Key Takeaways: Dropbox vs Sync.com
- The main difference between Sync.com and Dropbox is private encryption. Every Sync.com account has zero-knowledge encryption. Dropbox accounts don’t get this.
- Sync.com and Dropbox have excellent file sharing and syncing features and both support selective sync through the respective desktop apps.
- Sync.com and Dropbox support integrations with MS Office. Dropbox also connects with Google Workspace.
Sync.com and Dropbox are two of the more prominent names in cloud storage and are among the best cloud storage services available. Each offers excellent cloud features, particularly with regard to file sharing and syncing. However, the differences between the two are significant. We compare the two to help you decide in our Sync.com vs Dropbox article.
Consumers choosing between Sync.com or Dropbox will either get private and secure cloud storage or a highly collaborative platform with plenty of external integrations. However, the similarities and differences between the two go deeper. Let’s explore.
Updated Sync.com’s plans and pricing.
08/09/2023 Facts checked
This article was rewritten with a new format to include updated comparisons, including plans and pricing.
09/12/2023 Facts checked
Updated to reflect Dropbox Advanced changing from unlimited to 5TB of storage per user.
How Did We Rate Dropbox vs Sync.com
As a review site, we’ve spent countless hours with over 100 cloud storage reviews, including Sync.com and Dropbox. As you’ll see in our Sync.com review and Dropbox review, we rigorously tested each service. Areas we examined include security, privacy, speed and sharing, giving us a thorough understanding to conduct this comparison.
Sync.com vs Dropbox: Similarities & Differences
Sync.com and Dropbox are two of the most popular cloud services, and for good reason. Both are excellent file sharing and syncing options, and each has a desktop application that supports selective sync. However, the differences between the two are noticeable. Sync.com has zero-knowledge encryption, while Dropbox collects data on how you use its product.
|200GB – Unlimited GB$5 / month(All Plans)
|2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month(All Plans)
|Sync Any Folder
|File Link Sharing
|Link Expiry Dates
|Link Download Limits
|Deleted File Retention
|Live Chat Support
On the surface, it may seem like Sync.com and Dropbox don’t share many similarities. However, both handle file sharing and syncing in much the same way and use similar security protocols.
Sharing files with Sync.com is one of the service’s best features. You’ll see a blue “share” button whenever you hover over a folder or file. If you want to share a folder, you can share it as a link or invite collaborators. Advanced sharing features, like inviting collaborators, let you use email addresses to share the folder. However, the recipient will need a Sync.com account to access it.
If you create a link, you can securely share files or folders with anyone, as Sync.com encrypts the link address. For files, creating a link is the only sharing option. However, with a free account, you can add up to three password-protected links for an extra layer of security. Other settings, specifically creating a shared folder, require the paid version.
Dropbox sharing works well and is a strong part of its service. You can share a folder directly by adding email addresses or creating a link to share, as needed. Additionally, you can make the folder view-only or allow editing. Dropbox does not allow additional settings for folder sharing when using an email.
If you create a link to share a folder, you can choose between a link for editing or viewing. You’ll also see additional options, where you can set passwords or disable downloads. However, these options are only available with a Professional plan or better. Sharing files with a link has the same options available.
Sync.com has flexible file syncing features that include selective sync. Selective sync lets you determine what you want to sync with your account. The main folder is called “sync,” and everything you upload falls under it. To access syncing options, you’ll need to download the desktop app. From the “advanced” tab on a Mac, you’ll see all the folders currently synced with your account. You can deselect as needed, which helps free up disk space.
Dropbox has excellent file-syncing features, as it supports selective sync and lets you designate whether you want to keep a folder offline or in the cloud. The desktop app shows sync options under the “sync” tab in settings. You can choose if you want new files to be online only automatically. Smart sync lets you choose which folders to sync with your account.
Sync.com’s desktop app is an extension of your account on the web as a virtual drive. It creates a folder on your computer, and everything you designate to sync will have a green check mark next to it. If not, you’ll see a gray icon. Any files you add, or work done with offline access, won’t sync with your account.
