Time for me to change my recommendation of which online file storage service is the best for smartphone users. Back in April I wrote an overview of the online file storage services that work with smartphones, and my recommendation in it had two parts. If you want free file storage the best option was Dropbox, which provided 2 GB of free storage that at the time was the most amongst the services. In that post I also said that if you need more than 2 GB of storage then SugarSync was the best option because for $49.99 per year it provides 30 GB of storage, which was the cheapest of the for-pay storage options.
Two weeks ago Box.net announced that they were providing 5 GB of storage for free, making it the king of the hill for free online storage. At the time I said I would personally stick with Dropbox because of its file synchronization capability that makes it easy to move files from desktop computers to Dropbox’s servers.
Well, today SugarSync upset the apple cart by announcing that they too are now providing 5 GB of free storage and the free account includes support for automatic file synchronization between desktops and SugarSync’s servers. SugarSync has free mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian phones. In my opinion SugarSync still is the best service if you need more than 5 GB of storage because it retains their 30 GB/$49.99 per year plan, and at the moment I have to declare SugarSync the best online file storage service overall for smartphone users.
Changes in the online file storage arena are happening quickly, so I expect that Dropbox will at least meet if not exceed SugarSync’s upgraded service, and for the moment I don’t plan on making the switch from Dropbox to SugarSync. If Dropbox and SugarSync end up providing the same 5 GB of free storage a choice between the two will require a closer look at the features of each. One benefit that SugarSync provides over Dropbox is that it enables you to select folders that already exist on your PC to sync to their servers, while Dropbox has it’s own specific file structure. For example, you could configure SugarSync to sync the My Documents folder on your PC, while you cannot do so with Dropbox. On the other hand, I’ve observed that iPad app developers who work with online file storage services have been primarily using Dropbox and Google Docs so if you are an iPad user you may want to confirm that the apps you want to use work with SugarSync.