Sync.com Review – A Closer Look
Sync.com is a cloud storage service that makes it easy to store, share, and access your important files from anywhere in the world. This company is often referred to as one of the best alternatives to Dropbox, and offers many robust features that appeal to both individuals and businesses. Here's a basic run down on what Sync.com offers:
- 100% Private Cloud - Security and privacy is guaranteed with end-to-end file encryption.
- Automatic Backup and Sync - Simple scheduling features allow you to backup all your files automatically as well as synchronize files from all your devices.
- Access Files From Anywhere - Sync.com has impressive desktop and mobile apps that allow you to access your files from anywhere in the world.
- Easy File Sharing - You can easily share or send files with anyone, even if they don't have a Sync account. You can set password protection as well as expiration dates.
- Team Collaboration - Sync is a great solution for businesses that want to work together remotely on files. Easy setup for user permissions and access controls.
Sync.com was founded in 2011 by Suhan Shan, Thoman Savundra, and Darius Antia. They were also the same team behind Netfirms, which is one of the major web hosting companies in the world. The company is based in Canada, and its competitors include big guns like Google Drive and Dropbox.
The cloud storage service has been developed while keeping privacy in mind. While a lot of services allow users to save their data, most of us are skeptical because we don’t want a third party service to access our data. This is the reason Sync.com guarantees high security with zero knowledge policy, which means even the company doesn’t know what data users are storing on their servers.
Who Should Use It?
The service is deeply embedded on Windows, just like OneDrive, making it an easy-to-use service for both novices and advanced users. It has file sharing and syncing capabilities required by almost all the users today. Though, users should know that this can prove to be expensive if it is strictly used as a backup service. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend using this as an online backup service only, since you would be limiting its features when you are paying for all of it.
Sync.com can also be a great Dropbox alternative for business users. This is because unlike Dropbox, user data is protected by both local and server-side encryption and the company has a complete zero knowledge policy towards user data.
All in all, you wouldn’t have to worry about the company employees or government snooping through your data.
- Zero knowledge policy
- Private encryption
- Fast syncing
- Controllable share settings
- Embedded with Windows 10
- Easy interface
- Cross-Platform Compatible
- Backup scheduling
Syncing & Sharing
Sync.com’s desktop apps are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. As we mentioned, it is deeply embedded in Windows which means there is no particular GUI for Sync.com where you can access all the features. Instead, you get a folder, where you can drag and drop all the files and folders. You can also access it from the Taskbar.
If you are a user who likes to work through an interface, then you can give its web app a try which is very organized and easy to use. In fact, the web app is so easy to handle that even a novice can master it in a few seconds.
The web app has an array of features for sharing and syncing. Firstly, there is a common place ‘Files’ where users can view, upload, download or delete files. You can also view the date it was uploaded and the size of the file. There is also a sharing option right next to each file. And this is where things get interesting. Unlike other services, users can create a link for a specific period of time and set passwords on it. If the link expires or if the person you share it with doesn’t know the password, they won’t be able to access it.
Syncing and sharing file is extremely easy and fast as well. Apart from setting passwords, users can also decide how many times the link can be clicked.
The next tab is called ‘Vault’ which is the backup option provided by Sync.com. All the files put in the Vault will not be synced with any of the devices, and they will only be accessible through the web app.
We need to mention here that while file syncing makes files more easily accessible, it cannot be used to restore files in case one of your systems linked with Sync.com fails. In file syncing, when a file is modified, all the changes are uploaded to the main cloud server and copied to all the versions of the file synced with the other devices. So, if a file corrupts on one system, then the corruption will be copied on all the other devices as well. Similarly, if you delete a file from one system, then it will be deleted from other devices as well. You lose a file on one device; you will lose it from all the other devices.
That is why, if you just want to use Sync.com to back up your files and restore them in the case of a system failure, choose the Vault option.
Coming back to the web app, it also has a Links tab where you can view all the links created and their respective expiry dates. Another tab call Shares lists all the folders shared and the users they are shared with.
But, if you want to access account settings, file settings, and bandwidth throttling then you would have to come back to your PC app only.
Privacy & Security
Security is one of the major selling points of Sync.com. The company uses 2048-bit RSA, 256-bit AES, SSL, and TSL encryption. It also guarantees zero knowledge storage which means the company has absolutely no access to user data. All the files are encrypted while they are at rest and when they are in transit.
There is a 256-bit encryption on the local side and the server side. Since it’s a Canadian company and not a US company, it is not subjected to the US laws. So, all the data users store on Sync.com’s server cannot be accessed by the NSA.
Business users would be glad to know that the service also follows several compliances, including:
Web & Mobile App
We have already discussed web app in detail above, so let's move directly to the mobile app.
Sync.com’s mobile app is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. On all the apps, users can access the uploaded files and view them as well. Media files can be viewed and shared across social media as well.
Mobile data can also be backed on the app. While not all the data can be accessed on the iOS apps, Android app can backup even the system files and SD card data.
Pricing and Plans
There is a 5 GB free storage provided for all users when they sign up, and it is not limited by the time limit.
Coming to the paid plans which have advanced sharing features, it costs $49 per year for 500 GB of data and $98 per year for 2 TB of data.
They are no monthly plans which can be a bit problematic for users but with its initial 5 GB free, it’s easy to test out the service to see if it suits your requirement. Also, when compared to other competitors, Sync.com is obviously more expensive, but then again, no other cloud storage companies offer such high security.
What is Sync.com Missing?
There is no denying that there is high encryption, but this can also be an issue while accessing files. Every time you try to preview or access a file on the server; it would easily take 2-3 minutes to open the file. That’s because files need to be first decrypted and only then they can be accessed.
Also, the company does promise a zero knowledge policy, but there is no way to prove that the user’s private encryption keys are not accessible to it.
- Free Storage: 5 GB
- Free Trial: No
- System: Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Price: Starting at $49/year
- Mobile Apps: iOS and Android
- Synchronization: Yes
- Free External HD Backup: No
- Continuous Backup: No
- Incremental Backup: Yes
- Backup Scheduling: Yes
- Bare Metal Backup: No
- Exclude File Extensions for Backup: Yes
- Network Drives: No
- Bandwidth Throttling: Yes
- Web Access: Yes
- HIPAA Compliant: Yes
- File Size Limit: No limit
- Included Machines: 1
- Local Encryption: 256-bit
- Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
- Keeps deleted files: 30
- File Versioning: 5 versions of the file
- File Sharing: Yes
- Multiple Accounts: Yes
- Share Photo Albums: Yes
- Music Streaming: No
- Folder Collaboration: Yes
- Outlook Backup: No