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 enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund