Dropbox is a file hosting service that was created for the web in 2007. Since that time, it has made its name providing easy-to-use file storage and management for the cloud, allowing for speedy and reliable syncing capabilities and good integration with a variety of popular applications.
While Dropbox remains a (if not the) leading name in cloud storage, it has its drawbacks as well. Most notably, many of the available optimum features (including additional storage over the 2 GB limit available with free Dropbox) require Dropbox Professional, a subscription that’s not exactly inexpensive. In addition, some users have questioned the security and privacy of Dropbox.
Primarily for these reasons, many cloud users are turning to other workable Dropbox alternatives. Ahead, we’ll outline 10 of these viable options, including the ways in which each one is better, worse, and different from Dropbox itself.
When it comes to the security of your stored files, one of the best cloud storage options is Sync.com, based in Toronto. At the same time, Sync.com also offers ease of use and seamless integration when you need to store and/or collaborate on files.
The best feature of Sync.com is by far its security, which is much better than Dropbox’s. Only you, the user, can access the data you store on Sync.com. Even the creators and hosts of the platform cannot access users’ data.
Collaboration is also simple with Sync.com. Sharing files is seamless, and you can grant varied permissions to different collaborators with ease. Still, many users prefer the fast syncing capabilities of Dropbox.
The free version of Sync.com gives each user 5 GB of data, so it’s slightly more generous than Dropbox. And if you invite friends to the platform, you get an added 1 GB for every one that signs up. There are paid premium plans available for both personal and business use as well.
2. Google Drive
Perhaps Dropbox’s biggest rival is Google Drive. Both options are available on a number of different platforms, allow you to share your files and cross-collaborate with other users, and sync instantly with your various devices.
What makes Google Drive better than Dropbox is, first, its increased storage. With the free version of Google Drive, you’ll get 15 GB of free cloud storage (as opposed to the 2 GB limit with free Dropbox). This 15 GB actually comes automatically with every Google email address. You also have many more options if you choose to purchase a paid subscription with additional storage.
Moreover, if you’re interested in using the numerous other features that the Google platform offers, Google Drive just makes sense for seamless integration. Even the free productivity suite allows you to word process (Google Docs), create spreadsheets and organize data (Google Sheets), and make high-end presentations (Google Slides) all for free.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to Google Drive as well. The free productivity suite available still pales in comparison to Microsoft Office, and there are no passwords protecting shared files. Finally, because of the broad spectrum of Google applications, options, and features, the entire platform can feel overwhelming and confusing.
While Sync.com is widely known as an especially secure and private cloud sharing platform, Tresorit is even more private and secure — again, beating out Dropbox in this category. Hands down, Tresorit is the most secure cloud sharing product on the market, and of course, as you might have guessed, the company is Swiss. The owner has even offered to pay $50,000 to anyone who is able to breach the platform’s security.
What makes Tresorit so secure is its end-to-end encryption, which encrypts files as soon as they hit the platform and are uploaded, and its zero-knowledge privacy, which disables anyone(even Tresorit itself) from seeing your files. Passwords are also necessary to unlock files, should you care to share them with others. Cross-platform support is an added feature of Tresorit as well.
Now, for the downside — mainly that you can’t use Tresorit for free, save for the initial 14-day trial period.
Microsoft’s version of a cloud sharing platform, OneDrive was released in 2007, the same year as Dropbox. Likely the best thing about OneDrive is its price, which is much better than that of Dropbox. For a reasonable cost, users can get 1 TB of storage.
OneDrive is especially good for students and those who use Microsoft Office regularly. While Dropbox and other cloud sharing platforms can surely integrate well with Office, nothing will be as easy as OneDrive.
Where OneDrive falls short is security. Similar to Dropbox, the makers of OneDrive haven’t spent a lot of time worrying about the security of their users’ data. The platform only offers encryption for those using OneDrive Business, making other users’ data susceptible to various types of breaches.
pCloud exceeds in two areas: Storage capacity and security. But there are some catches as well.
