More than a decade ago, if you wanted to transfer a large file or folder, you had to copy the data to a disc (DVD) and have it hand-delivered to the recipient or use one of the few services that were available at the time, like YouSendIt.
Thanks to the rapid advancement in cloud computing in recent years, you now have access to an endless choice of file sharing options, such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and so on. There is also a service like FileWhopper, which is a newcomer, that’s ideal for businesses or individuals intending to send large files to multiple clients, without the need to commit to a subscription service.
Each platform is unique and your choice will depend on factors like:
- Security: When it comes to online file sharing, nothing matters as much as the security of your data. The last thing you want is for your files to leak or fall into the wrong hands.
- Price: It’s important to choose a service that offers the features you want but is still within your budget range.
- Limitations: Not all file sharing solutions allow you to send large files. Most will restrict how much data you can send over the internet, depending on the price plan you’ve subscribed to.
- Ease of use: Opt for a platform that offers speed, convenience, flexibility, and ease of use.
Whether you’re an individual or company looking to send personal documents, sensitive company files, or family vacation images/videos, your top priority should be the reliability of such platforms. The thing is, sometimes it’s difficult to find a dependable platform that can perform the back and forth transmission of data without any leaks.
Below, we share some of the top providers that offer file-sharing services that you can try today.
We kick off the list with the most popular file-sharing solution from Google, Google Drive. This is a cloud storage service that not only stores your data (documents, images, audio, and video) but also allows you to share files with teammates or anyone else.
Through its desktop client, Backup & Sync, the service automatically syncs your data with all the devices linked to your account, allowing you to access them from any location. This also means that any change you make will automatically be updated to the data across your devices. However, the feature doesn’t make Google Drive a fully backup utility like Microsoft’s OneDrive, for instance.
Nevertheless, you can share files via email or link in seconds, plus you can limit the number of edits that recipients can make on your files.
The free account offers a maximum storage space of 15GB, while the paid accounts start from $1.99 per month.
Box is a file-transfer service that offers on-demand file syncing and storage features that are most suitable for businesses. However, it’s a reliable solution that can serve home users as well. It’s easy to use and enables you to seamlessly share files with teammates across your company.
Like Google Drive, you can use Box to create, edit, and review documents with team members or on the go on any of your devices. You can also control who can view, edit, and share files. Box also allows you to invite team members to collaborate on projects or edit files together in real-time.
The platform offers both free and paid accounts. For the free account, users get 10GB, which is five times that offered by Dropbox. However, users are limited to a 250MB limit on the size of files they can upload. The paid account costs $10 per month, and you get 100GB of storage space with options to upload files up to 5GB. Business plans start from $5 per user per month and offer a storage limit of 100GB.
Microsoft’s OneDrive is the alternative to Google Drive. If you use Windows and Office 365 (now known as Microsoft 365), it makes sense to use OneDrive, since it offers tight integrations with these products. However, compared to Google Drive, it only offers 5GB of free storage space, but you can upgrade to one of its paid plans starting from $1.99 per month.
OneDrive doubles as a file sharing and syncing client, with simple and fast access to your files. Using OneDrive is easy – if you have a Microsoft account, you already have a OneDrive account. Among other things, the service allows you to edit your files offline, which will automatically be updated as soon as you connect to the internet.
Dropbox is a well-established and familiar name when it comes to online file sharing and storage. The software is known for supporting a ton of third-party integrations via its App Center. However, it only offers 2GB of storage space for free, which is lower than what OneDrive and other cloud services provide.
Moreover, it has a steeper price range than its close competitors, with options starting from $9.99 per month for individuals (billed annually) and $12.50 per user per month for teams (billed annually).
Some of the features you can expect on Dropbox include the ability to set permissions allowing only people with the right credentials to view, edit, or share uploaded files. You also get notified of any changes made to your files.
Formerly known as YouSendIt, Hightail is a file sharing service that caters more to teams rather than individuals. Teams can share files through a premise called “Spaces”, where they can easily collaborate with one another.
Uploading files to the platform can be as simple as drag and drop. You can also import files from other services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Like Dropbox, Hightail offers only 2GB of storage space with a limit of 100MB per file.
The platform comes with useful features like the ability to track sent and received files and automatic notifications to clients when files are shared.
If you want advanced features, you can opt for the Pro account that costs $12 per month. This gives you the ability to save files in the cloud and support files up to 25GB, among other extras.
If you’re looking for a simple, yet reliable file sharing solution, WeTranfer may be a good option. It’s quick, convenient, and doesn’t require you to register an account (although you’ll need to provide an email address you can be contacted on).
To transfer files, just choose the file, enter the recipient’s email address, an accompanying message, and you’re good to go!
With the free account, you can send up to 2GB of data. To transfer larger files, you have to upgrade to the WeTransfer Pro plan, which gives you 1TB storage and allows you to send up to 20GB.
As you can see, you have many options to choose from when you want to transfer files online. It all boils down to factors like cost, file size limitations, and security. After all, all you want is for your files to reach the designated recipient(s) intact and securely.