The Absolute Best iPad Cloud Sync App [plus a giveaway]

We stumbled on an app that could quite possibly be the best iPad cloud sync app that we have seen.  It offers an incredible set of features that are sure to protect all your most important information as well as keep you in sync.

Best iPad Cloud Sync App

What does cloud sync actually mean and why would you use it?  The cloud, of course, is the Internet and syncing all of your information to storage on the Internet that can be accessed from any device is what cloud syncing is all about. This means that you can have all your information kept safe, backed up, and accessible from your iPad, mobile phone, desktop, laptop or just through a web page.  Best of all, everything is kept in sync no matter what device you use to access it.

One example of an iPad cloud app is Dropbox.  With Dropbox you get 2GB of Internet storage (free) and you can then buy more as you need it.  Dropbox gives you a place to put you files, videos, photos, and music that you can then access from the official Dropbox app or through many popular apps such as Docs To Go.

But we found something even better.  We found an iPad cloud sync service called SugarSync.  And this does things that Dropbox simply cannot do right now.

SugarSync. The Best iPad Cloud Sync Solution

iPad Cloud Sync App

SugarSync is a way to access all your files from just about anywhere and using any device.  SugarSync’s online backup, file sync, and sharing service makes it easy to stay connected. With SugarSync you get secure cloud storage for all your files — documents, music, photos, and videos.

With Dropbox, you have to remember to place your files there or you won’t have them if you need access to them.  Using SugarSync, you simply designate folders that you want to “sync” to the cloud and it keeps everything in sync anytime you make changes.  This is the way cloud storage should be done and especially if you are using your iPad for buisness or for school.

Features You Get With SugarSync

SugarSync For iPad

SugarSync for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch includes:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to all files, photos and music
  • Instantly share remotely-stored files from your iPad with friends and colleagues
  • Stream a music library from any computer (save valuable local storage space for favorites)
  • Sync photos taken with your iPhone or created on your iPod or iPad back to all your devices

SugarSync for iPad also includes:

  • Open cloud-synced files in a local document editor for editing and local saving.
  • With SugarSync’s Upload by Email, files can be re-synced to all of your other computers via the cloud.

SugarSync is the best iPad cloud sync app I have seen.  The features are perfect for anyone looking to not only get the most out of their iPad but get the most out of using it for business or school. I have been using it since discovering it and I am it is my opinion that it not only trumps Dropbox but it is a must have for every iPad user that wants the massive benefits of keeping their data synced up and safe.

They have a free option you can use and they also have paid monthly plans starting at $4.99/month for 30 GB of storage.  This is a very generous amount of storage for the price and well worth it when you see how it works.

The SugarSync Giveaway

The great folks over at SugarSync have agreed to give one TCGeeks reader a FREE 30GB SugarSync account.  This is a massive value and lets you use this amazing iPad cloud sync app without spending a dime.  We are excited to give this to one of our readers and here are the rules:

  • Leave a comment below and describe how this would benefit you
  • Be willing to provide me some feedback so I can pass it on to SugarSync

That’s it.  I will be picking a winner later this week and I can’t wait because I want you to experience the best iPad cloud sync app I have seen yet.

Learn more

Originally posted 2011-03-14 07:00:18.


  1. Tommy Walker says:

    Where I’m constantly on the go and increasingly finding myself needing to access certain files while I’m out, I think something like SugarSync would be extremely effect, especially once I get my iPad.

    I find that even using my VPN tool to access my desktop isn’t really horribly effective, as my desktop’s interface isn’t really designed for touch screen devices, so I’m fairly certain that using a tool that will optimize the file to be displayed in the correct format, rather than having to strain and resize will do a world of good :-)

    1. Shane says:


      Thanks – I have a feeling your iPad is on it’s way and in the air….

      I was highly impressed with Sugarsync – and I’ve tried them all so this is going to be a great experience since, as you said, the VPN is marginal at best.

    2. bvanf says:

      My favorite is Sugarsync it has all the benefits of the above and you start with more free storage than the rest (5.5 with the below link):

      also you can gain more free storage with refs, which in my opinion means it dominates g-drive. Plus it rocks on Ipad

  2. Jim Trietsch says:

    We’ve been using SugarSync as a family for several years. It’s great for being not only a backup for our pictures and videos, but also facilitates sharing files and keeping them in sync across computers. It works very well with the iPad and the iPhone

    1. Shane says:

      Thank You Jim!

