Top 11 Best Dropbox Alternatives in 2021: Which Is The Most Secure?

Branko VlajinAleksander Hougen
By Branko Vlajin (Writer) & Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-02-15T15:11:06+00:00

With 500 million registered users, including 11.9 million paying users, Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services. Thanks to that, it’s one of the services almost everyone can name off the top of their head (though we have an explanation of what Dropbox is in case you don’t know).

It’s a good cloud storage service, which isn’t surprising because you don’t get a lot of users based on smoke and mirrors. You get them by making your service easy and intuitive to use while providing many collaboration features, capable sharing options and fast sync. On top of that, Dropbox has strong user support.

That said, it’s not without its faults. Dropbox’s pricing plans aren’t competitive or anywhere near the best deals in cloud storage. Plus, it lacks zero-knowledge encryption and has a confusing privacy policy. Still, it remains to be seen whether Dropbox is the best cloud storage platform (check out the full list here). That’ll depend on what you want to get out of a cloud storage service.

In this overview, we’re going to take a look at the top 11 best Dropbox alternatives . Most of the picks in this ranking may not have the user base that Dropbox does, but we found that in one category or another, they outpace it as a service. Before we start the list, let’s talk about Dropbox in more detail. If you like to read a discussion why Dropbox is not ideal, you can read it below.

If you’re unfamiliar with cloud storage terminology we suggest educating yourself by visiting our cloud storage library.

The 11 Best Dropbox Alternatives for Cloud Storage

The best dropbox alternative for most people is Sync.com. If you see a service that might fit your needs, we recommend signing up for a free trial to see how you like it. Nothing beats experience with a given service. Here is a quick overview:

  1. Sync.com – Best alternative if security is your main concern
  2. pCloud – Best alternative with a generous 10GB free plan
  3. Icedrive – Gorgeously designed with excellent security and lifetime plans
  4. Box
  5. MEGA
  6. OneDrive
  7. Google Drive
  8. Amazon Drive
  9. Koofr
  10. SpiderOak
  11. IDrive
  1. 1
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    5 GB - 10 TB
    $ 500
  2. 2
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    10-2000 GB
    $ 399
    Save 20 %
  3. 3
    • Sync Folder: No
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    10 GB - 5 TB
    $ 164
  4. 4
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    100-Unlimited GB
    $ 500
    Save 29 %
  5. 5
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    15 GB - 16 TB
    $ 589
  6. 6
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    5-Unlimited GB
    $ 199
  7. 7
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    15 GB - 30 TB
    $ 167
    Save 16 %
  8. 8
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning: No
    5 GB - 30 TB
    $ 500
  9. 9
    • Sync Folder: No
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    2 GB - 10 TB
    $ 054
  10. 10
      150 GB - 5 TB
      $ 575
    • 11
        5 GB - 12.5 TB
        $ 579

      1. Sync.com

      Toronto-based Sync.com has been on top of our best cloud storage comparison list for some time. To see why, read our Sync.com review. It also ranks high in our top five providers with large free service plans and holds the top spot in our best zero-knowledge cloud services list. Those are the key categories needed to beat Dropbox.

      Sync.com-Web-Control-Panel-Slider-1
      Sync.com-Share-File-Link-Slider-2
      Sync.com-Sync-Folder-Slider-3
      Sync.com-Speed-Throttle-Slider-4
      Sync.com-Two-Factor-Authentication-Slider-5

      Visit Provider

      Sync.com only gives you 5GB for signing up, which isn’t much better than Dropbox’s 2GB. That said, you can use the referral program to invite your friends to join. For each one that does, you get a gigabyte of additional storage up to 20GB. As a bonus, your friends get an extra gigabyte, too.

      Sync.com also has plans with better value. Its Personal Pro 2TB plan comes down to $8 per month on an annual subscription, which is cheaper that Dropbox’s Plus plan and provides twice the storage. Plus, unlike Dropbox, Sync.com offers a 500GB personal plan, which makes it more flexible.

