Syncplicity Review

Syncplicity does a great job of managing users, securing files and syncing them, checking all the main boxes of an EFSS solution. Storage is a bit low, though, and third-party integration disappoint. Read our full Syncplicity review for all the details of this great provider.

By Branko VlajinWriter
— Last Updated: 20 Sep'17
2017-09-20T19:41:20+00:00
Table of ContentsRating
Pricing
77%
Good
User Experience
72%
Decent
User Management
87%
Very Good
Folder & File Sharing
80%
Good
Sync
95%
Excellent
Productivity Tools
77%
Good
Security
90%
Excellent
Support
90%
Excellent
User Reviews & Comments

Very Good
Starts from $ 500 per month
Free plan available
Best EFSS

Axway is a company dedicated to integrating and connecting devices and, by extension, improving business and team collaboration. Because of that, it’s no wonder that it branched into the territory of cloud storage services with Syncplicity. This Syncplicity review will give you the details about what it does right and what it doesn’t.

Syncplicity isn’t the best EFSS solution we came across, but it’s an affordable option with excellent user-management features, powerful sync and strong security features. It doesn’t have a large library of app integrations, though, which is something we’d expect from an EFSS solution. It also doesn’t provide much storage space with its “business” plan.

However, if you feel that Syncplicity might be the right solution for you, stick with us as we go into more detail to help you make up your mind.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Strong security
  • Custom password requirements
  • Capable sync
  • Powerful user management
  • Affordable

Weaknesses:

  • No block-level sync
  • No third-party app library
  • User experience needs updating

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Pricing

77% - Good

Syncplicity has four available plans, but there are two options within the “personal” plan, which is meant for individual users. Its free edition gets you 10GB, while the paid version gets you 100GB for $5 per month per user, when you pay for a year in advance.

Personal -- Free Edition
  • Minimum Users: 1 Total Storage: 10GB
Personal -- Paid Edition
  • Minimum Users: 1 Total Storage: 100GB
1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
$60.00 billed every year
Business
  • Minimum Users: 3 Total Storage: 300GB (plus 5GB per user)
1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
$60.00 billed every year
Enterprise
  • Minimum Users: 25 Total Storage: custom
U.S. Government
  • Minimum Users: 25 Total Storage: custom

That said, the 100GB “personal” plan is a far cry from what competing services offer for a similar price. For example, you can get 500GB with Sync.com for $4 per month, paid annually. If you want to learn more about it, read our Sync.com review.

However, besides the lackluster storage space, Syncplicity’s “personal” plan lets you upload files of any size, connect an unlimited number of devices, make use of file versioning, integrate with Office 365 and have unlimited external collaborators.

The next plan, “business,” is geared toward, well, small businesses, which is why it requires you to purchase at least three licenses. That said, the price is still $5 per month per user, paid annually. The plan provides you with 300GB of storage space for all users, plus an additional 5GB for each user, which is not much, especially if you have many of them. 

For the same price, OneDrive for Business gets you 1TB per user. If that sounds appealing, you can find out more in our OneDrive for Business review.

On top of all the features of the “personal” plan, the “business” plan gets you access to group- and user-based security policies, plus “syncdrive,” a modern replacement for file sharing. Those are the only new features you get, but the third plan, “enterprise,” adds more. 

The extra features with “enterprise” includes Microsoft’s Active Directory, single sign-on integration (SSO), remote device wipe, integration with data-loss prevention tools, customer-managed encryption keys, premium 24/7 support with live chat during business hours, public cloud storage in the U.S. or the EU, private cloud storage with AWS, Azure or Google Cloud, and more.

If you’re not familiar with these services, you can find out more about them in our separate Amazon S3 review, Google Cloud review and Microsoft Azure review.

For the “enterprise” plan you need to contact Syncplicity for pricing and storage details. It requires that you have at least 25 users.

There’s also another plan, “U.S. government,” which is geared toward local, state and federal agencies. It also requires you to have at least 25 users, but unlike the “enterprise” plan, you can’t use secure shared links. However, it is FedRAMP ready and lets you use a cloud that’s certified with it.

