Transitioning To The Cloud

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I have officially become 100% reliant on the cloud for all of my important data. Within a few years everybody will be working this way, but because of my mobile lifestyle I needed to transition a little quicker. Let me tell you how this came about …

Six months ago my hard drive crashed and I decided I needed to come up with a better solution for living and working from anywhere. Being stuck to one piece of machinery (my computer) was no good. I’d already been using Google Docs and Word Press for a lot of my writing, but the majority of my data was still held in the physical realm, sitting no-so-pretty on my computer and my external backup hard drive.

Initially I thought I’d continue with this strategy. I figured instead of saving work on my laptop and then backing up to an external drive I would strictly use a Flash drive of some sort. They’re smaller, more versatile, and less prone to failure than hard drives with moving parts. I began researching and I couldn’t find a large enough flash drive for my needs that also didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. I put the decision off until a few weeks ago when I got a new computer.

Breaking Free From The Physical World

I decided external Flash drives, while awesome for certain uses, just aren’t the ideal solution for the technomad.

It was clearly time to begin using a remote backup system that I could access from anywhere. But there are about a dozen well-known services that do this, along with many lesser-known services.

Note: You might be thinking “well what about if you don’t have internet?” This is becoming less and less common. Last year while spending a week in the Daintree Rainforest there was actually an internet cafe at a hostel. Yes, it cost an exorbitant $9AUD per hour, but it was there. High speed internet (for Australia’s standards) in the middle of the oldest rainforest (135 million years old) in the world.

After doing my own research I asked on twitter what was recommended between SugarSync and DropBox, the 2 solutions I was most interested in.

Although there were a few lone rangers who recommended SugarSync, the overwhelming response was DropBox.

Here’s the problem: almost none of the responders had used SugarSync and didn’t give me any compelling reasons that DropBox was the best. In fact, it was just personal preference or “it does what I need.” Personal preference is all good, but it doesn’t mean anything is the best.

My Issues With DropBox

DropBox is definitely a good solution and they’ll give you 2GB of backup free right here so that’s cool. (Sign up through that link for free and you’ll get 250mb of bonus storage.)

But here are my issues:

  • Everything I want backed up must go into the DropBox folder on my physical hard drive. I’m not interested in reworking the way I organize my data. I want a solution that works with the way I already organize everything.
  • I can’t selectively sync folders that are outside of the DropBox folder to my DropBox account. So if I have a Documents folder inside my Blog Writing folder I can’t have that automatically backed up without moving the whole folder to the DropBox folder first. This is essentially the same as my first point, but it’s important enough to reiterate.
  • The online account doesn’t have media streaming. One of my reasons for wanting a remote backup is to send my 32GB of MP3s to the cloud. This way I can have my own Pandora anywhere I go. If you’ve ever transferred 32GB of music from computer to computer to computer you know what a pain that is.

I’m still testing out DropBox simply because of a bit of paranoia with having all of my data backed up in one place. And since the free account has 2GB of data it doesn’t cost me anything to keep it alive. That said, I really can’t see a compelling reason to choose DropBox. I’ve obsessed over this more than is probably healthy and I just don’t see what so many others see. I’m with the lone rangers …

My Main Cloud Computing Solution Is SugarSync

DropBox just doesn’t compete with SugarSync in any way, shape, or form.

My favorite features of SugarSync:

  1. With selective syncing I can choose any folder to be backed up automatically. Any time anything in one of my chosen folders changes it is automatically backed up. Boom!
  2. The online music streaming is awesome. I have my iTunes folder selected as a SugarSync folder so now any time I add new albums to iTunes they automatically get backed up to my SugarSync account. Boom!
  3. If you need a place to store your High Res photos, SugarSync has a beautiful photo gallery, with easy access from any device. Ba ba BOOM!
  4. Public access to any file with the click of a button. Say you want to share something (a photo, for example) with the world. Just click Get Public Link and you’re golden.
  5. You can send any file to anybody anywhere. The recipient does not need a SugarSync account to get the file.
  6. The free account is 5GB instead of just 2GB.
  7. In addition, if you register for a free account through this link you get an extra 500mb of data (you get 10GB extra if you buy an account) … and I get an extra 500mb of data in my account as well. :) Obviously they do this because they need to compete with the likes of DropBox, which it seems everybody blindly uses. ;) Every time you refer someone to SugarSync you get 500mb of data into your free plan. This is unlimited. With DropBox you get 250mb for every person you refer, but it’s limited to a total of 8GB.