      Free
      • Details: Free
      • Storage: 5 GB
      Personal Mini
      • Storage: 200 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
      $60.00 billed every year
      Pro Solo Basic
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.00/ month
      $96.00 billed every year
      Pro Solo Standard
      • Storage: 3000 GB
      1-year plan $ 12.00/ month
      $144.00 billed every year
      Pro Solo Plus
      • Storage: 4000 GB
      1-year plan $ 15.00/ month
      $180.00 billed every year
      Pro Teams Standard
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
      $60.00 billed every year
      Pro Teams Plus
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 4000 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.00/ month
      $96.00 billed every year
      Pro Teams Advanced
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 10000 GB
      1-year plan $ 15.00/ month
      $180.00 billed every year

      On top of good value, Sync.com has strong security, including free zero-knowledge encryption, which means only you can read your data, unlike in the case of Dropbox (Sync.com is also our best encrypted cloud storage provider). Sync.com also uses the TLS protocol to protect files in transit from threats, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, and AES 256-bit encryption to protect files at rest.

      Plus, Sync.com’s location in Canada lets it enjoy more consumer-friendly privacy laws than Dropbox does in the U.S.. That keeps your files away from the NSA and other American alphabet agencies.

      File sync works in a similar manner to Dropbox’s. Sync.com lets you use something called the Sync.com “vault,” though, instead of using the sync folder. Vault works as a secure file archive.

      Though sync is similar, Sync.com’s transfer speeds aren’t as fast as Dropbox’s. That’s in part because Sync.com doesn’t use block-level copying.

      There’s a good reason for that, though. Zero-knowledge encryption and block-level copying don’t play well together because block-level copying requires that the service be able to read your files.

      Sync.com Security

      Sharing security doesn’t lag behind other features. As with a Dropbox Professional subscription, Sync.com lets you password-protect links, which you can generate or send via email. It doesn’t restrict that feature to paying customers, though.

      That said, you need a Sync.com Pro subscription to set link expiry dates. Sync.com’s Pro plan lets you set download limits and create file requests.

      The most useful feature by far is the option to extend zero-knowledge protection to any link you want to share. You only need to check the “enhanced privacy” box when creating a share.

      2. pCloud

      pCloud also ranks in the top of our best cloud storage article. It’s on this list thanks to its cloud security, but it has plenty of other features, too.

      pCloud Web Interface Files
      pCloud Sync Folder
      pCloud Share File Link
      pCloud Download Links
      pCloud Drive Client

      pCloud’s free plan gives you 10GB of storage, which is five times more than Dropbox does. That said, to get all that, you’ll have to complete certain tasks. You can also add 1GB of storage for every friend that you refer.

      If you need more storage than that, pCloud has good value plans you can choose from. The Premium 500GB plan for $4.99 per month is a great offer, but one that’s overshadowed by the Premium 2TB plan which is just $8 per month on an annual subscription. It’s cheaper than Dropbox’s 1TB plan.

      Free
      • Details: Free plan
      • Storage: 10 GB
      Premium
      • Storage: 500 GB
      1-year plan $ 3.99/ month
      $47.88 billed every year
      Save 20 %
      Lifetime plan $ 4.86/ month
      $175.00 one time payment,
      Monthly price for 3 years of use
      Premium Plus
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      1-year plan $ 7.99/ month
      $95.88 billed every year
      Save 20 %
      Lifetime plan $ 9.72/ month
      $350.00 one time payment,
      Monthly price for 3 years of use
      Business
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 23.97/ month
      $287.64 billed every year

      Unlike with Sync.com, zero-knowledge isn’t free but you can add it to any plan for $3.99 per month. If you think pCloud will work for you, a pCloud lifetime subscription will save you money in the long run.

      Besides the zero-knowledge add-on, pCloud uses AES 256-bit to encrypt your files at rest and the TLS protocol to protect them in transit.

      pCloud Sync

      pCloud implements the common model of sync, but also provides a feature called pCloud Drive. It lets you access content stored with pCloud without having to download it to your computer (read our how to set up pCloud Drive guide).

      pCloud uses block-level sync to speed up subsequent uploads, and it’s our top pick for best cloud storage for music and best cloud storage for photos and videos.

      To share files, you need to generate links, send them via email or post them directly to social networks. pCloud lets you secure shares using passwords and expiry dates. As with Dropbox, though, you need to subscribe to a premium plan to use those features. Read our full pCloud vs Dropbox comparison.