Also of note is Syncplicity’s on-premise “storage vault,” which allows you to store content in a hybrid cloud consisting of off-premise public cloud storage or on-premise storage. It’s available for the “enterprise” and “U.S. government” plans.

User Experience

72% - Decent

Before you upload your files to Syncplicity, you have to download and install the client onto your device. Syncplicity’s desktop client is available for Windows and MacOS, while mobile clients are available for Android and iOS.

After you install the desktop client, it creates a Syncplicity file folder. By default, the files you place in this folder will be stored on your hard drive and replicated to the cloud. 

This folder is commonly called a “sync folder.” The desktop client also has a system tray icon, and this setup is how most cloud storage services work today. We’ll talk more about how this works in the “sync” section.

The desktop client is simple and easy to use. It has some additional settings you can tweak, but it isn’t much more useful than just going to your sync folder. For an additional overview of your account, you’ll want to use the Syncplicity web portal.

The web client doesn’t feel as modern as some of the others on the market, as the design seems like a weird crossbreed between the early 2000s and modern design trends. 

You have the standard “breadcrumb” navigation, but the common navigation sidebar is missing and the links are at the top. This isn’t a serious drawback, but this configuration is less intuitive.

That said, the links at the top let you navigate between your activity, files, shared links, install page, account and admin settings.

Below is the center pane that, by default, shows the management policies in the admin view. If you switch to “files,” the center will show your content. There’s plenty of negative space, and the color scheme is pleasant.

At the top of your content, you can see actions that let you create a new folder, show deleted items and enter edit mode. However, there’s no button that lets you create new files. 

Selecting content also behaves funny because you can only left-click a folder or file, rather than clicking a checkbox. However, if you hit the “edit mode” button, a checkbox appears. Overall, the web client isn’t difficult to use, but it needs updating and polishing.

If you need to be productive on the road, which is true for many business owners, you can access all of your cloud content from your mobile device by downloading the Syncplicity app. 

Unlike the web client, the app feels modern and intuitive. You can easily navigate through your folders, thanks to a sidebar that lets you quickly move between them. 

There’s also a “plus” button, which lets you create documents, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The button also lets you record audio, capture photos and videos, and upload files, photos and videos.

The app also allows you to edit Microsoft Office files. You can tag files for offline use, preview your activity, review your shared links and get a brief summary of your account.

User Management

87% - Very Good

Like many other solutions, Syncplicity’s admin console lets you exercise control over your collaborators and your cloud storage settings. The console is split into tabs corresponding to different uses.  

“Policies” is the default tab, which lets you create group policies, so you can control various aspects of security, collaboration and client installation. Some of the options you can tweak are “remote wipe,” sharing, the Active Directory and web apps.

Once you define a policy, you can assign it to a group, but there’s no way to create a group in the same step, which would be useful.

To create a group, you have to navigate to the “groups” tab, but you first need to add users. You can do that from the “user accounts” tab, provided you have enough open licenses. From that tab, you can send out invites via email to your collaborators and assign individuals to one of five roles:

  • User: can’t perform any administrative actions
  • Support Administrator: some administrative actions, including user, folder and device management
  • eDiscovery Administrator: impersonation of a user and view-only access
  • Global Administrator: full access to all administrative actions
  • API User: for API access only

After you invite users, you can assign them to a group, or you can go to the “groups” tab and assign them from there.

Another key aspect of storage administration is report generation. You can do that from the “reports” tab, which lets you specify audits targeting specific users, folders, files, file types and more. 

However, unlike the competition, Syncplicity generates your reports into files that you first need to place into your cloud storage or a local folder before you can open them manually. If you want more user-friendly reports, you should consider giving Egnyte Connect a try. You can learn more about it in our Egnyte Connect review.

The “device” tab lets you see every device connected to your cloud storage space, remove device access and remotely wipe synced content.

Another interesting tab is the “dashboard,” which shows how many licenses you have activated, along with your remaining storage space and consumption history.

Overall, Syncplicity has extensive user management options that are not offered by many more expensive EFSS options.

