Trend Micro SafeSync review
Trend Micro SafeSync isn’t as immediately clear and friendly as some of its rivals when you install its desktop client. The first choice you’re given is a jargon-filled invitation to “change the root folder location”, accompanied by an entirely unhelpful description of what this entails. It’s just asking you where you want the synchronisation folder to be located, but it could be a lot clearer. Fortunately, once it’s installed, everything becomes much simpler.
Everything in your SafeSync folder is automatically synchronised with both your cloud storage and the SafeSync folders on your other PCs. You can sync other folders, including external disks and mapped network drives. This makes SafeSync usable as a basic online backup service. You can’t set a schedule, but files are automatically synced whenever they change. Especially useful is that SafeSync retains an unlimited number of previous versions of your files. Deleted files are stored online until you manually remove them, too.
If you want to configure or examine your settings, you'll have to use the right-click menu on SafeSync's notification area icon. The settings menu shows you how much storage you've used, allows you to add extra folders to be synchronised and lets you set speed limits to control how much bandwidth SafeSync will consume, allowing you to throttle it to levels that won’t interfere with your internet. You can also add any folder you want to synchronise via an option in Window Explorer's right-click menu; you can’t sync individual files except by copying them to a synchronised folder.
All your SafeSync folders are automatically copied to your online storage space. The service’s web interface looks a little cramped and cluttered, but it’s got a reasonable range of features. You can download individual files, open them using a program on your PC, or play a stream of the audio files in a given online folder.
Our MP3, FLAC and OGG files all happily played directly from the web; SafeSync’s audio streamer has better format support than most. There's also a drag and drop upload box to make it easy to add new files via the web and you can share links to files, either directly or via social media, and protect them using either an expiry date or a password. There’s no photo gallery, but you can view images, which open in a new window.
Mobile apps for Android and iOS have a slick interface that lets you browse and download the contents of your synced folders, as well as allowing you to upload files. Unfortunately, the apps don’t allow you to bulk upload all your photos, for example. Everything has to be browsed for and selected individually, which can be rather fiddly and time consuming.
Although its web interface and mobile apps feel somewhat behind the times, SafeSync is easy to use and its unlimited versioning definitely has appeal. 20GB costs £25 a year, 50GB costs £60 a year and 100GB costs £100 per year, although there are better savings if you pay for two years. If you don’t need much space, it’s cheap, but the higher-capacity packages are expensive compared to the likes of Dropbox and SugarSync.