SugarSync Review

A Full Review of SugarSync, an Online Backup Service

A screenshot of the SugarSync logo
© SugarSync, Inc.

SugarSync is an online backup service that backs up your folders online in real-time and then syncs them to all your connected devices.

Because "the cloud" is used as one of your devices, you can access all your backed up files from any computer, as well as restore anything you've deleted.

Sign Up for SugarSync

You can read more about the plans SugarSync offers below, as well a list of their features and some thoughts I have on their service.

Check out my SugarSync Tour for a really detailed look at the software end of their cloud backup service.

SugarSync Plans & Costs

Valid June 2017

All three of SugarSync's backup plans are identical in terms of features. They only differ in storage capacity, and therefore price:

SugarSync 100 GB

The smallest backup plan you can purchase from SugarSync is one that allows for 100 GB of data. This plan can be used with unlimited devices.

The price is $7.49 /month.

Sign Up for SugarSync 100 GB

SugarSync 250 GB

The next SugarSync plan offers over twice the storage as the smaller one, at 250 GB, and also supports backing up files from unlimited computers.

SugarSync's 250 GB plan can be purchased for $9.99 /month.

Sign Up for SugarSync 250 GB

SugarSync 500 GB

SugarSync's third online backup plan comes with 500 GB of backup space and works with unlimited computers.

Like the other two plans, this one is purchased on a month-to-month basis, costing $18.95 /month.

Sign Up for SugarSync 500 GB

All of these backup plans are automatically setup as 30-day trials from the start. You are required to enter payment information when you first sign up, but you aren't charged until the trial period is up. You can cancel at any time before the 30 days ends.

There's also a free plan with 5 GB of space that you can sign up for with SugarSync that doesn't make you enter payment information but it expires after 90 days, forcing you to either lose all your files at the end of the term or to upgrade to a paid plan.

See my List of Free Online Backup Plans for backup services that offer truly free plans that don't have expiration dates.

Business plans are available through SugarSync as well, starting out at 1,000 GB for 3 users for $55 /month. Custom business plans can be built if more than 10 users are needed.

SugarSync Features

SugarSync backs up your files almost immediately after they've been changed. This means your data is constantly being backed up and saved online, which is an extremely important feature for a great backup service.

There are, however, some features in SugarSync that aren't as good as ones you'd find in other backup services.

File Size LimitsNo, but the web app limits uploads to 300 MB
File Type RestrictionsYes; email files, active database files, and more
Fair Use LimitsNo
Bandwidth ThrottlingNo
Operating System SupportWindows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; macOS
Native 64-bit SoftwareNo
Mobile AppsAndroid, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian
File AccessDesktop app, web app, mobile app
Transfer EncryptionTLS
Storage Encryption256-bit AES
Private Encryption KeyNo
File VersioningLimited to 5 previous versions
Mirror Image BackupNo
Backup LevelsFolder
Backup From Mapped DriveNo
Backup From External DriveNo
Continuous Backup (≤ 1 min)Yes
Backup FrequencyContinuous (≤ 1 min) through 24 hours
Idle Backup OptionNo
Bandwidth ControlYes, but only simple controls
Offline Backup Option(s)No
Offline Restore Option(s)No
Local Backup Option(s)No
Locked/Open File SupportNo
Backup Set Option(s)No
Integrated Player/ViewerYes
File SharingYes
Multi-Device SyncingYes
Backup Status AlertsNo
Data Center LocationsUS (more than one but not sure how many)
Support OptionsForum, self-support, email, and chat

If SugarSync doesn't support all the features you're looking for, maybe another backup service does. Be sure to look through my Online Backup Comparison Chart to see a comparison between some of the other backup services I like.

My Experience With SugarSync

Overall, I really like SugarSync. They offer some nice features and their backup software is really easy to use.

There are, however, some things you should consider before you buy one of their plans (more on that below).

What I Like:

SugarSync's web app lets you upload files as large as 300 MB, which is quite a bit. This means you can log in to your SugarSync account from any computer and upload videos, images, music, and other files, and have them sync to all your devices.

You can also upload email attachments to SugarSync by sending them to a unique email address that's tied to your account. This is a really easy way to store your important email attachments or to quickly send yourself files, and it can even be used by anyone's email address, not just your own. This means your friends can send you files from their own email account.

Files emailed to your account will show up in your account's My SugarSync\Uploaded by Email\ folder. Some file types can't be sent over email, the complete list of which you can find here.

I didn't notice a network slowdown or any other computer performance issue while syncing files to and from my SugarSync account. My files uploaded and downloaded quickly, and seemed just as quick as other backup services I've tried.

