Dropbox vs SugarSync: head-to-head review

Dropbox vs SugarSync: which is better?Dropbox and SugarSync are cloud storage services with very similar pricing and features.  They both provide easy access for all your files, anywhere and on any device.  So which should you choose?  I’ll take a look at Dropbox and Sugarsync in this in-depth comparison.

Sync One Folder or Many?

Winner: SugarSync

The biggest difference between Dropbox and SugarSync is whether you want to sync specific folders on your computer, or whether you are okay with putting everything into a single folder.

Dropbox makes you put all your files into the Dropbox folder.  You can create subdirectories to organize your files, but they must still be contained within the Dropbox folder.

SugarSync, on the other hand, lets you choose which folders you want to sync to the cloud.  So if you wanted to sync your “My Documents” folder without moving it, you can do this.  SugarSync is better when you don’t want to reorganize your hard drive to fit your cloud storage service.

Ease of Use

Winner: Dropbox

Dropbox is the easier cloud storage service, no doubt about it.  Since there are fewer settings to customize, and everything is contained within the Dropbox folder, there’s not much to set up.  All you have to do is install it and put stuff in your Dropbox folder – that’s it.  There’s not even a GUI to learn; you manage your files right in Windows Explorer.

SugarSync requires some setup to start syncing your files in the cloud.  You have to choose which folders you want to sync, and the interface is a bit more complex because of this.


Winner: Dropbox

With Dropbox’s new pricing, it’s less expensive than SugarSync.

SugarSync individual plans start at $7.60/month for 60GB.  You can upgrade to 100GB for $9.99/month or 250GB for $24.99/month.  SugarSync business plans start at $55/month for 1000GB, with support for up to 3 users.

Dropbox’s only plan is $9.99/month for 1TB.  Dropbox for business starts at $15 per user per month, with a minimum of 5 users, and “as much space as needed.”


Winner: SugarSync (barely)

Both Dropbox and SugarSync offer:

  • Continuous automatic file backup
  • Syncing of files across multiple devices
  • Mobile access
  • File versioning (Dropbox: 30 day history, SugarSync: up to 5 previous versions of files)
  • File search
  • Public sharing

Features unique to Dropbox are:

  • Packrat (+$3.99/month) for unlimited file deletion and version history

While features unique to SugarSync are:

  • Selective folder sync
  • Upload/sync via email
  • Share folders with permissions

Overall, SugarSync has slightly more features than Dropbox.

Mobile Apps

Winner: Tie

Both SugarSync and Dropbox have apps for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.  Dropbox also has support for Kindle Fire, while SugarSync supports Symbian.

Which service has better mobile apps is going to be a matter of preference.  The SugarSync mobile app has more features, such as the ability to change the sync interval, to allow sync while roaming, and changing the photo and video backup destination.  However, I thought the Dropbox app was simpler, since it excludes settings that most users don’t need.


Winner: Dropbox (barely)

Dropbox and SugarSync are very fast.  They were both able to max out my available upload bandwidth, at about 950 KBps (about a megabyte per second).  Dropbox was twice as fast during the download portion of my test, however.  SugarSync clocked in at 1,600 KBps, while Dropbox practically maxed out my download bandwidth at 3,800 KBps.  None of these speeds are considered slow, by any means.

Free Storage

Winner: Dropbox

Dropbox offers all users 2GB for free.  You can earn more free space by completing various tasks, such as:

  • Referring friends
  • Completing a “Get Started” guide
  • Connecting a Facebook account

SugarSync used to offer 5GB of free space, but not anymore.  You can only get 5GB free as part of a 90 day trial now (no credit card required).

Dropbox vs SugarSync: Which should you choose?

Which service you choose is going to depend largely on one issue: do you want to sync individual folders?  If the answer is yes, then SugarSync is the best option.  SugarSync’s ability to selectively sync folders is nothing short of fantastic.

If you desire a better price, or more simplicity, then Dropbox is the clear winner.  With only one folder to sync, the user experience is more streamlined with less options to choose from.  Dropbox also supports Linux, which SugarSync does not.

Get Dropbox at www.dropbox.com

Get SugarSync at www.sugarsync.com

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund


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  • Peter Pan

    Have you heard about Dropbox
    Folder Sync app? That is suppose to make Dropbox able to sync any
    folder on your computer. I have used Sugarsync for one year at 2012 and
    6 month now 2014. The choice of Sugarsync came of the “sync any folder”
    functionallity. But im not happy with it as it some times mix up the
    old and new files.

    I wounder if Dropbox’s Dropbox Folder Sync works better.

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    • I haven’t heard of it, but looking at it now I personally wouldn’t trust a 3rd party app to sync my files. Maybe if Dropbox released an official app? But I don’t see that happening.

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      • harold jitschak bue o de mesqu

        i left s.s because of the difference in price indeed and because the support of ss. became quite bad with the last version.
        For a few years i used it with great satisfaction and with great suport whenever needed [i had 250 Gb]
        I bought 1 TB OF DROPBOX……….a disaster I would call it [see also the forum]
        Whatever no support.!!
        A technical friend of mine checked it out and was of the same opinion
        The cloud keeps giving the message “full” even after deleting some 300 Gb files which were double from the desktop.[so my desktop shows some 600 gb]
        Virtually impossible to detect deleted files on the cloud and deleting them [you can only find them by opening every single folder, very cumbersome]
        Did you really try drop box?
        I am surprised by your positive judgement -as of now- about drop box
        I am sure that working with it with a few Gb may not be a problem, otherwise I would strongly advise not to waste money.
        Looking now into one drive and sugar sync again..

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        • Thanks for the comment Harold. Yes, I did try Dropbox, and I’ve been using it every day for the past several years. I haven’t used it with that amount of data though, as I’m on the free account. I agree their support is appalling. I’ve had trouble getting responses from them in the past.

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  • Adam

    check this: http://dynamicsgpland.blogspot.com/2011/11/one-significant-flaw-in-sugarsync.html

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    • So it sounds like SugarSync might delete files synced on a hard drive, if the hard drive is unplugged. That’s not good. I see that post is from 2011 and I have to wonder if they’ve made any changes since then.

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  • Manish Shah

    Another option that is not discussed which I love is http://www.fileapartment.com – it’s simply a better solution. $3.99/mo for unlimited storage with a 7-day free trial, you can’t beat that.

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