SugarSync alternatives?
December 19, 2013 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Sugarsync is transitioning to paid-only plans, with the minimum plan being $75/60GB. This is more space than I need, so I'm looking for alternatives.

I've long preferred SugarSync to most of the other cloud backup providers because it allows me to keep my existing folder structure on two different computers, rather than having to put everything into a single "dropbox" folder and sync from there. I primarily use sugarsync to keep my 'documents' folder in sync between my home and work computers and ideally I'd like to keep doing this. I suppose I could just start using the dropbox folder as my documents folder, but it seems fiddly.

I'm not against paying for this service, but my folders are well under 10gigs so being forced to pay for 60gb does not sit well with me, especially since I can't (for instance) use that 60gb to sync iphoto or something.

So, any recommendations would be appreciated. I already have accounts with skydrive, google drive, dropbox, but as far as I can tell they all use the dropbox model of a universal folder that syncs, rather than working with your existing file system a la sugarsync.
posted by modernnomad to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can use SkyDrive to sync other system folders with a bit of trickery.

Under the "Commercial" section, Wikipedia identifies cloud storage that allows syncing of any folder. The following services are listed, although I have no experience with any of them: SpiderOak, OwnCloud, CloudMe, and BatchSync.
posted by saeculorum at 8:07 PM on December 19, 2013

Owncloud is a pain to setup and maintain. I have tried it a few times over the last year or so and without wanting to start one of these Linux vs Windows discussions, if you do not want to hack on the command line owncloud is not the right solution for you.
posted by nostrada at 8:32 PM on December 19, 2013

Get a copy of Goodsync software and set it up to synchronize with an Amazon AWS account (the AWS S3 simple storage service module) . Goodsync is a one time cost and Amazon AWS S3 is pay only for what you use (about 10 cents per GB-month).

You can sync any folders or any files matching a filter with this method. I do this to backup my files - very reliable. Getting set up initially will take a tiny bit of tech-smarts, but not that bad.
posted by Diplodocus at 8:34 PM on December 19, 2013

Seafile will do this for free, but you will need a computer on 24/7 to serve as a server.
posted by crazy with stars at 8:42 PM on December 19, 2013

Response by poster: In case it matters, both computers I wish to keep in sync are Macs.
posted by modernnomad at 8:53 PM on December 19, 2013

Mozy is easy as hell, and six bucks a month.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:35 PM on December 19, 2013

Response by poster: Looks like Mozy also uses the "use our special sync folder" model, rather than "sync whatever existing folders you have without moving them" model.
posted by modernnomad at 9:41 PM on December 19, 2013

Last time I looked into installing DropBox on Windows, the installer had an option to let me tell it which folder should be the one blessed for synchronization. Does the Mac version not do that?

If not, it looks like you can tell DropBox to sync anything you like by creating a symlink to it inside your DropBox folder.
posted by flabdablet at 10:12 PM on December 19, 2013

You can tell Mozyathome what folders to sync. I really think it's what you're looking for. Try it out, there's a default free plan!
posted by oceanjesse at 8:10 AM on December 20, 2013

If you don't want/need the cloud as an intermediary, check out Bittorrent Sync. You can set up whatever folder structure you want on each computer, and it syncs directly to each computer without storing the files in a central place first. Free for now, but that may change in the future.
posted by natabat at 10:19 AM on December 20, 2013

I like Syncplicity.
posted by Leontine at 4:25 PM on December 20, 2013

Response by poster: I double checked Mozyathome and unless I am completely misunderstanding, the sync feature still requires you to create a "mozy sync" folder and then put everything in it, just as is the case with dropbox and the rest.

Bittorrent Sync is nice in theory but it seems as though for it to work you would need both machines to be on for the sync to occur, since it doesn't store centrally. I see the security advantages of no cloud storage, but that's a loss on the practicality aspect and I'm not syncing any particularly sensitive documents.

At this point I'm leaning towards just ponying up for the sugarsync premium plan. It's not that I particularly object to the $75, but I do object to the business practice of creating a free plan and encouraging users to do their advertising for them in order to gain extra free storage, and then telling those users that they all then must switch to paid plans or lose their accounts entirely. I don't want to support those kind of practices but unless another cloud provider sees the value in allowing users to maintain their own file tree, it's not looking like I have much choice.
posted by modernnomad at 8:51 PM on December 20, 2013

...unless I am completely misunderstanding, the sync feature still requires you to create a "mozy sync" folder and then put everything in it, just as is the case with dropbox and the rest.

Just having a single "blessed" synchronizing folder shouldn't need to be a showstopper, because you should be able to create symbolic links inside the "blessed" folder to anything you like outside it, making those things appear to be inside the "blessed" folder as well as in their existing locations. Making this work should only require that the sync software you're using doesn't specifically recognize symbolic links and handle them specially.

According to the instructions I linked above the technique does work with DropBox. If I had a Mac I'd also be playing with creating symlinks inside ~/Library/Mobile Documents to see if the same technique would work with iCloud.
posted by flabdablet at 1:43 AM on December 21, 2013

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