In terms of storage, this platform gives you 10 GB of data free, which far exceeds the free data given by Dropbox (2 GB). If you’d like to increase that number, you can even do (still for free) by referring friends. Using pCloud to back-up social media information can also earn you added GB (up to 10 extra GB total). Other storage capacity options are available as well if you’re willing to pay. You can even set your own limits.
As for security, pCloud is quite secure and more so than Dropbox. The drawback is that if you want to enable zero-knowledge encryption, you have to pay a fee every month.
One bonus feature of pCloud is that you can actually use it to back-up your Dropbox storage.
MEGA is another top-rated cloud storage platform that also offers zero-knowledge encryption, included free of charge. This gives MEGA fairly good security that is better than Dropbox. However, some potential users may be put off by this platform as its now defunct predecessor Megaupload was seized by the government for hosting pirated files in 2012.
Today, the owner of MEGA is different, but the name still runs chills down some users’ backs. If you do decide to go with MEGA, know that you’ll be getting a solid 15 GB of storage with the free version, with many chances to earn more by utilizing the incentive program.
For higher levels of storage, a variety of paid subscriptions are available; however, for those who need a lot of storage (around 1 TB, for example), MEGA’s prices can be beat by other platforms.
Those who want to enjoy free cloud storage will be disappointed with SpiderOak, which does not offer any free plans. In fact, even the most inexpensive SpiderOak plans are quite pricey. So, here, Dropbox wins out with its free 2 GB.
This is largely, however, because SpiderOak is more of a cloud back-up platform, which is, in fact, slightly different from a cloud storage platform. If you’re looking for both, SpiderOak could be a great option as it has both features and, therefore, allows for a seamless integration of the two.
In terms of security, it’s a draw with this platform. While it does feature zero-knowledge capabilities, this only applies to your stored files, not to link shares. In addition, links don’t have the added security of password protection.
8. Amazon Drive
You had to know that Amazon would get in on cloud sharing. At one time, this platform was available without syncing capabilities. That has fortunately changed, and all Amazon customers now have 5 free GB of storage as well as syncing for Mac and iOS, Android, and Windows.
The free version of Amazon Drive does offer 3 more GB of storage than the equivalent Dropbox version, and prices for more storage are quite reasonable. Dropbox and Amazon Drive are similar in that they both user a hard drive folder where you can drop in any files you want saved to the cloud.
An added bonus with Amazon Drive is use of Prime Photos. This feature allows you to store an unlimited number of photographs in the cloud. In terms of security, Amazon Drive and Dropbox are not much different. Zero-knowledge encryption is not a feature, and shared links are not protected by passwords.
If you’re a business and looking for an alternative to Dropbox, Egnyte is a decent option as it’s geared toward groups of people and doesn’t even have a plan option for individuals. There are two core plan options with Egnyte: Office and Business. The former is less expensive, but both come with an impressive amount of storage — 5 TB and 10 TB respectively. Egnyte works exceptionally well on mobile devices and tablets as well as PCs, laptops, etc.
Because Egnyte is aimed at businesses and groups, it makes sense that collaboration is quite easy with this platform. Changes made to mutual files are updated and synced quickly and without fuss. This is because Egnyte utilizes block-level sync, as does Dropbox.
Jottacloud is a smaller, Norwegian-based cloud storage platform for individuals, families, and businesses. Many users utilize it for photo storage as the platform is extremely user-friendly and easy to access on all Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
Privacy and security with Jottacloud exceeds that of Dropbox; however, zero-knowledge privacy is not a feature. This platform does allow you to back-up rare file types, though, and with each free plan, users receive a decent 5 GB of storage and unlimited back-ups. Unfortunately, Jottacloud is not known for their customer support, perhaps because of their small size. Also missing are local back-up and incremental back-up capabilities.