      Yeah, I know a lot of folks out there are looking at Dropbox but Sugarsync is ahead of the game when it comes to actually keeping files in sync and backups!

  3. Turt99 says:

    Another really cool giveaway.

    I’m actually not sure what I would use SugarSync for, I currently have Dropbox but so far I haven’t really used it extensively. I think I haven’t really gotten used to the idea of using the cloud yet. But the option to have access to 30gb of data anywhere I can get on the net sounds pretty awesome.

    1. Shane says:

      Hey there –

      Well, Here’s the difference. With dropbox, you have to place files in your dropbox storage…with Sugarsync, you just tell it folders to sync and it’s automatic – so you don’t have to worry about the times when you might forget to place your files into your dropbox.

      1. Turt99 says:

        I have dropbox setup to do that on my PC, well I guess its all out of one base folder, but I just put everything I want to sync under there.

        1. Shane says:

          True – but I think the main difference is that you just tell SugarSync what to sync and it does it all, without needing to setup special folders….

      2. Doug says:

        This can be done with Dropbox as well using one of the many Dropbox addons…

        The only potential downside is that so many apps for the iPhone/iPad come with Dropbox sync built in which makes it extremely convenient.

        1. Shane says:

          Hi Doug,
          Yes I agree – but the one thing that I have to say does not come with Dropbox is backups….and the ability to send a file to dropbox via email which is a request I get all of the time :)

          1. Doug says:

            Airdropper does this…


  4. Lynn P says:

    Awesome timing for this post! I just downloaded Dropbox to my computer yesterday and was deciding how to “arrange” my folders so I made sure to get all my pertinant files to dropbox. Sugarsync seems like a much easier solution where I can just choose the folders I want to sync without having to move them all.

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Lynn,

      Sugarsync is definitely a more simple solution – in that you can just designate what to sync and it gets to work…I continue to be impressed with its abilities :-)

  5. Gavin0311 says:

    I currently use dropbox extensively to sync my work documents between work, home, iphone, and now my new iPad 2. I would love to use it to sync media files as well, but I only have the free 2 GB plan and that has rapidly been filling up over the past year with documents for work and school. I liked it so much when I first started using it that I got most of my friends and relatives hooked on it as well.

    SugarSync seems to take it to the next level by allowing you to choose which folders to sync. The integrated document editor sounds great. Being able to make quick edits would be really nice to have on my iPad without having to use one of those clunky desktop to iPad interfaces. I also like the idea of shared folders. This would be really nice for using with my colleagues at work and my classmates at school to collaberate on projects together.

    This would be great for my iPhone 4 as well, since the videos and photos that I have taken take up so much room and I only have 16 GB of phone storage. It would make it easy to share movies I edit with iMovie on iPad 2 as well.

    I would definitely be willing to give some feedback on the product if it were given to me. I am usually pretty good at critiquing products and offering suggestions for improvement. I think the people who have complaints and do nothing about it are generally just whiners so I try not to put myself in that situation.

    1. Shane says:

      Gavin. Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it and I agree with you that the ones whining are usually the ones not doing anything about it :-)

  6. David Allie says:

    I do a lot of FileMaker development and a SugarSync account would allow me to have always-in-sync databases to show clients (and prospective clients).

  7. Webb71 says:

    As a teacher who has to move to three different classroom during the day, I would use SugarSync to access my class materials like notes and presentations. Right now I can only have one days materials in my dropbox on day. This makes it hard to go back and show materials from previous days without much hassle. In addition, I would be able to work at home without having to e-mail stuff back and forth which is time consuming on both ends. I love using my ipad in my classroom, but sometimes feel hindered with some of the limitations that come with it. Having access to SugarSync would eliminate some of those hindrances and allow me to use my time more effectively in class.

    1. Shane says:

      Thank you very much for the comment. And this would be absolutely perfect for teachers. I had not thought of that!!

  8. Nikki O says:

    Thanks for letting us know about this Shane! I follow your blog through Google Reader and you guys always have a lot of great advice. I’m a stay at home mom of two young boys, finishing my masters degree while doing an internship 15 hours a week. So I’m often at different places when I need to access a certain document. I have an free account with Dropbox, but I used up my available space quickly. To add my most recent info I have to go through and clean out what I don’t use often. It’s good to know about SugarSync as a alternative!

