People share files online every day, from memes and videos to sensitive documents. While a lot of content gets shared on social media, cloud storage services offer a more secure place to store and share your files. Because there are a lot of options, we’ve put together a guide to the best cloud storage for sharing.
The best way to share and store files is through Sync.com, which is the top pick in our guide to the best cloud storage for large files and is generally regarded as the leading all-around cloud storage solution here at Cloudwards.net.
Keep reading for more about the best cloud storage for sharing, but first, we want to touch on some of the features that stand out with each of our options.
The Best Cloud Storage for Sharing
- Sync.com — Great sharing features, secure, easy to use
- pCloud — Simple, secure, lifetime storage plans
- Google Drive — Google Docs integration, collaboration, affordable storage
- Dropbox — Office integration, robust sharing options, unlimited storage option
- Tresorit — Top-notch security, easy sharing
Sync.com.com is an online storage provider that is known for its security, storage options and generally pleasant user interface. In addition to its other features, Sync.com offers several sharing options. When sharing links with Sync.com, you can set passwords and download limits. You can also choose to get notified by email when there is activity on your shared links.
Sync.com’s free plan starts at 5GB, and you can get 1GB of extra storage on top of that by completing Sync.com’s tutorial. The free plan will give you a good taste of whether or not you’ll like Sync.com.
If you find yourself outgrowing your free storage, Sync.com offers three Pro Solo plans, which start with the Basic plan, offering 2TB for $8 per month, when billed annually. Sync.com also has the Pro Solo Standard and Plus plans, which offer 3TB and 4TB storage options, respectively.
If you have multiple users, Sync.com also offers three Business Pro Teams plans. They start at 1TB for $5 per month per user with the Standard plan and go to 10TB for $15 per month per user with the Advanced plan. All of the plans are billed annually, so the comparable monthly rate is competitive, and the storage options should easily accommodate most users.
Sync.com has excellent security, supporting zero-knowledge encryption and two-factor authentication to protect you from both external and internal attacks. Sync.com also uses AES 256-bit encryption and secures your files both at-rest and in-transit. Finally, Sync.com is located in Canada, which is one of the best countries for data privacy.
Other Things We Liked About Sync.com
Sync.com is a service that works well on both desktop and its mobile app. Its user interface is about as straightforward as it gets, and it has a convenient tab for the files and folders you’ve shared. Sync.com gives you several ways to manage your links, though link passwords are available only with the free account.
The only downside of Sync.com is that it’s not great for collaboration. Because of its focus on security, Sync.com has sacrificed third-party integration, meaning it isn’t compatible with Office or Google Docs. To read more about Sync.com’s security, plans and features, check out our full Sync.com.com review.
- Easy to use
- Sharing is simple
- No integration with other apps
pCloud is a cloud storage provider that is well known for its security and ease of use. It has an interface that comes with a gentle learning curve, and it even offers lifetime plans so you can pay once and own your storage forever. If you’re new to pCloud, you can try out its free plan.
pCloud’s free plan starts you off with 2GB of storage, which isn’t much. Fortunately, pCloud will raise that up to 10GB for free if you complete various tasks, such as downloading the pCloud app and sync client.
Aside from the free plan, pCloud has two premium plans for individual users. Storage with pCloud starts at 500GB and goes to 2TB. Both plans can be paid for monthly, yearly or once for life.
The 500GB Premium plan costs either $4.99 per month, $47.88 per year, or a one-time payment of $175 for lifetime storage. The 2TB Premium Plus plan costs $9.99 per month, $95.88 per year or $350 for life.
Sharing files with pCloud is a simple process. Clicking on the settings of a file or folder will show you the option to share it. With folders, you can invite pCloud users to the folder or share an upload or download link. With files, clicking “share” will open your sharing options, where you can set passwords, shorten links and set expiration dates.
When it comes to security features, pCloud is no slouch. It uses the AES 256-bit encryption protocol to protect your files, and it utilizes both at-rest and in-transit encryption.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, will protect you from someone trying to access your account with your password. pCloud also offers zero-knowledge encryption to protect you against potential internal attacks.
Unfortunately not all of pCloud’s security comes with your account. Many of the security features that pCloud offers are part of its Crypto add-on, including zero-knowledge encryption. The Crypto add-on starts at an additional pCloud, and it is worth getting if you like pCloud and value the additional security.
Other Things We Liked About pCloud
Sharing with pCloud is easy and doesn’t even require an account. pCloud offers a service called pCloud Transfer that allows you to simply input your email address as well as the recipient’s, and then select what you want to send. You can send files up to 5GB this way, making pCloud one of the best cloud storage for file sharing options.
Aside from pCloud Transfer, pCloud offers a great selection of media features and robust security, making it a good service in general. The lifetime plan also means that you won’t have to make monthly or yearly payments, saving money in the long run and eliminating an additional bill. For more about pCloud’s security and additional features, check out our full pCloud review.
- Lots of sharing options
- Lifetime plans
- Competitive storage options
- Security costs extra
3. Google Drive
Google Drive is one of the best online storage services for sharing and collaboration. It is used by schools, workplaces and individuals across the globe to collaborate on documents remotely, share content with friends and family, and more.
Your Google account is also connected with Google Photos, making it one of the best online storage options for sharing family photos (it’s actually one of our best cloud storage for families picks).
Google starts you off with 15GB of storage for free, which is enough to store most documents and small files. If you want to store more, Google makes it simple with three additional plans. Google offers 100GB, 200GB and 2TB for $1.99, $2.99 and $9.99 per month, respectively.