And, of course, with SugarSync your data is available on virtually any device. PC, mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android OS, and so on.

Pricing Differences

Pretty much all online storage companies follow a similar pricing plan, but even here SugarSync wins out. DropBox is $99/year for 50GB or 2GB for free. SugarSync is $99.95/year for 60GB or 5GB for free.

My Ultimate Plan of Cloud Covered Action

Simple: use SugarSync and spread the word about it so I get even more data storage. Let me explain: I’m hoping you’ll help me by registering for a free 5GB account (you need this anyway if you want to work in the cloud), in which case you’ll get an extra 500mb and I’ll also get an extra 500mb. (If you register for a paid account instead you’ll get 10GB of extra storage and I’ll get 10GB of extra storage.)

Get your free SugarSync account (5GB + 500mb bonus) here.

Whatever you decide to do, if you want to become a technomad, or even if you just want to do a bit of traveling, backing up your data in the cloud where it can be retrieved from anywhere on any device is a smart idea. Nobody has ever regretted backing up too much data, but I know quite a few people who have been pissed off for not backing up enough (*ahem!*). ;)

### Update: well over 300 SugarSync registrations since this article went live. Thanks! :) ###

Photo Credit

{ 99 comments }

Elle Dougherty

Your timing is impeccable! I planned to research better backup solutions today, in place of Flash drives. Thanks for doing the work for me. :)

Karol

You’re welcome Elle. :)

Rob LaRue

I’m giving it a whirl. 500 more MB’s of space coming your way.
From what you say about syncing, I might be making the switch over.
The biggest benefit that I have found for Dropbox is for sharing/transferring files to people and I will still keep a free Dropbox account for that purpose.

Karol

Thanks Rob. You’ll see sharing with SugarSync is just as easy. :)

Dejan

I’ve been using free DropBox account for a while and the problem with the sync process you’ve described annoyed me as well.
I wasn’t even aware of the SugarSync. Thanks for the recommendation.
You’ve just earned yourself 500MB of data ;)

Dejan

Karol

Boom! Thanks Dejan.

Bill Todd

Karol, thanks for doing the legwork on this. Working less and less from my laptop and more from my phone, I need to move in this direction.

Karol

Thanks Bill. An increasingly common sentiment. :)

Fern

I use dropbox to access my work at home when I’m at college. I have a home directory with a subdirectory called ‘College’. I wanted to sync the college folder but like you, I didn’t want to have to put it in my dropbox folder. I solved the problem by creating a link following these instructions: http://wiki.dropbox.com/TipsAndTricks/SyncOtherFolders . I’m running Ubuntu and used the instructions for making a link using Nautilus and it’s worked perfectly. Not sure what you could do about the media streaming (that’s not an issue for me) but if anyone reading this has issues with the dropbox folder idea, it might be worth checking if this works for you :)

Karol

Thanks for that Fern. Most people aren’t comfortable doing that type of work on their computers so SugarSync is the easier solution.

Jia Jun

This is nice!! I always heard about Cloud storage where I can backup all my files on the “cloud”, but I didn’t really pay attention to should I need it, now I got plenty of reasons to start it and one of the most important would be to backup my blogs files on the cloud, and my files.

Thanks Karol for the comparison and review, I’m registering it under your link. :) Win win situation.

Karol

Thanks Jia!

David Damron

The move to the cloud has been amazing for me. I have found less worry by letting the cloud worry about where the hell my stuff is going to be saved. The cloud proved its value a month ago when my motherboard went out.

