I’d only used SugarSync 2.2 for iOS a little bit before the version 3.0 update arrived, but I’d noticed that the older version crashed frequently. The new version crashes less often, but it sometimes halts for short periods, and occasionally the app will go on to crash.
All of the features described above worked as advertised, although only to the extent that I was able to figure out what was going on. Synchronization was as fast as my wireless, broadband, or cellphone connection could handle. The service even manages filename conflicts in a straightforward way.
I also found that, rather than bog down your computer with large updates when you first boot up, SugarSync alerts you to pending syncs when you start the app on the iPhone. The desktop app lets you set a higher or lower priority level for uploads and downloads.
It also lets you stop syncs if you belatedly realize that you don’t want to sync the “Desktop” from your main computer. (Syncing the “Desktop” could be massive mistake, because you might quickly hit your storage limit.)
If you accidentally sync too many files to your iPhone, as I did, you can always delete the extra files from your iPhone.
On the other hand, with my Windows desktop and laptop computers and my iPhone all lashed together via SugarSync, I sometimes had trouble determining which folders were synced to which devices, and what the different device and file displays were trying to tell me.
It took me a while, for example, to figure out that the folder display for each device showed only the folders I’d marked for syncing from that device, rather than all of the folders on that device.
SugarSync offers many different ways of viewing and managing the system. This can be perplexing until you realize that the choices in the SugarSync menu in the Microsoft Windows version — Add Sync Folders, Manage Sync Folders, SugarSync File Manager — are just a breakout of options on the main SugarSync File Manager utility there, where you can view, manage, edit, and copy files and folders from your various devices.
In addition, there is the MySugarSync Web site, which seems to duplicate the File Manager’s features, until you notice that only the Web site page shows your mobile device and allows you to add new devices.
Some of the crossplatform inconsistencies in SugarSync seem due to the company’s practice of rolling out features across different platforms as these features become ready, rather than across all platforms at once. Other inconsistencies, such as the ability to sort files on the desktop orlaptop but not on the iPhone, are due to limitations in the OS itself.
Because it can either sync or simply back up any file or folder you designate, SugarSync is handier and more powerful than Dropbox. SugarSync also provides 5 gigabytes of free storage, versus the 2 gigs offered by Dropbox, and it gives you a lot more features than Dropbox. Features that can be especially useful include the ability to view, edit, rename, copy, and move files remotely, as well as to see how much space you are using at any given moment.
The biggest drawback to SugarSync is an ironic one. Because of these very features and capabilities, and the fact that these vary across platforms, it’s sometimes a challenge to understand exactly what’s happening across your multiple synchronized devices.
I hit the SugarSync help pages pretty hard and pinged the media support person a few times in efforts to clarify some of the discrepancies in the operation of the software on the PCs versus the iPhone. I really wasn’t expecting that much of a learning curve with a file storage and sync service!
Still, the power, functionality, and free storage space of SugarSync makes it all worthwhile for me.
SugarSync is free with 5 gigabytes of storage and email and online support. Paid plans start at $4.99 a month for 30 gigabytes and phone support. You get an extra half a gig of storage for referrals.