Sync.com sits at the top of our best cloud storage rankings. As a personal service, it excels with a generous free plan and top-notch security. The business version showcases Sync.com’s same excellent security, and comes with a few extra features, to boot. In this Sync.com for Teams review, we’re going to compare it to other enterprise file sync services, such as Egnyte Connect.
Even for businesses, Sync.com shows that it’s one of the premiere storage solutions available. Usability, security and features are what set Sync.com apart from the rest of the market. That said, you’ll have to make a few concessions when it comes to speed and syncing capabilities. If you want to see Sync.com in action, you can sign up for a free account now to mess around.
Updated pricing information, added Office365 integration and changed the name from Sync.com Business to Sync.com for Teams.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- End-to-end encryption
- Zero-knowledge security model
- No file size limit
- Sync Vault for achieving files
- Per-user control
- Remote permission control
- Limited syncing options
- Lackluster local application
Alternatives for Sync.com for Teams
Sync.com has a number of small features that makes the service safer and easier to use. It has a long list of syncing and sharing features, unsurprisingly, but we’ll talk about those in the “file sharing & syncing” section below. For now, we’re focused on everything else.
Starting with the most important feature for businesses: User management. Sync.com provides granular permission control across all of its tiers. You can manage users on a per-user basis or a per-folder basis, easily choosing who has access to what. Sync.com also provides remote wipe and device lockout features, allowing you to revoke access to a particular device without physically having it.
That’s all par for the course with business cloud storage. Sync.com sets itself apart with a slew of productivity features. Unlike most end-to-end encrypted services, you can preview your documents directly in Sync.com’s app. It also offers offline access and auto camera upload, both of which are sorely missing from Sync.com’s competitors.
Sync.com also natively integrates with Office365, which means you can edit files with extensions like DOC and XLS directly on the cloud instead of having to download them first.
Sync Vault, Billing, and Activity Logs
As we’ll get to in the next section, Sync.com offers a lot of storage space for very little money. If you want to free up some space on your hard drive, you can do so with Sync Vault. It allows you to easily archive files locally while maintaining a copy in the cloud. Although not as extensive as a proper online backup service, such as Backblaze, Sync Vault can free up space on your hard drive.
When it comes time to pay, Sync.com makes things easy. There’s a centralized billing system that accounts for all of the users on your account. If you add a new user mid-term — which is very easy to do in the web app — you’ll receive a prorated fee for the remainder of the month.
Sync.com also provides a centralized system for managing users and monitoring their activity. It keeps detailed logs about who’s doing what in your account, as well as what data they’re accessing. If you ever need to track down a file or see who updated a document, Sync.com’s activity logs make it simple.
Finally, Sync.com offers decent versioning, storing copies of every file you update for a calendar year. We’d, of course, prefer longer, but 365 days is still plenty of time. If you need to recover your entire account from, say, a ransomware attack, Sync.com’s account rewind feature can restore everything with a single click.
Sync.com for Teams Overview
- : No
- : Unlimited GB
- : No
- : No
- : No
- : Office365
- : No
- : No
- : No
- : No
- : No
- : No
Business cloud storage solutions are notoriously expensive, but that’s not the case with Sync.com. Although there are a few other options that match it, there isn’t another business-focused provider that’s cheaper. Even better, Sync.com doesn’t have insane user requirements.
- Price per user. Users: 2+
- : 1000 GB
- Price per user. Users: 2+
- : Unlimited GB
- Users: 2+
- : Unlimited GB
Across the three tiers of service, you need just two users to get started and none of the plans have an upper limit for users. However, you can only add 50 users with your additional purchase, so you have to add on any additional users you need. In addition, once you get past 100 users you will be assigned a personal account manager.
With Standard, you get 1TB of storage, whereas with the Unlimited plan, your storage quota is, you guessed it, unlimited. Each plan is priced per user per month, and they’re billed annually (a monthly plan would be nice, but we usually don’t find one with enterprise services). The Standard plan will cost you $5 per user per month, and the Unlimited plan $15 per user per month.
The price is excellent. Standard is $3 cheaper per user than pCloud with the same amount of storage space, while the Unlimited Plan is a great deal for unlimited storage at just $15, which is $5 less than an equivalent plan with Dropbox Business (read our pCloud review and Dropbox Business review).
Sync.com lacks any sort of business demo, though, which is a big miss. There’s a free version for personal use, and it shows how Sync.com works overall. However, it lacks the user management and permission control of a business subscription. Thankfully, you can try the service without losing any money. Sync.com offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all new plans.
Ease of Use
Sync.com is as easy to use as most other cloud storage services. The local application functions to create a sync folder on your machine, while the web application gives you access to sharing and user management features. You can do a few things with the local app, but most of your time with Sync.com will be spent in the web portal.
The web portal is great, thankfully. The five navigation tabs give you access to everything you need quickly (files, Sync Vault, sharing settings, event log, and user management). The top navigation bar is so efficient, in fact, that Sync.com doesn’t have any sort of extended menu. In our testing, we never had a need for one.
The web app has the most features, from creating shared folders to restoring or purging deleted files. Unfortunately, the local app is not as useful.
