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.
- 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.
- Pro: $55/Month or $550/Year, unlimited computers, 3 users (purchase up to 24 users).
- Custom: call to work out your own plan.
- FREE Plan: $0, 2GB, Unlimited Computers.
- PLUS (+), $10/Month per 100GB increment or $100/Year per 100GB increment, Unlimited computers.
- 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.
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.
Software design is outdated and feels overwhelming to use at first.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Because of the out-of-date design and somewhat sloppy organization, I have to give credit to SugarSync for doing a better job at designing the software.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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.