      3. Icedrive

      Icedrive is relatively fresh on the cloud storage scene, but it’s already made an impressive first impression. Featuring great file synchronization options, gorgeous interface design, solid security and affordable prices, there’s very little not to like about the new kid on the block.

      Icedrive desktop app
      Icedrive beats the competition with its sleek design, low prices and excellent security.

      Starting with its features, Icedrive lets you sync any existing folder on your computer through the context menu. If you’d rather clear up some local storage space on your device, you can use the virtual drive instead, though beware that this means you won’t have offline access to your files.

      A lot of features can often mean that design and ease of use takes a hit, but that’s certainly not the case for Icedrive. The desktop client, web interface and mobile apps are all some of the most gorgeous cloud storage applications we’ve come across, which makes it a pleasure to use.

      Free
      • Details: Bandwidth limit: 3GB
      • Storage: 10 GB
      Lite
      • Details: Bandwidth limit: 250GB
      • Storage: 150 GB
      1-year plan $ 1.67/ month
      $19.99 billed every year
      Lifetime plan $ 1.64/ month
      $59.00 one time payment,
      Monthly price for 3 years of use
      Pro
      • Details: Bandwidth limit: 2TB
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 4.17/ month
      $49.99 billed every year
      Save 16 %
      Lifetime plan $ 4.14/ month
      $149.00 one time payment,
      Monthly price for 3 years of use
      Save 17 %
      Pro+
      • Details: Bandwidth limit: 8TB
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 15.00/ month
      $179.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      Lifetime plan $ 13.86/ month
      $499.00 one time payment,
      Monthly price for 3 years of use
      Save 23 %

      As you can see in the table above, Icedrive is also very affordable. All the plans deliver lots of storage for the cost, and there’s even an option to sign up for a lifetime deal, something very few other cloud storage services offer. While there’s always an inherent risk with this sort of deal, you only need to use the service for three years before the lifetime plan starts to pay off.

      Icedrive Security

      Another area where Icedrive really shines is its security and privacy. As long as you’re on one of the paid plans, you can place your files in the “vault” which means that they’ll be protected with zero-knowledge (also known as end-to-end or private) encryption, meaning no one but you can decrypt your files.

      This is an obvious boon to privacy, and means that even though Icedrive’s servers are located in the UK — a country with somewhat iffy digital privacy laws — you can be secure in the knowledge that no one, not even the authorities, will be able to gain access to your data.

      Finally, Icedrive is also a very fast service, with both upload speeds and download speeds approaching the theoretical limit for the connection we used to test it. If you’d like to learn more about this exciting new cloud storage alternative, be sure to check out our full Icedrive review for all the details.

      4. Box

      box-business-homepage

      Box is a cloud storage service for businesses and a good alternatives for people looking for better data and user role management options. It offers a lot of the bells and whistles we see in Dropbox. But we think usability suffers: too many options may confuse you finding what you need.

      That being said, encryption is top-notch with 256-AES so you files are safe from prying eyes or competitors.

      5. MEGA

      MEGA used to give out a lot of free storage, but it has since started making most of it disappear after a few months. You can read the details about that in our MEGA review. Like the previous services on our list, it offers zero-knowledge encryption.

      MEGA-Homepage-2018

      The free plan provides 15GB of storage and another 35GB that eventually expires. You can get it back but only for a limited time. Still, 15GB is much more than what Dropbox offers. If you need more, MEGA has four personal plan to choose from.

      Of those, the Pro I plan has the best value because it offers 1TB of storage for $11.38 per month. That’s more expensive than Dropbox and the previous entries on our list, though. The only reason to consider MEGA is if you need less than 1TB storage and free zero-knowledge encryption.

      Free
      • Storage: 15 GB
      Pro Lite
      • Storage: 400 GB
      Pro I
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      Pro II
      • Storage: 8000 GB
      Pro III
      • Storage: 16000 GB

      Zero-knowledge encryption is mandatory with MEGA. It’s used for file sharing, as well. It works like password protection, except that it’s more secure. The level of at-rest encryption is AES 128-bit and the TLS protocol protects your files in transit.

