Review of Sugarsync Online Synchronization Service






Overview and History


SugarSync is a quite new service. It was launched in the start of 2008 and is built on the SharpCast Universal Sync Platform, the underlying technology utilized in SharpCast Photos. Sugarsync is fashioned to sync all of a someone's files (documents, media, photos, etc.) across numerous machines. SugarSync also works as an online backup utility and people can gain access to all of their files from a personalized sub-domain on the SugarSync website under the format of username.sugarsync.com.

Feature Set


Security


file safety is sound. Data is transferred to and from their servers via 128bit SLL cryptography which is standard, but, once files are on their servers the data is encrypted using 128bit AES cryptography which is a little weak by current standards. They do provide private key cryptography as an alternative, however, this is also 128bit AES. We would have desired at least 256bit AES or even better 448bit Blowfish. Your data is stored on servers that are protected in data centers which are watched for security round the clock and are geo-redundant, meaning that your data is distributed many times all day via a lot of locations all over the world.

Backup Features


The primary service of SugarSync - as the title implies - is Synchronization, however, it can also be reliably d as a backup answer. This is made possible by downloading and installing the SugarSync Manager. SugarSync continually monitors designated files for alterations and backs then up in the background while you alter them. The Web Archive ability allows you to drag and drop files to create a permanent version|edition|variant|variation} of a file that cannot be backed up with later changes. Network and pen drives can also be backed up but not automatically. The progress of backups can be seen at any time and exact files and folders can be allotted normal or high precedence.
SugarSync can automatically store up to 5 versions of files and only the most recent edition adds towards your storage limit.

Restore Features


Files can be rebuilt from the SugarSync Manager or from the web site. Old versions of files can be recovered from the web site There is no limit to the number of restores you can request.

Control and Analysis


There is an upstream speed throttle in the SugarSync Manager but no inbound or CPU throttling. Proxy servers are allowed and can be configured in the SugarSync Manager.

Interface


The Business edition has support for administoring multiple accounts from a central location notwithstanding, the 'individual' accounts do not have this functionality.
All accounts need the SugarSync Manager installed on PCs or MACs to enable synchronization.

Device Support


SugarSync currently has support for iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Windows Mobile. Different mobile devices can get to Sugarsync files via m.sugarsync.com and other platform specific apps are in development.

Limitations


There is a top single file size limit of 2Gb when transferring between machines, nonetheless, this is removed when the file is fully uploaded to the web portal. There is no limit|boundary|top end} to how more can be uploaded, downloaded or synchronized between devices until the maximum file usage limit for the account is reached. There is currently no support for Linux.

File Sharing and Collaboration


Files can be shared publicly or privately. When privately sharing, files and folders can be organised as read-only or as writable. Folders can be password controlled.
Also available is an Online Photo Album, which allows you to share photos publicly or privately and offers an option to setup albums on Facebook, or share the album as an RSS feed.
When you create an account with SugarSync, you are given a public domain in the form of username.sugarsync.com where all your 'private' files can be held. Public information can be placed via a special link that is created when you set the file public. Once you share a folder you can receive a daily summary email of activities in that folder.

Synchronization


This is the main function of SugarSync. It permits you to seamlessly synchronize your files automatically across computers and PDAs — initial configuration and you’re ready to go! Files are also automatically synched to the web site so you can find then from any internet enabled device. Because synching is via a central hub (the web site) devices do not need to be online during synch runs: When an offline device goes online, the synch manager accesses the central data area and synchronizes any changed information silently in the background.

Web 2.0 Integration


Not counting the Online Photo Album utility, SugarSync also permits you stream music and video directly from the Web site to any device.
SugarSync allows you to share pictures directly to Facebook.

Customer Support


Telephone support can be bought at a cost of $99.99 per annum. While this is a good addition to the support offerings, I don't understand why I would pay more for the support than I do for the service! Other interactive support options are: Live chat during business hours, web-based ticketing, forum and blog. You can also email support directly.
For self help, there are 'getting started' and user PDFs, FAQs, a knowledgebase and tutorials. There are optionally loads of testimonials and case studies available.

Ease Of Use


SugarSync is a snap to use: Sign-up, download the program to all your devices, nominate which folders you need to backup or synch and you are up and running.
The Sync Manager and web portal are easy to use and the inline help is very detailed.

Cost


SugarSync presents 5 paid packages as shown below:
30Gb - free initial setup - $4.99/mth - $49.99/yr
60Gb - free initial setup - $9.99/mth - $99.99/yr
100Gb - free initial setup - $14.99/mth - $149.99/yr
250Gb - free initial setup - $24.99/mth - $249.99/yr
Business - free initial setup - $29.99/mth - $199.99/yr – initial storage allowance of 100Gb and 3 users – additional storage is available at $29.99 per 100Gb per month and additional users can be added at $9.99 per month per user.

The above accounts can be used to synchronize any amount of devices. There is also a free 2 GB account which allows synchronization of a maximum of 2 devices.
If you refer someone to the free account then both you and they receive an extra 250mb of storage. If you refer people to the 30Gb+ account then both parties receive an extra 5Gb.
There are no corporate versions apart from the standard business account.

Conclusion


SugarSync offers a effortless and clean means of synchronizing and/or backing up multiple devices. It offers a nicely rounded set of features that furnish a notion of a complete product that has been carefully evolved.
SugarSync appears to be aimed at the individual rather than businesses but that should not stop small businesses from embracing this sturdy and trusty service.




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Posted on 2010-08-06, By: *

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