Sync is a popular and powerful cloud storage provider. After using it for over a year, I am finally here with the Sync.com Review. This is going to be a 100% honest review based on my personal experience.
In this article, we will talk about the significant features of Sync, its user interface, speeds, security, sharing and sync features, customer support, and a lot more!
I will also walk you through its various pricing plans, its major pros and cons, and if it is worth purchasing!
So, are you ready to dive deeper? Let’s begin!
- About Sync
- Sync.com Review Video
- Data Centers
- Sync User Interface
- Sync Speed
- File History & Recovery
- File Syncing
- Customer Support
- File Sharing
- Documents Preview and Editing
- Playback Features
- Sync Jurisdiction
- Additional Features
- Sync Rewards
- Sync Pricing Plans
- Sync Pros
- Sync Cons
- Should you use Sync Cloud Storage?
- Best Alternatives to Sync
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Sync is a popular Canadian cloud storage service founded in the year 2011 by Thomas Savundra, Darius Antia, and Suhan Shan.
Their primary aim behind this initiative was to create a privacy focussed cloud storage service and Sync totally lives up to it!
Sync is known for its advanced security practices and top-class privacy protection. Today, over 1.7 million individuals use Sync for their cloud storage requirements. This includes businessmen, companies, and security enthusiasts.
|Data Centers||Canada (Member of 5 Eyes Alliance)|
|Speed (844 MB file with 220 MB/s network speed)||Upload Time: 20 mins|
Download Time: 26 mins
|User Interface||Clean but looks old|
|Security||Zero Knowledge, AES 256-bit, 2FA, Email-based Password Recovery, Biometric Lock|
|Devices||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, iPad|
|Versioning and Trash||30 days on free plan|
180/365 days on paid plans
|Support||Email, Knowledge base, Blog|
|Playback||Can edit documents|
No audio and video players
|File Sharing||Set link password, expiry date, upload and download permissions, etc.|
|Free Plan||5 GB Storage, Zero Knowledge Encryption, Basic Sharing|
|Pricing||Starts from $8/month (for 2 TB storage)|
Sync.com Review Video
If you are a video person, you can watch my video review of Sync here. (It’s in Hindi with English subtitles)
The data centers of Sync cloud storage are in Toronto, Canada. All the data that you upload on the cloud remains encrypted while in transit and at rest. So, no third parties can ever get hold of it!
Sync User Interface
The web interface of Sync.com is quite basic. Though it looks clean and user friendly, it lacks a modern design.
It supports the drag and drop upload, which will save you a lot of time! Sync also offers easy file and folder sharing. (More on this discussed below!)
Talking about its mobile interface, it is quite simple and handy. It lets you preview images, but there are no inbuilt players for audios, videos, and documents. You need to download and open them in third party apps.
Its desktop interface is minimal. It creates a Sync folder in your device and you can select specific folders from your vault to sync with your local storage.
pCloud and Icedrive are much better because they function as virtual drives on your system. Sync has made no major upgrades to its interface in the past few years. I think it’s time they focus on improving its design now.
Speed is an important factor while choosing a cloud storage provider. For testing the speeds of Sync, I tried uploading and downloading an 844 MB video file. My connection speed is 220 MB/s.
Upload Time: 20 min
Download Time: 26 min
These results really disappointed me. Also, the web app of Sync does not display the transfer rates. You need to install its desktop application to check transfer speeds.
I figured out that there might be two reasons for its terrible speeds.
- Use of Zero Knowledge Encryption.
- Placement of its data centers in Canada.
European servers provide faster speeds for Indian audiences. Cloud storage giants like pCloud and Icedrive offer lightning speeds because of European servers.
The USP of Sync.com is its security practices. It offers a variety of services to ensure all-round security of its users. Let’s look at its important features!
Zero Knowledge Encryption
Zero Knowledge Encryption is a secure encryption method where all your data is stored on the cloud and encrypted with a key. The access to this encryption key remains solely with you.
So, only you can view your data and hence it is safe from other intruders trying to get hold of your sensitive files. The best part is that you even get zero knowledge encryption on its free plan.
