Wondering How Long It Takes For Your Files To Sync First Time?
If there’s one thing that puts a lot of people off using online file sync or backup services, it’s the length of time it takes to perform the initial upload.
True, if you’re planning to upload many GB’s of data it probably will take a while.
So the best I can do for you is to try 5 of the most popular (and free) online backup & file sync services to see just how long it took me.
I’m going to perform a test on how long it takes each of the online file backup/sync/storage – call them what you will – companies listed below to upload 478MB of files – a nice round number!
The files are a mixture of compressed format (JPG) and uncompressed (RAW) images.
Here are the candidates:
- Windows Live Mesh 2011 (download) – Microsoft’s own offering; limited features but seems solid.
- SpiderOak (download) – Relatively new (2008); I wouldn’t see SpiderOak as a big player so good to throw it in the mix.
- Dropbox (download) – Very popular but still young (2008) offering, Dropbox use a more integrated approach to their client.
- SugarSync (download) – I first tried this last year and had a few problems. Let’s see how it performs on an upload test.
- MozyHome (download) – Mozy recently announced their 100% free for personal use offering. Around since 2005, Mozy are old hands at this stuff.
All of the above services are free for personal use, offering varying sizes of storage and most have premium offerings. See table below for a brief comparison chart.
Quick Feature Comparison
Before we get into the guts of it, here’s a quick comparison chart I put together as I was going along.
Microsoft’s Mesh offering is lacking some of the basic features that the others have such as mobile support and premium offerings whilst Mozy seems to tick most of the boxes. Read on to see how they all do.
For the test itself, my system is set up as follows:
- Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
- Internet Line: 15 Mbps Down/6 Mbps Up (Source: Speedtest.net)
- Network Connection: Wireless (802.11G)
- Applications Running: None (except for Windows services)
- Memory Installed: 1GB
- CPU: Intel Xeon 2Ghz
- Encryption: Yes
- Account: For each online storage service I will register a brand new account
- Settings: All settings for each online storage service will be left at default
- The Test: Uploading 478MB of data via each service providers Windows client
Well, the results are in. Smaller numbers are better!
- Windows Live Mesh 2011 (download) – I was impressed with the upload speed from Microsoft’s belated storage offering but unimpressed with the lack of control and features. No scheduling, no increased storage levels and no Windows XP support. It does have a built in remote control feature which could be handy but doesn’t support Mac.
- MozyHome (download) – The clear winner! I had not used Mozy up to this. From an upload performance view point, Mozy killed the opposition. It’s client is feature rich including scheduling but it’s web site interface is limited to restores only. Most attractive perhaps is it’s premium offering of unlimited space for a crazy low price.
- SpiderOak (download) – Clunky, complex user interface and a bizarre premium pricing structure. It was also on the slow side uploading. Considering they advertise that it has “10 – 15 times faster data upload” – I’d love to know what they were comparing it to! On the upside, it is feature rich and supports a lot of mobile and desktop platforms.
- Dropbox (download) – Reliable but simple. This is the ultra drag n’ drop offering. No client really to speak of, just a Windows Explorer integration with a settings panel. Upload speed was middle of the road. My experience of Dropbox, trouble free and easy.
- SugarSync (download) – The big surprise. I was expecting more from SugarSync considering it’s been around a while and has a pretty could rep. I did run the test twice though and the result was almost identical. Slow, slow uploads. They do have an option to increase the upload speed but for these tests I was leaving everything at default.