      MEGA Sync

      MEGA’s sync isn’t as elegant as Dropbox’s, but it gets the job done if you don’t mind complexity. The flip side of that is, unlike with Dropbox, you can sync any folder.

      Many users report slow and unstable transfer speeds. Plus, MEGA doesn’t use block-level copying to speed them up. It also lacks the productivity integrations that Dropbox has.

      You can share files generating a link or sending via email. As with Dropbox, setting a password or expiry date requires a premium subscription, but in this case, you get it with the cheapest plan. You can also invite others to share with you, and there’s a page that shows those shares at a glance. Read our Dropbox vs MEGA piece for more.

      6. OneDrive

      Microsoft OneDrive is an obvious choice for this list, but it shares some of Dropbox’s weaknesses.

      Its free plan only offers 5GB, but that still beats Dropbox. For more, you need to sign up for one of the three premium plans.

      OneDrive Web Interface Files
      OneDrive Sync Folder Slider
      OneDrive App Launcher
      OneDrive Create Link File Sharing
      OneDrive Word Online

      The 50GB plan is a nice option for only $1.99 per month, but the other two plans offer the most value. Office 365 Personal gets you 1TB of storage for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Better yet, Office 365 Home offers 6TB of storage for six users for only $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Both plans have better prices than Dropbox’s 1TB plan.

      OneDrive Basic 5GB
      • Storage: 5 GB
      OneDrive 100GB
      • Storage: 100 GB
      Microsoft 365 Personal
      • Details: Comes with Office 365 Personal
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.83/ month
      $69.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      Microsoft 365 Family
      • Details: Comes with Office 365 Home
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.33/ month
      $99.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      OneDrive for Business Plan 1
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
      $60.00 billed every year
      OneDrive for Business Plan 2
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: Unlimited GB
      1-year plan $ 10.00/ month
      $120.00 billed every year
      Microsoft 365 Business Standard
      • Details: Price per user
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 12.50/ month
      $150.00 billed every year
      Save 17 %

      Like Dropbox, though, there’s no zero-knowledge encryption. That said, OneDrive encrypts every file using AES 256-bit encryption and uses the TLS protocol to prevent attacks during transfer.

      OneDrive Sync

      OneDrive uses the standard sync model developed by Dropbox. It doesn’t let you sync specific folders, either. You can only choose from a list of common folders, which isn’t as useful. Selective sync is available, but it’s not as handy as Dropbox’s smart sync.

      OneDrive’s transfer speeds let you sync your files quickly, and it makes them even faster with block-level sync (in case you choose OneDrive, we have a guide for if OneDrive is not syncing).

      OneDrive has a note-taking app and integrates with Office Online and many other Microsoft apps, read all about it in our OneNote review. That makes it easy to transition from Dropbox’s productivity features.

      To share files you can generate a link, send it via email or send it to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Sina Weibo. In any case, you can enable editing and protect your links by setting passwords or adding expiry dates. There’s also a “shared” page that shows what you’ve shared with others.

      7. Google Drive

      We’ve talked about Dropbox’s popularity, but with close to a billion users, Google Drive is even more popular.

      Google Drive provides 15GB of free storage and unlimited storage for photos if you save them compressed to 16 megapixels. Besides the free plan, Google has a flexible lineup of six paid plans.

      Google Drive Web Interface
      Google Drive Sync Folder
      Google Drive Google Docs
      Google Drive Create Link
      Google Drive Network Settings

      The first couple of plans get you 100GB and 200GB for $2 and $3 per month, respectively. They’re good options if you don’t need a lot of storage, and Dropbox doesn’t offer similar ones. For more than that, the best option is the 2TB plan, which costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Dropbox Plus’s price is the same, but Google’s plan provides twice the storage.

      15GB
      • Details: Free plan
      • Storage: 15 GB
      100GB
      • Storage: 100 GB
      1-year plan $ 1.67/ month
      $19.99 billed every year
      Save 16 %
      200GB
      • Storage: 200 GB
      1-year plan $ 2.50/ month
      $29.99 billed every year
      Save 16 %
      2TB
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.33/ month
      $99.99 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      10TB
      • Storage: 10000 GB
      20TB
      • Storage: 20000 GB
      30TB
      • Storage: 30000 GB

      While your files are in storage, Google Drive encrypts them using AES 128-bit encryption. It started doing so after it was connected to the PRISM project. Google admits it scans your content. Its privacy policy says that it does so to provide customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. The TLS protocol protects files in transit.

