SugarSync Review

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I am fortunate enough to have two Macs. I keep one at home and the other follows me around. To make matters even more confusing, there is a PC box on my desk at the office. My challenge was to figure a way to keep the files synced between these various computers without becoming a slave to a thumb drive. These are the kind of problems that make my little geek heart go pitter-patter, obsessing over making sure everything is in sync rather than doing any actual work.

I tried a variety of ways to solve this problem ranging from thumb drives to iDisk and I wasn’t particularly happy with any of them. My biggest problem with these solutions is the way they add steps to my workflow. I don’t want to have to think about copying and synchronizing files every time I move from one computer to the next. I just want it done. Like Picard in his dome-headed glory, I just want to look at my Mac and say “Make it So.”

So in this quest for syncing Nirvana, I came across SugarSync. SugarSync gives you a local client (either PC or Mac) in which you plug in your account information and tell it what data gets synched. I’ve got big chunks of my documents folder going up along with my OmniFocus datafile, Bento database, and several other items I want to have everywhere that are buried on my hard drive. You then log in on the other computers and tell them what parts you want synched locally (you can also leave them in the cloud). Once that is done, you are good to go. If I make a change to that little text file that keeps my grocery list, it goes up to SugarSync and then back down to my other Synched computers lickity split. This is really convenient when you are busy trying to figure out world peace but can’t stop thinking about making ‘smores.

The multi-platform support does not stop with the Mac and PC. They also support the new “third” platform. The iPhone. SugarSync has an excellent iPhone web site that allows you to access all and view most of your files. So when I’m sitting in the market I can pull up the grocery text list. Graham crackers, marshmallows, hershey bars … Check! You can also forward the documents from your iPhone as an email attachments. SugarSync already has Windows Mobile and Blackberry clients and I’m going to assume they’ll prepare a native application for the iPhone but its web interface is already pretty good.

SugarSync also has a photosharing component that will work with your cell phone. I confirmed this does work but I haven’t used it extensively.

Unfortunately, all this syncing goodness comes with a pricetag. There is a monthly fee. The limited number of files I sync easily fit in the 10 GB limit which results in a monthly charge of $2.49. SugarSync has more expensive varieties that scale up to 250 GB for $25 a month. There is also a price in clock cycles. As I sit here writing on my MacBook with 5 applications open, SugarSync is using .3%. Earlier it was at 7% and when it is actually syncing it ramps up higher. I also don’t like the way its icon insists on staying in my dock. This is the kind of application that should stay in the menubar only. Another pestering problem is the inability to remove a machine from your SugarSync list. I had some problems with one of my Macs recently that resulted in it getting several logic boards and eventually replaced. SugarSync treated each of those logic boards as a separate machine and, as a result, I have 3 machines on my SugarSync account that no longer exist. The developer agrees this is a problem and promises to take care of this with an upcoming client. Lets hope that is soon. Another problem with SugarSync is that it doesn’t always play nice with packages like sparse bundles.

You also have to consider the fact your data is going out into the cloud. The developer explains that the transmissions are all done on a secure connection and the data is also kept secure on the SugarSync servers. In terms of stability, I’ve been using it a few months now and not experienced any problems or loss of data. Be warned however there are reports on the web of people losing data. Don’t forget that syncing data through any system without first having a reliable backup is something like parachuting without a parachute.

While SugarSync is doing the job, I think there are going to be several credible competitors in the near future. MobileMe may get it done for its subscribers and I’m currently in the beta for Dropbox which looks very promising and will probably get its own review when it comes out of beta. Dropbox already appears faster than SugaSync although it does not have such a friendly iPhone interface and, in the current form, does not sync folders all over my hard drive. Instead it has its own dedicated folder in which you must keep files. Taking all of this into consideration, I’d recommend the monthly, and not the yearly, SugarSync subscription.

SugarSync has a free 45 day trial and if you are looking for multi-platform syncing bliss, give it a try.