Folder & File Sharing

80% - Good

You can share folders with collaborators on an individual basis via email. When inviting, you can grant either “read” or “editor” permissions, and those invited do not need to be assigned seats on your Syncplicity account. Keep in mind that existing collaborators can access folders by default if the folder access has been assigned to their group.

You’re not restricted to sharing only folders. You can also invite others to view specific files by generating a URL link attached to that file. In addition, you can manually copy and paste the link or email it through the web portal. There are also options to set an expiry date and password-protect the link. The desktop application lets you share files and folders, too.

In addition, the developers included a “shared links” tab in the web portal. It lets you quickly preview what you’ve shared with others and what others have shared with you. Plus, you can see your expired links.

Sync

95% - Excellent

To perform file syncing, Syncplicity uses a sync folder to connect your computer to the cloud. This sync folder looks just like an ordinary file system folder, but it has a special twist.

The sync folder enables you to replicate files from your device to Syncplicity’s cloud-storage space and any other devices synced to it. With this in play, your collaborators can work on the same file in near real-time. 

That relies on your sync speeds, which depend on how close you are to a cloud server and your connection bandwidth. We tested Syncplicity transfer speeds using a 1GB zipped test folder. The transfer completed in a couple of minutes more than we expected, which is still a good result. 

That said, subsequent uploads aren’t as fast as they could be because the service doesn’t provide block-level file copying, which would resync only the parts of files that change, rather than the entire file.

If you need block-level transfers, you should try Dropbox for Business. You can learn more about its sync capabilities and its other features in our Dropbox Business review

However, Syncplicity provides a feature called “selective sync,” which enables you to switch sync off for certain folders. This means these folders are stored only in the cloud, which reduces the load on your hard drive.

There’s another feature that gives you the ability to sync any folder on your hard drive, not just your sync folder. To do that, you need to navigate to a folder you want to sync, right-click it and select “add to Syncplicity” from the “Syncplicity” menu. In a similar fashion, you can turn sync off or preview the file online.

Finally, Syncplicity has a feature called “SyncDrive,” which enables you to preview and access your content from the cloud, without the need to sync it to your computer and take up precious hard drive space. You can also tag content as “favorite” so you can access it when offline.

Productivity Tools

77% - Good

Productivity tools are important because they help small and large businesses improve their employees’ remote collaboration. For that reason, services often offer native and third-party apps. Syncplicity, however, doesn’t provide many integrations.

Syncplicity integrates with Office 365 and Office Online, along with Microsoft’s Active Directory. In addition, Syncplicity can connect to data-loss prevention solutions. Plus, you can find several integrations for Syncplicity in the Axway app marketplace

The marketplace features include integrations with Jira, Confluence, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Axway Secure Transport, Adobe Sign and Syncplicity for Chrome. 

Plus, we were notified by a Syncplicity representative that various other integrations, such as Okta, are available without any specific integrations. They just require some configuration, which is described in the product documentation. 

However, if you don’t want to mess with configuration and would like a bigger library of apps, consider using Egnyte Connect, Dropbox Business or Box. You can learn more about Box in our Box review.

Security

90% - Excellent

Cloud security is important if you’re moving your business data to the cloud. Syncplicity has all the features we typically like to see.

Syncplicity secures your data at rest using 256-bit AES encryption, where each file is encrypted using a separate key. Plus, the TLS protocol protects data in transit. Syncplicity also enables you to store content in your own data center, which means you get to decide who has access to it. 

You can also choose to use your own private key. In this case, Syncplicity reencrypts each file with the user-specified key. It takes some work, but Syncplicity provides you the conditions to ensure your data is protected by private encryption, or, as it’s sometimes called, zero-knowledge

That’s a great addition, considering that many services don’t provide native private encryption. Many integrate with Boxcryptor, which means you don’t need to own a data center to enjoy zero-knowledge. If you want that, consider giving Box a try. On top of Boxcryptor, Box has its own native feature that provides users with the ability to manage their keys.

In addition, Syncplicity offers StorageVault authentication, which acts as an extra layer of protection, requiring user authentication when they access documents.