      Google Drive’s desktop client follows the common model of sync but enriches it with a continuous backup option. You can also use the client to sync specific folders from the cloud and any folder to the cloud. The client had a hiccup when we tested it for our Google Drive review, though, and some older comments on it complain about poor syncing.

      Google Drive Sync

      Google Drive has fast sync speeds but lacks block-level copying, so you won’t get the speedup with subsequent uploads.

      Google Drive’s productivity features include Google’s office suite, Calendar, Keep and more. On top of proprietary apps, Google integrates with many third-party apps. The amount of features is more extensive than Dropbox’s set.

      To share files, you need to generate a link and copy and paste it or send it by email. You can also send it directly to Facebook or Twitter. People you share it with can view, comment or edit depending on the permissions you set. There’s a table that shows who has access to the link.

      You can’t set a password, send upload links or limit the number of downloads. What you can do is set an expiry date for each person you share with. To see what others have shared with you open the “shared with me” folder. Read our guide on how to share files on Google Drive as well as our list of Google Drive alternatives.

      8. Amazon Drive

      Amazon Drive isn’t near the top of our best of the best, but it has excellent value, which helps it make this list.

      If you want to test the service, you can sign up for the free plan, which gives you 5GB of storage. That’s not much, but it’s still more than Dropbox provides. Amazon Drive sweetens the deal with unlimited photo storage, though.

      That’s similar to Google Drive, but the similarities don’t stop there. Amazon Drive also has a flexible subscription scheme. It offers 13 plans, which beats Google Drive, let alone Dropbox. Its rates are fair, too.

      5GB
      • Details: Free plan
      • Storage: 5 GB
      100GB Plan
      • Storage: 100 GB
      1TB Plan
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
      $60.00 billed every year
      2TB Plan
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      1-year plan $ 10.00/ month
      $120.00 billed every year
      3TB Plan
      • Storage: 3000 GB
      1-year plan $ 15.00/ month
      $180.00 billed every year
      4TB Plan
      • Storage: 4000 GB
      1-year plan $ 20.00/ month
      $240.00 billed every year
      5TB Plan
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 25.00/ month
      $300.00 billed every year
      6TB Plan
      • Storage: 6000 GB
      1-year plan $ 30.00/ month
      $360.00 billed every year
      7TB Plan
      • Storage: 7000 GB
      1-year plan $ 35.00/ month
      $420.00 billed every year
      8TB Plan
      • Storage: 8000 GB
      1-year plan $ 40.00/ month
      $480.00 billed every year
      9TB Plan
      • Storage: 9000 GB
      1-year plan $ 45.00/ month
      $540.00 billed every year
      10TB Plan
      • Storage: 10000 GB
      1-year plan $ 50.00/ month
      $600.00 billed every year
      20TB Plan
      • Storage: 20000 GB
      1-year plan $ 100.00/ month
      $1200.00 billed every year
      30TB Plan
      • Storage: 30000 GB
      1-year plan $ 150.00/ month
      $1800.00 billed every year

      The 100GB plan is only $1 per month which is great for users who don’t need a lot of storage. For $5 per month you get 1TB of storage. That deal beats many of the plans under $10. For $10 per month, Amazon Drive provides 2TB of storage, which beats Dropbox’s offer.

      The counterpoint to excellent value is the lack of at-rest encryption. If that’s something you’d like to avoid, you can use Boxcryptor to encrypt your files before uploading them to Amazon Drive. You can read more about it in our Boxcryptor review.

      Amazon Drive Sync

      Amazon Drive uses the common model of sync, along with block-level sync capabilities, and lets you perform selective sync. It can’t sync any folder, though.

      Amazon has data centers across the globe so it’s no wonder Amazon Drive’s sync speeds are fast. You can see just how fast in our Amazon Drive review.

      Unlike Dropbox, Amazon Drive lacks productivity features. Once you upload your files, you can share them using basic sharing features. You can generate a link, email it or share your files directly to Facebook or Twitter.