I have used mozy for quite some time but may have to test sugarsync. Thanks.

And if your readers would like my thoughts on The Cloud… Touching the Cloud without Losing Identity: http://lifeexcursion.com/touching-the-cloud-without-losing-identity/

Thanks for the new resource Karol!

David Damron
LifeExcursion

Karol

Ahh damn, a motherboard crash! I haven’t experienced one of those since high school. :)

Awesome that you had everything in the cloud though.

Drew Costen

I’ve also become 100% cloud-based. Thanks to the combined power of Dropbox, MobileMe, Evernote, Skype, Google, Fastmail.fm, Paypal, and my bank’s online presense, it doesn’t matter where I am in the world because my important data follows me. At this point, I’m able to do 95% of what I need to on my iPhone, which makes my mobile lifestyle very light, and I’ve got my 11-inch MacBook Air for the other 5%.

Regarding Dropbox vs SugarSync, one of the main reasons I do use Dropbox is because my favourite password manager, 1Password, syncs with Dropbox, which means my iPhone and iPad 1Password Apps are also both synced automatically when I make a change on my MacBook (and in reverse, if I make a change on one of my iOS devices, as well).

Karol

Ahh yes, 1Password. I use LastPass myself which is a bit different since it’s cloud based as it is. Thanks for your input Drew. :)

Kellie Kowalski

I’ve been using Mozy because of the unlimited storage, but had been looking at SugarSync lately because of the online music streaming. I’ve used DropBox through work and haven’t found it to be anything special.

I’ll have to check SugarSync out, since I generally don’t like keeping all my files in one basket anyway. Enjoy the extra space!

Karol

Thanks Kellie. The online streaming rules. :)

Tim Conley

Karol, Can you clarify the iTunes part for me? Do your mp3s sit on your computer and sugarsync or just in sugarsync? I bought an 11″ Mac Air for the ultraportability, but also bought a 1TB MyPassport drive to hold all my files. I had looked into other cloud storage such as dropbox and mozy, but couldn’t have them act as my external harddrive.

Thanks,
t

Karol

Ahh yes … so itunes doesn’t use the SugarSync web site. What I meant was you can login to your SugarSync online account and stream whatever music you’d like. So I download the stuff to my iTunes, it’s automatically backed up in SugarSync, and if I’m on my laptop I’ll use iTunes, if I’m not I’ll login to SugarSync.

Tim Conley

Thanks Karol. I get it. I would love to have cloud storage that just acted like a wireless external drive like Apple’s Time Capsule but in the cloud only.

Courtney Carver

Karol, I am experimenting with this a bit now. Does that mean you still keep all of your music on your laptop. Would you ever us SugarSync as the only back up system for music or images.

My images are too large to store on my computer, so the question is do I need SugarSync AND external hard drive? Or can I get to point where I am all cloud?

Karol

At this point I have the MP3s on my laptop and SugarSync. If there was a way to download files without them ever touching my computer that would be a cool solution, but we’re not there yet.

I don’t have an issue with keeping all the files in the cloud, but if you do then there is no reason you shouldn’t also have the external hard drive. I know going 100% cloud isn’t the best solution for everybody, but it’s the best solution for me.

Dave M

It appears you can use the SugarSync “Web Archive” feature to move files permanently to the cloud and they no longer have to exist on your local hard drive. So essentially, you CAN use SugarSync as a “wireless external drive” as Tim said above. Pretty slick!

Karol

Very cool. :)

Peter

I’ve been using Mozy for a while. It does the “pick which folders you want to backup” thing.

I’ve been mostly cloud for a while in terms of email (gmail), office (google docs), calendar (google again), and todo list (remember the milk). Really my only local stuff is games and pics and music.

I’ll check out SugarSync for the music and picture features. That could be cool.

Karol

Mozy’s getting a lot of love. :) I don’t remember now why I chose it over DropBox as they seem very similar. Still not as good as SugarSync, of course. :)

IamDavid

Interesting. I use a WD 500 gb external hard drive for all my stuff like pics, music, documents, and a 1 terabyte external drive for videos (since they are such big files).

