While businesses have been on board for a while now, more and more consumers are turning to the cloud for their backup and storage needs. Whether you’re looking for the security of keeping your important files backed up or whether you’re after the convenience of being able to access your data from anywhere, cloud storage has appealing functionality.
Trend Micro’s SafeSync is one such storage solution. Coming in a variety of configurations, we’re looking at the SafeSync Lite for the home user. Lite gives users 20GB of storage for $39.95, with the other two options being 50GB for $59.95 and 100GB for $99.95. It’s worth noting that this is a one year subscription, rather than an outright purchase.
SafeSync is an easy install, during which you’re able to specify which folders on your PC that you wish to have automatically backed up. Backup occurs whenever a change is made to one of the files rather than at any scheduled time. You’re also easily able to adjust transfers speeds if you find that large files are slowing down your internet connection. Finally, you can specify the caching of files on your local drive – a handy feature for laptop owners who may be away from a net connection at times.
Beyond its straight backup functions, SafeSync also operates as a virtual drive, allowing users to open files from Windows Explorer or to save directly from applications – it also lets you drag and drop from the desktop or other folders.
All this is very helpful for SafeSync’s other main use – universal access. SafeSync can be installed across multiple PCs and used as a central repository for important files. Trend Micro also offer applications for Android and iOS making mobile access quick and simple. From a personal users point of view, this can make SafeSync as convenient as a USB drive.
We used a simple real world test of replacing a 4GB USB drive with SafeSync for a three week period. The drive was traditionally used transferring work files and screenshots from this writer's home PC back to the office. After the initial set up and the time taken to upload the 2GB of existing files from the drive to SafeSync, there was only one issue with the service for the period – one incident of being unable to open the virtual drive on the office PC that was solved by a simple reboot.
There were a few niggles with the SafeSync service, but certainly nothing in the “deal breaker” category. The two or three updates to the PC application that we received required a fresh install and update each time. Also, when a file is deleted from SafeSync, it’s actually sent to the recycle bin section of the virtual drive – a safe decision, but we were only able to empty the recycle bin via logging into the SafeSync web interface, a not overly intuitive method.
For people just looking to access a few files while on the go, one of the free services with 2GB or 5GB might be just fine. However, if you’re looking for a cloud backup and storage solution with a solid helpdesk, well-made mobile app interfaces and scalable storage allowances, Trend Micro’s SafeSync ticks all right the boxes.