When it comes to all the free and upgrade-able cloud storage plans out there, it can be difficult to settle on one. In fact I’d wager most people have used multiple storage options at once, even if just to test out how different services work. To help make things a bit easier, I’m going to do a comparison between Dropbox, one of the most-used cloud storage services out there, and Sync.com which bills itself specifically as a Dropbox alternative. I’m going to break down the comparison into four sections: Value, Accessibility, Features, and Security.
With both services, you get access to a bit of free storage and the ability to ‘earn’ more by completing some easy tasks. At Sync.com you start with 5GB and can get an extra 1GB easily by just following most of the ‘Get Started’ instructions as you set up your account. With Dropbox you only get 2GB with your new account but you get a wider variety of ways to earn more space. You can connect various social media accounts (+125mb each), follow the starter Tour (+250mb), or even connect some of Dropbox’s other apps to your account for a big chunk of storage (+3GB is you connect to Dropbox’s photo app, Carousel).
|Paid Options||~$4.10/month = 500GB
~$8.20/month = 2TB
|$9.99/month = 1TB, “Pro”
$15/user/month = Unlimited, “Business”
Of course each service has pay-to-upgrade options as well. Dropbox offers two paid options: Pro and Business. For $9.99 per month you get 1TB of storage as well as some additional feature and security upgrade. Business takes it a step further for $15 per month per user and gives you unlimited storage! For businesses, that plan is pretty great but if you’re just a single person or small team then Sync.com is probably where you’ll find more storage for your buck. For $49 per year (around $4.10 per month) you get 500GB of storage and more security options for Sync.com. At $98 per year (about $8.20 per month) you can get 2TB of storage.
|Windows||XP and above||XP and above|
|Mac||OSX 10.5+||OSX 10.6+|
|Linux||X||Ubuntu 10.04, Fedora 19+|
When it comes to being able to access your files quickly and easily on multiple devices, Dropbox has Sync.com beat. Both services support Windows XP and above as well as all the most recent versions of OSX, Android devices, and iOS devices. And of course you can access both via web browser. However Dropbox pulls out head with its Ubuntu and Fedora support as well as support for other mobile devices like Kindle Fire, Windows Phones, and even Blackberry phones. If you really want to be able to access your files from anywhere then Dropbox is the service to go with.
|Password content protection||Yes||Pro+|
|Admin control for multiple users||Yes||Pro+|
|Link expiry dates||Yes||Pro+|
|Deleted file recovery||Yes||Yes|
|File version history||Yes||Yes|
Different features help different services stand out from one another and can be crucial to which we choose. Both Sync.com and Dropbox allow you to automatically sync files across different computers and devices. You can also allow other users access to certain folders and files and even provide links to certain files to people who don’t use the service. Accessing file version histories and recovering deleted files is also a possibility. After that, Sync.com and Dropbox begin to diverge. Sync.com provides more features for free – you can set passwords on your content and you get access to a multi-user admin panel. For Dropbox, though, those features require Pro or Business subscriptions.
When you pay for an upgrade to Sync.com, you gain access to a special ‘Vault’ folder where you can store files you want to keep but don’t necessarily want to continue to sync across your devices. There isn’t anything quite like that with Dropbox, unfortunately. For both services under the paid upgrades you can even set expiry dates on public or shared links.
|2 factor authentication||Yes||Yes|
|Encryption||In transit and at rest||In transit and at rest|
For many, how secure their files are while using a cloud storage service is the real sticking point. Both Sync.com and Dropbox encrypt files in transit and at rest, so they should always be encrypted. Additionally, both services over two-factor authentication for your account so you can ensure it is secure. Sync.com offers remote wipes of sharing links for free accounts, but for Dropbox you’ll have to pay to upgrade to get that security feature.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Sync.com is a 100% Canadian company and therefore it is not subject to the US Patriot Act. Dropbox, on the other hand, is a US company and is subject to the provisions in that Act.