Sweet storage

2011-06-30 00:00

Cloud computing continues to be one of the defining buzz words in the “consumerisation” of technology. One area where it makes immediate sense is in storage: putting your information in the cloud and having a sort of hard drive on the Internet is an appealing idea.

Many services have sprung up in the cloud storage sector, such as Dropbox and Apple’s iDisk (part of its MobileMe offering), soon to be superseded by iCloud. SugarSync is another cloud storage service and one of the most versatile I’ve tested. Simply put, SugarSync allows you to store copies of your files on the Internet and then sync them to other computers and gadgets.

For example, you could sync your documents folder between your laptop, cellphone and home computer. A copy of the folder and its files would be kept automatically up to date between those three locations, plus an additional copy is also kept online. Therefore, SugarSync is a good backup tool and has uses beyond just flitting files from one device to another.

The service is free, with 5GB of online storage. But you can pay for more.

SugarSync works on Windows, Mac and just about any smartphone operating system. You can choose which files are kept in sync to which devices and can also access files via any web browser.

It’s the most flexible cloud storage solution I’ve yet tested and offers a couple of features Dropbox doesn’t have. The only thing missing is its ability to prioritise file transfer over a local home or office network instead of insisting on using the Internet. Dropbox has that feature (referred to as “LAN syncing”) and the SugarSync’s developers tell me they’re working on it.

If you’re looking for the best way to share files with other people then Dropbox is still it. However, as a personal cloud storage and backup solution SugarSync is the business.


VERDICT: More than just a hard drive on the Internet.

COMPLEXITY: Very straightforward to install and configure.

PRICE: Free for 5GB.