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Best file syncing solutions of 2020: sync and save your data securely

Best file syncing solutions
(Image credit: Everything Possible / Shutterstock)

File syncing solutions are usually an integral part of backup software and disaster recovery, in order to make it easier to manage and recover data as and when required.

These days file syncing software solutions are delivery through cloud-services, making it easier to sync, save, and secure your data. While there are general solutions for cloud storage, syncing has the advantage of updating as your files update in real-time, so you always have a current and up-to-date copy of what you need.

In addition to storing and syncing data, most syncing solutions also come with additional tools not just for managing your saved data but also for managing user access and permissions, to allow for file sharing and collaboration using the stored files. This is especially important due to many office environments now allowing documents to be used collaboratively, but for security purposes correct user permissions need to be in place.

Additionally, file syncing for business also uses very strict security protocols, to ensure that data is safely protected and secured at all times, to make data leaks and malicious access less likely.

With all that said, here we feature what we think are the best file syncing solutions currently out there.

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Best file syncing solutions - at a glance

  1. GoodSync
  2. Syncplicity
  3. Resilio
  4. Sync.com
  5. Google Back Up and Sync

(Image credit: GoodSync)

1. GoodSync

Great for users looking for a big brand name

Easy setup
30-days free trial
Plans expensive

GoodSync is an established company that provides file synchronization and backup software services. Set up is easy, and just requires you to install the software, select target files and folders, then set up automation functions for backups and syncing. And that's pretty much it.

The simplicity of use hides the fact that this is a powerful solution that comes in a couple of different forms. One is GoodSync ServerOS which provides backups and synchronization for Windows and Linux servers. The other is the GoodSync File Server, which allows specified files and folders to be backed up and synced to a private cloud, with various rules and automation options available to ensure everything is easily managed.

Whichever type you opt for, there are home and business versions available, with the home version offering a free tier with limited features. However, it's the business solutions we'll focus on here, which offers a number of features as standard, not least multi-threading, block-level data transfer, as well as local and remote file support. The File Server option allows for unlimited connections and users.

Pricing starts at $49.95 for a personal license, with more expensive business syncing options available for file servers.

(Image credit: Syncplicity)

2. Syncplicity

A good option for those seeking advanced features

Affordable for what it offers
Ability to choose where your data is stored
Solid mobile features
Can be overwhelming

Easy to install on Mac or PC (with native clients for Android and iOS as well), Syncplicity – now owned by Axway – backs up folders and files of your choosing to the cloud.

Working transparently once configured, the personal edition offers get 10GB of storage on an unlimited number of devices for free, with 100GB costing $5 per month when paid annually. Even this tier is laden with enterprise-grade features like secure mobile editing and PDF annotation – you can also choose your public cloud storage location (EU or US), plus you get real-time document versioning and backup.

The Business plan is similar, charging $5 per month when paid annually, but adding additional features for collaboration and group user controls for file sharing. 

An Enterprise plan offers more advanced features such as AD integration and single-sign on, as well as MDM (mobile device management) integration and remote wipe for any user device. File syncing and access functionality is excellent with the ability to sync any folder, and you’re given granular control over what can be excluded. However, there is no flat-rate pricing for this and you will need to contact Syncplicity for a quote.

(Image credit: Resilio)

3. Resilio

Ideal for sending large files

One off-fee
Simple to use
No cloud-based functionality

Resilio has an interesting background story: it was spun out of BitTorrent Inc, which means that it has peer-to-peer (P2P) technology as part of its DNA. P2P is a tried and trusted protocol that is particularly useful for sending large files swiftly. It is one of the very few services that is compatible with Linux (and FreeBSD) as well as a slew of Network Attached Storage solutions (FreeNAS, Synology etc).

Unlike most of what we’ve covered here, Resilio is not a cloud-based file syncing solution. Instead, it relies on devices connected in peer-to-peer mode for the syncing process. There’s a free version and a paid offering (costing a one-time fee of $59.90) which links all your devices, has a one-time send feature, a selective sync feature and the ability to add folders to all your devices automatically. You will need to install this on all devices that you want to sync between.

Businesses will be better served by Sync Business which is a subscription service charging $29 per month, per user, with unlimited devices per user, file-level deduplication, data reduction, end-to-end encryption, and server support. Resilio Connect, an enterprise-grade version of Sync Business, offers WAN Optimization as well as advanced management capabilities.

(Image credit: Sync.com)

4. Sync.com

Superb all-rounder for personal or business usage

Excellent value for money
Unlimited versioning with paid plan
Remote wipe

One of the more complete file syncing solutions out there, Canada-based Sync.com offers three different plans for business users. The first tier, Business Pro Teams Standard, costs $5 per month and comes with a respectable 1TB of storage per user for between 2-100 users. All the tools for managing your backups and syncing are provided with unlimited data transfer.

The next tier is the Business Pro Teams Plus, which is priced at $8 per user per month, again for between 2-100 users, and each user has 4TB of storage space to work with. There is also a multi-user admin panel, the ability to transfer in synced accounts, as well as centralized billing to cover all users.

Business Pro Teams Advanced increases the storage for backups and synced files to 10TB per user, and also adds live chat support as a feature, and costs $15 per user per month.

All plans comes with sharing and collaboration options, 2048-bit RSA, SSL/TLS encryption, version history and restore, as well as remote wipe and lockout if required.

(Image credit: Google Drive)

5. Google Back Up and Sync

For those looking for a simple solution

Backed by Google
Great value for money
Lacks the sophistication of some rivals

It’s hard to beat Google’s backup, syncing and sharing solution if you are a small business or a personal user. Backup and Sync does what it says on the tin. Copy files from your computer, smartphone, or memory cards to the cloud. Find your files on any device or PC using Google Drive and see your photos in Google Photos – which is great as you can upload an unlimited amount of them online.

All versions of Google Drive, personal, pro, or enterprise, come with support for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, as well as video and voice conferencing.

You can read our review of Google Back Up and Sync here.

Other cloud storage and sync solutions

IDrive is another popular backup and sync file storage solution, offering 5GB for free at its basic level. There are paid-for personal and business editions, with the personal editions being cheaper and starting from $69.50 a year for 2TB of storage, with a discount applied for the first year. Business options are more expensive and start from $99.50 for 250GB, again with a discount for the first year. 

SugarSync offers files and sync storage solutions for personal and business users, and has extra security protections built in to protect files stored offline, on top of permissions options. Personal plans start from $7.49 for 100GB, whereas multi-user business accounts start from $55 per month for 2TB of storage for up to three users, with a custom quote required for more than ten active users.

SpiderOak offers a number of cloud-storage options, and although they provide a service for home users they are more focused on the needs of business users, especially where online collaboration may be required for file use. Personal plan pricing begins at $6 per month with the SpiderOak One platform, and that provides 150GB of storage. Business users can choose between different editions, but enterprise storage requires a minumum of 500 users.

Apple iCloud is a service provided for macOS and iOS users, offering 5GB of online backup for free. There are options to pay to upgrade to 50GB, 200GB, or 2TB, and there are family sharing options available. Curiously, though, rather than using its own servers Apple instead uses cloud storage from Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. 

Microsoft OneDrive is the popular edition to the online Office 365 suite, offering 5GB of storage for free, with additional backup options available for home and business users. For home users, storage-only for 100GB costs $1.99 per month, but with Office 365 Personal edition you get a whopping 1TB of storage bundled with it for $6.99 per month. Business editions cost $5 per user per month for 1TB of storage only, with a full-featured suite of officer applications and services available from $12.50 per month per user.