SugarSync is an online file synchronization and backup service that can be used for archiving most important documents, synchronizing files across computers and accessing files when the required computer is offline (remote file access). As a bonus, five earlier versions of each changed file are stored on SugarSync servers, mimicing the Previous Versions or File History feature for Windows XP users.
SugarSync is kind enough to offer 5 gigabytes of free disk space for every user. While it is more than double the space of most other online backup providers (e.g. Dropbox), it is still enough for storing most important files only - do not expect it to be your primary music locker or video streaming service.
Of course, you can get much more space if you're willing to pay - common personal data plans start from 30 GB ($4.99/month) and end with 250 GB ($24.99/month).
You can also extend your storage space on SugarSync servers by sharing files and getting your friends to sign up for the service (if your friend signs up for a paid plan, you both get 10 gigabytes for free!).
SugarSync is usable on most devices: Windows (XP, Vista, 7 and 8) and Mac computers (sadly, no Linux support), iPhones, iPads, Androids, BlackBerrys, Symbians (Nokia) and Windows Mobile devices. To save time and bandwidth, only changed parts of files are downloaded and uploaded. For large files, this means huge savings.
There is also a plug-in for Outlook 2007 and 2010 for synchronizing or backing up your e-mail attachments, using links instead of attachments, etc.
Version 2 adds a special network drive with letter S to the list of local hard drives. This makes managing files and folders even easier.
Open SugarSync home page, scroll down to very bottom and click Download for PC in Product section.
Click Download Now on the next page.
After downloading and launching, SugarSync Setup Wizard starts. It asks no questions and does its job almost quietly. On Windows Vista and later, a driver installation prompt appears during the installing of SugarSync Drive (the drive with letter S). Click Install in this dialog.
During the setup, Desktop icons and Start menu will disappear for a few moments. Don't worry, this is normal. Setup adds SugarSync and Magic Briefcase icons to Desktop and starts the program's login window right away. SugarSync configuration and usage is covered in the next article.
After SugarSync installation is complete, you can either create a SugarSync account or enter credentials if you already have one. Click Sign Up or Log In.
Logging in requires your e-mail address (the one you used for signing up to SugarSync) and password. Click Next to add the computer to your account.
Signing up for a new account requires your full name, a working e-mail address and password. Make your passphrase strong, as described in my Creating strong passwords article - remember, you're uploading your personal (and probably at least somewhat sensitive) files elsewhere.
You'll need access to the specified e-mail address a few moments later to verify your SugarSync account.
Click Next after entering the required data.
After logging in or signing up, you can select a data plan. Most users can stick with the free 5 GB one and click Next.
Then enter a unique name for the computer you're using. Click Next again.
SugarSync Welcome Tour opens after this. It gives some useful information on using the product.
Configuration and usage is covered in the next article.
Upgrading to the latest version of SugarSync is easy. As long as the program is running in the background, it will check for and download updates automatically.
From time to time, a SugarSync Update window will pop up. Click Install Now or wait 30 seconds for the update to start automatically.
In Windows Vista, 7 and 8, User Account Control will kick in. Click Continue or Yes.
Next, SugarSync will close the currently running version, run an update and start the updated program. It all happens without any clicks required. Piece of cake!
Please note that Windows Explorer will close and Desktop icons and Taskbar will disappear for a few seconds during the upgrade. This is normal and required for SugarSync Drive to work properly.