41 Comments SugarSync Review

  1. david.diskin@aliencamel.com

    Hi David,

    Excellent post. I really enjoy reading your articles and enjoy hearing you on the various podcasts, esp. the Roundtable. You and Don are the shining lights of that cast.

    Was wondering if you have any invites to Dropbox. I’m tired of battling Chronosync issues and Dropbox’s features sound very appealing.

    Reply
  2. david.diskin@aliencamel.com

    Hi David,

    Excellent post. I really enjoy reading your articles and enjoy hearing you on the various podcasts, esp. the Roundtable. You and Don are the shining lights of that cast.

    Was wondering if you have any invites to Dropbox. I’m tired of battling Chronosync issues and Dropbox’s features sound very appealing.

    Reply
  3. david.diskin@aliencamel.com

    Hi David,

    Excellent post. I really enjoy reading your articles and enjoy hearing you on the various podcasts, esp. the Roundtable. You and Don are the shining lights of that cast.

    Was wondering if you have any invites to Dropbox. I’m tired of battling Chronosync issues and Dropbox’s features sound very appealing.

    Reply
  4. david.diskin@aliencamel.com

    Hi David,

    Excellent post. I really enjoy reading your articles and enjoy hearing you on the various podcasts, esp. the Roundtable. You and Don are the shining lights of that cast.

    Was wondering if you have any invites to Dropbox. I’m tired of battling Chronosync issues and Dropbox’s features sound very appealing.

    Reply
  5. david.diskin@aliencamel.com

    Hi David,

    Excellent post. I really enjoy reading your articles and enjoy hearing you on the various podcasts, esp. the Roundtable. You and Don are the shining lights of that cast.

    Was wondering if you have any invites to Dropbox. I’m tired of battling Chronosync issues and Dropbox’s features sound very appealing.

    Reply
  6. danielyoung@sbcglobal.net

    Was really happy wih service syncing my two macs, an imac and macbook for awhile. But Nirvana ended when I realized changes to files were one a one way street. This started out of the sky blue. Changes just never make it to my hard drive on the imac. Trying to get serice support is frustrating. Played email tag for days, now playing phone tag. Only got a phone number by luck from a service rep. Unsynced everything, reuploaded, and still have the same problem. I am very concerned about the service not syncing two ways, only one for no apparent reason and the trouble getting support. Really liked the service when I first started using it and thought it was the answer to a prayer. I would like to keepusing it if anyone could help me make it work. It worked fine through the trial and for several weeks, then it just went on the blink But, not sure it’s ready for prime time. Would suggest people drop box when it comes out. Again, the lack o support is very frustrating. Now I have a sync service that works only one way. This is worse than no sync service at all.

    Reply
  7. danielyoung@sbcglobal.net

    Was really happy wih service syncing my two macs, an imac and macbook for awhile. But Nirvana ended when I realized changes to files were one a one way street. This started out of the sky blue. Changes just never make it to my hard drive on the imac. Trying to get serice support is frustrating. Played email tag for days, now playing phone tag. Only got a phone number by luck from a service rep. Unsynced everything, reuploaded, and still have the same problem. I am very concerned about the service not syncing two ways, only one for no apparent reason and the trouble getting support. Really liked the service when I first started using it and thought it was the answer to a prayer. I would like to keepusing it if anyone could help me make it work. It worked fine through the trial and for several weeks, then it just went on the blink But, not sure it’s ready for prime time. Would suggest people drop box when it comes out. Again, the lack o support is very frustrating. Now I have a sync service that works only one way. This is worse than no sync service at all.