      Be careful what you share because you can’t password-protect links or place access expiry dates on them. The only thing you can do is go to the “shared” tab and stop sharing for specific links. Dropbox makes you pay more to make use of sharing protection features, but at least they’re available.

      9. Koofr

      Koofr is a Slovenia-based service that doesn’t offer a lot of storage space but that doesn’t mean it’s not a capable service.

      Starter
      • Storage: 2 GB
      S
      • Storage: 10 GB
      M
      • Storage: 25 GB
      L
      • Storage: 100 GB
      XL
      • Storage: 250 GB
      XXL
      • Storage: 1000 GB
      XXXL
      • Storage: 2500 GB
      10XL
      • Storage: 10000 GB

      Interestingly, Koofr’s free plan provides the same amount of space as Dropbox’s plan. Pricing similarities end there, though, because Koofr has several plans that offer less than 1TB of space. They’re not expensive, either, which is good if you don’t want to overpay. For 100GB you need to dish out $2.28 per month while the 250GB plan is $4.55 per month.

      koofr-share-with-people

      The plans aren’t good values considering you get much more by subscribing to Google Drive or Amazon Drive. The 1TB plan is also more expensive than Dropbox’s counterpart. Where Koofr shines more than Dropbox is security and privacy.

      Koofr Security

      Koofr uses the SSL/TLS protocol to protect your files in transit and AES 256-bit encryption to scramble your files at rest. Like Dropbox, it doesn’t provide zero-knowledge encryption, but it doesn’t extract your metadata or have suspicious clauses in its privacy policy, either.

      Also like Dropbox, Koofr doesn’t allow you to sync any folder, but selective sync is available. You’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan to use it, though. Koofr also has a network drive option.

      Sync speeds were fast in our test. That said, Koofr lacks block-level sync, which can’t be said about Dropbox. Koofr also lacks productivity features.

      Sharing lets you email a link, copy and paste it or share directly to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr. You can’t password-protect links when sharing to social networks, but you can otherwise. There’s an option to make links expire, too. Unlike many services, including Dropbox, Koofr even provides those content control features for free users. Read our Koofr review for more information.

      10. SpiderOak ONE

      SpiderOak One qualifies as a Dropbox alternative because it offers secure cloud storage in addition to cloud backup. If you’re not sure what the difference between the two is, read our explanation article.

      150GB Plan
      • Storage: 150 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.75/ month
      $69.00 billed every year
      400GB Plan
      • Storage: 400 GB
      1-year plan $ 9.58/ month
      $115.00 billed every year
      Save 13 %
      2TB Plan
      • Storage: 2000 GB
      1-year plan $ 12.42/ month
      $149.00 billed every year
      Save 11 %
      5TB Plan
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 26.67/ month
      $320.00 billed every year
      Save 8 %

      SpiderOak ONE doesn’t offer a free plan, so it’s not better than Dropbox in that regard. That said, no free plan is common for online backup services. SpiderOak ONE’s plans are expensive, too. Dropbox’s 1TB plan is $9.99 per month compared to SpiderOak ONE’s 400GB plan for $11 per month.

      SpiderOakONE-DesktopDashboard-Slider1
      SpiderOakONE-Backup-Files-Slider2
      SpiderOakONE-Download-File-Slider3
      SpiderOak Hive Sync Folder
      SpiderOakONE Web Interface Hive

      Things turn in SpiderOak ONE’s favor when we reach the 2TB plans, though. Its plan is $14 per month while Dropbox’s is $19.99. That said, users who need less storage will find Dropbox to be a more enticing deal. Besides, if you’re just looking for cloud storage, you probably don’t consider SpiderOak ONE a viable alternative to Dropbox.

      SpiderOak ONE Security

      On the other hand, if you need storage and backup, SpiderOak ONE is a great hybrid. It’s also secure because it uses private encryption with AES 256-bit to encrypt your files before they leave your computer. The SSL protocol secures files in transit.

      On top of private encryption, SpiderOak ONE doesn’t even keep a central database of your file metadata. For more information about its security, read our SpiderOak ONE review.

      SpiderOak ONE installs a sync folder that it calls “hive,” which works like any other sync folder. You can’t use selective sync to choose files to sync and you can’t sync any folder. For more details, check out our SpiderOak ONE guide. It’ll help you navigate the interface.

