The name Dropbox has become synonymous with intrapersonal large file sharing, as has Google+ Drive (formerly Google Docs) and, to a lesser degree, Microsoft’s SkyDrive. But these options aren’t for everybody: SkyDrive has been beset by problems associated with the Windows 8.1 OS upgrade, G+ users complain that the storage capacities of G+ Drive, Photos and Gmail are all linked, which can create overages and force users to delete data or pay for extra storage, and Dropbox has been breached by attackers before and security experts maintain it can happen again.
So what’s a would-be file sharer to do? Here, listed in alphabetical order, are five alternatives to document and large file sharing to the aforementioned big three.
- Amazon Cloud Drive: Amazon has a huge amount of server space, so it seems a natural progression that it would offer cloud storage. It has earned high marks for its easy-to-use interface and reliability. Initial file-syncing limitations were addressed in an upgrade last year.Dropbox, G+ Drive and SkyDrive have become synonymous with file sharing, but these options aren’t for everybody.
- Box: One of the most popular alternative file storage services, Box includes file-creation features – documents and spreadsheets – similar to G+ Drive. The free version comes with 5GB of storage, but the file management isn’t as smooth, particularly when using the service’s app.
- CX: CX offers 10GB of storage for free, double what most of its competitors do. Its seamless user interface has earned high marks, but it doesn’t allow online editing of documents – a limitation for some users who prefer their storage services to include workspaces.
- SpiderOak: This is a file-sharing service that prioritizes security above all else. It features encrypted cloud storage, an encryption key for the user, and two-factor log-in authentication. So while some have said it may not be user-friendly enough for novice users, it should satisfy those who know what they’re doing and prioritize security in their cloud storage above all else.
- SugarSync: SugarSync offers a base 5GB of free storage with escalating paid levels of storage. It lets users choose which files they want synced to which devices, and allows for password protection for publicly shared documents.
Update: SugarSync is now transitioning to paid-only service model. Customers will still be able to try SugarSync for a 90-day 5GB trial or a 30-day trial with upwards of 60GB. Learn more here.