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SugarSync vs SpiderOak Cloud Syncing and Backup Comparison

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SugarSync vs SpiderOak

SugarSync and SpiderOak are both services that help you manage your online backup. With SpiderOak you get a little more control and it's a little more complicated. With SugarSync it's very easy to use and learn but doesn't have the toolset that SpiderOak has.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: May 23, 2013 | Updated: June 4, 2013
60GB Storage for $7.49/Month
100GB Storage for $10.00/month
GO
GO

Reasons to use SugarSync:

  • Easy to Use Syncing Software
  • Runs on Desktop, Laptop, & Mobile Devices
  • Allows Public Sharing of Files and Folders
  • Phone Support
  • SSL Data Encryption on Geo-Redundant Storage

Reasons to use SpiderOak:

  • Scalable plan to match any storage requirement
  • Unlimited file upload size
  • Real-time syncing
  • Linux software available
  • A long list of backup features
Editor Rating: 8.6 
User Rating: 9.3 
Free Plan 5GB 
Free Trial Yes - 30 Day 
Single Computer Plans Yes 
Business Plans Yes 
Multi Computer Plans Yes 
Enterprise Plans No 
Editor Rating: 8.1 
User Rating: 0.0 
Free Plan 2GB 
Free Trial No 
Single Computer Plans Yes 
Business Plans Yes 
Multi Computer Plans Yes 
Enterprise Plans No 

Detailed Comparison

SugarSync and SpiderOak help you manage backed up and synced files, but differ in how they work. Lets take a closer look at the main differences.

1. Plans & Price

SugarSync and SpiderOak have similar plans and you get around the same amount of space 100GB's for the price of $10/Month. SpiderOak focuses on three major features, Backup, Syncing and Sharing whereas SugarSync focuses on syncing as it's primary function with the ability to share.

SugarSync

Personal

  • FREE: 5GB, unlimited computers, 1 user.
  • 60GB: $7.49/Month or $74.99/Year, unlimited computers, 1 user.
  • 100GB: $9.99/Month or $99.99/Year, unlimited computers, 1 user.
  • 250GB: $24.99/Month or $249.99/Year, unlimited computers, 1 user.

Business

  • Pro: $55/Month or $550/Year, unlimited computers, 3 users (purchase up to 24 users).
  • Custom: call to work out your own plan.

SpiderOak

Personal

  • FREE Plan: $0, 2GB, Unlimited Computers.
  • PLUS (+), $10/Month per 100GB increment or $100/Year per 100GB increment, Unlimited computers.

Business

  • Hosted Storage, $600 per TB per Month, Unlimited Users & Computers
  • Private Cloud, On-Premise Data Storage for $5 per user, Unlimited users & computers. Call for estimate.

2. Software & User Interface

Both are excellent choices for their functionality, but SugarSync's design is a lot cleaner, better organized and easier to use.

SugarSync

The design is modern and its easy to use because of it's simple, well-organized interface.

When you get to the main screen which is called, "Cloud" you can see all of your folders that are synced. To add folders you can simply drag and drop them into the interface.

Besides the fact that SugarSync is prettier than SpiderOak, the method of syncing folders is much simpler and takes less time to figure out.

SpiderOak

Software design is outdated and feels overwhelming to use at first. On the main screen called "Status" up to date information about your backups, synced files and shared files is displayed which is busy and could be cleaned up.

The organization of the main "status screen" could be simplified. For instance, the tabs, Action, Log and Stats could all be moved into one tab.

The tab in which you restore files is called "View" which does not make sense right off the bat.

Because of the out-of-date design and somewhat sloppy organization, I have to give credit to SugarSync for doing a better job at designing the software.

3. File Syncing and Backups

Both companies have the ability to sync and share and manage your files, but only SpiderOak has a designated section for backup.

SugarSync

SugarSync simplifies everything to a basic interface giving you direct control over the folders that are synced by presenting them on the main screen.

Drag and drop (or browse to select) folders to be synced in this main sync folder manager. Any folder moved into this area will be transferred to all connected devices unless you specifically un-assign that device.

Sharing is done in the software by clicking on a folder and selecting a share method. Either public or private. Public gives you the option to share via email, url or socially (Facebook or Twitter). Private lets other SugarSync users view or edit files based on the permissions you set up. No password protection is available here.

There are not as many backup options as SpiderOak. SugarSync's options are: SugarSync drive cache, proxy setup, and bandwidth throttle.

SpiderOak

SpiderOak separates backup, syncing and sharing into three main tabs. Each tab gives you control over which files and folders you want to select.

In the backup section you can select to use either basic or advanced file selection. Basic lets you select files based on category type (documents, videos, music, etc…) and advanced lets you manually select files and folders.

In the syncing section you can set up as many sync folders as you want. Once set up, any files moved into these folders will be synced to all other connected devices.

In the sharing section they have a unique function called "Share Rooms". Share rooms allow you to set up a unique URL that anyone can access (or can be password protected) and download the files within them. You can email or share this URL socially, but not using the software.

Backup options include: file size limits, file type exclusion, bandwidth throttle, advanced scheduling

4. File Restores

File restores are handled differently between SpiderOak and SugarSync. SpiderOak uses a more traditional restore process which lets you select folders and download them using the software. SugarSync is constantly syncing folders and files. Once connected to your account every files is transferred to the newly connected computer or device.