    Reply
  8. danielyoung@sbcglobal.net

    Was really happy wih service syncing my two macs, an imac and macbook for awhile. But Nirvana ended when I realized changes to files were one a one way street. This started out of the sky blue. Changes just never make it to my hard drive on the imac. Trying to get serice support is frustrating. Played email tag for days, now playing phone tag. Only got a phone number by luck from a service rep. Unsynced everything, reuploaded, and still have the same problem. I am very concerned about the service not syncing two ways, only one for no apparent reason and the trouble getting support. Really liked the service when I first started using it and thought it was the answer to a prayer. I would like to keepusing it if anyone could help me make it work. It worked fine through the trial and for several weeks, then it just went on the blink But, not sure it’s ready for prime time. Would suggest people drop box when it comes out. Again, the lack o support is very frustrating. Now I have a sync service that works only one way. This is worse than no sync service at all.

    Reply
  9. danielyoung@sbcglobal.net

    Was really happy wih service syncing my two macs, an imac and macbook for awhile. But Nirvana ended when I realized changes to files were one a one way street. This started out of the sky blue. Changes just never make it to my hard drive on the imac. Trying to get serice support is frustrating. Played email tag for days, now playing phone tag. Only got a phone number by luck from a service rep. Unsynced everything, reuploaded, and still have the same problem. I am very concerned about the service not syncing two ways, only one for no apparent reason and the trouble getting support. Really liked the service when I first started using it and thought it was the answer to a prayer. I would like to keepusing it if anyone could help me make it work. It worked fine through the trial and for several weeks, then it just went on the blink But, not sure it’s ready for prime time. Would suggest people drop box when it comes out. Again, the lack o support is very frustrating. Now I have a sync service that works only one way. This is worse than no sync service at all.

    Reply
  10. danielyoung@sbcglobal.net

    Was really happy wih service syncing my two macs, an imac and macbook for awhile. But Nirvana ended when I realized changes to files were one a one way street. This started out of the sky blue. Changes just never make it to my hard drive on the imac. Trying to get serice support is frustrating. Played email tag for days, now playing phone tag. Only got a phone number by luck from a service rep. Unsynced everything, reuploaded, and still have the same problem. I am very concerned about the service not syncing two ways, only one for no apparent reason and the trouble getting support. Really liked the service when I first started using it and thought it was the answer to a prayer. I would like to keepusing it if anyone could help me make it work. It worked fine through the trial and for several weeks, then it just went on the blink But, not sure it’s ready for prime time. Would suggest people drop box when it comes out. Again, the lack o support is very frustrating. Now I have a sync service that works only one way. This is worse than no sync service at all.

    Reply
  11. joan.m.bull@uth.tmc.edu

    I also have major problems with support. Away from home using my Macbook pro, and cannot see my home Mac, although I can see the files on my office pc. I have e-mailed support@sugarsync.com, at least 8 times over 5 days and NO reply. Their support is absolutely non-existant!

    Reply
  12. joan.m.bull@uth.tmc.edu

    I also have major problems with support. Away from home using my Macbook pro, and cannot see my home Mac, although I can see the files on my office pc. I have e-mailed support@sugarsync.com, at least 8 times over 5 days and NO reply. Their support is absolutely non-existant!

    Reply
  13. joan.m.bull@uth.tmc.edu

    I also have major problems with support. Away from home using my Macbook pro, and cannot see my home Mac, although I can see the files on my office pc. I have e-mailed support@sugarsync.com, at least 8 times over 5 days and NO reply. Their support is absolutely non-existant!

    Reply
  14. joan.m.bull@uth.tmc.edu

    I also have major problems with support. Away from home using my Macbook pro, and cannot see my home Mac, although I can see the files on my office pc. I have e-mailed support@sugarsync.com, at least 8 times over 5 days and NO reply. Their support is absolutely non-existant!

    Reply
  15. joan.m.bull@uth.tmc.edu

    I also have major problems with support. Away from home using my Macbook pro, and cannot see my home Mac, although I can see the files on my office pc. I have e-mailed support@sugarsync.com, at least 8 times over 5 days and NO reply. Their support is absolutely non-existant!

    Reply
  16. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Hey, you mentioned you were able to sync OmniFocus across your computers. I tried syncing the parent folder to the OmniFocus database file and changes were not syncing across my computers. In fact, it seemed that Sugarsync couldn’t tell if the file was updated or not. I’ve had problems syncing other omnigroup files because they use package files, files with files in it, but sugarsync could at least detect updates to it. Could you give more details about how you synced your omnifocus database?

