SugarSync has an excellent set of features, yet also has some drawbacks that give pause to potential consumers.
By Brian Law – Last Updated: 31 Oct'17
SugarSync has some worthwhile features, like the ability to sync any folder on your computer and file versioning, as well as solid security. However, its limited storage capacity and spotty customer support don’t impress, especially given a price tag that’s unusually high compared to the competition
SugarSync offers either a limited, 90-day 5GB or a 30-day trial subscription. We’d recommend the 90-day plan as there have been several customer complaints about the difficulty of actually ending a subscription and the 30-day trial requires your billing information.
Read on to see what we liked about SugarSync and why else we ultimately advocate considering the alternatives. Check out our guide to the best cloud storage services to find recommendations that might be better suited to your needs.
- Syncs any folder
- No file-size limit
- Versioning (5 versions)
- Supports most OSes
- Comparably expensive
- No free tier
- Slow browser downloading
- No collaboration tools
- Trial requires payment info
SugarSync’s main selling point is its ability to sync any folder on your device. This means you’re not confined to a single sync folder like you are with Dropbox, Google Drive and most other cloud storage services.
SugarSync also supports file versioning that does not count toward your storage limit. However, it only keeps up to five versions, which limits its usefulness.
Versioning lets you undo unwanted file changes without having to reconstruct everything from scratch. It also provides a measure of protection against ransomware, which works by corrupting your files. Simply remove the ransomware from your computer and revert back to uncorrupted versions of files.
Other SugarSync features we like include the SugarSync, which lets you automatically backup the photos you take. Automatic backup saves time and ensures your photos aren’t lost should something happen to your phone.
SugarSync supports file sharing via links. Folder sharing isn’t an option.
SugarSync also supports email uploading, a less common feature with cloud storage solutions, as well as a Microsoft Outlook plugin. If you frequently work with email attachments, this can speed up your workflow.
SugarSync is expensive, which may drive customers away. $7.49 per month for 100GB of storage is close to what most competitors charge for a full terabyte. Sync.com, in fact, gives you 2TB for $8 per month.
That’s 20 times the storage space you get with SugarSync for just 50 cents more (read our Sync.com review to find out more).
|Plan||100GB||250GB||500GB||1TB for Business|
$ 7 49monthly
$ 74 99yearly
$ 9 99monthly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 18 95monthly
$ 189 50yearly
$ 55 00monthly
Contact SugarSync for annual pricing
Given SugarSync’s rather high subscription cost, you might expect that SugarSync offers a more feature-rich experience than the competition. It doesn’t. The only exceptional benefit of a SugarSync subscription is the ability to sync any folder, which for most users probably won’t be worth the added cost.
The SugarSync user experience isn’t particularly inspiring. Its interfaces all look pretty dated, particularly the web app.
File management in the browser is made even more frustrating by a lack of support for folder uploading.
Even deleting files is done in a rather round-about way. You can only do so from the “advanced” menu. This might be useful for preventing accidental deletions but seems completely unnecessary given that SugarSync holds onto deleted files for at least 30 days.
The manner in which SugarSync integrates with your computer’s file system is also a bit strange. Although you can sync any folder, there is a default “my SugarSync” folder that works like the typical sync folder. The issue is that this folder is placed in the existing documents folder.
For Mac users who also use iCloud, this means the folder will be synced with two services. To avoid this problem, you’ll need to relocate the “my SugarSync” folder to a different location like your user directory.
The SugarSync client installation also creates a folder called “SugarSync shared folders.”
The strange thing about this folder is that, based on my testing, it doesn’t actually do anything. Sharing with SugarSync is only supported through links; folder sharing doesn’t seem to be supported any longer.
The mobile app isn’t great, either. It can be hard to navigate and its photo viewer leaves much to be desired. Photos are piled into stacks, which makes them nearly impossible to browse.
It doesn’t help matters that files like PDFs that probably aren’t meant to be in your library also get pulled into the viewer.
There is an option to enable a PIN so you can keep your files extra secure on your smartphone. This option doesn’t work, though, as a keypad does not appear when selecting the field.
Despite these shortcomings, SugarSync’s core features are all functional.
There are also some decent available that do actually work if you’re willing to take the time to learn the apps. It even has a dual panel file transfer monitor, a feature that I have found myself wishing I had for nearly every other service I’ve used.