      You can create a sharing link to any file, but it expires automatically after three days. You can’t specify a password either. The “ShareRoom” feature lets you share folders and protect shares with a password, though. Note that files placed in ShareRooms don’t benefit from private encryption.

      11. IDrive

      Like SpiderOak ONE, IDrive is a service that offers backup and sync space. It also sits at the top of our best online backup comparison. If you’re looking for a hybrid solution, it’s a contender, and it’s cheaper than SpiderOak ONE and Dropbox, too.

      Free
      • Storage: 5 GB
      Personal 5TB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 5.79/ month
      $69.50 billed every year
      2-year plan $ 5.79/ month
      $139.00 billed every 2 years
      Personal 10TB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 10000 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.29/ month
      $99.50 billed every year
      2-year plan $ 8.29/ month
      $199.00 billed every 2 years
      Business 250GB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 250 GB
      1-year plan $ 8.29/ month
      $99.50 billed every year
      2-year plan $ 8.29/ month
      $199.00 billed every 2 years
      Business 500GB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 500 GB
      1-year plan $ 16.62/ month
      $199.50 billed every year
      2-year plan $ 16.62/ month
      $399.00 billed every 2 years
      Business 1.25TB
      • Storage: 1250 GB
      1-year plan $ 41.62/ month
      $499.50 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      2-year plan $ 41.62/ month
      $999.00 billed every 2 years
      Save 17 %
      Business 2.5TB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 2500 GB
      1-year plan $ 66.62/ month
      $799.50 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      2-year plan $ 66.62/ month
      $1599.00 billed every 2 years
      Save 17 %
      Business 5TB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 5000 GB
      1-year plan $ 124.96/ month
      $1499.50 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      2-year plan $ 93.73/ month
      $2249.50 billed every 2 years
      Save 37 %
      Business 12.5TB
      • Details: Large discount for first-time signup.
      • Storage: 12500 GB
      1-year plan $ 249.96/ month
      $2999.50 billed every year
      Save 17 %
      2-year plan $ 249.96/ month
      $5999.00 billed every 2 years
      Save 17 %

      Surprisingly, it has a free 5GB plan. The premium plans provide 2TB or 5TB of backup space and the same amount of sync space. You have to pay for the year in advance, but the prices are competitive. The 2TB plan comes down to $4.34 per month while the 5TB plan is $6.22 per month. If you pay upfront for two years, you get a discount.

      IDrive-Client-Backup-Slider1
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      IDrive-Client-Scheduler-Slider3
      IDrive-Client-Sync-Slider4
      IDrive-Client-Disk-Image-Slider5

      IDrive uses AES 256-bit and you can enable private encryption when you sign up. You can learn more about IDrive’s security in our IDrive review, and we also have a list of the best IDrive alternatives.

      IDrive Sync

      When you turn sync on, IDrive creates a folder on your computer for syncing. It works like a standard sync folder. You can use selective sync, but there’s no way to sync additional folders.

      You can invite people to share using the web client. It also lets you specify the level of permission for each share, but there’s no way to set a password or expiry date. You can check what you’ve shared with others and what others have shared with you, though.

      What Makes Dropbox Good

      We’re going to look at what Dropbox does well so we can determine what makes another service better.

      Dropbox is popular because of its strong syncing and sharing capabilities, features set and good user experience. It’s also the place where the model of sync commonly used by cloud services was invented. We talk at length about those categories in our Dropbox review.

      The central point of the common model of sync is the sync folder. The sync folder works like any other folder, but anything you put in it will be synced to the cloud and anything you have in the cloud will be available from it. Dropbox improves on that concept with the smart sync feature, and it’s the best cloud storage for sync because of it.

      Smart sync lets you access your cloud files without first syncing them to your computer. The downside of that is that you won’t be able to access your files while you’re offline. One problem with Dropbox’s sync model is the inability to sync folders other than the sync folder.

      Most of the competition uses the same model, but only some execute it as well. You can compare Dropbox’s sync capabilities against its two most direct competitors, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, and it’ll do better than both, at least when it comes to syncing changes to files already copied to cloud storage thanks to its block-level sync.

