SugarSync Business Review: Business Online Cloud Backup
|Sign up for SugarSync Business|
|Great business solution for companies with fewer employees and the need for individual file syncing across multiple devices|
SugarSync for business is a simple and comprehensive service perfect for people who spend time working remotely and need to constantly sync and update their files across multiple devices. This plan is good for companies with fewer employees or for those that don't need to provide a lot of employees with access to the included online storage account. Like their personal plans, the business plan puts a lot of emphasis on different file sharing options — a key feature especially for those who have employees working remotely, though you will see from this review that this service is best thought of as a shared disk space rather than a collaborative platform.
Extra features include the ability to allot particular storage amounts to different users, phone support five days a week, a special Microsoft Outlook plugin, great mobile app and tough security measures, among other perks. SugarSync for business is a solid and intuitive service for advanced and novice online backup and cloud storage users alike.
Administrator Access and Setup
The basic business account allows 3 users; each additional user will cost you an extra $9.99/month or $99.99/year. As an admin, adding a user is simple. Enter their name, email, how much storage you allow for that user and whether they are an admin or not. After submitting this information, the user will receive an email asking them to activate their account with a username and password. You will be sent an email notification once they activate.
Now that each person has access to the account, they can all download the SugarSync manager onto their computer(s). Like all online backup services, the initial backup takes some time depending on how many files you have. After you select which folders to backup, SugarSync will be constantly working in the background updating folders and keeping them safe in the cloud. The file manager has an easy to use and attractive interface on both Mac and PC. Business account storage is pooled, and the application will tell each user how much storage they have left (remember each user has a storage cap set by the administrator).
File Syncing and Magic Briefcase
Each user can keep the files on their own computers synced but separate and private from other users. To start syncing, go to "manage sync folders" and click the button next to the folder you would like to keep synced on another computer. SugarSync will then ask you which computer you would like to sync it with. The next time you sign in on the other computer, you will be prompted to accept the sync. Now whatever changes you make in this folder on one computer, will show up in another. You can even "merge" folders, meaning that the folder on each computer will be a perfect duplicate. These folders will now have the same files and updates.
When you install the SugarSync Manager, SugarSync automatically creates the "magic briefcase" folder in your Documents folder. You can also manage this folder on the web. Any file that you drag into this folder will be automatically synced and updated across any of your computers or devices that have SugarSync installed. This folder is also private and is best for quick syncing on the go.
When looking for an online backup service for your business, it is important to keep file sharing in mind. Though we mentioned that users do not have access to each other's data, SugarSync still has many useful sharing features that will help your employees work as a team. To start sharing a folder on the Mac, go into your SugarSync manager, highlight the folder you want to share and hit share. On the PC you can do the same thing as well as right-clicking and sharing through the context menus on your hard drive. Any of these actions will take you to your file sharing webpage.
This is where SugarSync's sharing features really impressed us. You can set document permissions, choose to require a password or not, and either send from your SugarSync account or obtain a link so you can send documents over your personal email or IM service. When setting permissions, you can choose whether the documents are read-only or if recipients can add/edit files and folders. If you choose the latter option, the recipient can then sync the folder to their computer — meaning that it will stay constantly updated between you and the recipients, upping the collaboration process. And it doesn't stop there. You can go in and edit the share options for the folder you just sent. This includes choosing whether or not you receive emails every time there are changes in the folder and adding members as well.
SugarSync business plan holders get the added benefit of unlimited phone support five days a week, in addition to the email and chat support that personal plan holders receive. The first time we called, it took a while for customer support to answer; however, when we called a second time to cancel the account, they picked up very quickly and the process was fast, friendly and easy.
There are also free Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, iPad and iPhone apps to keep your data truly mobile. The iPhone app is really something, allowing you to stream your remotely stored music, view your documents, and upload your photos right to your SugarSync account (and hence your Mac or PC).
PC users who use Outlook can use the SugarSync Outlook plugin, making it easier to send bulky files and save email space. Now instead of huge attachments, PC users can send SugarSync generated links to their recipients. From there you can track the number of times the file has been downloaded and even disable the link when you need to. Note that you need to install the .NET framework to your PC in order for the plugin to work.
SugarSync uses the same security measures as online financial transactions; before your files are uploaded online, they are transferred to a data center securely using TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is 3.3 SSL encryption. Then they are stored in the cloud in an encrypted format using 128-bit AES.
In regard to HIPAA compliance: Online backup services cannot legally state that they are officially HIPAA compliant. However, SugarSync contains all of the security features to protect data that is transmitted to and from their servers. SugarSync follows strict guidelines to meet factors that go into HIPAA compliance. If you want to know what HIPAA is, please visit our FAQ page.
If you want to pay for SugarSync as you go, it will cost you $55/month. The cheaper option is to pay for a year up front, which is $550/year and comes to $45.83/month. This basic business plan includes 1 TB of storage and 3 users. You can add users anytime for $9.99/month or $99.99/year ($8.33/month). Adding space will cost you $29.99 extra per month for every 100 GB of storage added to the account.
SugarSync for business is a safe online backup service best for smaller companies. The basic plan includes 3 users and 100 GB of pooled storage, ready to be divided by the administrator. Each user will be able to conveniently store and sync their files online with great efficiency. SugarSync's sharing features are intuitive and will be of great use when collaborating with clients and employees.
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