As mentioned earlier, SugarSync sets itself apart from most services when it comes to file syncing: rather than using a single sync folder, SugarSync can be configured to sync any on your computer.
This means that if you already have an organized file structure that you’d like to preserve, SugarSync can work with it as is. You can access all of your synced folders from the desktop app if you’d like.
If you don’t want to use the desktop app, you can stick to using your file explorer or finder, too. You can even get share links and access version history without having to open the application.
However, unlike many other providers, the sync status of these files cannot be monitored without opening the app. Unless you use the desktop app, you’ll need to just trust that everything is behaving properly.
SugarSync’s sharing is not nearly as strong as its sync capabilities. Although the ability to copy sharing links from your native file browser is convenient, sharing is not very versatile overall. You can create share links and delete share links and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
You can’t set up passwords, expiration dates or collaborate on files. A share link simply provides a way for other people to download your file. Any changes they make will apply only to their copy.
SugarSync sharing is functional. Not once in my testing did I run into any problems. It would just be nice to see some more features at this price point.
My speed tests for SugarSync returned some interesting results. With my connection giving me 171.10Mb/s down and 11.78Mb/s up, here’s how it went:
|1.03 GB Test File||Upload Time:||Upload Speed:||Download Time:||Download Speed:|
Uploading actually surpassed my Internet speeds by quite a bit.
I assumed something had gone wrong, but the results were roughly the same every time I checked. It seemed there were two possibilities: the file transfer monitor was providing inaccurate data or SugarSync has some very impressive compression built into its app.
Sure enough, when I checked in the browser, the files were there. So, everything seemed to have uploaded correctly. However, when I did my download tests, SugarSync was significantly slower. It wasn’t so slow that it was unusable, but it was surprising given my strong download speeds.
Browser downloading was a different story, though.
I tried downloading the same folder from SugarSync’s website and it took nearly forty minutes. It seems that SugarSync’s speed is largely dependent on the desktop app. If you need to access files from the browser on a regular basis, you should probably look elsewhere.
SugarSync offers a solid approach to security. It uses TLS encryption in transit and 256-bit AES at rest. These are industry standard protocols that should keep your data perfectly safe from attacks.
SugarSync won’t sell your information to advertisers and does not go out of its way to monitor your data as some providers unfortunately do.
However, SugarSync is still not a zero-knowledge provider. This means that it’s possible for company employees to decrypt and read your files. If SugarSync’s servers are hacked and its customer encryption keys compromised, or if SugarSync is legally compelled to release information, your data could be vulnerable.
For the average user, letting SugarSync manage encryption shouldn’t be an issue. That’s how Dropbox, Google Drive and most other cloud storage services work. If privacy is a top concern for you, however, we’d recommend finding a more secure alternative. Read up on the best zero-knowledge cloud storage providers if you’d like some good ideas.
SugarSync customer support leaves much to be desired. There’s a customer forum and email support, but no phone support. The forum is not very active. Although SugarSync does monitor threads and respond to some posts, many questions go unanswered.
Email support is quick, but not very helpful. I got a response from SugarSync’s support department the same day I filed a request. However, you’ll also only receive a response during business hours, which run from 6am to 5pm PST on weekdays.
SugarSync actually has zero positive reviews and 121 complaints on BBB. A substantial number of these complaints are regarding the billing system. Evidently, it can be difficult to end a subscription.
The only real redeeming quality when it comes to SugarSync support is its help center articles. Many are actually helpful, providing meaningful instruction with animated GIFs showing how to use the software.
SugarSync sets itself apart with the ability to sync any folder on your computer rather than relying on a dedicated sync folder. However, that’s about the only thing it has going for it.
If you can live with a more traditional approach to file synchronization, there are much better options, especially if you’re looking for good value and ample storage space.
If you’re looking for a more secure solution that comes at a reasonable price, Sync.com's 2TB plan for just $8 a month is the way to go. If you need a collaboration tool, Google Drive offers several pricing options and Google Docs integration.
Have you had a positive experience with SugarSync that suggests its hefty price might actually be worth it? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.
|Free Trial||30 Days|
|Price||Starts from $ 7.49 per month|
|Free External HD Backup|
|Bare Metal Backup|
|Exclude File Extensions for Backup|
|File Size Limit||Unlimited GB|
|Share Photo Albums|
|Server Side Encryption|
|Keeps deleted files||Unlimited|