The first question someone is likely to ask about Trend Micro's recently updated SafeSync for Business is a simple one: "How does this compare with Dropbox?," the service that has come to define cloud-based storage for many of us. The answer is: favorably, since SafeSync now combines Dropbox ease-of-use with power-user sync features.
According to Trend Micro, enhanced security and management features also separate SafeSync from competitors. Where many products tend to start out simple and become complex over time, Trend Micro has turned a product that previously could be too complex for some users into one that matches Dropbox for ease-of-use and offers significantly more functionality for those who choose to use it.
SafeSync can make any folder a cloud synchronization folder, and also offers selective syncing at the file and device level for those desiring it. (Screen image at right shows selective synchronization).
Users also have a single, easy-to-find SafeSync folder that works very much like Dropbox, making cloud storage and synchronization easy and available to anyone. To that end, most users need never delve past the main SafeSync folder and can organize all their files in a single place.
The SafeSync folder simplfies sharing -- users don't have to create new shared folders inside an already shared folder, as I do with Dropbox. SafeSync gives users the option to turn any folder into a SafeSync folder, with automatic replication to the cloud and other authorized SafeSync users. This is done by right-clicking on a folder and selecting the option to make it a SafeSync folder.
On one hand, the sharing option is a tremendous convenience that allows users to work how they want to. On the other hand, it can create confusion because cloud storage no longer looks like single folder or attached storage device, and can extend across users' systems, folder by folder.
However, SafeSync users do have the option of simply nesting all their shared folders if they choose. This ability to share in the manner the user likes best is a signfiicant differentiator for SafeSync: Any file dragged into a shared folder is replicated to all users with access to the folder.
The new release is compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and runs in native 64-bit mode in 10.5 and above. SafeSync also runs on Windows, iOS and Android devices. A user's SafeSync files are also available using a web browser.
Since its release a year ago, SafeSync has undergone a number of changes, and in this newest release comes significant improvement of the user interface, reflecting a more mature product with a feature set more tuned for business users.
Europe, Middle East and Africa customers now are served from a Trend Micro data center in Munich, Germany, outside the reach of the U.S. Patriot Act. The company also has implemented an encryption solution called SecureCloud, which protects data as it is saved onto the data center servers. Also new is a 99.9 percent availablity guarantee with a money-back feature.
Available now, SafeSync for Business pricing starts at $90 per user per year for 50GB of storage. In contrast, Dropbox Team accounts start with five users and one shared TB of storage for $729 per year. (My guess is the two services end up being similairly priced when purchased in quantity.) The SafeSync personal product starts at $40 per year.