From a minimalist and nomadic standpoint I am finding the real challenge to be in reducing your “electronic stuff” beyond just the physical stuff.

Tim Conley

IamDavid, I’ve been reducing my possessions for over a year now and electronic possessions can also weigh on us. When I bought my 11″ Air I chose the 64GB version to make myself be more aware of all the crap I store. I probably should have gone with a 64GB thumb drive instead of the 1TB drive to keep myself honest, but having 1TB on such a tiny drive for under $100 won out.

Karol

Good point regarding minimizing the digital as well as physical David. Since I don’t do much stuff with video I don’t have an issue. But if you need 1TB of storage for your video the cloud hasn’t caught up to your needs yet. Give it a little time. :)

Denis

Apparently, I already have a SugarSync account, don’t know why I never used it. Someone told me about Dropbox and it did what I needed, so I just used it. Given your post, I’ll relook at SugarSync. Thanks Karol!

Karol

hehe, it happens. When I started researching these things I realized I had a dropbox account I opened like a year ago and never used :)

Sarah St John

I swear you have a camera in my house and know what topic I’m interested in right at the moment I need it. : ) I’ve been doing the same research and was just about ready to take the leap with SugarSync. Now, we both get a bonus. Thanks!

Karol

Watch your back Sarah. I can see you! OK, that’s creepy. Awesome that you came to the same conclusion with SugarSync. :)

Jason

Interesting.. I can’t even access the main website. I’ve apparently “stumbled across a hiccup in our system” by visiting http://www.sugarsync.com. Doesn’t fill me with confidence in the system.

In other news, there are plenty of cheaper solutions available to people who aren’t afraid of the command line interface. For instance, I get 50gb of backup with my DreamHost web hosting account, which is far less than $99/year. It doesn’t stream media, which is something you’ve mentioned is quite important.

One way to be in the cloud, but maintain a higher degree of privacy (desired by many), is to setup an extremely cheap media server at home that would serve up your MP3s, videos… documents, anything else to all your other devices within and outside your home network. I’ve established a setup like this using a netbook I received as a gift (250gb HD) and it works quite well. Vital documents and media are backed up on DreamHost, so if this thing ever breaks or crashes, I replace it quickly and cheaply, and resync the media server with the backup…

Karol

The media server at home is cool if you have a home base *and* you’re technically inclined. 999 out of 1000 probably don’t even know what a media server is. Same with the command line. :)

Jason

For what it’s worth, Windows 7 and Mac both have pretty snazzy media serving capabilities. There’s free and paid software out there to perform the necessary operations without the command line. I just don’t pay much attention to them, as a Linux geek.

Anyone looking for a solution for something like this should poke around on LifeHacker.

I won’t link the site b/c I don’t want to come off as spammy. But they have lots of great articles for situations just like this. A great supplement to your article. :)

Michael Ashcroft

Another 500MB from me – I’ve been having similar annoyances with Dropbox but had never even heard of this! And I love the unlimited referral space… time to spam my friends! ^.^

Thanks!

Karol

Thanks Michael. Enjoy!

Todd Caraway

More free space coming your way big guy!

Karol

Boom! Thank you Todd.

Coop

Part of my plan for 2011 is to be “nomadic”. I’ve signed up with SS.
Thanks for the recommendation, and wishing you an incredible 2011.

Karol

Thanks Coop. I hope your 2011 is incredible as well. :)

Tricia Bird

I am quite interested in using these storage methods however it appears that Sugarsync is not compatible with Linux. I realize there is the ‘wine’ option but that’s not something I’m interested in using. Sorry I can’t give you the extra storage for the referral but if there is ever a Linux version I’m there.

