Like Dropbox

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Dropbox is a top-rated file sharing platform, with a free version. However, it might not meet everyone’s diverse needs. Check out these free Dropbox alternatives.

Cloud storage providers like Dropbox make it easy to not just backup our work and personal files but also to share files and collaborate with others. Don’t get me wrong, Dropbox is good, in fact really good, but there are better Dropbox alternatives ⇣ out there for better and more secure cloud storage and file sharing. But today, safely storing your files in the cloud isn’t exactly a pressing problem anymore. Online storage has become a commodity and other companies and app like Dropbox are all offering the same storage solution. Some of the largest companies in the world are offering online file storage as a free add-on to their platforms.

Gone are the days when businesses relied on hard drives to store files and users had to plug in a thumb drive to move files from the office laptop to the home computer.

Today, we expect our files to be available on all our devices, with the latest version synced automatically. We also expect to be able to share files with a couple of clicks and have multiple people work together on a single file.

This has been made possible by the likes of file sharing software such as Dropbox, which offers free and paid file storage services. The platform currently has over 500 million users, of which only 13.2 million are paying users.

For the non-paying majority using Dropbox’s Basic (free) version, one of the biggest challenges, ironically, is space. Dropbox Basic offers a measly 2GB of free storage. It also caps the number of devices you can sync to three and does not offer full text search, shared link controls, or viewer history.

  1. Of course, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Amazon aren't your only cloud storage options. Another is SugarSync, a Dropbox-like alternative with apps for every mobile platform.
  2. Its primary features—file and folding sharing, document collaboration—are similar to Dropbox's. Its primary difference (aside from its open source license) is that your files are hosted on your private Linux server or cloud, giving users complete control over your data. (Self-hosting is a common thread among the apps on this list.).
This article looks at four Dropbox alternatives. See the full list of Dropbox alternatives here.

With that in mind, here are the four best free Dropbox alternatives for you to explore, all with at least 5GB of storage.

4 Best Dropbox alternatives for file sharing

To be shortlisted, products have to offer at least 5GB of free storage and have received 100 user reviews on Capterra’s software directory in the past two years. See the full selection criteria here.

Accordingly, we narrowed down our list of free Dropbox alternatives to the following four providers (arranged alphabetically):

1. Box

Sites like dropbox

Dashboard view in Box (Source)

Something like dropbox but free

Box is a cloud-based file storage and sharing platform that is quite similar to Dropbox in its look and feel, as well as functionality. Both of them let you drag and drop files into the cloud and invite others to view, edit, and upload files to folders.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • View over 120 types of files, including Word, Excel, PDF, AI, EPS, PSD, and photos without downloading.
  • Document and share ideas, discussions, and to-do lists with BoxNotes—a collaboration tool similar to Dropbox Paper.
  • Control access to determine who can view and/or edit your documents.
  • Integrate with over 1,400 third-party applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Suite, Slack, Salesforce, and DocuSign.

Pros

Cons

Ease of use and integration with multiple third-party tools.Initial learning curve can be difficult.
Sync between mobile app and desktop are almost instant.Limited editing and creating functionality built into the platform.

How much storage does Box offer?

The free version of Box offers 10GB storage. But there’s a 250MB limit on the size of individual files that can be uploaded.

2. Google Drive

MyDrive in Google Drive (Source)

If there’s one free Dropbox alternative that you’ve probably heard of, it’s Google Drive. Google offers this free file storage and sharing cloud to its 1.5 billion Gmail users. So, if you already have a Gmail or Google account, this is the obvious cloud storage option to go with.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

Like Dropbox
  • Connect with 100+ Drive Apps, including Slack, Airtable, Freshdesk, and Zipbooks.
  • Save files directly to the cloud from email using the “Save to GoogleDrive” icon in Gmail.
  • Find files quicker with the platform’s full-text and image search features.
  • Use the “work offline” mode to work on files while off the Internet. The files get automatically synced to the cloud as soon as you go online.

Pros

Cons

Ability to access, edit, and save documents on the go.On rare occasions, uploads and downloads can be slow.
Ability to move files quickly within the interface.Files and folders are prone to becoming disorganized when used by multiple people.

How much storage does Google Drive offer?

Google Drive offers a whopping 15GB of free storage. However, the catch is that the storage is shared between Gmail, MyDrive, and Google Photos (storage for low-resolution photos is unlimited and not included in this 15GB).