Sharing with Google Drive is as easy as right-clicking a file and selecting “share.” You can change user permissions and who you share with, but there aren’t a lot of common options, such as adding a password or setting an expiration date for your links. Although the control over what a user can do with your shared files is great, it would have been nice to see more options.
For security, Google uses AES 128-bit encryption and secures your files both at rest and in transit. Google also offers 2FA to protect you against someone who may have your password. Unfortunately, Google lacks zero-knowledge encryption, though that can be easily fixed with Boxcryptor.
Other Things We Liked About Google Drive
Although Google Drive is a great cloud storage provider in general, integration with Google Docs creates more ways to share and collaborate. Unfortunately, its lack of sharing features and fewer security features than the competition put it lower on this list.
Still, Boxcryptor can make up for a lot in the security department, and Google Drive is worth taking a look at. You can read more about Google Drive, Google’s security and more in our full Google Drive review.
- Good for collaboration
- 15GB free plan
- Not as many storage options as the competition
- Lacking security features
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services, next to Google Drive. It offers a simple user interface, office integration and robust sharing features. Although it lacks in the security department, compared to a service like pCloud, it still offers good security and some of the finest sharing features around.
The free Dropbox plan, Basic, offers 2GB to start, which isn’t much, though its premium plans are priced well if you run out of storage space. Dropbox’s premium plans for individuals include a 2TB plan and a 3TB plan for $11.99 and $19.99 per month, respectively.
For those of you with families or businesses, there are also three Dropbox Business plans, including the Advanced plan, which provides unlimited storage for $25 per user per month, with a minimum of three users.
Sharing with Dropbox is easy. Clicking the share option on any file will open the sharing settings, where you can share either the file itself or a link to it. When sharing a link, you can create passwords, set expiration dates, change permissions, disable downloads, easily select whether your link will allow users to edit or view and much more.
Security with Dropbox is adequate. It protects your files both at rest and in transit. It also uses AES 256-bit encryption and uses two-factor authentication. Dropbox doesn’t offer native zero-knowledge encryption, though Boxcryptor is compatible with Dropbox and can fix that for you.
Other Things We Liked About Dropbox
Dropbox is a great service for sharing. It not only provides multiple ways to share and a large selection of link options, but it makes them easily accessible. Along with sharing, Dropbox also offers competitive storage plans as well as an unlimited plan for those families, friend groups and businesses with multiple users.
In addition to the plans and sharing features, we like that Dropbox is compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Office documents. This makes sharing documents in a business setting more productive by allowing you to access documents within Dropbox. Learn more about Dropbox in our full Dropbox review, and find out why it’s our best cloud storage with sync.
- Lots of sharing options
- Easy to share files
- Office compatibility
- No native zero-knowledge encryption
Although it doesn’t have many additional features and it comes with a bit of a learning curve, Tresorit does a great job of securing your files and folders. It is also a great option for those who want to share files with others. Unfortunately, Tresorit’s high costs kept it from ranking higher, though it’s still a good option that’s worth considering.
The Tresorit Basic plan starts you off with 3GB of storage for free to give you a feel for the service. Although it’s not nearly as much storage space as other services on this list offer, it’s enough for you to store a few files.
If you decide that you want to store some more content with Tresorit, there are two additional individual plans. The 200GB Premium plan starts at $12.50 when paid monthly and the 2TB Solo plan starts at $30.
Sharing with Tresorit is very easy and can be done entirely from the links tab if you’re uploading a new file, or from the menu of an individual file or folder already stored in Tresorit. When sharing a file, Tresorit includes several handy features, such as link passwords, expiration dates on links and download limits.
Along with the standard sharing features, Tresorit also allows you to view detailed logs — including the IP address and approximate location — of the users who accessed your shared links. Tresorit also allows you to view the email addresses of anyone who attempts to access your links.
Tresorit secures your files with 256-bit AES encryption, in-transit and at-rest encryption, plus zero-knowledge encryption, and it also offers 2FA. Because zero-knowledge encryption prevents Tresorit from accessing your password, we recommend checking out our guide to the best free password managers.
Other Things We Liked About Tresorit
Tresorit is one of the most secure online storage services out there. Although it has a slight learning curve, sharing files is super easy, and the storage options are comparable to other contenders. The only reason that we can’t rank Tresorit higher is the steep pricing and small amount of free storage space.
For comparison, Google Drive offers 2TB of storage for $9.99 per month, while Tresorit offers the same storage for three times that cost, at $30.
Still, if security is in the front of your mind when looking for the best online storage service for sharing, you won’t be disappointed with Tresorit. For more about Tresorit, plus its plans and features, check out our full Tresorit review.
- Great security
- Easy sharing
- Cost prohibitive
When deciding on the best cloud storage for sharing, we looked primarily at the features and security specifically involved with sharing your content. Although you can share just about anything from any online storage provider, some have more robust options and security. For example, the ability to add a password or set an expiration time for your links played favorably.
We also wanted to make sure that the online storage service provides a good experience. If you’re going to store your documents, pictures and videos in the cloud, you want a service that is easy to navigate, and that it has features and security that benefit you.
Finally, we looked at the cost and the range of storage options associated with each service. We think that a great cloud storage service is one that provides storage options for every budget. We awarded bonus points for services that had a free plan, or at least a free trial, so that you can get a feel for the service before you commit to it.
All of the online storage services found on this list are great options, not just for sharing, but for storing, accessing and protecting your files. Overall, Sync.com is the best cloud storage for sharing files and folders because of its simplicity, robust sharing features and security. Still, don’t hesitate to check out the other options.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment and let us know what you think. Thanks for reading.