    1. Shane says:

      Hi Nikki. Thanks for the comment!! I know that when I was getting my degree this would have helped immensely.

  9. Robert L. says:

    Is SugerSynch as commonly supported by apps as dropbox is? It looks great but wondering about that aspect.

    1. Doug says:

      Unfortunately no… this is why Dropbox is much more convenient.

  10. Gary says:

    I currently use DropBox for my sync needs, but feel that SugarSync offers more features and functionality. I have used it a little bit in the past, but felt DropBox was more user friendly. Since I feel SugarSync is a more robust offering, I’d love to have a reason to use it for my daily syncing needs!

  11. Kevin Rhodes says:

    Wow! This sounds like a great app and exactly the solution I am looking for. In my job I have travelled to over 279 countries so I have amassed a giant photo collection that is impossible to keep all together on a single drive or on a single device, so this option of using the cloud sound terrific and I can’t wait to experience it.

    1. Kevin,
      Thanks for the comment – I’ll be picking the winner this week but that’s amazing you have been to over 279 countries!!!! I’m jealous.

      1. Bob says:

        You should be especially jealous since there aren’t that many countries in the world! Only 196.

        1. Phillip Thomas says:

          I know I’m late, but that’s hilarious.

  12. Steve says:

    As a commuting teacher trying to use my preferred Mac in an unfriendly Windows environment, being able to use my iPad at school would be a huge boon.

    1. Thanks Steve for the comment – yeah, I agree…it’s much easier to use the mac with Windows when there are tools to keep them in “sync” and I love that Sugarsync is cross platform!

  13. Sfk says:

    The only thing i dont like about sugarsync is the UI.

    1. Is it confusing or just not informative?

  14. ha14 says:

    Dont have any cloud sync application and i see the importance of this kind of applications.

  15. Thomas says:

    I’ve been using Sugarsync for a few days now. I help out at my local council teaching photography and organizing basic lectures to educate people to read images. We have an Ipad there, but I’ve been using USB sticks to move photos back and forth because as you all know the Ipad lacks proper connections. I’ve been experimenting with SugarSync and I have to say it’s been a huge step up. I’ve been using Dropbox for years, but it wasn’t helpful here because of the 2gb limit.
    With Sugarsync I found a way to do my research in photo archives, choose the best materials for the course, maybe email it directly to Sugarsync on the spot, and then arrange the right photos for our courses in synced folders. This way I can tailor the programs to the different classes, and have the photos available for them to see and study and talk about with them. We have a big screen (not that big, unfortunately), but I like to use the Ipad to have it go aroud and let people take a closer look, maybe helping them see particulars, zooming in, etc. I found the ‘tactile’ feeling of the Ipad helps their engagement with the material. Pretty soon we’ll try to get fundings to have some cameras there and have the students take their own pictures, maybe going outdoor all together and experiment visually. Then SugarSync would also come in handy to provide them with a platform for sharing their own pics.

    So far I like it, and I could use the extra gigs. As for feedback, I wouldn’t mind having an option to stop syncinc a specific file from the file transfer status. I think right now the only option is to remove the folder the file is in from the cloud.

  16. Thomas says:

    Also (sorry for adding a second comment, this just came to my mind), another useful feature would be the ability to specify a file type NOT to be synced. For example, I’d like to add my “Desktop” folder to Sugarsync because that’s where I keep most of my day to day open projects. But that’s also where Google Chrome puts downloaded files by default, so I wouldn’t want SugarSync to star upload big video files or photos that are not necessary. If I could just add”desktop” to my sync folder list and then add an instruction to exclude .avi and .jpgs from the syncing process, that would be helpful. Just thinking out loud here – I don’t even know if you were looking for feedback here in the comments. I apologise in advance.

    1. Shane says:

      Thomas…I wanted to let you know that I reached out to SugarSync and they did reply that the features you are seeking are definitely on their roadmap. Just FYI.

      1. Thomas says:

        I’m glad to hear that, thank you so much for asking them! :)

  17. Stuart Margulies says:

    I picked up my first Ipad on launch day. My wife had given me a gift certificate last Father’s day, and I wanted a Gen 2 device. I am looking forward to ditching my laptop as soon as possible, and have spent the last few days looking for the best in breed apps to help me perform the things I do on my laptop. An app like yours expands my ability to work with the device. I am looking forward to testing and using your application.

