Cloud-storage vendors are falling all over themselves to attract new customers.
Dropbox, by far the most popular, offers newcomers freebie accounts with 2GB of space. SugarSync raises the bar to 5GB, while Microsoft ponies up 7GB for its SkyDrive service.
If you're looking for even more cloud storage and want to keep your wallet closed, check out 4Sync. The company, just out of beta, currently offers 15GB of cloud storage free of charge.
True to its name, 4Sync promises to keep all your files in sync across all your devices: laptop, desktop, tablet, and smartphone. But unlike, say, Dropbox and SkyDrive, 4Sync lets you sync any file or folder, not just those deposited in designated buckets. SugarSync is one of the few competitors to match that enviable feature.
I took the service for a quick test-drive, and will admit to running into a few bumps. For starters, when you install the desktop client for Windows (it's also available for Mac and Linux), it attempts to slip in McAfee Security Scan -- harmless, but I really dislike this kind of sneakware. Fortunately, one click opts you out, so long as you don't blindly blow past it.
Next, after syncing a smattering of photos from my desktop to my new cloud account, I went to view them in my browser -- and discovered that a few thumbnails didn't display properly.
Meanwhile, although the Android version of 4Sync worked well enough (offering to automatically upload all existing photos and videos from my device), the iOS version fared poorly. The photos I selected (one at a time, the only option) from my Camera Roll refused to upload, and overall syncing seemed buggy. There's also a Files view I couldn't explain.
Those wrinkles aside, 4Sync offers a pretty pleasant cloud-storage experience. It uploaded very quickly from my desktop, and afforded all the usual browser-based options you could want: different views, easy file/folder sharing, photo slideshows, and so on.
If you decide you want more than 15GB of space, 4Sync offers a 100GB Premium account for $9.95 per month -- a competitive rate. But it gets even better if you prepay for a year: $75, which works out to $6.50 per month.
At first blush, I'd say 4Sync came out of beta a little early. But with 15GB of free cloud storage and better-than-average sync options, it's definitely worth a look.