AES-256 bit Encryption
AES 256-bit is the industry standard encryption method followed by all popular cloud storage services and password managers. On Sync cloud storage, this encryption is applied on your data both in transit and on rest.
2FA (Two Factor Authentication) is a method that introduces a second factor of verifying a user’s identity while logging in. Some examples of 2FA might be: OTPs sent to your email, SMS, authenticator app, or hardware key, biometrics, voice based OTPs, etc.
Sync offers email-based 2FA and authenticator based 2FA, which is great. It supports the Google Authenticator app.
Email Based Password Recovery
As Sync is a zero knowledge service, your account cannot be recovered if you forget the password. To counter this situation, it offers email-based password recovery.
If you enable this feature, you can use your email to recover your Sync account. But this would break the zero knowledge privacy! If you prefer ultra security, it would be better to keep this option disabled.
On the mobile apps of Sync, you can find the Biometric Lock option for swiftly unlocking your account with your fingerprint.
Along with this, Sync is GDPR Compliant, which means it’s more transparent about your personal information. It is also HIPAA and PIPEDA Compliant, which hints that your private information is always protected!
Sync has completed a decade in the cloud storage market. But surprisingly, it has undergone no third party security audits yet! Though there have been no cases of data breaches with them, I hope they get their services audited by a cybersecurity firm soon!
They have had a spotless history since 2011. There have been no reports of data breaches and security compromises since their launch, which is a great achievement!
File History & Recovery
File Versions and Recovery are important features of cloud storage services. Let’s understand how Sync implements them.
File Versioning basically creates different versions of your files whenever you make any updates to them. All these versions are stored with Sync, and you can restore them any time you want.
However, there is a limit on the number of days for which your data remains stored. With the free plan, you get a 30-days versioning limit.
With the paid plans, you can get a 180 days file versioning limit. It can be upgraded to 365 days as you keep on upgrading your plan.
The trash folder stores your deleted files temporarily. With the free plan, your deleted files are stored for 30 days and with the paid plan, they can be stored for 180 days.
As you upgrade to the higher plans, your trash limit also extends to 365 days. So, you no longer need to worry about accidentally deleting your documents or images. They will be safe in your trash folder.
If at any point, something goes wrong with your account or it gets accidentally deleted or infected with viruses, you can contact the customer support for a full account recovery.
The Account Recovery feature rewinds all your files and folders to a previous date. This feature is not available on the free plan though.
pCloud is more advanced in this case with its 1-click account recovery!
As soon as you install the desktop app of Sync.com, a Sync folder is created on the destination of your choice. This folder comprises different sub-folders that exist in your vault.
Sync.com supports Selective Sync, so you can select specific folders of your choice to sync with your local storage.
This means that if you make any changes to the Sync folder on your local device, they would be reflected on your cloud vault, and if you make changes on the cloud, they would be synced on the local folder.
This is how Sync implements its Selective Sync functionality. There is no Block Level Sync option though.
pCloud is much better for File syncing. It offers both Selective and Block Level sync functions. And it even provides a virtual drive which is more convenient than the Sync folder!
The Vault folder does not get synced with other devices.
So, if you have some files that you don’t want to sync with your local device, the Vault folder would be beneficial. You can also use it as a space to store your backups.
Sync is available as a desktop app for Windows and Mac devices. It features fully functional mobile apps for Android, iOS, and iPad, and works in all popular web browsers.
The mobile app of Sync offers features like passcode lock, Biometric lock, automatic photo and video upload, etc. The only thing that bothered me was that they don’t have an app for the Linux operating system.
So many tech junkies use Linux devices for enhanced privacy. But even after a decade of their launch, Sync does not have the Linux app. It feels a bit disappointing!
Sync offers 24/7 email support to its customers. You can expect to receive replies to your queries within 24 hours. It does not offer live chat support though.
On their Help Center, you can find detailed articles and guides offering step-by-step instructions for solving your queries. They also have a blog where they post about the updates made to Sync cloud storage.
Sync offers exceptional file sharing features on all its paid plans. Whenever you share any file with Sync, all your data is first encrypted with zero knowledge.
