The internet has changed the way that we work as individuals, making it far easier for us to collaborate on projects as a team. Cloud storage is a powerful way for a group of like-minded people to access the same files, whether they’re for business or personal use.
Many cloud storage services are designed with individual users in mind, but that doesn’t make them a good solution for multiple users. Although some providers allow you to share files with other users, they’re not always the perfect solution for collaboration.
To help you find the best cloud storage for multiple users, we’ve put together this list of six cloud storage services that will each make file sharing and collaboration a breeze.
What Is the Best Cloud Storage for Multiple Users?
We’ll tell you our favorite cloud storage for multiple users straight away: Egnyte Connect. One of the key features that multiple users need is the ability to collaborate on documents, and this is where Egnyte really shines. It offers excellent integration with Office Online, allowing multiple users to work on the same document in real time.
Although Egnyte is our favorite — and also our top cloud storage for teams — we have other contenders for you to consider. You can read more details about each of them below.
- Egnyte Connect — unlimited users, for a price
- Google Drive — best free cloud storage for multiple users
- OneDrive for Business — full Office integration
- Dropbox for Business — old faithful packs a punch
- Sync.com — security and a free plan
- pCloud — great for sharing pictures
Google Drive comes a close second and, like Egnyte, offers powerful collaboration features with Google Docs integration. Other options on the list lack collaboration tools but still offer useful file-sharing options. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each provider.
- Seamless integration with Office Online
- Great control over permissions
- Network drive that’s easy to use
- No Linux support
- No telephone support on the cheapest tier
- Lacks zero-knowledge encryption
Our number-one choice for multiple users is Egnyte. If you’ve read our Egnyte review, then you’ll also know that it gains high marks for speed, ease of use and pricing. That’s why it tops our list of the best enterprise file sync and share providers.
In Egnyte, you generate links for any files or folders you want to share. These links can then be sent via email or through a business messaging app. You can set the link to expire after a set number of downloads or even after a specific date.
You can invite people to access your files and folders, with different levels of permission to help you limit control, with obvious descriptions like “viewer” or “editor.” For instance, the “full” category is similar to “editor,” but it also gives users permission to move or delete files and folders, which “editors” can’t do.
One of the biggest reasons that Egnyte is at the top of our list is thanks to its seamless Microsoft Office integration. Using Office Online, multiple users can have the same document open and collaborate on it in real time. You can also save Office documents to Egnyte directly from the apps.
Egnyte allows you to map your online folders to a virtual network drive, which makes locating a shared file as easy as finding a local file on your laptop. It also replicates directory permissions, meaning you don’t have to set permissions twice.
Egnyte uses industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption (it’s one of our best encrypted cloud storage services), although it does store a copy of your encryption key, so this is not a zero-knowledge option. The Office tier offers 5TB of storage for $8 per user per-month, up to 25 users. Larger businesses need to pay $20 for each user monthly, with 10TB of storage included.
For small businesses or individuals, the Team tier includes 1TB of storage for $10 per user per month, but only for a maximum of three users.
2. Google Drive
- Great for collaboration
- Fantastic app integrations
- Unlimited storage options
- Less control over permissions
- Privacy concerns
- No zero-knowledge encryption
As we mentioned in our earlier Google Drive review, it’s simply one of the best cloud collaboration tools out there. It also has flexible storage options and great customer support. However, because it’s a Google product, you may want to invest in some additional tools to protect your privacy.
Google Drive allows you to create links for your files or folders, which you can then share through email or other messaging services. Like Egnyte, you can set different permission levels (such as “can edit” or “can comment”), but these are a little more limited in scope. Unlike Egnyte, there’s no option to password protect links or set expiry dates.
What sets Google Drive apart (and makes it our number-two choice) is its firm integration with Google Docs, which is a strong competitor to Office, with similar tools and features. It also makes it easy to work on documents together with colleagues, with multiple users able to add comments, changes and suggestions in real time.
Google Drive Privacy
Google Drive uses 128-bit AES encryption for files in motion, but 256-bit AES encryption for files at rest. Worryingly, the terms and conditions give Google the right to scan your cloud files for illegal content. It also allows them to gather information about you for marketing purposes.
This is problematic for individual users, but also for businesses who take confidentiality seriously. Take a look at our Boxcryptor review if you’re looking for encryption options to stop Google from prying into your files and emails.
Google Drive uses Google’s global server network, so file transfers are typically fast to local servers. You can set up a cloud network drive on your desktop with selective sync to stop your cloud files from filling up your hard drive. There’s no Linux support for this feature, though.
Google Drive is very affordable if you choose the right option. Business users with Google Suite gain unlimited Google Drive storage space for just $12 per user per month, although this is limited to 1TB per person if you have five users or less.
3. OneDrive for Business
- Great integration with Office apps
- One-month free trial
- Lacks zero-knowledge encryption
- Less storage than some competitors
Microsoft’s entry into the world of cloud storage benefits from its powerful integration with its other products, primarily Office. As you’ll see in our earlier OneDrive review, there’s more to it than just Office integration, though.
Like the major providers, OneDrive for Business supports shareable file links. These offer a few more options than Google Drive, however, with passwords and expiry dates for links. A “shared” menu allows you to keep track of the files you’ve previously shared, as well as files shared with you by others.
Integration with Microsoft Office comes built in, although it’s limited to the online web apps on the cheapest OneDrive plans. If you’re planning to use document collaboration, OneDrive for Business allows multiple users to edit files and see changes in real time (you can also read our guide on how to manage multiple one drive accounts).
