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SurDoc Review

SurDoc at a Glance

 

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SurDoc Review
55 votes, 3.04 avg. rating (60% score)

Our Rating

2.5 / 5 stars
★★½☆☆ 

Price:

  • 100GB Account: Free for one year!
  • 100GB Account: $2.50/month, $30/year
  • Unlimited Account: $8.33/month, $100/year

Pros:

  • Free 100GB storage for one year.
  • Access your files with any browser on a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone. No apps needed.
  • You can access and annotate documents in the browser.
  • Manages backups automatically / continuously.
  • File sharing by email is easy.
  • Unlimited number of computers on one account.

Cons:

  • No Mac or Linux clients.
  • Does not sync files after annotating online. Need to manually download the file as PDF.
  • No file versions. Files can be over written and no previous version available to restore.
  • Shared files only accessible to other SurDoc users.
  • Still in beta.
  • Storage limit for non documents is 2GB.
  • File size limit of 10MB for non-documents (ie: video, audio)

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Full SurDoc Review

SurDoc, based out of Menlo Park California, just launched their beta service at the end of December 2011 and have a unique online backup offering that will appeal to those that want to annotate files and have easy mobile we access.

Installation
Installation of SurDoc starts with a visit to their website and signing up for an account. Once you sign up you can download the Windows client and install in on your local desktop or laptop. Double clicking the installation package will start the installation wizard and guide you through setting up the client.

Backing Up
With the client installed you can select what files you want backup up. You can select files on your local computer and once your selection is saved your files will start backing up. New files are backup quickly and continuously. While the client does backup continuously it does not appear to keep any versions of the file, so if a file is corrupted in some way your backup copy will become corrupted as well.

If you want to be sure the backup runs you can also click the task bar icon and select Start Backup which will force the backup to start immediately.

Restoring
Restoring is as simple as clicking on the task bar icon and selecting the folders you would like to download to your computer. The client will then download your files from the online server and place them back on your computer.

You can also download files by using the website making it easy to restore files from any computer or device that can connect to the Internet and use a web browser.

Since SurDoc does not seem to keep any versions of files it is not possible to restore files that were changed by accident or corrupted in some way and backed up. Versioning is a feature I hope SurDoc will look into in the future and add.

Other Features
Online Editing and Annotation – This is where SurDoc shines and I could see this feature being very useful for some people. Files that you have backed up to SurDoc you are then able to edit and annotate on the SurDoc website. I was able to successfully add text to documents. You can use your mouse (or finger if on a tablet and opening files with your web browser). This one feature is very interesting there were a few things I wish it did. Annotated files are not automatically downloaded or synced to your desktop, you need to manually download the changed files. It also seems like you need to download the changed files as PDF’s not in the format you created them in. I was only trying to edit plain text documents so I am not sure how it would respond to a Word documents or other formats.




Mobile Web Access – While most of the other online backup companies race to create mobile apps, SurDoc provides mobile support through their website. I had not problem accessing my backed up files through my desktop web browser, laptop or my Android devices. It would be nice to see other online backup services offer this type of consistent web access as well.

Security – According to the SurDoc FAQ all files are stored encrypted and they are not able to see your files. There does not appear to be a way to set a private encryption key so I have to wonder if they can’t see your files or if they won’t look at your files. Would be nice to see a private encryption key option added in for those that are more concerned about the security of their files.

File Sharing – You can easily share files by email in the web interface but it is not a public sharing. Only other SurDoc users can view the file you shared with them.

Overall
SurDoc is a good first start and the free 10GB of space will certainly be useful to people along with the ability to annotate files through their web browser. The lack of file versions is unfortunate and does put a serious dent in using SurDoc as your primary online backup service.

6 Responses to SurDoc Review

  1. Eric Kunnert says:

    It doesn’t look to run as good as they promiss… of course, it’s free, but it should anyway at least run…!
    No answer from the client service neither…
    I don’t know if I stay here or I go back to D…box!

  2. Kaska says:

    Backup freezes every now and again and won’t continue. Poor performance.

  3. Pete says:

    Its been nearly 2 weeks and laptop still hasn’t finished backing up. I have it connected to a 40mb upload ftc line, contacted there support who don’t respond.

    looks like I need to find a better company for my online backup.

    only good thing is I have found this out before I have had to part with any money.

  4. MikeF.M. says:

    I cannot find a way to move files once uploaded. I cannot move to subdirectories or different folders, etc. Is this hidden, non-intuitive, or is this the most inept of all cloud storage services?

  5. TheOnePom says:

    I had a need to restore my photo’s that had been stored on surdoc, over half of them were corrupt and didn’t restore.

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