comes out to $50/yr if I continue with it.

First, here’s some background. For the past 2 years, I’ve been a big fan and proponent of DropBox. In fact, I still am. The problem is, I need to share files with a co-worker who is on a Windows box, and I’m on a Mac, and we’ve gone over the 2GB limit. Since it looks like our total storage/sync needs are going to be 10GB+, that puts us out of the ‘free’ range of most online storage options.

So far, all I’ve done is download and install the SugarSync Manager application. The footprint is over 100MB, which I found a bit surprising —and concerning — since I don’t recall DropBox requiring such a hefty client. Regarding the UI, which is important for us finicky Mac addicts – I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse. A bit too much MS Windows-like for my tastes. Since I’ll probably just set it up and leave it alone, it’s not that big of a deal.

I’ll be syncing up around 5GB over the weekend, so I’ll report back here on the performance.

How about you? Are you doing any offline file and folder synchronization across the Internet?

UPDATE 10/6/10: Well, took the plunge and purchased a 1-year plan for 30GB. So far so good…here’s some observations…

  • Compared to DropBox…the ‘manager’ app has a lot more bells and whistles. Now, I’m not exactly sure I need/want that. I just want something that ‘works’ and leaves me alone. I’m not interested in tweaking or fiddling with settings…and that’s how DropBox worked. After some initial setup on 2 machines that are sync’ing, thankfullly…it’s been mostly ‘set and forget’.
  • I haven’t done any benchmarking, but sync speed appears to be acceptable…only slightly slower than DropBox.
  • Support. I actually had to contact support once during the trial, and while the answer wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, it was adequate…although a bit slow on the response time (I’m spoiled by support teams that get back ASAP).
  • Interoperability. Right now, I’m sync’ing a folder between me and one other person. He’s on a PC and I’m on a Mac. No problems at all.
  • Bottom-line. I’ll give it a recommend. But… 😉 … if DropBox had a similar priced plan I’d probably roll with that. One thing I don’t see in SugarSync is the ability to sync over a LAN, rather than having everything routed through the central servers on the net. DropBox has this feature, but maybe SugarSync is working on it.
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Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
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