    Reply
  17. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Hey, you mentioned you were able to sync OmniFocus across your computers. I tried syncing the parent folder to the OmniFocus database file and changes were not syncing across my computers. In fact, it seemed that Sugarsync couldn’t tell if the file was updated or not. I’ve had problems syncing other omnigroup files because they use package files, files with files in it, but sugarsync could at least detect updates to it. Could you give more details about how you synced your omnifocus database?

    Reply
  18. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Hey, you mentioned you were able to sync OmniFocus across your computers. I tried syncing the parent folder to the OmniFocus database file and changes were not syncing across my computers. In fact, it seemed that Sugarsync couldn’t tell if the file was updated or not. I’ve had problems syncing other omnigroup files because they use package files, files with files in it, but sugarsync could at least detect updates to it. Could you give more details about how you synced your omnifocus database?

    Reply
  19. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Hey, you mentioned you were able to sync OmniFocus across your computers. I tried syncing the parent folder to the OmniFocus database file and changes were not syncing across my computers. In fact, it seemed that Sugarsync couldn’t tell if the file was updated or not. I’ve had problems syncing other omnigroup files because they use package files, files with files in it, but sugarsync could at least detect updates to it. Could you give more details about how you synced your omnifocus database?

    Reply
  20. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Hey, you mentioned you were able to sync OmniFocus across your computers. I tried syncing the parent folder to the OmniFocus database file and changes were not syncing across my computers. In fact, it seemed that Sugarsync couldn’t tell if the file was updated or not. I’ve had problems syncing other omnigroup files because they use package files, files with files in it, but sugarsync could at least detect updates to it. Could you give more details about how you synced your omnifocus database?

    Reply
  21. david@macsparky.com

    @Mike,

    Strangely, it required me to relocate the database in the Documents folder and then it synced just fine. Since writing the review, I have, however, switched over to DropBox. Also, if you have a MobileMe account, OF 1.5 now syncs automatically without any syncing jujitsu.

    Reply
  22. david@macsparky.com

    @Mike,

    Strangely, it required me to relocate the database in the Documents folder and then it synced just fine. Since writing the review, I have, however, switched over to DropBox. Also, if you have a MobileMe account, OF 1.5 now syncs automatically without any syncing jujitsu.

    Reply
  23. david@macsparky.com

    @Mike,

    Strangely, it required me to relocate the database in the Documents folder and then it synced just fine. Since writing the review, I have, however, switched over to DropBox. Also, if you have a MobileMe account, OF 1.5 now syncs automatically without any syncing jujitsu.

    Reply
  24. david@macsparky.com

    @Mike,

    Strangely, it required me to relocate the database in the Documents folder and then it synced just fine. Since writing the review, I have, however, switched over to DropBox. Also, if you have a MobileMe account, OF 1.5 now syncs automatically without any syncing jujitsu.

    Reply
  25. david@macsparky.com

    @Mike,

    Strangely, it required me to relocate the database in the Documents folder and then it synced just fine. Since writing the review, I have, however, switched over to DropBox. Also, if you have a MobileMe account, OF 1.5 now syncs automatically without any syncing jujitsu.

    Reply
  26. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Thanks for the reply MacSparky. How were you able to relocate the database file? I’ve searched every menu and preference pane and can’t see to find this option? Does OF still let you move the database file in the latest version (1.5) since they introduced syncing?

    Reply
  27. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Thanks for the reply MacSparky. How were you able to relocate the database file? I’ve searched every menu and preference pane and can’t see to find this option? Does OF still let you move the database file in the latest version (1.5) since they introduced syncing?

    Reply
  28. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Thanks for the reply MacSparky. How were you able to relocate the database file? I’ve searched every menu and preference pane and can’t see to find this option? Does OF still let you move the database file in the latest version (1.5) since they introduced syncing?