Under link settings, you can set a secure password for your link, so only intended users can view and download the shared files. In case of confidential data, you can even set an expiry date to your shared link.
Sync also offers additional link settings like download and upload permissions, notification and comment settings, etc.
You also get an Enhanced Privacy feature with Sync if you want to share data with top-notch security. Enhanced Privacy ensures a secure end-to-end encryption of your transferred data. However, you can only send a maximum of 500 MB files with it.
Documents Preview and Editing
On the web interface of Sync, you can effortlessly preview and edit your documents online in Office 365. It supports .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx file formats.
The maximum file size limits are 50 MB for doc files, 5 MB for spreadsheets, and 300 MB for presentations.
If you have its desktop app installed, you can also edit the documents in your native Microsoft apps and all the changes will be synced to the cloud.
Images can be previewed with ease on all devices. But Sync does not support previewing of video and audio files on its web interface, desktop app, or mobile app.
Unlike pCloud, Sync does not have in-built apps for viewing media. You need to download the files and play on third party apps.
The data centers of Sync are in Canada. It falls under the 5 Eyes Alliance. 5 Eyes Alliance is a partnership formed between 5 countries- New Zealand, UK, Canada, Australia, and USA.
These countries keep a tab on their citizens’ personal data and share it with other countries in the alliance. This practice is a big no-no for users’ security!
But the good thing about Sync is that it also offers zero knowledge encryption, even on its free plan. So, you can keep your sensitive data and personal information absolutely secure with you.
But, if you still have a problem with a Canadian cloud storage, then Icedrive, pCloud, and Tresorit are best secure cloud storage alternatives to Sync.
You also get the following additional features with your Sync account, free or paid.
This feature is especially useful if you are working with a team. The Events tab displays a complete history of your account activity.
So, you can easily keep a check on which user created/deleted/shared/updated which files and at what time. It’s like an online log book of your Sync account!
This feature is also helpful if you have a team of users. The Users tab allows you to manage all members on your team.
It displays when a particular user was last active and the total storage space consumed by them!
Speed Control on Apps
If you install the desktop app of Sync, you can limit the transfer speeds on your files. This is helpful in case you have a limited bandwidth.
By default, it is set to Automatic. But you can also select transfer speeds from 50KB/s to 5 MB/s.
Sync has recently integrated with Slack, a business communication software. So, if you and your team use Slack for collaborating with each other, this integration would be beneficial for you.
Do you want additional cloud space for free? Say no more, cause Sync is here with some special rewards for you!
It offers two different rewards for its users.
If you are a new user, you can claim an extra 1 GB space by completing at least 5 tasks from their list. The list comprises simple tasks like email verification, installing Sync on computer and mobile, creating a secure link, sharing a folder with friends, etc.
They also have a referral program where you get to expand your cloud storage to a vast amount. You basically get a referral code and every time someone signs up on Sync using that code, you and the person both get 1 GB in your account as a reward!
You won’t believe that I have earned a total of 162 GB cloud space just by referring it to my friends, family, subscribers, etc!
Sync Pricing Plans
|Free||Solo Basic||Solo Professional||Teams Standard||Teams Unlimited|
|Storage||5 GB||2 TB||6 TB||1 TB/user||Unlimited|
|Additional Features||Vault Syncing||Vault Syncing|
Sync does not feature any monthly payment plans. All its plans are billed annually, and you get a 30-days money-back guarantee as well!.
Instead of a free trial, Sync offers a forever free plan comprising all the basic features along with 5 GB free storage space encrypted with zero knowledge. You can test it out first and then upgrade to the paid plans later if it suits your workflow.
Now, let us look at the paid plans of Sync in depth.
Individual Plans are designed for a single user. Sync offers 3 types of individual plans.
- Starter Plan – This is the free plan of Sync where users get 5 GB of zero knowledge encrypted cloud storage. You can earn up to 25 GB extra space by referring Sync to 25 users.
- Solo Basic Plan – This plan costs $96/year and offers 2 TB of cloud storage with advanced sharing and collaboration features.
- Solo Professional Plan – This plan costs $240/year. You get 6 TB of storage space with advanced sharing and collaboration options, as well as custom branding. This plan is also HIPAA Compliant.
