It's already been heralded by some experts as the ultimate cloud storage solution, but the team at SugarSync haven't been resting on their laurels. They've just launched SugarSync 2.0, a totally revamped version of their remote online storage service that's been a year in the making. We've been using it for a few weeks now and are totally sold on it. In our opinion, this is the first time that Dropbox has had serious competition.
Returning SugarSync users will first note the new-look UI. Aiming to deliver a more uniform look across platforms, be they mobile devices or computers, SugarSync 2.0 uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to let you sync files and folders with the cloud. Both the option of using an unobtrusive applet or your own OS's file management system to browse your cloud synced files (thanks to the new SugarSync virtual drive feature) are available, giving added flexibility to let you work how you're most comfortable.
SugarSync also allows for multiple folders, stored wherever you like on whichever device you are using, to be highlighted for syncing, as opposed to Dropbox's single global syncing folder (and it's many sub-level folders). This can become a little unwieldy if you're not careful, but SugarSync have thankfully added search functionality across the cloud storage space; a first for services of this kind. You'll quickly be able to hunt down specific files as a result, regardless of how disorganized your files are kept.
Folder sharing between friends and colleagues returns, with security features allowing you to make the contents of files read-only if needed. SugarSync 2.0 also adds a nifty new social link sharing feature, letting you post public links through Twitter, Facebook or via email to folders you want to distribute online. It's a great way for pushing content to many public collaborators at once, while SugarSync's stellar security features mean access to your other personal files remain protected.
But perhaps our favourite feature is the ability to selectively sync files and folders across machines, made easier than ever by the new clean UI. Whereas the likes of Dropbox insist you sync all files across all devices, SugarSync lets you sync only the files you require to the specific devices they are needed on."As more non-technical users incorporate the Cloud into their everyday life, we've made a point to work with our customers and understand what they really need. As a result, we went back to the drawing board and redesigned SugarSync from the ground up," said Laura Yecies, CEO of SugarSync.
"And while we have drastically simplified the use of the Cloud with SugarSync 2.0, we have kept all the unique power and functionality our existing users love - while also introducing even more powerful new features such as more flexible sharing and integrated search that users have been requesting, as well as an industry-first Cloud drive called 'SugarSync Drive' that enables access to Cloud data right from your file system."
SugarSync 2.0 desktop and Web apps are available now through the public beta, and can be downloaded today for Windows and Mac. The new SugarSync 2.0 for Android app is also available now, and can be downloaded from the SugarSync 2.0 Beta page. Mobile apps for all other mobile platforms (iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian) will be coming soon, but the current SugarSync mobile apps will continue to work with the SugarSync 2.0 Web and desktop apps.
New SugarSync users get 5GB of storage for free, and can earn up to 32GB by referring pals and colleagues to the service (you get 500MB for each new free user you refer). You can earn unlimited free storage by referring paid users, as SugarSync offers 10GB of additional storage - with no limit - for each new paid subscriber you refer.