You just finished an amazing PowerPoint and now you’re ready to show it off, you attach it to an email and hit “send” with anticipation of the praise you’ll receive. But the file size exceeds the mail server’s limits and you get a bounce back stating the file is too large. No one will be seeing it today.
Whether it’s at home or work, most of us can relate to how frustrating it can be to email a document that is larger than 10-15 megabytes. With the popularity of graphics and video, file sizes have gotten larger, while email servers still seem to have the same size restrictions.
The #1 cloud service type requested by employees is file sharing.
The struggle with sharing electronic files is why cloud-based file sharing and storage sites have become a popular computer service and one that people have come to increasingly depend upon on a daily basis.
But, with so many services now available, how do you know which one to use? What’s the best free file sharing site for personal use? What about the most flexible for business use?
We’ve taken a look at the top four most popular file sharing and cloud storage sites out there to bring you the answers.
Review of OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox
Here is an overview of popular file sharing sites including pricing, storage space, and features, so you can see which one might best fit your business or personal file sharing and storage needs.
Google Drive is one of the most popular file sharing services, and anyone that’s signed up for a Google account has probably seen it in their apps panel. It has a market share of nearly 35%, making it number one, with Dropbox in second.
This platform is more generous with the free storage space than many others and it offers personal and business options. You’ll also find Google Drive sharing integrated across multiple applications
- Free Storage: 15 GB
- Paid Storage with Google One: $1.99/month for 100 GB or $2.99/month for 200 GB
- Drive Enterprise: $8/user/month
(Includes Google Docs, Sheet, and Slides, no storage limits)
- Easily save Gmail attachments to Google Drive
- Scanning to PDF from smartphone
- Make files available offline
- File versioning that looks back up to 30 days
- Easy to search documents
- TLS standard encryption
- Business version has enterprise-level security tools
The second most popular file sharing service by market share is Dropbox. While not part of a large office tool suite like Google Drive and OneDrive, Dropbox has been moving past just being a file sharing and storage service and has begun developing other productivity tools, like Dropbox Paper for team management.
Dropbox works equally well on Macs and Windows and is also available as a file sharing option on many applications.
- Free Storage: 2 GB
- Plus: $9.99/month for 2 TB
- Professional: $16.58/month for 3 TB
- Standard (for Teams): $12.50/user/month for 3TB (plus additional features)
- Advances (for Teams): $20.00/user/month for unlimited (plus additional features)
- Best-in-class sync technology
- Integrated desktop experience
- Anytime, anywhere access
- Easy and secure sharing
- 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption
- File recovery and version history
- Remote device wipe
- Share link controls
OneDrive by Microsoft comes with an Office 365 subscription or you can also use a free version with less storage space. It integrates natively with Office 365 which is a big benefit for automatic file backup if you use it.
OneDrive is integrated into a variety of “share file” command options in applications, such as Trello. Which makes it a convenient choice.
- Free Storage: 5 GB
- Paid Storage: $1.99/month for 100 GB
- With Office 365 subscription: 1 TB per user
(The lowest price Office 365 plan is Personal at $69.99/year)
- Sync files across all devices
- Web-based access
- Edit & annotate files
- Virus scanning on download for known threats
- Suspicious activity monitoring
- Ransomware detection
- Version history for all file types
- Password protected & expiring sharing links
Box is another cloud platform that started off with file sharing and storage and expanded into team collaboration and task management and digital office transformations.
Box still offers individual free plans along with their new office suite of productivity tools, and their free plan is one of the more generous ones as far as the amount of space you get.
- Free Storage: 10 GB
- Personal Pro: $10.00/month for 100 GB
- Starter: $5.00/user/month for 100GB (3-10 users)
- Business: $15.00/user/month for unlimited storage
- Business Plus: $25.00/user/month for unlimited storage (plus advanced admin and controls)
- Enterprise: Contact company for pricing (Is HIPAA/HITECH-eligible, Fed RAMP)
- Sync files across devices
- Security and encryption
- Data loss prevention
- File editing in Box
- Box notes
- File preview
- Version history
- Search and favorites
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