What’s the rage in personal computing? Online backups. The cloud (whatever that is). Bolted alongside the cloud as a buzzword is file synchronization.
We can sync our Mac files to the cloud and back to other Macs or PCs. Yes, we’ve been able to do that for years. But now it’s chic and hip and trendy. Whether iPad or iPhone or Mac or PC, we know we need to sync online.
Why Store Stuff In The Cloud?
The cloud, for lack of a better description, is nothing more than a remote server. Our Macs and PCs can sync to that remote server, store and retrieve files there, and presto-magico, have an instant backup.
The cloud is nothing new but it’s certainly a buzzworthy service that’s totally 2011.
One of the more popular cloud sync and storage services is SugarSync.
Think of it as a rich man’s Dropbox, which is a poor man’s online cloud sync storage service. Sync important files from your Mac to SugarSync. Those same files are then available from other devices—Macs, PCs, iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry smart phones.
Step-by-Step Sync Is Sweet
SugarSync lets you set aside a folder or folders to sync. Drop in the files you want to sync and store. From then on SugarSync keeps them in sync. First, to the cloud and online storage. Second, if you need it, to other devices.
Files are stored using encrypted 128-bit AES across a secure SSL connection. If you have access to an internet connection, your devices can retrieve important files and documents.
Store up to 500 gigabytes of files online (don’t ask how long that takes—it takes awhile) for a single monthly fee. SugarSync has a simple way to share files with others, whether friends, family, employees or customers.
It also stores up to the last five versions of any file. What can you store online? Important files, documents, music, movie clips, photos. Even stream music from SugarSync to your iPhone.
SugarSync is made for business but also comes with a free 5 gigabyte plan, and a 30 day trial for more storage. SugarSync isn’t quite as easy to set up and use as Dropbox but has more options.
This can be a great service for secure storage of files and documents, or as a way to store and retrieve photos, or as a way to share very large files online with others.
By storing important documents, files, photos, and music online and on other Macs or PCs, even on mobile devices, you get a high security offline and online backup that’s also off premise (out of your home or office).
The problems? A few. Uploading can be torturously slow for a larger number of files. Downloading is faster, but still slow with larger files. Viewing files on some smart phone models can be cumbersome, too.
There’s little doubt that online storage has hit the big time. SugarSync is an almost set-it-and-forget-it, rather inexpensive, and easy to use regardless of device. My only worry is who is watching my data while it’s stored somewhere else.