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Dropbox—A Pricey Cloud Storage Service
Dropbox is a cloud storage service with both a free and premium plan, boasting a plethora of features for the two plans but also integrating with several other products. With Dropbox, users get a secure cloud storage space and can access it through different browsers or devices.
The Dropbox cloud storage and file-syncing services allow users to access their files through desktop folders. It is considered a pioneer in syncing files between your cloud account and computer and incorporates a unique set of tools that help increase user productivity.
One big disadvantage for Dropbox is the fact it’s developed by a non-tech giant and has to compete with similar cloud storage products from Google and the like. This does not diminish its excellence, however, especially as Dropbox employs better data privacy measures than its rivals.
However, Dropbox is a very pricey cloud storage service, and the high rates have long been deterrents to some users joining up. This has necessitated the introduction and significant growth of numerous Dropbox-like online cloud storage and file syncing services.
Best Dropbox Alternatives
Let's take a look at some of the best Dropbox alternatives for customers to consider.
- Google Drive
- Mega Cloud
1. Google Drive
Google Drive offers cloud storage, file management, and document collaboration services that make it easy for users to share and collaborate on document creation. It is the centerpiece of the Google Workspace suite of products and allows users to sync files between their personal or work computers and their Google Drive cloud account.
The Google Drive file stream is a very robust all-around product. The services offered are such that users can move their entire document management processes into Google Drive and be better off for it. The product is exceptionally rich in premium-quality features, has a generous free plan, and benefits from welcome familiarity having meshed into other Google products.
Specifically, users can access the Google Drive file storage, file sharing, and document collaboration services from any device. Users also choose to stream their files directly from the cloud to their personal computers, access and edit these files offline, and even share document access with intended collaborators.
Other essential Google Drive features include a plethora of native cloud collaboration apps such as Google Docs and Google Sheets. The service integrates with several third-party productivity apps like Microsoft Office, Slack, and Salesforce among others, while supporting more than 100 different file formats and types.
Google Drive Pros
- The free plan has extensive features
- Robust functionality/ easy to use
- Integrates with several third-party services
- Easy document collaboration
Google Drive Cons
- Not easy to find and organize virtual assets
- Does not preview visual assets
- No review for creative work
- The permissions system does not prioritize partnerships
Developed by Apple, iCloud is the default cloud storage and document management solution for Apple devices. As such, it is a popular collaboration solution for individuals and businesses using Apple devices. It also boasts an impressive array of add-ons that extend functional capabilities.
Significantly, iCloud is already built into every Apple device such that every file, document, or photo is automatically synced with the cloud account. Thus, Apple users benefit from having their important documents secured, updated, and always available whenever they need to access them.
For a start, Apple grants every user 5GB of free iCloud storage capacity. You’ll need to upgrade to one of the iCloud+ paid plans soon, however, as these enjoy more powerful new features and a lot more storage.
The biggest iCloud downside is its indiscriminate file backup system. So long as you use an Apple or iOS device, iCloud will back up every file, photo, document, and more found on your device, with no way to determine which files to ignore. This means that your free 5GB storage gets depleted soon enough.
- Easy to sync files across devices
- Simple file access from anywhere
- Optimized storage space per account type
- Automatic file backups from Apple devices
- Limited free storage space
- Poor document organization capabilities
- Only suitable for businesses
Microsoft OneDrive is a leading cloud storage and document management service. It is the default online storage and file syncing solution for Windows 10 devices and Microsoft Office 365 subscribers and offers a wealth of powerful features and collaboration tools, among others.
Like other cloud storage service providers, users have access to hundreds of apps and third-party extensions that extend the performance capabilities of OneDrive. With OneDrive, users store their files in the cloud and access them from anywhere, at any time, and on any device they want.
The cloud service offers both personal and business plans, with the business plan more robust to store larger, more important work documents of school files. However, you can sign up for and use both plans to separately create and control documents for personal and business projects. OneDrive has an efficient permissions system, while all documents are stored securely in the cloud.
However, OneDrive is also limited by the difficulty in finding and organizing virtual assets, an inability to preview visual assets, and the fact too many collaboratory tools could actually reduce one's productivity due to indecision. OneDrive also lacks the capacity to review the creative process while its permissions system is difficult to use.
- Easy access to files from anywhere
- Easy to collaborate on document editing
- User-friendly interface
- Mobile application available
- Compatible with several operating systems
- Supports limited document sizes
- Lack of third-party app integrations
- Limited offline access
Sync is an online backup, cross-platform file synchronization, and multi-user collaboration service founded on strong data security. Users on the free plan receive 5GB of secure storage space alongside several other premium features like the ability to integrate with third-party extensions.
Sync puts a special focus on the security of private information and privacy of user files and employs significant security programs to keep your data secure. This includes the use of end-to-end encryption on the file storage space as well as the 2-factor user authentication for secure logins.
Ranging from $8 to $15 per user per month, Sync.com paid plans to guarantee a lot more functionality with extended features. While these premium plans are best suited for businesses, Sync offers two dedicated plans for team collaboration.
The Teams Standard offers users 1TB of storage at a per-user monthly billing but requires a minimum of two accounts to begin with. Similarly, the Teams Unlimited plan also requires no less than two accounts to sign up, but users receive unlimited storage at no extra cost.