  18. Mark Giles says:

    I currently use Dropbox and, as you say, you have to consciously remember each time that you need to put any cloud-required files into your Dropbox folder.

    Sugarsync would certainly smooth-out the procedure for me; I transfer all my PDF and epub files to Dropbox – when I remember to do it – so an automatic system which monitors my Download folders would be very useful.

    I will be pleased to provide feedback for you to give to the publishers.

  19. I could use Sugar Sync at school on my new iPad 2! I’ve been looking for a solution to sync my documents with the cloud, and Sugar Sync is perfect.

    1. Shane says:

      Thanks Robert for stopping by!

      Actually this is a GREAT tool to use for school…..and while I focused a lot on the business use, students can benefit greatly as well.

  20. Rick Gernhardt says:

    Shane, I really appreciated your post on Sugarsync. I have been scowering the web looking for a solid and cost efficient solution for storing info on the cloud. Sugarsync looks like the perfect solution.

    Now let me throw my hat in the ring for the 30gb Sugarsync account. 9 days ago my wife gave birth to our first child, Brayden. Even before the birth both sets of grandparents were scheduled to fly out to meet the little guy once he arrived. Regretfully, the day after Brayden was born my dad had a bad fall and broke his ankle and leg in several places. Consequently, my parents aren’t going to be able to make it out here to see their first grandson for some time.

    This is the predicament that has compelled my search for a great cloud storage solution. I am hoping to upload all the photos and videos of little Brayden that I can so that my parents won’t miss out on the birth of their first grandchild. I have been working with Dropbox for the past couple of days and it looks like a pretty good system, but given that it is limited 2gb of storage I know that it won’t do the trick as we catalog our little guys up and coming antics for family and friends.

    In addition, to wanting to keep my parents in the loop on Brayden’s adventures, I would also love to integrate Sugarsync with my workflow. I am the pastor of a church in Florida and since we don’t have an IT guru on hand it’s up to me to figure out how to manage our storage/file sharing needs. Sugarsync’s ability to progressively update any changes to the files that are stored on the cloud would be a great solution to our needs.

    Thanks for considering me for the Sugarsync account. Should I be picked for the Sugarsync account I am happy to offer some constructive feed back on how Sugarsyn works to serve a family looking to share the important moments of life with family and friends securely and how it enables a small organization to leverage limited technological resources to do its job better.

    Regardless of the outcome of the contest I really appreciated your write up on Sugarsync. It opened my eyes to what I think may be the best solution of its kind.



    1. Shane says:

      Rick – Thank you so much for the comment. Brayden sounds like he is going to have some great grandparents and parents :-)

      Technology can be a good thing sometimes when it comes to families that are so far apart.

      Don’t worry – I will find a way to get this account to you so you don’t miss out on the little guys antics!

  21. Rob says:

    Both my wife and i are teachers, but in different schools. We both have our iPads and use it extensively to explain and show our students, by photos and keynotes, how ‘stuff works’ and it would be more than welcome if we were given the opportunity to so sync all of our materials on a 30GB backup.
    The children we work with have ‘special needs’ and for them it’s an absolute necessity to recieve schooling in a visual way. Unfortunately that requires a lot of GB’s.

    1. Shane says:

      Rob. Thanks. I love how you guys are integrating the iPad into the educational experience. That’s awesome!!! I’ll be doing the drawing on Friday the 18th.

    2. Shane says:

      Hi Rob,
      Did you get my email that you had won the SugarSync account?

  22. Todd Petersen says:

    I have been tasked by my university to look into best practices for student and teachers alike regarding tablet and handheld computing. A full sugarsync account would allow me to look into cloud syncing options in an educational setting. For next semester I am looking at how a whole class of 25 using of iPads might integrate with the library, IT, our LMS, and how we might be able to promote tablet use and cloud apps as the primary computing platform for our institution. Since I’ll be taking my recommendations to the whole school. I have a potential audience of 8500 students who will be looking to settle on a cloud syncing app for the next four years and beyond. Since Google Docs is still a bit rough on iOS, this could be the thing.

    Like so much in education, mine is an unfunded endeavor.

