Thanks to the influence of social media and communication technologies, that allow people to collaborate, communicate and share data. In real time — users now share more information online than ever before.
And we’re here to show you the top five services that can do just that, and do it securely. Whether you’re a student who needs to share a project with teammates or you just want to share some pictures, everyone should use robust files sharing services these days.
The problem is many cloud storage services have varying levels of security when it comes to file sharing. However, before we look at the five best cloud storage for sharing files; we need to talk about a few security concerns and issues surrounding file sharing.
Best Cloud Storage for Sharing 2018
- Sync Folder
- File Link Sharing
- Folder Sharing
|Plan||Starter||Pro Personal (Option One)||Pro Personal (Option Two)||Business Solo||Business Pro||Business Pro Advanced|
$ 4 08monthly
$ 48 96yearly
$ 8 00monthly
$ 96 00yearly
$ 8 00monthly
$ 96 00yearly
$ 5 00monthly
$ 60 00yearly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 144 00yearly
|Storage||5 GB||500 GB||2000 GB||2000 GB||1000 GB||10000 GB|
Individual business plan
- Sync Folder
- File Link Sharing
- Folder Sharing
$ 8 00monthly
$ 80 00yearly
$ 16 00monthly
$ 160 00yearly
$ 25 00monthly
$ 250 00yearly
|Storage||Unlimited GB||2000 GB||Unlimited GB|
Unlimited backup space for 1 PC.
2TB cloud storage for sync across multiple devices.
5TB cloud storage for sync across multiple devices, plus unlimited backup storage for a maximum of 5 PCs. Allows FTP, SFTP and WebDAV access.
File Sharing and Security Concerns
File sharing provides a lot of benefits for individual users, but it isn’t always as secure as most people assume. The fact is that there are a lot of security problems surrounding sharing files, most of which stem from user incompetence.
For example, if a user fails to password-protect their data and posts the link on a social media site, like Facebook, there’s no telling how many people will view the user’s private information
That’s why some – but not all – cloud storage providers include critical security tools to help a user control access to the files they share with others. The first tool many providers include is “password protection,” whereby a user needs to share their password with a friend or family member before they can access the file.
Another crucial feature, the best services include, is a timer or expiry mechanism of some sort. This tool ensures files are only accessible by other parties for a finite amount of time. After the time limit expires, so does the file, and other users lose the ability to access and view previously shared data.
Some services even include social media tools that help to share data through Facebook and Twitter more quickly. You need to take advantage of these security tools, or an unintended party might end up viewing sensitive information.
Sync.com is our top pick for users who want the best cloud storage service for file sharing, because they provide secure protocols and fast speeds. Sync.com sends large files swiftly to anyone securely, creates shared folders for collaboration purposes, and even allows you to set custom passwords when sharing data.
Furthermore, the company’s security is impeccable, thanks to zero-knowledge security; and since they are a Canadian-based provider, users don’t need to worry about the NSA snooping through their files.
Sync.com also provides end-to-end encryption to protect data in transport to their servers, and then they encrypt user data once again, for storage. Sync.com also provides useful backup features that are completely automatic – just set it and forget it, and you’ll be covered.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
They even provide free users with 5GB of storage space, but the paid version of the service still won’t break the bank. It starts at only $4.08 per month, which is cheaper than most other providers.
Last but not least, the service includes file versioning, to ensure that you don’t lose data if it gets accidentally overwritten.
- End-to-end encryption
- Useful automatic backup features
- Great file versioning features
- Mobile apps lack file sharing
- Encryption slows uploads & previews
- Cannot stream/preview audio file
SugarSync is very comparable to Sync.com, as they too allow users to share public links, collaborate via a shared folder mechanism, and sync with unlimited devices.
SugarSync offers 5GB of free storage space, but it’s only meant as a way to test drive the service before buying it; since the 5GB trial only lasts 90-days. Thankfully, they don’t skimp on security, utilizing the TLS protocol to protect data in transport, and then they use powerful AES-256 encryption to protect the stored data.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
Other important features of the service include fast servers, quick uploads/downloads, decent backup capabilities and secure file sharing.
Customers also have the handy option of prioritizing their file transfers, though SugarSync lacks the ability to sync files locally across a LAN.
- Great syncing features
- TLS & AES-256 encryption
- Robust collaboration & sharing tools
- Backup lacks a scheduling feature
- Not compliant with HIPAA
- Free trial only lasts for 90 days
Jottacloud customers have the option of first uploading a file to the cloud and then sharing it with select users, or simply share from the sync folder on your computing device.
Unfortunately, they don’t provide local encryption, but their servers are based in Norway, so users need not fear involvement from the NSA. Though they also give 5GB of free storage, the unlimited storage plan only costs $9.90 per month.
Other Reasons Why We Like Jottacloud
Not only do they have features for online storage, but they also do syncing, sharing and backup.
Jottacloud uses fairly standard sharing mechanisms, which get well complimented by the service’s syncing features.
- Servers are based in Norway
- Decent transfer speeds
- Unlimited storage & backups
- Not a zero-knowledge provider
- Doesn’t support multiple accounts
- No cloud-streaming media player
Dropbox is naturally an excellent service for file sharing. Users have the option of sharing individual files, or entire folders, with anyone they please.
Data sharing gets facilitated through Dropbox’s linking feature, which helps users generate a sharing link, and then send the link through email, private messages, or even social media. And the service’s shared folder tool lets users share and sync data with an unlimited number of devices for seamless access – anywhere and anytime in the world.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
While Dropbox offers 2GB of absolutely free storage space, most people will probably need more. The Dropbox Pro service, which starts at $8.25 a month, provides a whole terabyte of storage space.
And if you accidentally delete or overwrite valuable data, there’s nothing to worry about, since they keep redundant copies of stuff for as long as 30-days.
- Very simple to use
- Easy sharing & syncing
- Great 3rd-party integration
- Lacks advanced features
- Backup features are terrible
- No local encryption
Although Livedrive has a lot of improvements to make in its pricing scheme, customer service, and user interface departments, it gets the bolts and nuts of cloud storage and file sharing pretty dead on.
We also like how informative the status updates were, and they’ve got great sharing features. Both Livedrive Briefcase and Livedrive Pro will allow users to share files. However, the business version is the best choice to pick if you need to share and collaborate on files with others, a process which gets facilitated via FTP.
Other Reasons Why We Like Livedrive
Livedrive’s software interface isn’t as polished as we would like, but it is highly customizable and helps users backup, sync and share files.
One critical area that Livedrive excels in is their backup software, which is loaded with features designed to help users fine-tune personal settings.
- File sharing is very functional
- Integrated streaming media player
- Preview files in the cloud
- The user interface isn’t intuitive
- Difficult to cancel service
- The pricing is hidden
These top five providers are all very user friendly and easy to use. What’s better, is the fact that none of them are among the most expensive providers in the industry, ensuring a subjective level of affordability. The next time you find yourself trying to share files with a large number of family members and friends, it’s highly advisable to forget about flash drives and external hard drives.
They’re just too old, slow and ill-equipped to transfer files efficiently. Cloud storage, on the other hand, will help send files to anyone, residing anywhere in the world with only a few simple clicks. What do you think of our five recommended cloud storage services for sharing in 2018?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.