Microsoft Sharepoint, Box.net or Dropbox are just a few of many services that let users share and sync files across multiple platforms and access them from anywhere. But there’s a new player in town: Insync, which just launched with the same selling proposition but stands out with tight Google integration (for Gmail, Google account, and Google Apps account holders).
In other words, if you’re using one of the existing file management services but have always wanted to sync and share Google Docs (in addition to other files), then you should read on (Insync works with both Windows and Mac OS).
How does it work
After signing in with your Google account (no separate registration required), Insync runs seamlessly with the OS and in the background. Much like with other file management services, there is no UI. You can drag and drop files or create folders just like you do under Windows Explorer or Mac Finder.
Other than the single sign-on through Google, Insync is different from Dropbox and other services through syncing Google Docs automatically and displaying it as a folder under Insync. Whenever you add, delete, or edit a file on your desktop, it will automatically sync to Google Docs and vice versa – in (near) real-time. Needless to say, file sharing and syncing works outside Google Docs, too.
How much storage do users get
Gmail/Google account owners get 1GB free, while Google Apps users (businesses) get 1GB pooled company storage for free (for 5 users). Only business users can access a dashboard, enable one-click share to the entire company or one-click importing of all employees into Insync.
Insync says the pricing above free is yet to be determined but promises prices will be very “competitive”.
How is Insync different
Asked what differentiates his from other file management services (apart from the Google integration), Insync co-founder Terence Pua says each solution offers features others don’t, which makes comparisons difficult.
But there are some points that make Insync stand out from the crowd. For example, when you share folders with other users, their storage quota isn’t counted against them (under Dropbox, the recipients are “forced” to lose space). File sync service Memeo Connect does support Google Docs – but only for Google Apps Premier editions, while Insync supports all editions.
Among all online storage solutions, Syncplicity probably comes closest to Insync – but even here, the devil is in the detail. For example, Syncplicity’s free personal edition offers 2GB but limits the offer to just 2 synced computers (unlimited in the case of Insync). And in contrast to Syncplicity, Insync provides a free business edition right off the start.
For all companies registered at CrunchBase, Insync offers a special deal, namely space for up to 10 users and 2GB free (instead of 5 users and 1GB). All that CrunchBase companies need to do is click here, enter their domain, verify and get started.
In a separate “campaign”, the first 100 readers (not bots) who retweet this post with hash tag #tcinsync get 5GB of storage free (Insync will contact you). If you’re out of luck, just give the regular version a spin.
The eponymous company behind Insync is based out of Manila and has raised a $325,000 seed round in December 2009. The services was first publicly showcased during echelon 2010 in Singapore this summer.