Karol

To be honest I haven’t used Linux in years (I’m on mac now), so I didn’t look into that issue. Thanks for pointing it out Tricia. :)

Jason

Tricia, if you have space on something like Dropbox and have a device you can leave running (like a desktop computer at home, and you use a laptop remotely) you should look into gnump3d, and using sshfs. Gnump3d will stream your media. sshfs will make files available, editable, etc. DropBox will simply perform the redundant backup.

Kelly Azevedo

Love this because I use SugarSync and find it’s so much easier and faster than my Carbonite subscription!

My favorite feature is not just the Public Link but that you don’t need to log in to get it. Simply navigate to the folder and file that’s synched, right click and select “Get Public Link” and it’s placed in your clipboard.

SO easy to send files to clients and share drafts with my team.

Karol

Kelly, thanks for the public link tip. I didn’t know that. :)

Gayle Thompson

Done! I don’t know 25% of the techno talk in your post but I know I need to be backing stuff up more than I do (barely never ….. not good.) So, there you go! thanks Karol.

Karol

haha, sorry Gayle. I do my best not to get too technical, but in certain instances there is no way around it. :)

Paulo Portinari

I will saying something, but Elle did it for me.

” Your timing is impeccable! I planned to research better backup solutions today, in place of Flash drives. Thanks for doing the work for me. :) ” [2]

Registering now!

Thanks

Karol

Nice! Thanks Paulo and enjoy.

Holly

Currently I’m using a basic online backup service called BackBlaze. $5 month, unlimited storage. I really like the unlimited storage part.. but it doesn’t let me stream music. It’s better than no backup at all, to be sure. I like the idea of SugarSync’s music streaming a lot, but I have 240+ GIGS of music.. and for what SS wants for 250 gig storage ($249/year), I could buy a couple of external 2 terabyte drives, backup my entire system (not just my music) and use one as a redundant backup of the other. I think I would be better off moneywise in the long run that way. $0.02.

Karol

Wowza! How do you acquire 250GB of music? ;)

My goals are different than yours so your solution is all good. I don’t want one external hard drive, much less two. :)

Holly

*grins* You should have seen the Jeep load of copy paper sized boxes of music CDs I donated to the local library and/or gave away to friends before we moved recently. That’s where most of it came from. Most. ;) I’m a massage therapist by training, plus I am learning to bellydance, so I do listen to a fair amount of music at any given time. :)

Seriously, though, I really would love to be able to store and access all my stuff in the cloud.. it’s so much more convenient to login & use that way. I don’t mind paying for it, but I don’t want to pay $300-500 a year either just to access my own files. That’s a bit much. Hauling around an external drive and its power brick along with my laptop is not my idea of fun. FWIW and all that. :)

Karol

Whoa. :)

I agree $300+ is too much per year just to listen to music you already own. The cloud will catch up to you though. Storage will cost less. For now the clumsy external drive is the solution. :(

Roderick

Hi Karol,
Cool, haven’t been using dropbox for exactly the reason that you need to place everything in the dropbox folder…
This seems to be the perfect solution for the annoying local syncing between laptop and pc I do for my uni work at the moment.
Happy to give you another 500mb :)

Karol

Awesome, thank you Roderick. :)

Daphne Ashling Purpus

Ok, I’ve never backed anything up and knew I was living on dangerous ground, but I just turned 65, and I’m a geek but not that much of a computer geek and the whole backup thing just seemed overwhelming. But you did a fabulous job of describing it all and SugarSync seemed very do-able, and so I just signed up for the 60GB 30-day trial so hopefully you’ll be benefitting from this as well since you’ve accomplished what no one else has ever been able to do–getting me to back things up! Thanks and have a great day!

Karol

Oh wow, thank you Daphne! This is one of the coolest things I’ve read in a while. :)

Daphne Ashling Purpus

My thanks to you! And now my photos and iTunes are safe. In fact, when I went to download just them I was already nearly at my maximum storage so I just upgraded to 100GB! Now, if the power goes out (I live on an island where that happens more than I like) or my current construction projects blow out the power, my wonderful Mac (which is a true workhorse) won’t have to panic if she gets hit too hard! I’ll rest easier knowing this. You really explained everything so clearly and easily and it is just as you described! Many, many thanks!