    Reply
  29. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Thanks for the reply MacSparky. How were you able to relocate the database file? I’ve searched every menu and preference pane and can’t see to find this option? Does OF still let you move the database file in the latest version (1.5) since they introduced syncing?

    Reply
  30. mike@randomdestiny.com

    Thanks for the reply MacSparky. How were you able to relocate the database file? I’ve searched every menu and preference pane and can’t see to find this option? Does OF still let you move the database file in the latest version (1.5) since they introduced syncing?

    Reply
  31. jayjones4@mac.com

    Problems with Sugarsync

    WARNING DO NOT USE SUGARSYNC! SUGARSYNC lost all of my data and could not retrieve it from their own server. This company is a joke, they held my company hostage for 2 weeks trying to find my files that Sugarsync some how deleted from my desktop! Their horribly inept techs could not figure out where my data went so they just decided not to call me back. I finally got in touch with Debbie, Sr. Director, SugarSync Customer Care and she tried to make me feel stupid and that the whole thing was my fault. Sugarsync does not care about small businesses and their customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  32. jayjones4@mac.com

    Problems with Sugarsync

    WARNING DO NOT USE SUGARSYNC! SUGARSYNC lost all of my data and could not retrieve it from their own server. This company is a joke, they held my company hostage for 2 weeks trying to find my files that Sugarsync some how deleted from my desktop! Their horribly inept techs could not figure out where my data went so they just decided not to call me back. I finally got in touch with Debbie, Sr. Director, SugarSync Customer Care and she tried to make me feel stupid and that the whole thing was my fault. Sugarsync does not care about small businesses and their customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  33. jayjones4@mac.com

    Problems with Sugarsync

    WARNING DO NOT USE SUGARSYNC! SUGARSYNC lost all of my data and could not retrieve it from their own server. This company is a joke, they held my company hostage for 2 weeks trying to find my files that Sugarsync some how deleted from my desktop! Their horribly inept techs could not figure out where my data went so they just decided not to call me back. I finally got in touch with Debbie, Sr. Director, SugarSync Customer Care and she tried to make me feel stupid and that the whole thing was my fault. Sugarsync does not care about small businesses and their customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  34. jayjones4@mac.com

    Problems with Sugarsync

    WARNING DO NOT USE SUGARSYNC! SUGARSYNC lost all of my data and could not retrieve it from their own server. This company is a joke, they held my company hostage for 2 weeks trying to find my files that Sugarsync some how deleted from my desktop! Their horribly inept techs could not figure out where my data went so they just decided not to call me back. I finally got in touch with Debbie, Sr. Director, SugarSync Customer Care and she tried to make me feel stupid and that the whole thing was my fault. Sugarsync does not care about small businesses and their customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  35. jayjones4@mac.com

    Problems with Sugarsync

    WARNING DO NOT USE SUGARSYNC! SUGARSYNC lost all of my data and could not retrieve it from their own server. This company is a joke, they held my company hostage for 2 weeks trying to find my files that Sugarsync some how deleted from my desktop! Their horribly inept techs could not figure out where my data went so they just decided not to call me back. I finally got in touch with Debbie, Sr. Director, SugarSync Customer Care and she tried to make me feel stupid and that the whole thing was my fault. Sugarsync does not care about small businesses and their customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  36. bl

    I know most of the comments on SugarSync are pretty old, but…

    I used SugarSync with great success for two years, maybe three. But in the last six or eight months, the service has become more problematic and I’ve switched over almost entirely to DropBox. I found the service people at SugarSync pleasant enough, but they had a hard time fixing problems I would run into. For example, I had a period of almost a month starting in late December when nothing on my MacBook Pro at home would sync.

    To me, the main advantage of SugarSync over DropBox is that you don’t have to move your files around to use it. It’s also more flexible about which folders/subfolders you sync. I do miss that. But DropBox (so far) seems more reliable.

    Reply

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