SugarSync

Restore options for SugarSync include: Using the software to sync or using the website to download files. They do not support physical media restore or FTP restore.

Restore process for SugarSync is different than SpiderOak because you do not navigate your backed up files and select some for download. Instead all you do is make sure the software is synced and all files will be transferred to your computer or device. You can download the files by going to the website, signing into your account, navigating to your the files or folders you want and clicking "Download".

SugarSync's speed was exactly the same as SpiderOak for me at around .75MB's a second.

SpiderOak

Restore options for SpiderOak include: Using the website or the software. They do not support FTP or physical media restore such as hard drives or flash drives.

The restore process for SpiderOak is done in the software by going to the "View" section and navigating to the files you want. You can download any file or folder you want from this area. You can also use the website. It's very minimal and after you login, the only items presented are your folders and files you can download.

The speed at which you can restore is how long it takes to download a file on your internet connection. With SpiderOak it took 10 minutes to download a 452MB file. That's about 45MB's a minute or .75MB's a second.

5. Support

Both companies only offer email support. SugarSync has chat available during normal business hours (Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 4:30PM PDT, not on weekends). SpiderOak does not offer chat and neither offer phone support.

SugarSync

I started a chat using the SugarSync website as soon as I had a question for the technical staff. A window opens and a chat window instantly connects you to a technician. He was quick and to the point. My question was answered in a matter of minutes.

What impressed me the most about SugarSync's support was that another technician emailed me to follow up with my inquiry a couple hours after the chat was over. This demonstrates they are actively monitoring their customers requests and ensures that they are fully resolved, which I appreciate.

SpiderOak

I emailed the support staff on a Friday around 11:45am while I was using the software, but I did not hear back until Sunday. This isn't terrible response time but I was hoping to resolve the issue before the end of the workd day.

Conclusion

Both companies accomplish the same tasks but in much different ways. SugarSync simplifies the syncing process and eliminates the need to backup files since they are consistently being updated. SugarSync focuses on simplicity and easy file management and less on options that can give you more control over how the files that are synced. SpiderOak gives you a file management utility that can backup, sync and share files and gives you a rich set of tools to go along with it to give you more control.

I like SugarSync better because of their cleaner, better organized software which grately simplifies the process. SpiderOak make the geek in me happy with some great tools and control over files, I will say it takes getting used to, but once you have it down it works well.

In the end, SugarSync requires less work on my part which saves time.

Top Picks

1.
9.2 / 10
 
2.
9.1 / 10
 
3.
9.0 / 10
 
4.
9.0 / 10
 
5.
8.6 / 10
 
6.
8.4 / 10
 
7.
8.4 / 10
 
8.
8.4 / 10
 
9.
8.1 / 10
 
10.
8.0 / 10
 

Feature Comparison Table

 
Storage Space 
60GB Storage
100GB Storage
Lowest Price 
$7.49/Month 
$10.00/month 
 
Free Plan 
5GB 
2GB 
Free Trial 
Yes - 30 Day 
No 
Single Computer Plans 
Yes 
Yes 
Multi Computer Plans 
Yes 
Yes 
Business Plans 
Yes 
Yes 
Enterprise Plans 
No 
No 
Editor Rating
8.6 
8.1 
User Rating
9.3 
0.0 

Supported Platforms

SugarSync

SpiderOak

Windows 
Yes 
Yes 
Mac OSX 
Yes 
Yes 
Linux 
Yes 
Yes 
Windows Server 
No 
No 
iPhone / iPad App 
Yes 
Yes 
Android App 
Yes 
Yes 
Windows Mobile App 
Yes 
No 
Blackberry App 
Yes 
No 

Backup Options

Max File Size 
Unlimited 
Unlimited 
Scheduler 
No 
Yes 
Versioning / Snapshot 
Yes 
Yes 
Browse Files Online 
Yes 
Yes 
Incremental Backup 
Yes 
Yes 
Bandwidth Throttle 
Yes 
Yes 
Idle Backup 
No 
Yes 
Resumes After Interruption 
Yes 
No 

Restore Options

Restore from Software 
Yes 
Yes 
Restore from Website 
Yes 
No 
Restore to Hard Drive and Ship 
No 
No 

Support Options

SugarSync

SpiderOak

Email/Online Ticket Support 
Yes 
Yes 
Phone Support 
Yes 
No 
Live Chat 
Yes 
No 
Blog 
Yes 
Yes 
Knowledgebase 
Yes 
Yes 
FAQs 
Yes 
Yes 
Tutorials 
Yes 
Yes 
Video Tutorials 
No 
Yes 

Sharing

Folder / File Sharing 
Yes 
Yes 
Photo Album Sharing 
Yes 
No 
Send Large Files 
Yes 
No 
Restore To Any Computer 
Yes 
Yes 

Security

SSL Secure Transfer 
Yes 
Yes 
Data Encryption 
Yes 
Yes 
Geo-Redundant Storage 
Yes 
No 
User Generated Encryption Key 
Yes 
No 
Steven Johnson

Steven is a web developer and online technology expert. He has built global networks and websites for fortune 500 companies. A graduate of Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, he now happily spends his time building Joomla and Wordpress websites as well as reviewing online backup services, web hosting and anything else that needs reviewing.

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