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Insyc Website

The other piece of Insync is its web portion. The website consists of three main features:

  • Feed - still in development, looks like it will push file notifications to Facebook
  • Files - A view of your files on Google
  • Settings - This tells you how much Google storage you're using, and some info about the local install

The Files view can't be searched, but you can apply filters by file type (pdf, document, presentation, spreadsheet, text) or file owner.

Insync Web file view

Insync Web file view

Mousing over a file name highlights it. Clicking on the little arrow drops down a menu with the options shown below. Share lets you share the document with other Google Docs users, while Get Sharable Link generates a short link that you can embed in a webpage or manually email to share with non-Docs users.

Insync Web file options

Insync Web file options

Versions doesn't work yet, nor does Recent Changes, which appears to work with the Feed tab. Download As lets you download docs as .csv, .html, .ods, .pdf, .tsv, or .xls files. And clicking on a document opens it right up in Google Docs, if it's a supported format. The short video below does a nice job of walking you through Insync's little feature set and is worth a watch.

Access, Support, Security

Online Ticket
IM / Chat
Knowledge Base
Private Key
Browser-based file manager
Email link
Windows Mobile

As with many small startups, support resources are barebones. There is a support forum (powered by Vanilla Forums) and a FAQ that provides a email address.

Since you can't access the Forum without signing up, there's a screenshot of the Forums landing page below, so you can get a feel for what's going on. Note that the Forum is searchable.

Insync Forum landing page

Insync Forum landing page

There isn't any description of Insync's security approach in the FAQ or the Insync guide. A search of the Forums pulled up this thread, however. It reveals that SSL is used for the sync between your computer and Insync's servers. Beyond that, things are somewhat fuzzy, as the thread includes references to Amazon S3, which is no longer used.

It's safe to say that if your files must be secured from access, you should encrypt them yourself before putting them in the Insync folder or anywhere on the cloud where you are not 100% sure of how and when files are encrypted.

For access, anything that has a web browser can access the Insync website. The FAQ mention mobile apps for Android and iPhone coming this quarter (1Q2012).

Closing Thoughts

Insync can provide some of the features provided by Dropbox and SugarSync, with the added advantage of document editing via Google Docs. Insync's main value add is that it uses Google's much cheaper storage. The table below shows exactly how much cheaper for yearly storage cost.

Service Cost : Storage
Insync Free: 1 GB $5: 20 GB $20: 80 GB
Dropbox Free: 2 GB $120: 50 GB $240: 100 GB
Sugar Sync Free: 5 GB $50: 30 GB $150: 100 GB
Storage Cost Comparison

Of course, all it will take is for Google to go live with GDrive, which the Wall Street Journal claims is imminent, to put a premature end to Insync's business. But in the meantime, Insync provides a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to sync your files with the cloud.

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