Anders Ronnau

Hi Karol
I am going through second stage minimalism – have a clean house – is cleaning my computer. ;)
With that I am moving all my stuff into the cloud. Accounting system (E-conomic), CSR (WebCSR), TeuxDeux, Google, etc. – and Dropbox. Recently put all my files into the Dropbox folder and waited for a day for my two computers to synchronize. It has the benefit that I can share certain things out there with my work partner, other things with my wife, and of course keep things to myself.
Have been looking for a way to backup those other files that were stuck on my PC. Was looking at iDrive, but have now opened an account at SugarSync. Much nicer. Thanks. ;)

Karol

That rocks Anders. A clean home is a happy home. As is a clean computer. ;)

Dave M

Hi Karol! Well, you’ve done it again… You’ve managed to choose a topic at the exact moment I was interested in it! :)

This has actually been an “issue” for me since I started going paperless over a year ago. I tested more backup and sync services than I care to think about, and ended up settling on IDrive. I liked that they had both online & local backup options, as well as sync. However, IDrive has recently starting “flaking” out, and I can’t figure out why. Also, the local backup option has completely stopped working. Again, can’t figure out why.

Just yesterday, I installed CrashPlan after reading a ton of reviews and now have both my laptop and my wifes laptop backing up to the media-server PC in our living room. This works AWESOME and it’s free with the CrashPlan desktop software. They have a paid cloud backup option, but that’s all it gives you — backup. I also don’t like putting ALL my eggs in one basket (ie. product/service).

After reading your post, I might just have to sign-up for a SugarSync account, and use it to backup/sync all my critical data to the cloud. Since going paperless, I have a TON of PDF files that are very important to me and it would be horrible to lose them. To be truly safe, all data needs to exist in three places — and one of those places should NOT be in my home. :) CrashPlan could do the local backups (for free), and SugarSync could handle syncing everything to the cloud.

The only downside I see right now is that SugarSync does not have a Linux version. It’s on their roadmap, but no telling when that will be. Since I’m employed by a very well known computer manufacturer, using a MacBook Pro just isn’t an option for me right now. As much as I’d love to have one, I’d probably get fired if anyone knew I was using it at a customer site. However, running Ubuntu on my work laptop is an option. Ubuntu is SO much faster and more secure than any version of Windows. So, my solution is to run my “required” corporate Windows image as a Virtual Machine under Ubuntu. :) I also only have one laptop — the one provided by my employer. I prefer to keep it that way and not have more than 1 computer to mess with.

I suppose I could actually run SugarSync inside the VM and use it to sync files down to the shared folder structure which ultimately sits on my Ubuntu host. Hmmm…. Will have to test that.

One day, when I’m no longer working for “the man”, my goal would be to have a MacBook Pro, be 100% reliant on the cloud for my files, and be able to “work” from anywhere I choose.

BTW, I was going to suggest you look at Jungle Disk as a SugarSync alternative. They are quite a bit cheaper, and they offer almost all the same features. However, I did some checking, and as far as I can tell, you can’t do streaming of music, or do public file sharing.

Karol

You’re welcome Dave. Good to see you back here. :)

The Linux issue is not one I had thought of because it’s obviously not something I (or many people for that matter) have to deal with. :)

Dave M

You’d be surprised how many people I’m finding that run Ubuntu (Linux) and love it. It’s very secure, fast, and 100% free. I’ve been a “Windows guy” for 18+ years, but I have no problem getting the heck away from it! :) Still, I can’t wait until the day I can switch to a Mac. Don’t forget, Mac OS X is Unix-based. :)

I run into customers of mine all the time who are using MacBooks in the corporate environment. Every one of them so far has said that once they starting using a Mac, they’d NEVER go back to a Windows based PC.

One of my new criteria for any application or service is that it needs to be compatible with all three — Windows, Linux and Mac.