It's important to understand that backup speeds are going to vary for nearly everyone because they depend on the available bandwidth you have while backing up and syncing files, as well as how fast your computer hardware is. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for more on this.

If you're sharing a folder with other SugarSync users, and they delete files from that folder, the files will go to a dedicated part of the "Deleted Items" section of the web app. I like this because it makes finding a deleted item from a shared folder much easier to find than having to look through the deleted items from non-shared folders too.

I also think it's great that SugarSync keeps your deleted files for 30 days. Keeping them forever would be even better, but 30 days still provides a nice frame of time to retrieve your files if you need to.

The restore feature in SugarSync lets you restore your files to your devices without even having to be on the computer that originally backed them up. Because SugarSync works by two-way synchronization, anything you put in your account through the web app is reflected on the other devices. So when you restore a deleted file to its original folder from the web app, it's automatically downloaded back to the devices, which is really nice.

However, something I don't like about the restoring files with SugarSync is that you must do it from the web app. You can't just open the desktop software and restore your files from there like some backup services allow.

I also like that previous versions of your files that SugarSync has available for you don't count against your storage space. This means if you have a 1 GB video file with 5 previous versions stored and readily available for you to use, so long as you don't save all those versions to your SugarSync account, only the current version takes up space. In this case, only 1 GB of storage would be used even though a total of 6 GB of data is available.

SugarSync's mobile app is really nice, allowing you to listen to music, open pictures, and even view documents and videos while on the go. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the web app. When using SugarSync from the web app, you can only preview image files - clicking a document, video, picture, or another type of file will simply prompt you to download it.

Here are some other things I really like about SugarSync:

- Mobile app supports automatic backup of your photos and videos

- Multiple files and folders can be downloaded from your account at once, where they are all combined into one ZIP file download

- A search tool can be used to find files and folders all across your SugarSync account, even among the deleted items

- Files of any size can be shared with anyone, even if they don't have a SugarSync account

- A Microsoft Outlook plugin lets you send large files with ease by connecting with your SugarSync account

I also should mention the remote wipe abilities offered by SugarSync. This is a fantastic feature that lets you remotely log out of SugarSync from all your devices as well as remotely delete the files from those devices. This feature would come in handy if, for example, your laptop was stolen. Doing so will not delete the files from the web app, only from the devices. This means after you've wiped the devices, you can still download all your data from the web app to a different computer.

What I Don't Like:

Some folders and file types can not be backed up with SugarSync. For example, "C:\Program Files\," which holds all of the installation files for the programs installed on your computer, can not be backed up because SugarSync says it would cause "series performance issues," and I don't disagree.

But it's important to know that though they say you can backup any folder, you really can't. You can see more detail and other examples about this here.

SugarSync also doesn't back up files that you're currently using. Unfortunately, one way they handle this is by excluding some types of files that tend to be in use a lot, like Microsoft Outlook's PST file. This means even if you were to close down Outlook, and therefore stop using its PST file, SugarSync still wouldn't back it up.

They do have workarounds for things like this, but it's certainly a drawback, especially when you consider that other cloud backup services have found automated solutions for this problem.

Here are some other things about SugarSync that you should think about before committing to one of their backup plans:

- The web app doesn't let you upload folders (but it does accept simultaneous uploads of multiple files)

- After you've altered a file 5 times, the older versions of it are no longer available because versioning is limited to 5 versions. Some backup services allow unlimited versioning

- Phone support costs an additional $99.99 /year

- You're unable to pause file transfers (this is true for the desktop, mobile, and web app)

- Folders on encrypted hard drives can't be backed up with SugarSync unless BoxCryptor was used to encrypt them

Finally, I like online backup programs to have good bandwidth controls so I can explicitly define how fast files are allowed to be transferred on my network. Unfortunately, SugarSync doesn't let you define the exact speed at which it will sync your files. You're given a high/medium/low setting, but you can't have it, for example, max out downloads at 300 KB/s.

My Final Thoughts on SugarSync

If syncing between your devices is something you're interested in having alongside a solid cloud backup plan, I think you probably have a winner with SugarSync.

In general, too, they just offer a lot of really cool features, ones you won't find everywhere. They've certainly set themselves apart, especially with how generous they are with where and how you can back up and restore your data.

Sign Up for SugarSync

There are lots of other backup services you can choose from if you're not sure SugarSync is what you're after, especially if the lack of an unlimited plan is a deal breaker. Some of my favorites are Backblaze, CrashPlan, Carbonite, and SOS Online Backup.