Encryption won’t protect you against brute-force attacks aimed at cracking your password. Creating a strong password will, though, and you can ensure your users meet certain requirements through the password policy settings. These settings allow you to tweak the requirements for administrator users, but not for regular users, which is strange.

Syncplicity also supports Microsoft’s Active Directory and LDAP single sign-on (SSO), which enables you to log in to multiple tech systems using the same username and password. That allows you to get to your work quicker, without having to think about which credentials go where.

If you enable SSO, you can also implement two-factor authentication, which helps protect your login credentials. It does that by requiring you to enter a special code you receive via SMS when logging in from an unfamiliar device. Enabling two-factor authentication and creating a strong password is a great way to secure your login information.

To further secure your cloud storage, you can mandate that administrators can only access it from a list of specified IP addresses. That’s a nice addition and a feature that you don’t see with most other services. 

In a similar fashion, you can define what measures Syncplicity should take when it detects concurrent use of a device from multiple locations (indicating a breach):

  • Off: doesn’t disable the user’s account or notify you
  • Detective Response: doesn’t disable the account but sends an email to the administrators and, optionally, the affected user
  • Preventive Response: blocks the user’s transactions, disables the affected account and sends an email to the user and the admin

As we said, Syncplicity enables you to perform a remote wipe of your devices, which means you don’t have to worry if they get lost or stolen.

Last, Syncplicity’s data centers are SOC1 and SOC 2 audited, which means they offer adequate controls over financial reporting, as well as proper security, confidentiality and availability.

Support

90% - Excellent

When you encounter an issue, your first stop should be Syncplicity’s support portal, which you can access using the “support” link in the footer of the web client. It has a section for regular users and for “IT” users, which is helpful if you want to avoid the more techie articles. If you can’t find an answer, you can use the search bar to look for it.

In addition, there’s the “Syncplicity university,” a support section that provides short, helpful videos and quick tips to get you familiar with Syncplicity.

If the knowledgebase doesn’t help, you can contact support, but the available channels depend on your pricing plans. In fact, if you have a “personal” or “business” account, you’re restricted email support. 

The “enterprise” and the “U.S. government” plans, though, have access to “premium 24/7” support and live chat support during business hours. “Enterprise” customers also get a dedicated customer success manager, who can assist them with deployment.

Chat support is available from the admin page of Syncplicity. If you prefer to talk to someone, you can contact technical support via phone. Telephone support is available 24/7 and has dedicated lines for various countries and regions.

To test support, we submitted a simple question via email and got a response in six hours, which is a decent result.

In addition, you can consult with individuals from the support community, which is a good way to pool resources and help each other. The community is fairly active, and employees from Axway answer questions. We like how there are dedicated community articles and the search feature, which makes it easy to find a discussion that matches your issue.

Final Thoughts

Syncplicity is a good service, thanks to its affordable pricing, capable user management, decent file sharing and powerful sync features. In addition, security is excellent and has some interesting features, such as remote wipe, SSO, custom password requirements and breach-prevention measures. 

It also provides conditions to create and manage your own zero-knowledge protection, which is rare for an enterprise service.

However, its web-based user experience needs work, the “business” plan doesn’t include a lot of storage and there are few app integrations, which is a serious drawback for an EFSS service. If Syncplicity isn’t appealing to you, consult our EFSS reviews to find a different service.

What are your thoughts on Syncplicity? Have you tried it using its free 30-day trial? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Syncplicity Review

Syncplicity Review

Syncplicity does a great job of managing users, securing files and syncing them, checking all the main boxes of an EFSS solution. Storage is a bit low, though, and third-party integration disappoint. Read our full Syncplicity review for all the details of this great provider.
Starts from$ 500per month
Visit Syncplicity

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Syncplicity Review

Syncplicity Review

Syncplicity does a great job of managing users, securing files and syncing them, checking all the main boxes of an EFSS solution. Storage is a bit low, though, and third-party integration disappoint. Read our full Syncplicity review for all the details of this great provider.
Starts from$ 500per month
Visit Syncplicity
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