Daniel

A little update to share…I run Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) on my aging PC and used the referral link to sign up for SugarSync today. Dave, if you’d like to try SugarSync it should be super easy despite the lack of official Linux support. Here’s how:

1) Install WINE. It should be available in the Ubuntu Software Centre but if not you can go to http://www.winehq.com to download and see install instructions. I used the Linux Mint Software Portal so your experience may differ.

2) After the WINE install is complete open a terminal window and type the command: winecfg. It should do a little procedure and then come up with a Windows style configuration box. You can select the Desktop Integration” tab to associate your Linux folder system with what would be My Documents, My Music and the like on a Windows system. Everything was already fine with my settings so I could have skipped this step.

3) Download the SugarSync app for Windows from sugarsync.com.

4) When the download is complete you should be able to right click on the downloaded file and select “Open with Wine” or something similar. I received an error when I attempted this step and had to right click the downloaded file and go to Properties where I checked the box which allows the file to be run as an executable. Then I went back to “Open with Wine” again. The install process will begin with a very familiar Windows type environment.

5) When the install is complete you should have a SugarSync icon on the desktop and are ready to start the app and begin syncing your files.

Since you use Ubuntu Dave I assume you know your way around Linux but if it doesn’t work check in and maybe I can help. I’m @dvhaley on Twitter. Actually if you try it and it works great you can let me know about that too.

Thanks again Karol for the extra 500MB. Enjoy yours!

Karol

This is awesome. Thanks for hooking it up Daniel!

Dave M

Daniel — thank you VERY much for the info on running SugarSync under Ubuntu!

However, since my last post, I’ve actually gone back to a base Windows install on my laptop, and I’m scheduled to get a new laptop within the next month or two anyway. That will come with our Windows corporate image pre-loaded, so I figure I’ll just stick with that and see how it goes. I can always go back to my Windows VM running in Ubuntu if I want.

So anyway… I just decided today to pull the trigger and give SugarSync a solid test under Windows. I didn’t even bother with the 5GB free trial. Went straight for the 30 GB (+10GB bonus) account! :)

Thanks again Karol for posting this blog. If it wasn’t for you, I probably would have never given SugarSync a second look.

Dr. Laura

Karol,
Just signed up so more free space coming to you. You’ll have plenty of space for what you need for sure with everyone giving it a try.
Thanks for doing the research though. Much appreciated. I, like others, have been looking for cloud solutions and have an external hard drive, but looking for easier interface.
Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be playing around with it.
Dr. Laura

Karol

Thanks Dr Laura. Enjoy the free space as well. :)

Hillary

Thank you for doing the research. I had been using Dropbox, but hadn’t really explored the pros and cons. I will set aside some time to re-assess my cloud storage.

Karol

DropBox isn’t a bad choice, it’s just not the best choice. :) Thanks Hillary.

Randy

Tried it. It’s cool. I’ll probably use it.
But…

WebDAV is not supported, which is a crime against humanity. Without WebDAV, it’s not a viable solution for me, an iPad user who doesn’t want to carry a laptop all over the world with me.

Karol

Ahh damn, I’m not familiar with that at all. Sorry Randy!

Peep

Seems your website is still on a shared web host :) and that’s fine if you don’t have any large scale websites. If you need a managed (patches & security is taken care of) cloud web host, then I’ve shopped around for the best price / performance combo and recommend Storm on Demand (http://www.stormondemand.com/). I run most of my sites with them, the CS is also superb.

Karol

Thanks Peep. All large files on my site are hosted offsite with Amazon S3, so images and zip files and PDFs all load quickly without bogging down the shared server. So far, after a few huge launches, this has worked quite well.

Erin

We love Dropbox but you convinced us to take a look at SugarSync, and you are right – it is a better deal! At the moment we are maximising free accounts by using them both but we will probably upgrade to SugarSync’s paid account soon. It is the perfect option for a digital nomad. We are a couple so we can access files on both our laptops too.

We do still use a back up harddrive though (you can never have too many backups!). The Western Digital My Passport is amazingly small and light.

