Hello Dropbox, Goodbye SugarSync

Hello Dropbox, Goodbye SugarSync

Those who have been following Esquire | Mac know that I had high praises for SugarSync and have used the file synchronization service extensively for a solid 8-10 months. I have posted about SugarSync several times. I did note, however, that despite how great the service is, there are some bugs.

In our office, we synced over 31,000 files, comprising about 1.5 Gigs of disk space. By and large, the process is painless, behind the scenes and effective. However, I have noticed that there are some folders that do not fully sync. I wrote about this problem before, and said:

Regarding limitations or problems:  I have had a couple of issues.  As I said in my post, we sync over 30,000 files.  The initial upload from my computer of all of the office files went without a hitch.  However, when I did a full sync to the two other Macs, we noticed that some files were missing from the local synched folder on the two other Macs.  The files could be forced to downloaded by going into the SugarSync application interface and navigating to the files in question and clicking restore or download.  This has to be done one at a time, as I recall.  I know that there’s no way to verify that all files have been synched and/or downloaded, and, therefore, no way to force the undownloaded files to be downloaded. So, it’s a bit of a PITA, but the files are available: provided they have internet access when they discover the files are not there. The missing files can also be accessed via the web interface.  In my experience, this has only happened with a very small minority of files, and SS is aware of the problem.  They state as a known issue that syncing more than 25,000 files can be problematic, and they’re working on it.

So far, this problem has not been fixed, and one day a couple of months ago, I had enough. The particular straw that broke the camel’s back was a bizarre one. One of our assistants was creating files on her computer – printing, saving, etc. Then, the files would disappear from her computer, but show up on the other computers. This was just too much to deal with for me. I had the office cease to add anything to the synced folders and save all new work to their desktops in a temporary folder. To be fair to the good folks at Sharpcast, I did not seek their support and they may well have been able to assuage my woes.

Meanwhile, Dropbox finally went official. I had beta access for many months by that point, but never really used it to any significant extent. I transferred all of the firm’s files to Dropbox and synced the other two computers within a day. The process was pretty much painless.

We added another attorney to our firm and synced up his computer and the files he brought with him with no problems.  The files he brought along put us over the 2GB limit for the free Dropbox account, so we upgraded to the 50GB $10/month plan.  We are presently using 2.7% of our storage.

So far, so good with Dropbox. What I like about Dropbox over SugarSync is that it feels lighter. There’s no icon sitting in the dock taking up space. There’s no clunky java interface like SugarSync. Also, I like the fact that I can instantly tell which files are or are not in sync by the “check” or “syncing” badges on each item’s icon.

We have been using Dropbox for about 2 months now with no issues at all.  ”It just works.”