Recently, Sync.com launched the beta version of CloudFiles. This feature lets you to select files and folders for exclusive storage in the cloud while keeping them visible on your computer. We have a guide that looks at how to use Sync CloudFiles.
Dropbox’s desktop app works in much the same way. It creates a folder showing the items you synced to your Dropbox account. When you choose not to sync a folder, it will not appear on your computer’s sync folder. Folders you designate for online-only access won’t take up additional storage space on your computer. Dropbox also has a Linux client (making it onto our list of the best cloud storage for Linux), something that Sync.com lacks.
Security is a strong aspect of Sync.com. It uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data while at rest on its servers. Additionally, Sync.com has TLS/SSL encryption protocols to protect data in transit. These security features protect against common cyberattacks such as brute force or a man-in-the-middle attack. For example, a brute-force attack happens when cyber criminals use trial and error to guess your login credentials.
Dropbox uses the same security protocols to protect your data on its servers and while in transit. Additionally, Dropbox and Sync.com support two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of protection to the login process, which helps keep accounts safe if your login credentials are compromised.
Sync.com keeps its user interface to a minimum which keeps things uncluttered, if not basic. You can find information about your files — like version history — within the menu that populates when you select one. Although you can’t right-click on an item to pull up a menu, Sync.com doesn’t get in your way while you work with your data.
Dropbox’s user interface takes a similar approach, although it populates more on the screen, making it less user-friendly than Sync.com. Ironically, the main “home” tab in the left side panel does not show you your main folders and files. Instead, it shows suggestions based on your use of Dropbox and any recent activity. The “all files” tab takes you to your data.
If you need to access a menu for a file or folder, you can right-click on it to pull up the same menu you’d see if you selected the checkbox. A sidebar on the right contains additional information about the selected item, such as recent activity or the last time it was modified.
Privacy is an area where Sync.com and Dropbox differ significantly. Additionally, collaboration and integrations are two more areas where each cloud service differs.
Sync.com and Dropbox could not be more different regarding how each handles privacy. Unlike Dropbox, Sync.com is zero-knowledge and uses end-to-end encryption for the entire account, meaning you control the encryption keys needed to decrypt your account. Sync.com applies this encryption to free plans, meaning every account has client-side encryption.
Users don’t have to worry about how Sync.com uses their data. In our experience studying privacy policies, there’s nothing that raises a red flag. Sync.com collects only the data it needs to keep your account working.
Dropbox users have access to many tools and advanced features that support a collaborative environment. In addition to the ease of sharing, as covered previously, Dropbox has several built-in apps. Dropbox Paper is a prime example. This web-based word processor allows you to invite others with a Dropbox account to collaborate in real time on a document.
Dropbox Sign lets you send documents with a request for a digital signature or allows you to digitally sign documents yourself. Dropbox Invoice — in alpha testing as of the time of writing this article — enables you to create and send invoices, which is perfect for freelancers.
Sync.com has fewer tools or features that support collaboration. Under the “sharing” dropdown from the menu on your account, you’ll see an option called “team shares.” Team shares let you invite other Sync.com users to work on the documents in a folder. You won’t be able to collaborate in real time within the Sync.com app; however, changes you make to the folder’s contents will sync between everyone invited.
As a highly secure service, Sync.com gets much credit for supporting connections to MS Office. You can open Microsoft file types — such as Word or Excel — within your Sync.com account. Sync.com will establish a connection to Microsoft Office Online, where you can work on and edit your document. Once finished, Sync.com saves your changes.
Dropbox supports connections to MS Office and Google Workspace, allowing you to create Google Docs or Microsoft PowerPoint files from your account, like you were using Google Drive (check out our Google Drive review). Additionally, Dropbox has an app center that supports integrations with many popular third-party apps, like Adobe Acrobat DC, Canva or Zoom.
Sync.com has generous file versions, making it one of the best cloud storage services for versioning. It does not limit how many versions of a file you have, only the number of days Sync.com will keep versions. A free plan gets 30 days; paid plans get either 180 days or 365 days. If you need file recovery, free accounts have 30 days, while paid accounts get a full year.
