SugarSync and Dropbox are two of the most popular online file sync software offerings, with both providing easy and convenient ways to share files and content across multiple PCs and laptops. Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of each product and how they stack up in various areas.
Ease of File Syncing
Both SugarSync and Dropbox provide easy, intuitive file syncing and sharing. SugarSync uses a sync client to handle file sharing, as well as automatically creating a “Magic Briefcase” shared folder that’s present on each computer you install the SugarSync service on.
Dropbox takes a more traditional approach to file syncing, linking itself to the file management system already on your computer so that you share and access files just like you would using Windows Explorer, Finder, or other file management program. The Drobox folder for sharing files automatically shows up just like your “My Documents” folder on Windows machines, so it’s a snap to get up and running with the service.
Server-Based File Sync Software
SugarSync and Dropbox are both designed to handle much of the file sharing functions on their servers, so there’s little software to install on your desktop or laptop. Once the small installation client is installed, all of the heavy lifting happens on the servers of the respective services.
This frees users from having to download bulky software programs and enables easy file sharing from computer to computer. It also means that both products double as an online data backup service as well; if a user’s hard drive fails they can download the latest copy of the files they’ve shared and be back up and running in no time.
File Sharing Flexibility
While other areas are neck and neck, Dropbox wins in the flexibility category by a mile. Both products offer roughly the same capabilities when it comes to sharing files across computers of your own, but Dropbox has a lot more flexibility and options when it comes to sharing files with friends or family who aren’t subscribers to the service.
Both allow users to email friends with links to files or content to share, but Dropbox goes a step further by creating a public folder, within which any content can easily be shared with the whole wide world. That functionality offers a great way to share all sorts of content with friends, including songs, videos, and photos.
SugarSync and Dropbox Pricing
Both products offer free 2GB plans, with monthly subscriptions that increase in price based on how much content you share. Dropbox currently offers two plans: $9.99/month for up to 50 GB and $19.99/month for up to 100 GB. SugarSync offers more plans and slightly more value for your money, with plans including $4.99/month for up to 30 GB, $14.99/month for 100 GB, and $24.99.month for up to 250 GB. SugarSync also offers further discounts if you pay for 1 year of service in advance, a feature Dropbox doesn’t offer.
Support for File Sync to Smartphones
Both products can be accessed via the Web, but only SugarSync provides native support for iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile apps. Dropbox users can still access the service from mobile devices, but it’s through the generic Web interface, which can be lacking in functionality.
On a related note, while both products support Windows and Mac environments, only Dropbox can be used on computers running Linux.
SugarSync vs. Dropbox Conclusion
It’s hard to go wrong with either SugarSync or Dropbox, as both provide a great way to sync and share files and other content. If you’re looking for more support for smartphones and a slightly cheaper price, SugarSync is likely the way to go. If you love Linux or want more flexibility as far as sharing your content with lots of people, Dropbox would probably be the better choice.