Free Plan Vs Paid Plan
Most users start with the free plan and then upgrade to the premium plan. Below is a brief comparison of the important factors of the free and the Solo Basic plan.
|Free Plan||Paid Plan (Solo Basic)|
|Data Transfer||5 GB/month||Unlimited|
|Office 365 integration||No||Yes|
|File Versioning and Trash Limit||30 days||180/365|
|Team Shared Folders and Links||3 (at a time)||Unlimited|
Sync offers two plans for small and medium sized teams.
The Teams Standard plan is basically for small teams with 2 or more users. It costs $5/user/month, and provides 1 TB of cloud space to every user, along with advanced sharing and collaboration, and an admin account.
The Teams Unlimited plan is for medium sized teams that require a large amount of storage space.
It costs $15/user/month and offers unlimited storage per user, phone support, custom branding, and an admin account to every user!
But, if you are a large business organization with a huge team, Sync has an Enterprise Plan as well!
If your company or organization comprises 100+ team mates, then the Enterprise plan would be the perfect cloud storage solution for your needs. It offers training options and a dedicated account manager.
However, there is no fixed price for this plan. You can contact Sync to arrange a custom pricing plan as per your feature requirements.
Sync.com accepts payments through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, and Bitcoin. I hope to see Indian payment options like UPI on it soon!
Zero Knowledge Encryption
Zero Knowledge Encryption ensures better security of your data. It is even available on the free plan, which is impressive.
Excellent Sharing Options
With its advanced sharing options like password protection, link expiry date, upload and download permissions, and enhanced privacy, you can have more control over your shared data.
Document Editing and Previewing
Sync integrates with Office 365, so you can easily preview and edit your documents online right through the web app!
The History of Sync has been clean since the last 10 years. There has been no incident of data breaches observed yet.
Sync now integrates with Slack to improve business communication for large teams. So, if you have a team of users, you can collaborate with them effortlessly.
You won’t find any flashy timers or deals running on their website pushing you to buy a plan. The Pricing page of Sync is quite simple and straightforward. I found their pricing plans to be quite affordable.
Transfer Speed Control
On the desktop app of Sync, you can set maximum upload and download speeds while syncing your data on the cloud. This feature is helpful especially when you have limited bandwidth!
Even if your internet connection is fast, the speeds experienced with Sync are slow in Indian regions. This is because their data centers are in Canada.
I have been using Sync since last year but the frequency of their upgrades is quite low when compared to its competitors like pCloud, Icedrive, or Mega.
No Middle Plans
There are no intermediate plans on Sync like 500 GB or 1 TB plans available on Sync Cloud Storage.
No Media Playback
Sync does not feature in-built media players yet. You need to download videos and audios and view them in third party software.
No Linux App
They have plans for launching their Linux app in the future, but they haven’t started with it yet!
Should you use Sync Cloud Storage?
Sync is a secure and affordable cloud storage service. But you will experience terrible speeds in India.
You might also face problems if you use it for working with multimedia files like photos and videos. So, it might not be a suitable option for you.
Alternatively, if your work revolves around documents, Sync is an excellent option with enhanced security and good sharing options.
It lets you preview and edit your documents online with its Office 365 integration. So, you can edit your document with ease from anywhere any anytime!
Best Alternatives to Sync
Because it has its servers in Europe, you will experience lightning fast upload and download speeds. It also has dedicated media players and a feature rich free plan.
However, Sync aces the security game. pCloud offers its zero knowledge encryption called pCloud Crypto at additional costs.
Whereas, Sync offers it for free even on its free plan. For more information, you can check out my pCloud Review.
Icedrive is a new player in the cloud storage market.
However, it beats Sync with its attractive interface and super fast speeds. The pricing plans of Icedrive are cheap, and its lifetime plan is complete value for money.
It also offers 10 GB storage on its free plan, which is double that offered by Sync. Both the services are GDPR Compliant. This ensures better security for the users.
But, you don’t get zero knowledge encryption on the free plan of Icedrive. Sync proves itself better in this case! For more information, head on to my Icedrive Review!
