It’s been known for a while now that Apple has postponed the ability to share folders stored on iCloud up until next Spring. It’s something that many users are looking forward to as they plan to switch away from Dropbox, which once started out as an affordable and humble file syncing service but has morphed into a behemoth that caters to enterprises, raised prices, and increased RAM usage by integrating Electron to provide a shiny file manager. It’s great for what it’s set out to do, but not for meant everyone.
As a family of mostly iPhone users, we pay for Apple’s 2TB plan to store our pictures, app data, contacts, etc. But the thought of solely relying on it would make me uncomfortable. Aside for numerous bugs that may result in data improperly syncing or being deleted, it’s underdeveloped and unintuitive.
If I want to free up space on my phone, I can store optimized versions of photos to my device, but don’t have the same option for videos. If I delete photos and videos from my phone to save space, they are deleted everywhere. With various devices offered at varying storage capacities, it puts Apple’s lofty environmental goals into question. iCloud also has the advantage of being a native app, so it can run in the background without being killed. If you don’t have a fast enough connection to the internet, third party apps will require you to sit still and keep your phone’s screen on to wait for content to back up. If the app is running in the background it’s backup process might be killed before completion. Waiting on yearly improvements that may or may not arrive is not worth everyone’s time.
Apple talks a good game about maintaining user’s privacy, but like any company, it’s beholden to the demands of government agencies and the simplicity expected by its userbase, so a lot of services it offers can’t utilize privacy protections like zero-knowledge encryption. Apple is also extra careful, by using an unsecure option to protect accounts with SMS-based two-step verification. This isn’t suitable for most professional users who do not take the fate of their careers lightly. In the search for a secure, private, feature-filled, and reliable cloud storage file system, I found that Sync.com met my needs and provided some things I didn’t know I could want.
For starters, Sync.com provides strong two-step verification options. Instead of receiving a code via SMS (as you might with an Apple ID), you can do so via email or a third party account verification service like Authy or 1Password. I can rest easy knowing that my account will be safe, even if my password is compromised at some point, because the attacker won’t have access to my authentication tokens by intercepting text messages that contain them.
Sync.com uses zero-knowledge encryption, or end-to-end encryption, which means that only you can access the readable version of your data since you are the sole key holder. This keeps your data private even if it falls into the wrong hands, because it’s encrypted before it leaves your machine and the keys do not travel along with it.
Sync.com allows you to share folders with other Sync.com users, with Sync Shares, that can be remotely wiped from their devices. Similarly, you can create versatile Sync Links where you can control the amount of times content can be downloaded, create file requests with upload-enabled folders, and have the links expire after a certain amount of time. The best part is that you can use the Enhanced Privacy option to keep the contents encrypted end-to-end.
One way Sync.com surprised me is that it grants the ability to backup any files or folder that you see on your computer’s file system manually by right clicking it and selection the option to copy it to your Vault. The Vault is like a separate drive, or container that is solely stored online. The two primary benefits of the Vault are simple. First you can back up files and folders to Sync without worrying about them being downloaded to other devices, preventing unnecessary bandwidth from clogging up your network and physical storage space being consumed to hold content that isn’t pertinent. The other advantage of backing up to the Vault is that you don’t have to relocate files; no need for making copies of them on external drives or having to drag them to your main Sync.com folder. You can slow down the recording of different file versions since you will be manually backing them up; this way only the most significant changes will be saved and be easier to access later.
Sync.com allows you to automatically upload photos from your phone and iCloud account in the background to offload the task of backing up several hundred photos off of your shoulders. Recent updates convert Live Photos into the Quick Time File Format for video playback. Deleting photos on your device or on Sync.com doesn’t result in losing them forever. Whereas you may need to save up space on your phone by deleting photos, resulting in losing them on both your device and iCloud, uploaded copies remain on your personal cloud drive at Sync.com.
If you delete files for any purpose on Sync.com, they can be restored from the directories they were located in and changes are tracked in the events timeline. To permanently remove desired items you can purge them. There isn’t a time limit on how long you can keep your deleted files.
If you have a Mac and also pay for an iCloud storage plan, you can back up your Photos Library to the Vault in two clicks (once you’ve granted Sync.com Full Disk Access). Since you can’t effectively move it to an external drive, you can use this method to preserve a copy containing a full set of your photos in case you delete media to preserve internal storage space. This also serves as a great workaround if your mobile devices stop Sync.com from running in the background; you can wait for them to appear on your Mac and then back them up from there. You must export your Live Photos manually to a folder that will be backed up, though.
Despite the types of resources available to large companies, they are busy putting out several small fires while in pursuit of staying ahead of the game. Sometimes it’s best to chose something that stays out of the fray and focuses on a maintaining a solid product and great customer experience. It’s easy to entrust Sync.com, with it’s privacy-first approach that’s embedded in its product and knowing that its stellar customer support has your back. Since Sync.com isn’t busy mining your data (because they literally can’t) they’re focused on keeping you happy and not selling half-a-dozen other services to you. Their flexible and affordable pricing plans scale with your needs as a consumer, freelancer, or business owner and their team is there to ensure you have the best experience possible. Take charge of your digital life and sleep easier at night knowing that your precious memories and content you’ve worked on so hard to create are always available, exclusively to you by signing up with Sync.com today!