الأربعاء، 4 يناير، 2012

SugarSync


SugarSync
 
 
  • Pros
    Freemium file-syncing service. Generous space given with free account: 5GB. Unlimited bonus space for referrals. Can sync any existing folder or file (no need to move items to a magic folder). Apps for every major OS.
  • ConsNo drag-and-drop from desktop to file manager (drag-and-drop into synced folders only). Some odd functionality when deployed across multiple desktops.
  • Bottom Line
    File synchronization service SugarSync offers more cloud storage space with a free account than any of its rivals and is even more intuitive than its biggest competitor, Dropbox. SugarSync shows a few quirks here and there, as all syncing services seem to, but it is still the very best we've tested.
  • File synchronization is a utility that every modern computer user needs. Perhaps the best known service is Dropbox, an excellent tool with a few quirks, but having now spent a good deal of time with SugarSync, I can't imagine recommending any other service as a first option. SugarSync has improved steadily over the last few months and now offers a free 5GB account to anyone who signs up. SugarSync makes sense because it's dead simple—even more so than Dropbox—and is available on every major platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. A Linux client is in beta. While I still adore Dropbox and will emphasize that it's still worthy of our Editors' Choice insignia, SugarSync does a few things just slightly better and deserves more praise. SugarSync also gives you more space with a free account (5GB compared to Dropbox's 2GB) and unlimited bonus space for referrals. A paid account also costs less: SugarSync charges $14.99 per month for 100GB whereas Dropbox charges $19.99 per month for 100GB.



    Other solutions exist, too, such as the more business focused SafeSync for Business from Trend Micro, which doesn't have a free option, and Syncplicity, which like Dropbox starts you off with only 2GB of space for free and is a little more difficult to manage, I found.
    As simple as SugarSync is, anyone new to file-synchronization needs to heed a few warnings. First, take two minutes to learn what file synchronization is and what it means. Synchronization is not the same as back-up, so you should not use it to free up space on your hard drive. When you "sync" something from your computer, don't then delete it!
    SugarSync LocalAfter you sign up for a SugarSync account, you can download and install the client software. It prompts you to name and assign an icon for your PC and then choose folders to back up on SugarSync's servers and make available to your other machines. The installer also creates a "Magic Briefcase" folder inside your Documents folder and places a shortcut to it on your desktop. Any file you drop into the Magic Briefcase on one of your machines is copied to and synchronized with the Magic Briefcase folders on all your other machines.
    The installer also creates a SugarSync icon in your system tray that you can click to open the SugarSync Manager application, where you can change your synchronization options and manage backed-up files. You can also right-click on any folder or file at any time to add it to SugarSync—there's an option directly in the menu that appears.
    Things can get confusing when you install SugarSync on a second machine, however. I set up SugarSync on a Mac first, then added it to a Windows XP machine. Installing the software took no time at all. Launching the file manager was also no problem. When I tried to drag and drop files into the SugarSync file manager, though, it didn't work. I tried uploading using drag-and-drop a few more times to no avail. Seeing as I wasn't getting anywhere, I turned to a button at the top of the file manager "Add Sync Folders" and selected the appropriate options, and that worked. It wasn't a problem in the end, but I falsely assumed drag-and-drop from the desktop to the file manager would sync folders. It doesn't.
    The installer once again prompts you to select folders to back up to the server and make available to other machines, but only the Magic Briefcase syncs automatically. If you want to sync to computer No. 2 any folder you selected for backing up from your first machine, the process is not intuitive: You have to open the SugarSync Manager on the second machine, select the folder from a list of available folders, then click the option to "Replicate this folder on this computer."

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