Its main purpose is to create a local sync folder. You can easily drag and drop files into that folder (or simply save a new file there) to sync them across your devices. There’s Windows File Explorer integration, too, so you can right-click a file and immediately copy it to your account.
Sync.com displays status icons next to files and folders inside the main Sync folder, indicating if they’re synced, if they’re still in the process of syncing, or if there’s an error.
Outside of that, there are a few settings that you can manage by opening the application from the tray and clicking the cog icon. In the settings menu, you can manage your account, configure a proxy and set up a third-party SSL certificate. Most importantly, you can configure selective sync in the settings menu.
File Sharing & Syncing
Sync.com’s titular feature isn’t that impressive. It’s not bad, but it still plays within the limits set by the security model. You can sync your files either by using a local folder (popularized by Dropbox) or by dragging and dropping files directly into the application. Sync.com doesn’t have any folder requirements.
Block-level sync isn’t possible with end-to-end encryption, so each time you update a file, you’ll have to fully reupload that file. Sync.com has selective sync, though, so you don’t have to sync everything if you don’t want to. It also has a de-duplication feature, where it won’t upload a file that’s already in your account, even if the file in question has a different name.
Sharing is handled through the web application. For individual files, you can only share by using a link. Sync.com provides several link sharing settings, from an expiration down to a download count limit. Link sharing works even if the recipient doesn’t have a Sync.com account. Similarly, users outside of your account can upload files to it with file requests.
If you don’t want to handle links, you can create a shared folder. Every file in the folder is shared, then, but you can still manage access on a per-user basis. Overall, Sync.com has the sharing and syncing features we’d expect for an end-to-end encrypted service. Unavoidably, it has the same shortcomings, too.
Sync.com is far from the fastest cloud storage service we’ve tested. It’s slower than consumer facing services like Google Drive (read our Google Drive review), but we’d expect that given Sync.com’s tight security model. Even among end-to-end encrypted cloud storage services, though, Sync.com falls behind.
|First Attempt||Second Attempt||Average|
First, our testing conditions. Before our trials, we measured our connection speed at 460 Mbps for downloads and 19 Mbps for uploads. We used a 1GB test folder for all trials. Given that, we’d expect an upload time of around seven minutes and 30 seconds, and a download time of around 20 seconds. As you can see above, our average upload and download times were much longer.
That’s ignoring encryption, though. Because Sync.com encrypts and decrypts your files locally, there’s a lot of overhead added to the front end of a transfer. Although we can easily explain the extra time, that doesn’t make it go away. No matter what, Sync.com will take longer than services like OneDrive (read our OneDrive for Business review).
Sync.com sits among a few business cloud storage services that provides end-to-end encryption. Basically, your data never leaves your machine without being encrypted first, and it’s only decrypted when you say so. Sync.com maintains a zero-knowledge security model, which means it can’t see your data even if it wanted to (that’s why Sync.com won our best zero-knowledge cloud storage roundup).
If you don’t care for the gory, technical details, know that Sync.com is one of the safest cloud storage services around.
The core of Sync.com’s security model is RSA-2048, an asymmetric algorithm that requires a public and private key (read our description of encryption for more). Sync.com generates the private half when you create an account, then encrypts that private key using AES GCM. Your password passes through PBKDF2 for a secure key, which is used with AES. Sync.com simply says it uses a “high iteration count” but doesn’t provide the specific number of iterations.
Wrapped up in a warm blanket of top-notch cryptography, your private key is stored on Sync.com’s servers. When you login, your password is used to decrypt the private key, which is then matched to your public key to open the session. It’s a complex process, but here’s what you need to know: At no point does Sync.com ever have access to your private key, and thus, can’t access your account.
Finally, in-transit, there’s a SSL/TLS channel your data passes through, providing another AES (or in some cases ChaCha20) layer.
As for the more practical security features, Sync.com supports two-factor authentication with email or Google Authenticator (one of the best 2FA apps), as well as SSO and email-based account recovery, should you enable it.
Sync.com has 10 privacy principles, guided by Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The guiding principles are nice to have around, but Sync.com is fairly standard in terms of privacy.
Your personal information, as well as the information of all the users on your account, is logged by Sync.com. That includes your name, IP address, and the time you or another user access the service. That’s not all too surprising, especially with Sync.com’s detailed reporting, but it’s something you should note.
Sync.com won’t disclose this information unless required to by law, in this case, Canadian law. Canada doesn’t have the best privacy laws in the world, but it’s better than most. PIPEDA provides protections similar to GDPR, though still allows the Canadain government to collect data.
None of this should really be an issue, though. Sync.com collects some information, but tying that to anything in your account is impossible. As mentioned in the section above, Sync.com is a zero-knowledge service provider. It can’t decrypt your data.
In short, Sync.com knows when you access its services, as well as who you are, but it doesn’t know what’s in your account.
Sync.com’s top-notch security is what this review is all about. Usability is solid, and pricing is close to the best we’ve seen — there are better options for free, personal storage — but Sync.com’s security model is what makes the few issues in speed and syncing worth it.
Are you planning on signing up for an account? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.