Tresorit is probably the closest to Sync when talking about features and functionality.
Both of them provide a decent interface with satisfactory speeds. They offer 5 GB file storage space encrypted with zero knowledge on their free plans. The only difference is their pricing! Tresorit is quite expensive as compared to Sync.
Mega Cloud Storage poses a strong competition to Sync. It has servers in multiple locations, so you get fast speeds doesn’t matter where you are!
It also offers an impressive 20 GB of free cloud storage encrypted with zero knowledge. This is the major reason Mega tops the list of best free cloud storage providers. Talking about sharing options, both Sync and Mega are excellent!
Sync proves to be a security focussed cloud storage service with advanced sharing options and a smooth Office 365 integration at affordable prices.
You can get started with the free plan of Sync to figure out if it suits your needs. If it suits your workflow, you can upgrade to its paid version to enjoy all the advanced sharing features and document editing functionality.
If Sync sets up its data centers in different locations like Europe, works on revamping its UI, and introduces a Linux app, it might offer a tough competition to cloud storage giants like pCloud and Icedrive. I hope to see improvements in Sync in the future!
Anyway, I hope you found this Sync Review informative. Have you used any cloud storage services before? What do you think about Sync? If you have any queries regarding Sync, leave them in the comments section below.
This is Kripesh signing off! For more such insightful content, you can join my Newsletter. See you in the next post! Take care and happy learning! 🙂
Where is Sync.com data stored?
All data uploaded to Sync is stored on its data centers in Canada. If you are aware, Canada falls under the 5 Eyes Alliance, who has access to all the personal data of its users.
However, zero knowledge encryption even on the free plan minimizes the risk of data leaks.
How secure and private is Sync.com?
All data that you upload is secured with zero knowledge encryption. So you can rest assured that nobody accesses your data. It also offers features like Two Factor Authentication and Biometric Lock for additional security.
Is Sync.com right for you?
If you need a cloud storage service for securely sharing files and editing documents online, Sync might be the right option for you.
Can Sync.com be hacked?
Sync uses the industry standard AES 256-bit encryption. All your data remains encrypted while in transit and at rest.
It also offers zero knowledge encryption by default on all the plans, including the free plan. Thus, the chances of getting hacked are highly unlikely!
Is Sync.com free?
Sync.com offers both free and paid plans. The free plan gives you access to 5 GB of storage space fully secured with zero knowledge encryption and basic features for sharing your files.
What is Sync good for?
Sync is great for sharing files and folders with extra security. It is also an excellent choice if you need to work on documents regularly. You can directly preview and edit your documents online on Office 365 with Sync.
Is Sync.com a Canadian company?
Yes, Sync.com has its data centers in Canada, a member of the 5-Eyes Alliance. But, you need not worry as they also offer zero knowledge encryption on all of their plans. This ensures 100% safety of your confidential data.
Does Sync.com offer an API?
Sync.com integrates with a few third party apps like Office 365 and Slack. The Sync API is on their Roadmap, but they have not started working on it yet!
What level of support does Sync.com offer?
Sync offers 24/7 email support for addressing its users’ queries. Additionally, it also has a decent knowledge base of articles and a blog
Who are the typical users of Sync.com?
Security focussed individuals or teams who regularly need to work on and share online documents with others are the typical users of Sync.
What other apps does Sync.com integrate with?
Sync integrates with productivity services like Slack for business communication and Office 365 for editing documents on the go!
Could Sync be used as a backup destination?
Yes, you can use the Sync Vault folder to back up files so that they don’t occupy space on your local device. Its mobile app also offers automatic photo and video upload from your camera.
How to set up Sync and how easy is it?
Setting up Sync cloud storage is a cakewalk! All you need to do is sign up with your email to get free 5 GB of cloud storage added to your account. For unlocking more storage, you can complete some simple tasks or refer Sync to your friends and family.
Sync.com Pros (+)
- Zero Knowledge
- Excellent Sharing
- Document Editing
- Clean History
Sync.com Cons (-)
- Slow Speeds
- Slow Upgrades
- No Middle Plans
- No Media Playback