OneDrive for Business Plans and Support
If you’re using Windows, you’ll see OneDrive in Windows 10 directly as a storage folder (as long as you’re signed in to use it). OneDrive also comes with Android and iOS mobile app support, as well as support for macOS, but there’s no Linux client available (read our best cloud storage for Android piece).
If you’re buying OneDrive for Business, there are a few plans you can purchase. Some only offer OneDrive storage, while others include access to the full Office suite. Plan 1 offers 1TB of storage and support for Office Online for $5 per user per-month. Plan 2 is similar, although it offers unlimited storage for $10 per user per month.
Office 365 Business Premium includes support for the desktop Office suite, with unlimited storage for $12.50 per user per month.
4. Dropbox for Business
- Block-level file transfer
- Unlimited storage on Advanced tier
- Good Office integration
- More expensive than some options
- Lack of zero-knowledge encryption
Dropbox is a familiar cloud storage provider for individual users. However, as our Dropbox for Business review explains, the business version packs in some useful additional features for multiple users.
Integration with Office Online makes it a good competitor to OneDrive for Business, letting you collaborate on documents with other users, with the ability to make changes, as well as add notes and comments. It also integrates with a range of other productivity apps, allowing you to share files directly into Slack, making it one of the best cloud storage for Slack options.
Like other major cloud services, you can share file links with options for password protection and expiration. You can also limit file downloads, allowing you to share files for viewing but without the ability to export them elsewhere.
Dropbox for Business Encryption
Dropbox for Business uses block-level file copying so that, when you update a file, only the changes to your file are uploaded. This speeds up the file uploading process, making it easier for multiple users to collaborate on bigger project files.
Dropbox for Business works out to be $12.50 per user per month for 5TB of storage, or $20 for unlimited storage on the Advanced plan. Unlimited storage plans are pretty rare, making Dropbox for Business one of the best unlimited cloud storage providers available.
- Competitive pricing
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Unlimited versioning
- No integration with third-party apps
- Not well suited for collaboration
- No monthly payment plans
Sync.com is one of our favorite storage providers, offering speed, security and ease of use at an affordable price. It’s also our most secure cloud storage service. It regularly hits the top of our shortlist for individual users, and it can still offer something for business users, as our Sync.com review explains.
Business users have additional file-sharing options, compared to typical Sync.com users (though it is our best cloud storage for sharing), offering sharing expiration dates, download limits and password protection. There are also additional user permissions, with the ability to allow other users to invite files or see other shared users.
Sync.com implements zero-knowledge encryption, which, as we’ve explained previously, puts you in control of your encryption keys. As one of the best cloud storage in Canada options, it benefits from falling under strong Canadian privacy laws.
Sync.com doesn’t allow third-party access to its service, which is either a downside or an upside, depending on your viewpoint. It’s not possible to integrate with Office, Google Docs or other platforms, so collaboration is pretty tough. That’s also why this otherwise fantastic provider is so far down on our shortlist for multiple user storage.
Sync.com Pricing Plans
As one of the best cloud storage for versioning, you’ll be unsurprised to discover that Sync.com’s business plans allow unlimited versioning. This means that, if you need to revert back to an older version of your files, you can — no matter how far back you want to go. This is only available on paid plans because a 30-day limit applies for free accounts.
Sync.com offers three annual plans aimed at the business market. The lowest tier, at just $5 per user per month, includes 1TB of storage for each user. Meanwhile, 4TB of storage for each user costs $8 monthly per user, or a much larger 10TB per user is available at $15 each month.
- Zero-knowledge encryption in business plans
- 30-day free trial
- No clear pricing for business plans
- Not great for collaboration
- No zero-knowledge encryption on standard plans
It might be a little unfair to place pCloud at the bottom of a cloud storage roundup. As our pCloud review explains, it offers strong security and powerful multimedia features at a decent price. Like Sync.com, however, it isn’t the best option for collaboration.
With no Office or Google Docs integration, pCloud doesn’t make it easy for teams who want to work on the same files. However, file sharing is easy, with a system similar to Google Drive (find out how to set up pCloud Drive). Just press “share” to create a link that you can share with others, either to view or edit your files. pCloud also allows you to password protect your files and set expiry dates for your links.
pCloud Security and Pricing
Security is pretty strong with pCloud, which uses the TLS protocol to protect your data in transit during the upload process. The standard version of pCloud requires you to pay an additional fee for pCloud Crypto, which adds zero-knowledge encryption, but business plans have this included for free.
The standard version of pCloud costs $7.99 per month for 2TB of storage, but you’ll need to pay an additional $3.99 per month for zero-knowledge encryption. Unfortunately, there are no standard plans for pCloud’s business plans, and you’ll need to contact pCloud’s sales team for a personalized quote. There is a 30-day free trial, however.
How We Picked Our Providers
We follow the same approach with each of our best cloud storage companies. We compare and rank each provider in terms of features, looking at overall security, pricing, storage capacity and, in this case, collaboration.
That’s why we’ve placed Sync.com and pCloud at the bottom. Both are excellent all-round cloud storage solutions, but when it comes to collaboration, other providers like Egnyte just provide more for business users.
We’ve taken a look through six of the best cloud storage for multiple users. Most of these providers offer a free trial, so don’t be afraid to try the service before you buy it, if you’re not sure which is a good fit for you.
That said, you can’t go wrong with Egnyte. It offers seamless integration with Office Online, allowing multiple users to collaborate on documents. With similar features, Google Drive and OneDrive also ranked highly.
Great products like Sync.com and pCloud were marked down for their lack of collaborative tools, but they could still work for simple storage, thanks to good security and pricing.
Is Egnyte the service for you, or do you have your own recommendations? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and opinions. Thanks for reading.