Dropbox also has generous file versioning tied to your account, but it lacks compared to Sync.com. Instead of limiting the number of versions, it just limits how long it will keep them. Dropbox Basic, Plus and Family get 30 days. Standard, Professional and Dropbox One have 180 days of file versions, while Advanced and Enterprise get a full year. Additionally, paid plans can purchase the extended file history add-on, giving any plan 365 days of versioning.
Sync.com has affordable paid plans for individuals. The Solo Basic plan, available only as an annual subscription, has 2TB of storage for $96. The Solo Professional has 6TB for $240 annually or $24 monthly. If you already have the 5GB of free storage and just need a little more, Sync.com has a Personal plan for $60 that has 200GB of storage. All Sync.com new plan upgrades have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Dropbox has two individual plans if you need more storage than the 2GB of free storage. The Plus plan has 2TB of storage for $119.88 annually or $11.99 monthly. The Professional plan has 3TB of storage for $198.96 per year or $19.99 monthly.
Sync.com and Dropbox have plans for businesses. Sync for Teams has three plans, starting with 1TB of storage at $6 per user per month for three or more users. Dropbox has several team plans, with a few additional business plans on a different page.
Dropbox business plans start with the Standard plan. It has 5TB of storage for a minimum of three users at $18 per user per month. The Advanced plan has 15TB for $30 per user per month, with a minimum of three licenses.
Which Is Better: Sync.com vs Dropbox?
Sync.com has just enough flexibility in its service while offering private encryption for everything contained in an account. Integration with MS Office helps keep it competitive with cloud storage services focused on collaboration and productivity. Additionally, Sync.com’s file versioning is very generous, even on its free plan.
Dropbox is easily the better choice overall for collaboration and productivity. It has connections to MS Office and Google Workspace, comes with several homegrown apps and has an app center with additional external connections.
We Recommend Sync.com if You Want…
- Private encryption: Sync.com has zero-knowledge encryption that protects accounts from unauthorized access.
- More Control With File versioning: Free accounts with Sync.com get 30 days of file versioning. Paid accounts get 180 or 365 days.
- Affordable storage & Better Value: Sync.com’s paid plans, including Sync for Teams, are affordable. Additionally, the Teams Unlimited plan has unlimited storage space.
We Recommend Dropbox if You Want…
- Business cloud storage: Dropbox’s business plans are geared toward freelancers or teams, with plenty of storage, though with no unlimited options.
- Third-party integrations: With integrations including MS Office, Google Workspace, Zoom and Adobe, Dropbox supports a team’s preferred productivity tools.
- More Features & Built-in apps: Dropbox has several homegrown collaboration apps, such as Dropbox Transfer, Paper or Sign.
If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…
pCloud is an excellent cloud storage solution with strong security and sharing. Subscribing to pCloud Crypto unlocks the encryption folder located in an account. Anything stored in this folder has zero-knowledge, client-side encryption. We cover more in our pCloud review.
MEGA is another service that, like Sync.com, offers zero-knowledge encryption for the entire account, even free ones. It has a robust 20GB free version, which is a good amount of cloud storage to do more than just give it a try. To learn more, check out our MEGA review and Sync.com vs MEGA guide.
Box gears most of its plans for businesses and supports connections to Google and Microsoft. It’s a very secure cloud service with built-in apps like Box Notes. Read our Box review to see all the details.
Egnyte is one of the most customizable business cloud storage solutions. Businesses have a wide range of settings to choose from. It rates highly as one of the best business cloud storage options. Our Egnyte review goes into more depth.
The Verdict: Why We Think Sync.com Wins Overall
Sync.com edges out Dropbox with its stringent private encryption and connections to Microsoft apps. Its file sharing and versioning are excellent features. It’s also more affordable and offers better value for money in terms of storage space, making it the better service for most users.
However, Dropbox is the clear choice for collaboration and productivity and would suit business users better.
Have you used Sync.com or Dropbox? Did we leave out a great cloud feature? What other cloud storage providers would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for taking the time to read our article.
FAQ: Dropbox vs Sync.com Comparison
OneDrive competes with Dropbox for cloud storage that enhances collaboration and productivity. It integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products, such as Word and Excel.