One of the questions I get occasionally is what I think is better, SugarSync or Dropbox? Each service has their positive and negatives and if you are looking for a way to store and sync files between your devices it can be a tough decision.
Operating System Support
Cross platform support is important to people. These days people use many different computers all the time and switch between Windows, Mac and Linux regularly. I know myself I switch between Windows and Linux daily and toss the occasional Mac machine in just for fun. Dropbox gets this and has desktop clients for Windows, Mac and Linux so no matter what computer I am using I have my files synced. SugarSync support Windows and Mac so it is not as useful for me. I am going to give this section to Dropbox since they do have a Linux client.
Free Account and Storage
SugarSync stopped offering free accounts in February 2014. They still offer free trials but it is not the same as getting a free account to sync some of your data. This certainly puts SugarSync behind Dropbox.
Dropbox starts you off with 2GB of space for free and a refer a friend program for an additional 16GB of space for a total of 18GB of free space. There are also other ways to earn some extra free space but you probably will not double to the 32GB that SugarSync offers.
For free account and storage you only have Dropbox to turn to between these two services. With some decent referrals you can get a decent amount of storage for free from Dropbox.
Pricing is always changing with cloud storage, but comparing SugarSync and Dropbox they are fairly competitive with each other as far as pricing is concerned.
|SugarSync 60GB||SugarSync 100GB||SugarSync 250GB||Dropbox 100GB||Dropbox 200GB||Dropbox 500GB|
I only listed the personal plans for pricing to keep the table manageable. If you are only deciding between SugarSync and Dropbox price is not really going to be your concern since they are fairly comparable. If price is your concern both SugarSync and Dropbox are probably not your best picks. Looking at Google Drive or Bitcasa might be better options. Those services simply give you more storage for your dollar.
SugarSync offers mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, Symbian and the Kindle Fire so you can easily access your files that you have backed up to their servers. One of the benefits that SugarSync says it does on some platforms (like Android) is they can automatically sync your photos and videos up to your account, essentially backing up your photos and video to your SugarSync account. The SugarSync mobile apps have gotten consistently better and I have to admit I prefer it to the Dropbox app.
Dropbox has apps for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android and they have gotten better recently. On Android you can set Dropbox to automatically copy your photos from your device to your Dropbox account. There is nothing wrong with the Dropbox mobile apps and they get the job done.
Both services offer sharing and it is fairly easy to setup. SugarSync supports private sharing and was not mentioned in the latest problem with Dropbox and Box shared file disclosure vulnerability. For this reason SugarSync leads the way to keep the sharing private to only the people you want to have your files shared with.
SugarSync allows you to select any folder you want on your computers to backup. Dropbox forces you to only use one folder. This has always been a little bit of a sore point with me and Dropbox. Granted on some operating systems you can use symbolic links. The fact you can add any folder you want to SugarSync puts them in the lead on this one.
While both services are pretty good at syncing your files between desktop computers SugarSync pulls ahead in this category with the fact that you can actually sync folders to your mobile device! Makes it very handy to send files to your smartphone such as the latest MP3s that you purchased.
The SugarSync web admin is pretty nice, and is not to hard to navigate around but it does take a little while to figuire out things occasionally. For example I had a heck of a time to find where the photos from my mobile where uploaded to. Once I found them it made sense but it was a little frustrating.
The Dropbox web admin is pretty straight forward and well simple. It is that simple and easy to use that makes me favor it over SugarSync. This one perhaps comes down to personal preference.
And the Winner Is?
Overall SugarSync offers more features especiailly if you want to sync files between desktops and mobiles. The biggest problems with SugarSync are the lack of any kind of free account and no Linux support. If you have one Linux machine that you work on regularly Dropbox is still your top choice.
This comparison was updated May 15, 2014. Comments below may refer to the older version of this post.