Wuala vs SugarSync vs DropBox on a Mac

Online-storage-solutions
I have been using the FREE versions of Wuala, SugarSync and DropBox for quite a while, going from one service to the other, not being able to decide which one is best for my needs. About a week ago, I reached the conclusion that the free versions of these online (cloud) storage solutions for backup, synchronization and file sharing were not enough for me any more. I needed more disk space. So, I had to make a choice. The choice would be, 
 which online storage service should I invest in?
I compared the following features in order to reach a conclusion. Security, Cost of service, Quality of service, Ease of Use, Speed, Features, Desktop app, iOS app and 3rd party integrations. I am sure that there are many more things that can be compared, but these are the features that interested me and helped me make my decision. By researching you can definitely find more reviews like mine, some of which might be more to your liking. This is a personal review.
So which is the best online storage solution?

Here goes:

Security

I always thought that DropBox was the only solid solution out there until news hit that the online storage isn’t secure. Even though it claims some security, it really has none, since anyone at the DropBox company could easily take a peak at your data without you ever knowing. Sugarsync offers 128bit encryption, but it offers it on its servers. Ok, that is better than DropBox but still  I needed something better, something more secure. Here comes Wuala. Wuala offers the best encrpyption. Not only amongst the 3 Online Storage Solutions compared in this post, but amongst all. It encrypts your data using 128bit security with a key on your end. So your data travels encrypted and is stored encrypted! As far as cloud storage goes, I think this is the safest way to go.
Winner: Wuala

Cost of Service

Comparing the 100GB yearly plan, which is what interests me, I saw that each service had a different price. So, the prices at the time of the writing of this post are:
DropBox: $19.99 / month or discounted $199.99/year
SugarSync: $14.99/month or discounted $149.99/year
Wuala: €99/year, which is $130.64

Winner: Wuala

Quality of Service

I could not find any glitches in any of the solutions. The main service provided by all of them was flawless. Their servers where always available and I never lost any data.
Winner: Nobody

Ease of use

This is a tricky one. Due to the fact that most of us get to use DropBox before any other service, because it is the most well known solution of the three compared here and maybe even the best known online storage service of them all, we tend to feel more at home with the way DropBox works. I felt like that too when I first installed Wuala after using DropBox for a long time. But when you really compare it to the way other solutions work you notice that it is not easier, or more difficult as a matter of fact, it is just a lot poorer in what it offers, creating the illusion of ease of use. DropBox is a fire and forget system, as long as you “play” in the DropBox folder, Wuala and SugarSync both let you choose the folders you want to sync or backup. I prefer choice and feel that not having to save everything in a particular folder is much easier. So I will automatically remove DropBox from this comparison as it is the definate looser. But which one of the two remaining Cloud Storage Services is easier to use? I would say SugarSync, because it sits in your taskbar just like DropBox and lets you control everything from there. Wuala still lacks that feature.
Winner: SugarSync

Speed

Both Wuala and SugarSync offer speed control of the file transfers. DropBox on the other hand doesn’t. It claims it automatically throttles the speed of the transfers depending on the bandwidth used by the user. I found it slow. SugarSync lets you adjust the speed of the upload, using a 3 point system. Slow, Medium and High speed. Wuala on the other hand give you complete control over speed of both uploading and downloading data. You can choose the exact speed and can also have Wuala determine the best speed depending on your connection.

Winner: Wuala

Features

Here SugarSync wins hands down, followed by Wuala, leaving DropBox last. SugarSync offers a huge, litteraly huge variatey of features! It even lets you stream your entire Music library to your iPhone, create Slide Show Photo Galleries you can share on Facebook and many, many more things. Wuala has a nice set of features too, which I personally find enough for my liking. But DropBox has very few features compared to the other two contenders. Some could actually characterize it as poor in comparison.
Winner: SugarSync

Desktop app

I use a Mac. I mention this because even though SugarSync has the best set of features, unfortunately it has the worst Desktop app of the 3. It looks like one of those apps that have been made for windows and have been ported to OSX but don’t work properly. The result is a Desktop Software that is buggy, eats up CPU power like a maniac, gobles up battery power on my MacBook and makes my fans work non stop! Also, it doesn’t appear as a real app in the OSX environment, meaning that by pressing cmd + TAB you can’t get to the app, it is like it is invisible. The only way to access it is by opening it up everytime from the task bar. It is a bad piece of software… DropBox is simple. It installs as a little extension to your Finder and as a little taskbar icon from which you can access its features. It is not buggy, works flawlessly like a charm. I find that the dropbox software is one of the nicest. Wuala needs some work, they say it is still in beta. But I must admit it offers many more options than DropBox and doesn’t crash or is buggy like SugarSync. One down side to Wuala is that it will not run in the background which is kind of annoying for some, but not for me. I also like the way it creates a virtual drive on my Desktop.

Winner: Wuala

iOS app

To start off I want to say that all 3 solutions have universal iOS apps, meaning that they run perfectly on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. The poorest iOS app of the three is that of Wuala. Not that it is a bad app. It is just not as good as the DropBox or the SugarSync app. The best app in my opinion is that of SugarSync. DropBox is somewhere in between. It is a good little app, but because the service lacks in features it feels much less compared to the iOS SugarSync app which is feature packed.

Winner: SugarSync

3rd party integrations

There is no online storage service out there that has a wider 3rd party integration than DropBox has. Everything uses DropBox, from notes applications on the iPad, to Podcast apps, to anything you can imagine. The other two services eat DropBox’s dust.
Winner: DropBox

I could compare other things too, like initial free space but that doesn’t interest me since I am using a large amount of storage (100GB) and that amount of storage doesn’t come for free!

 

And the Winner is…

The winner is clearly Wuala, with SugarSync in a close second place. DropBox which in my opinion is overrated is in 3rd place. DropBox really needs to rethink their feature list if they want to hold their dominant first position.

Below you can check out each service by clicking on their link. I must tell you that the links provided in this post are all links that will award me with extra storage for each new subscription. So, if you feel like checking out the services and don’t mind giving me some extra storage, please sign up with these services using the links I have provided in the post.

Wuala | SugarSync | DropBox

Thank you!

 

My name is Spyros Papaspyropoulos and I am a Web/SEO Professional and Awarded Web Designer. Co-founder of www.x2interactive.gr & www.webdesignblog.gr. I love Web Design, Technology, Social Media, Dilbert, Comics and taking pictures. I live in Rethymno, Crete, Greece. I travel to Athens twice a month for business and feel lucky to experience both cities. This blog is something I like having just for fun. Anything I find interesting or funny, I just post it here for anybody to see. Hope you like it. Cheers!
2 Responses to Wuala vs SugarSync vs DropBox on a Mac
  1. Art M Reply

    I have been using Sugarsync on Mac a lot. Great design, but like you say, it uses a LOT of battery. Unlike you I have found it to be extremely buggy. I will have to change, probably to Dropbox. What is the date of your review? I am using latest version of Sugarsync. 12-3-2013.

    • spyros Reply

      Hello Art M,

      Thanks for commenting.
      My review is 2 years old but I have been talking to friends and they still have the same issues with Sugarsync. I like dropbox but it is very restricting for me to have everything I need in the specific Dropbox folder. Wuala is by far the best solution for a professional and their support is astounding. I find it most satisfactory.

      Cheers!

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