SugarSync offers more than online backup -- it also syncs files across multiple computers, so if you are working on a file at home, the changes will also be saved on your work computer or laptop. It also offers access to your data from any Internet-enabled computer or smartphone, including iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones.
Reviewers are impressed with these features, and they rave about SugarSync's multimedia functionality. For example, if your music files are backed up with SugarSync, you can stream your music online from any computer or mobile device. You can also share photo albums or other files directly from your personalized SugarSync website. The feature that most impresses critics, however, is SugarSync's ability to back up any folder or folders you choose on your computers. The vast majority of synchronization-style online backup services force you to place data into a single folder.
Choosing which folders to backup is as simple as clicking on them and selecting the SugarSync backup option. Reviewers love the interface and say it's more intuitive than even Dropbox, (Free for 2 GB), which is highly regarded for its usability.
While such features can be very useful, they increase the cost over basic online backup services. You can get up to 5 GB for free, but if you need more storage than that, plans at SugarSync start at $5 a month for 30 GB and go up from there. In comparison, you can get 100 GB of storage from the Google Drive for the same $5 per month -- or the same 5 GB for free -- along with the ability to edit documents in-browser using Google Docs. Google Drive, however, doesn't offer media streaming or the ability to handpick which folders to sync.
SugarSync keeps the last five versions of files you've revised, although critics say restoring past versions can be a bit of an ordeal. Like most syncing-style services, it doesn't offer any data protection aside from transferring your data over a 128-bit SSL encrypted connection.
We found the best reviews of SugarSync at PCMag.com, Expert Reviews, NextAdvisor.com and PC Pro; each reviewer provides detailed and testing-based reviews. Comparison reviews at TheVerge.com, About.com and Techlicious.com are handy for seeing how SugarSync stacks up to the competition, even though those critiques are less detailed.
PCMag.com gives SugarSync a 4.5 rating out of 5 and an Editors' Choice award. The publication says the interface is one of the most intuitive around and the ability to select individual folders to sync is a huge advantage over the competition.
Review: SugarSync, Edward Mendelson and Jill Duffy, Dec. 29, 2011
2. Expert Reviews (U.K.)
Expert Reviews, based in the U.K., gives SugarSync a perfect rating and a Best Buy award. "It's incredible ease of use, massive range of mobile apps and sleekly designed web interface make it our Best Buy," Kat Orphanides writes.
Review: SugarSync 30GB review, Kat Orphanides, July 20, 2011
SugarSync's sleek interface, music streaming and synchronization abilities net it a perfect rating from NextAdvisor's editors. "SugarSync is the Swiss army knife of online file storage, and while it's more expensive per-gigabyte than the unlimited storage options offered by Mozy or Carbonite, its versatility can't be matched by either," they write.
Review: SugarSync Review: Online Cloud Backup, Editors of NextAdvisor.com
This roundup covers more cloud storage services than any other source, although discussion for each service is relatively brief. While Ellis Hamburger doesn't formally single out any service as being the best all-around, he says SugarSync is the go-to option for people who want to sync multiple folders on their computer.
Review: Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and Others: a Cloud Sync Storage Face-off, Ellis Hamburger, April 24, 2012
5. PC Pro
SugarSync receives a high overall rating from Stuart Andrews at Britain's PC Pro, who says "no other online storage service does so much so well." He loves the syncing abilities and media functionality, but finds it complicated to restore files.
Review: SugarSync Review, Stuart Andrews, Aug. 20, 2010
SugarSync is the only file synchronization service to land on Tim Fisher's list of the best online backup services. "If you want more than just an online repository for safety's sake, you will no doubt be very happy with SugarSync," he writes. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: 6 Online Backup Services Reviewed, Tim Fisher, Updated May 2012
Techlicious.com's Suzanne Kantra says SugarSync is her choice as the best file synchronization service, beating out contenders like Dropbox and Google Drive. She fails to explain why, however; information about the individual services is limited to a single comparative table of features.
Review: The Best Cloud Sync Storage Services, Suzanne Kantra, April 25, 2012