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PC Sync – Back to Square One

I had initially thought that I could get away with using Spideroak as both a Short Team Backup solution and a sync mechanism for my home/work PC synchronization.  For some reason, Spideroak worked for a few weeks then decided it no longer wants to, despite my setting and resetting of the Sync job within the Spideroak application.  

That is unfortunate, maybe they did an update and ended up breaking the sync funtion, which is not uncommon in the software business.

So back to square one as far as sync is concerned with via Spideroak.  For now, I”ve deleted the sync jobs from Spideroak and am testing out two sync solutions.  Both offer at least 5 Gb of free space for now.  The two are Microsoft”s Skydrive, and Sugarsync.

I”m using two basic criterion for the testing: 1)Reliability of the file synchronization and 2) Speed of sync between the two machines.  Skydrive is not my ideal choice but it does offer the 7 Gigabyte free space.  Just like Dropbox Skydrive requires you to create a “skydrive” folder on each of the machines that you want to sync.  Sugarsync does create a folder named “sugarsync” but it also gives you the freedom to select which folder(s) to sync on each machine, their free space is 5 gigabytes.  Installation of either products is straight forward.  If you already have an Windows Live account then you can use it to sign up for your Skydrive otherwise you will need to create an account with Microsoft first.  Just Google or Bing  “Microsoft Skydrive” and your browser will take you there.  Upon sign-up a 7 gigabyte storage space will be created for you in the cloud under your account.  Sugarsync”s sign-up and is more flexible as it allows us to use any email account.   Microsoft”s installation will create a folder named Skydrive, it will give you the option to select a location for the folder.  I chose to allow mine to go under the “My Documents” folder.  I did the same thing on my other PC.  Sygarsync”s install also created a “sugarsync” folder, however here”s where the difference comes, it also give you the opportunity to select other folders that you”d like to sync.

Next you start adding files and folders, Skydrive faithfully uploads them to your Skydrive in the cloud, or sky for that matter, and then download them into your second folder.  Once the three folders are in sync, Skydrive will be monitoring this folder on each of the devices as well as the cloud in order to ensure they are all in sync.  The synchronization appears to take place immediately, however the speed at which everything is synchronized will off course depends on your internet speed.  Additionally, if your second machine is off it will be synchronized upon connecting to the internet, so when booting up or starting either machine you have to allow a few minute for Skydrive to do its synchronization before using your files. Both make Mobile and tablet applications are available.  Only Sugarsync offers a Blackberry app, while only Skydrive offers Window Phone app.  However this could change at any time as I”m sure they both wan to cover as much of the mobile market as possible.

Finally pricing.  Skydrive starts at $10 a year for 20 Gigabytes ($0.50 per gigabyte) while Sugarsync at $50 a year for 30 gigabytes ($0.60 per gigabyte)… In a way the additional 10 cents per gigabyte yearly fee with Sugarsync gives you folder selection flexibility, folder versioning, folder sharing, email upload of files.

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