Karol

Hey Erin! Glad you like SugarSync. I had a My Passport as well and yes, it is a small hard drive. Good option if you’re going to go the external route.

Mike

SafeSync from Trend Micro is like SugarSync but has unlimited storage.

Karol

Looks OK, but doesn’t have media streaming.

Gilbert

Giving it a shot, 500 down your way. :)

Karol

Thanks Gilbert.

Tim

I just downloaded and installed it, looks like it runs a bit lighter on memory than Dropbox as well! If I really want to go full Cloud I’m going to be paying for an account about 12 gb of pictures and 25 gb of music.

Karol

On my Mac it runs at about 55mb of RAM while DropBox runs at about 50. Even so, it’s a negligible difference and doesn’t affect anything on my end.

Val

Thanks for writing this. I’ll have to check out SugarSync because I still have a few things to transition to the cloud.

This reminds me of something my mom always says re: digital storage. She asks me what I would do if there were a zombie apocalypse and none of the electronics were working. I just tell her that if there were a zombie apocalypse, my digital files would be the least of my worries. :)

Karol

haha! Digital files would definitely be the least of your worries in a zombie apocalypse. :)

Nick

Take a look at idrive. I’ve been using it for a few years now, very similar features but the thing that you must research is how easy is it RESTORE your data to your pc from the backup solution. That is where many of the other ones lack.

Just a fyi

Karol

Thanks Nick. I’m actually testing iDrive for Wordpress backups. I like it as far as that’s concerned, but for my other backups I’m not the biggest fan.

bOB l

The SugarSync website says that it limits the number of files you can have to 10,000 photos for the $10/month version. I have a LOT of pics, much more than that. Many are lower resolution, so overall size is not a big limitation, but number of files are. I know I could probably spend a lot of time and reduce the number some, but I don’t want to be constrained.

The free version could be handy though if I limit the amount I want to have access to, which is reasonable.

I would still need an unlimited service, such as Mozy, to back up the other files.

Bob L

Karol

Hey Bob, those aren’t limits those are averages. They’re letting you know that with the 60GB plan you should be able to store about 10,000 photos. :)

Bob L

OK. Thanks.

Daniel

As others have said: Good timing on the article. I’ve been researching options for cloud storage for my own use and also to include as recommendations in a project I’m working on. SugarSync is a new one to me but it looks good and if I decide to go with it I’ll be using your link to register. I’ll definitely include it in my project info.

For my own use I have the same catch as Dave M…currently running Linux Mint. I think a MacBook or at least a Hackintosh is in my future :)

Karol

Sounds awesome Daniel. I’ve heard many people talk about Hackintosh, but I’ve yet to see one. Would be interesting to know if it’s worth the trouble. (Not that it really matters for me, as I’m not getting a new computer, hehe.)

Sandy

Thanks for this – I signed up with DataDepositBox many years ago after reading about it (don’t remember where), and it has saved my skin twice with aging/failing computers, and once as just a simple way to move files after an upgrade. They charge by the MB, and now that they’ve been acquired by another company, I have to pay a “foreign transaction fee” each month. Even though I use Evernote, I didn’t realize that these free back-up sites exist. Yeah, I’m spending less than $5/month on the old back up, but free is even better. Another 500 your way…

Mike Key

Drop Box now has the ability to selectively snyc. Sadly I’ve been using it since last year, and loved it. And prepaid for a year of 50 gigs.

Now I just found out about this service which seems better. Oh lo, Drop Box’s terms say no refunds. So I think I’ll stick it out till next August and get my full $99 out of them before switching.

Karol

Their selective sync is lame, unless they changed it in the past month. In any case, if you love DropBox there’s no reason to switch. :)

Dave M

Hi Karol – long time no chat! Hope all is well.

So…. Are you still a huge SugarSync fan? Now that this post is over 6 months old, is there anything you don’t like about SugarSync? Any major problems you’ve had with the service and/or support?

Karol

Still a fan. :) No issues for me. Haven’t needed to use support.

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