    1. Shane says:

      Todd thank you so much for the comment. I’ll be picking the winner on sunday (march 20th)

  23. Wanda says:

    I am excited to try Sugarsync. Using Dropbox and paying a monthly fee for adequate storage but keep forgetting to place my important files in the dropbox folder. Would love to have easy access to my ipad using this new cloud storage.

  24. Hammy Havoc says:

    Though SugarSync is good, I’m still a Dropbox fanboy.

  25. Latoya says:

    I like both, I love sugar sync for its folder syncing ,and dropbox for its WYSIWYG GUI

    1. Shane says:

      Thanks Latoya – I actually think a lot of people are finding this…they love the GUI of dropbox but the sync features of Sugarsync…perhaps there needs to be an app called: Sugarbox or Dropsync :)

    2. Latoya says:

      Also, does anyone know of a “cloud” software that allows you to synchronize folders like sugar sync but to network drives? and Is accessible from and Ipad.

      1. Shane says:

        Hi Latoya,
        I have not heard of syncing to network drives – but do you mean network drives on your computer that connect back to a corporate network?

        1. Latoya says:

          correct, and i don’t even need access to the whole drive, just folders. I was thinking…. To find a solution for my problem is to have a “shortcut” like folder on my actual desktop that links to a folder/s on my work server/network drive and use sugar sync to sync with the “shortcut” like folder so that I may access the files from my Ipad.

          What do you think?

          1. Shane says:

            I love the idea….and I think that with Sugarsync you can tell it to sync various folders and in my mind, it would not matter where those folders are located…they could be anywhere really….

            1. latoya says:

              Thanks, this is my setup…
              1) Sync Toy
              2) Sugar Sync on PC
              3) Task manager, to automatically update sync toy
              4) sugar sync app on my Ipad and blackberry

              1. Shane says:

                And are the network drives on your PC?

                1. latoya says:

                  No, the network drive is as a server/external network harddrive

  26. Benz says:

    We love giving away free storage! For every friend you refer to SugarSync, we’ll give you both 500 MB of bonus space. If your friend joins a paid plan, you each get whopping 10 GB storage!

  27. Meckmsmythe says:

    This sounds like just the thing i need to keep me sane! I work from home and am constantly on the go with our kids. the nature of my work coupled with kids gets a bit crazy. Thought an iphone would help, just bought another lighter macbook and recently bought an ipad to try to keep from having to pack up everything but the kitchen sink when I have to be out. Having a place where i can place files, and other work related info- to grab and use if needed while out is ideal! also, I am terrible about remembering to sync all my stuff so this sounds like it would help me keep all my changes in one place vs. Having to update everything each time. I can pull down different files that the client wants to see and not have to drive back home to send them. Perhaps 24 hours will be enough in each day after all! I’m going to look into this now.

  28. Harry Montague says:

    Well my wife and I have been trying to find a simple solution to sharing important information about my son.
    He has a terminal condition called Mitochondrial Disease. there has been many occasions when either my wife or I needed to get information from each other. This information could be anything from Doctors forms, letters to school officials, insurance providers ect. that we would need to share. I think SugarSync would work out wonderfully. So I am dropping DropBox ( no pun intended) and going to try SugarSync. I will let you know how it works out for us.

    Harry Montague

  29. JP says:

    The reason this is great for me is that it is dumbed down for even us middle aged ladies who are not tech savy

  30. Raphael says:

    I’m looking for a two-way sync cloud storage solution for my ipad, and it seems that sugarsync is a good solution… anyone knows if the sugarsync storage can be accessed via webdav?
    Currently i’m using dropbox but I can’t sync folders in the same way sugarsync does…
    Can we still have 30 GB sugarsync accounts?

  31. Micki Butler says:

    I would use sugarsync for my music, movies, and books that I download. Thanks for all of the info! It sounds awesome!

  32. Scott says:

    I have been sittiing on the iPad purchase for a bit debating the best way to sync my iPad, iPhone and macbook. I also have a work think pad that I would like to sync files from. Reading up on the iCloud wasn’t really doing it for me, but this seems perfect.
    Currently I back up my computer suing Mozy, would that still be necessary with sugarsync? I suppose it would since I wouldn’t be syncing all my files/photos.
    WIth this can I add excel files and grab them with any of my devices? I know that is one major drawback with iCloud…that and the price.

    Thanks for this article!

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