Cloud Sync Apps

I know that DropBox is recommended for use with Scriv but are there any others that have been found to be reliable? I have heard that Box works OK, but one called “Sync” claims zero-knowledge encryption and looks to be reasonably priced.

Has anyone any experience with any of these others? I did try Box some time ago but found it rather slow - easy to shut down before sync finished - and a little buggy, but it may have improved since then. Ideally I would like to keep the free DropBox purely for use with Scriv simply because that’s the way Keith designed it, together with another one for storage of everything else.

However if any others are shown to work fine with Scriv then I’d be happy to use just the one.

I’m using Sync for some of my Scrivener projects, particularly those that I need to share with my collaborator in China—where Dropbox is blocked. To date, I/we have had no problems with it and it seems to work as well and quickly as Dropbox. I would definitely recommend a look.

SpiderOak is good from the security point of view, and it now has a much improved UI. However, I don’t think it gives you any space for free any more.


Thanks. Although I’m not as hung up on zero knowledge encryption as some, since it’s easy enough to encrypt anything important, it certainly looked worth a try. Just one point - have you noticed any effect on battery life? DropBox is pretty light but in the past some I tried did have a noticeable effect.

I had a look at iCloud Drive, which at £2.50p/month for 200Gb is actually a decent buy for what I need. However despite my best efforts it does it the Apple way and tries to upload everything, despite my altering the settings in an attempt to stop it. Gave up in the end.

Vague memory of trying SpiderOak some years ago when this Cloud stuff was just getting going. Very buggy and appeared to have a significant impact on battery life compared to the others. I don’t doubt it’s improved since, but a reasonable free tier does give you the opportunity to complete a fair trial, before putting down the cash.

No, I haven’t really noticed an impact on battery life with Sync any more than with Dropbox, neither on my former MBA nor on my current rMBP. I only do a manual save from Scrivener very occasionally. As that changes the whole project which will have to be uploaded in the background, doing it often with big projects I could imagine that would impact battery life.

iCloud I use for some storage, including zipped Scrivener backups now … I have 50GB for £0.79/month. I’m currently only using about 4GB of it and have had no problem stopping it from trying to sync my whole Documents and Desktop folders.


I use Mega as one of my cloud services. Fast, reliable and encrypted.

It must be me then but I can’t see what I’m doing wrong. I’ve turned off “Desktop and Documents” in the options when iCloud Drive was switched on (System Prefs → iCloud → options) , but they still appear in the iCloud Drive folder.

There is another location under:  → About this Mac ->Storage → manage → recommendations → store in iCloud which also offers the option to turn them off. However even if I uncheck both, ‘store files from Desktop/Documents’ and ‘Store Photos/videos’, the button to confirm the change remains unchanged and stuck at ‘store in iCloud’. Cancelling just reverts them back to the default ‘store in the cloud’.

Another under:  → About this Mac ->Storage → manage → iCloudDrive looks as though Desktop/Docs is turned off, but they’re still being uploaded.

That’s two, possibly 3 places (one is “recommendations”) where you can change settings. Not exactly intuitive and not the sort of thing you expect on a Mac.

Maybe there’s a permissions problem somewhere since I run as User, although there really shouldn’t be. Still, in the end I gave up and started to play with Sync which on a brief trial is looking good.

Just to summarise my findings.

iCloud Drive appears to work OK but it’s certainly not intuitive and will insist on doing things ‘the Apple way’ rather than default to what I want it to do. Apart from the ‘pie’ in the Finder sidebar there’s no way of telling what’s happening and when it’s finished syncing. This utility goes some way to address that: To me the whole thing seemed a bit clunky.

Whilst exploring Box I did come across this: which states explicitly that Box Sync - the desktop app - supports Mac packages. AFAICT they don’t support Finder tags or custom icons. A brief trial suggests it does what it says, but longer term tests may prove otherwise. However the free Box gives you 10Gb of space but has a file size upload limit of 250Mb, so might be worth a punt. Use at your own risk.

Whilst Sync does offer end to end zero knowledge encryption, tech support have told me they don’t (yet) support Mac packages, or metadata (Finder tags etc).