- Excellent document and data security
- Competitive pricing
- Unlimited file sizes allowed
- 365-day file versioning
- No monthly payments
- The user interface needs more work
- Slower than usual sync speeds
Box.com was one of the pioneering cloud storage solutions and is now one of the best available. Users get reliable and secure file storage and synchronization system full of premium features.
The Box cloud storage system has a multitude of useful features to ensure secure document storage, sync files between devices and accounts, and enhance easier collaboration.
Box.com is especially suitable for business operations. The cloud storage service has the second largest free storage capacity on the market, has a streamlined user interface, and supports seamless collaboration.
Users of Box Cloud benefit from better external sharing capabilities, advanced project management, and easy process automation. In essence, therefore, Box increases the overall productivity of a user while enabling secure collaboration between team members.
Both business and personal users of the Box Cloud system have access to a unified and secure platform for managing their entire content lifecycle and resulting documents. The system also uses robust sharing, e-signature, classification, and retention capabilities.
Key features of Box Cloud include content capture and imaging support, document storage and archiving, and an expansive search and retrieval functionality.
- User-friendly interface
- 10GB is free storage space
- Strong document and user data security
- Easy file syncing and collaboration
- Integrates with many third-party services
- Slow when sharing large files
- Poor customer support
- Most integrations incur additional costs
The pCloud storage service is available on and accessible through different platforms. It is one of the best cloud service providers for free users and guarantees 10GB of storage space on signup.
pCloud users receive access to secure, encrypted cloud storage at affordably low prices. It is thus an excellent cloud solution for users looking to securely store their work files, documents, photos, and more.
Like other cloud services, pCloud users can also enjoy a litany of amazing features that extend the functionality of the cloud account. Besides cloud storage, pCloud also boasts fast file syncing, easy sharing, and collaboration solutions across its more than 12 million users. It is compatible with most devices and operating systems to increase co-location.
Significantly, pCloud is designed to take automatic backups of all files on your computer through auto-syncing, can archive files, and users advanced security measures to maintain data privacy.
pCloud still has glaring drawbacks, however, with the biggest being its limited integration with essential third-party services. While pCloud can currently integrate with select products from Google, ActiveChat, Asana, and more, the list of supported integrations is still too few to match its competitors.
In effect, this reduces the practicality of using pCloud, especially as switching from one product to another is proven to reduce one’s productivity.
- Secure data storage with encryption
- Virtual pCloud drive
- 10 GB free storage space
- Multi-device access
- Share and collaborate with others easily
- Free version features are very limited
- Encryption is only available as an add-on feature
- Basic quality mobile app
Icedrive is one of the next-generation cloud storage and document management solutions on the market. It offers users a competitive starting package with 10GB of free storage space enhanced with robust encryption to guarantee data security.
Suitable for users of all technical know-how, the Icedrive cloud storage service uses a simple process flow and a sleek interface to secure your files with zero-knowledge encryption. Its impressive Virtual Drive feature helps users to free up more space on their personal or work computers and increase performance.
By using the virtual drive, your cloud storage essentially becomes like one of your computer’s physical hard drives, albeit with all the benefits of a cloud storage account. This means users can access their cloud account more easily, including remote access on another device or platform.
File syncing between your computer and cloud storage is automated, but users decide which files will be backed up in the cloud. This wouldn’t matter as much in either case, as new Icedrive users receive an incredible 10GB in free storage space, among the leading free capacity on the market. Paid plans enjoy even bigger storage capacity, among other benefits.
Icedrive still has rough edges to smoothen over, however, with the automatic file syncing function especially quirky. It also lags behind in terms of third-party integrations and has very poor customer support capabilities. further, Icedrive is not the best cloud service for teams looking to collaborate on documents, projects, and more.
- Can be used as another PC harddrive
- Supports remote access from any platform and device
- Portable cloud storage
- Top-notch security and privacy on paid plans
- Very affordable with a lifetime plan
- Has limited collaboration options
- Limited customer support
- Poor integrations with third-party services
- Quirky syncing with the virtual drive
8. Mega Cloud
Mega Cloud is one of the best cloud storage and file syncing services available on the market. It boasts the biggest storage space for the free plans on the market, alongside excellent data security features.
Mega Cloud provides essential cloud storage and syncing support for both business and personal users at affordable rates. It boasts numerous important features similar to those from cloud industry leaders and implements secure storage protocols through end-to-end data encryption technologies.
Of the most prominent features of the Mega Cloud storage and file-syncing service, users benefit from easy platform integration with Windows, Linux, and Mac devices among others.
However, you can also access Mega Cloud through its numerous browser extensions, enjoy the 128-bit encrypted data guarantee, or make use of market-leading 20GB of free storage space.
Further, Mega Cloud users’ documents are automatically synchronized across devices and browsers, all files have chronological versions, and users receive detailed periodic administrative reports regularly.
Mega Cloud Pros
- 20GB free storage limit
- Additional free 10GB storage per user invite
- Free plan with a free trial for paid plans
- High level of user data security
- Easy to use with user-friendly mobile apps
Mega Cloud Cons
- The user-generated encryption key is easy to lose
- No data recovery if you lose the encryption key
- Paid plans are very pricey
- Limited bandwidth
Did I miss out on any other Dropbox alternatives? Let me know in the comments section.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Rahul Pandey