SugarSync review

£40
Price when reviewed

It was touch and go whether SugarSync or Syncplicity would come out on top, but SugarSync steals victory thanks to a combination of cross-platform support, ease of use and advanced media facilities.

With Mac OS, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile clients, SugarSync works across a wide range of platforms, with Linux the only major omission. Setup is simple. On installation, you get a choice of common folders to synchronise with other connected systems and your online storage space, plus there’s a no-nonsense equivalent to Dropbox’s hot folder in its Magic Briefcase. Simply drag and drop a file or folder here on one PC, and it appears in the Magic Briefcase folder of all connected systems.

Its real strength, however, lies in its media handling. Upload MP3 music tracks to the service and you can play them back through the browser-based media player or stream them to a mobile client. Upload images and you can view them in an online photo gallery or watch a slideshow through your browser.

You can make these galleries public, or share folders with friends or colleagues by emailing them a link and setting access rights. It’s all simple and functional, but highly effective. What’s more, SugarSync matches most of ZumoDrive’s functionality when it comes to streaming audio and viewing photos on mobile devices.

We’d prefer more information on what’s being synchronised and when; it lacks both the detailed notifications of Live Mesh and the at-a-glance indicators of Syncplicity. There are also no integrated web applications to edit your files online. Luckily, the web interface itself is very good, even considering the lack of a drag-and-drop upload feature.

You could argue that Syncplicity offers better value for money, with a free option and 50GB, not 30GB for £35 per year, but balance SugarSync’s more advanced features against the extra 20GB of storage space and things sway in SugarSync’s favour.

For professional use within small or medium enterprises – where SugarSync’s media streaming features aren’t so vital – Live Mesh remains the best choice, but as far as general-purpose Cloud storage services go, SugarSync is the current state of the art.

Details

Software subcategory Online backup

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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