      Read our guide to Dropbox’s file size limit, and our guide can help if Dropbox is not syncing.

      Dropbox Sharing

      Dropbox also has strong content-sharing features. You can share links using the web client or send them via email. Dropbox lets you protect links by setting a password or expiry date, disabling downloads or only granting access to specific individuals. You can’t send them directly to social networks, though.

      Note that content control options for sharing are reserved for Dropbox’s Professional plan, which isn’t its cheapest plan. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.

      You can see what you’ve shared with others on a dedicated page. If you want to invite others to share with you, you can use the “file request” feature.

      On top of that, Dropbox integrates with Microsoft Office Online, which lets you edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from the Dropbox web interface. Plus, Dropbox has a useful note-taking app called Dropbox Paper that lets you make notes and more, which we explore in our Dropbox Paper review.

      If you have a lot of files in Dropbox and need to search through them, you can do that with a full-text search. The search includes documents scanned with the mobile app, which is an unusual feature among cloud storage services. Dropbox lets you use it to scan a document and upload it as a .pdf or .jpeg file to the cloud.

      What’s Not Good About Dropbox

      Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services, but there are many others. A lot of them aren’t better than Dropbox in every category, but they may beat it in one or two important areas. How important that is for you depends on your cloud storage priorities. If they beat Dropbox in those it might be enough for you to abandon ship.

      Dropbox Security

      Dropbox has had a turbulent history with security since it started (read our piece on Dropbox’s security issues). The largest and most talked about breach is the 2012 theft of emails and passwords from over 68 million Dropbox users.

      About half of the stolen passwords were hashed using bcrypt, which should render them unreadable. The other half were hashed using a much weaker algorithm called SHA-1. What’s worse is that Dropbox didn’t reveal the extent of the hack until 2016, when some of those stolen credentials showed up for sale online.

      Dropbox has reportedly tightened control and changed its password hashing algorithms multiple times since 2012 to prevent a repeat. It uses AES 256-bit to protect your files at rest and the TLS protocol with AES 128-bit to protect your files in transit. Still, it decrypts your data once it’s in the cloud to extract metadata for indexing and then reencrypts it.

      You’ll find several secure alternatives that don’t do that in the list below.

      Dropbox Privacy

      On top of problematic security, Dropbox’s privacy is a concern. Dropbox has been involved with the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM project. PRISM is a surveillance program designed to locate terrorists. To that end, though, the NSA collects data from everyone thanks to the effects of the USA Patriot Act.

      Dropbox can and will block certain files from being shared under the guidance of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Dropbox doesn’t scan your cloud storage files to do that, but it looks at your content when you share it, which isn’t quite as bad. That said, a few cloud storage services provide zero-knowledge file sharing, which prevents that.

      Plus, some services we’re going to recommend are in more privacy-friendly locations than the U.S. That’s relevant because internet service providers are legally allowed to spy on user data and sell it to third parties without giving consumers the opportunity to opt out.

      As a side note, if you value your privacy, check out our selection of free tools to protect your privacy and our best VPN services roundup.

      Dropbox Free Plan and Pricing

      Unlike some services, you only get 2GB to work with on Dropbox’s free plan, which won’t be enough if you need to store high-definition photos and videos.

      Premium plans aren’t much better because they’re pricey. Dropbox’s cheapest plan is Plus which costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year and provides 1TB of storage. The next plan is Professional, which gets you 2TB of storage for $19.99 per month or $16.58 per month if you pay for the year. It also gives you features that protect your shares.

      Final Thoughts

      Sync.com stands at the top of the list thanks to its competitive plans, strong security, including zero-knowledge encryption, capable sharing features and adherence to Canadian privacy laws. The rest of the picks are good candidates, too, with those ranked higher being better than Dropbox in most of our criteria. The rest at least do one thing better than Dropbox. You can use our chart to compare cloud storage costs, too.

      The trailing services are good alternatives in specific cases. For example, Sync.com might suit you if you want to emphasize security, while SpiderOak ONE and IDrive are best for those who want to use a hybrid solution.

      Still, we might have missed a service or two, so let us know about it in the comments below. Which service intrigues you the most? Be sure to check out our best DIY cloud storage tools roundup, too. Thank you for reading.