3. OneDrive

Dropbox like self hosted

OneDrive synced with desktop folders (Source)

OneDrive is a file storage platform offered by Microsoft. Just like Gmail users have access to Google Drive, OneDrive comes built-in with Windows 10. So, if you’re one of the 700 million Windows 10 users, you don’t even have to think of OneDrive as an additional service to sign up for.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • Auto-sync files—any files you save on your computer will get automatically uploaded to the cloud.
  • Search files stored on the cloud via your browser. Also use the “files on demand” feature to download files to use when you’re not online.
  • Control access to your files, share them with users via a link, and control what they can do with the files.
  • Search the full text of files (not just filenames), with the “search and discover” feature.
  • Automatically upload photos and videos from connected devices.

Pros

Cons

Easy to set up and use.Autosave on files doesn’t work without an internet connection and you have to remember to manually save open files in case of lost connection.
Android app and browser access make cross-platform use effortless.Setting auto-sync on Macs can be complicated.

How much storage does OneDrive offer?

OneDrive gives you 5GB of free storage with a Microsoft account. If you have a Microsoft Office 365 Home account, you get 1TB storage on OneDrive for up to six users.

4. Zoho Docs

File sync online and offline in Zoho Docs (Source)

Zoho is usually recognized for its CRM software and invoicing software. However, it also has a not-so-widely-known file storage and sharing platform Zoho Docs, which is a viable Dropbox alternative.

Zoho Docs can be downloaded as a desktop app and from there it functions like OneDrive. It supports file types such as documents, presentations, spreadsheets, audio, and video. However, it doesn’t have the capability to host industry-specific file types, such as AutoCAD (.dxf), Photoshop (.psd), or Microsoft Project (.mpp).

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • Use the built-in document editors—Writer, Sheet, and Show—to create and edit documents online.
  • View as many as 25 iterations of a document in version history.
  • Find information with full-text search.
  • Control who accesses which files and if they can view/edit them.

Pros

Cons

Real-time collaboration between multiple users.User interface can sometimes be slow to respond.
Preview files in the cloud, without the need to download.To share files with external users who do not use Zoho Docs, users need to convert files to popular formats such as MS Office or Google Suite files.

How much storage does Zoho Docs offer?

The platform offers 5GB of free storage per user, and supports up to 25 users. However, the combined free storage caps at 25GB.

Next steps

Before choosing to implement Dropbox, we recommend exploring these free Dropbox alternatives for your business. You can also check out user reviews on our website for better insight into how users experience these solutions.
Read user reviews for:

You can also compare other file sharing solutions on Capterra.

Selection criteria:

  • Storage: While Dropbox Basic offers only 2GB of free storage, in our research we discovered that a lot of Dropbox competitors offer anywhere from 5GB to 15GB storage in their free plans. For this list, we included products that offer at least 5GB of free storage.
  • Security and privacy protocols: Dropbox uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to protect stored data, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect data during transfer. Both of those are widely used security protocols. Dropbox also has measures in place to protect user privacy, as well as detect any suspicious account activity, phishing, and malware. For this guide, we considered options that have similar protocols to maintain security and privacy of user data.
  • Mobile apps: Dropbox offers both Android and iOS mobile apps. For this guide, we included options that offer a mobile app for at least one of the two platforms.

In addition to these qualifications, we checked for products that received over 100 reviews over the last two years.

Dropbox like self hosted

Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by Capterra or its affiliates.

Dropbox Like Nas

I know what you are might be saying to yourself. Greg, are you having a bad day, or did you have too much coffee this morning? It is “No” to question # 1 and “No” to question # 2 – just another typical day in the life of SharePoint consultant. 🙂 Thanks for asking, though.

The reason for this post is that I still see an overwhelming number of organizations migrating from Dropbox to SharePoint and continuing to use SharePoint… just like Dropbox. Now, let me be clear, I have nothing against Dropbox – as a matter of fact, I like it and use it myself for both personal and business file management. I think it is a great tool and does what it was designed to do pretty well!

I also love SharePoint, in case you did not know already. But SharePoint and Dropbox are totally two different tools. One is not a replacement for another. While it might make financial sense to migrate to Office 365, it totally does not make sense to use SharePoint as a glorified file share. And that is unfortunately what I get to see quite often.

Now, I know, what you are going to say. But Greg, our users just need to store and share files. And yes, I agree, and that is probably what they will do 90% of the time in SharePoint, uploading, editing, deleting and sharing files and folders. But you should not set your SharePoint up as a file share! You can’t believe how many times I work with clients and they have all documents in one site, one document library and security is a big @#$% mess.

If you made an effort of switching to SharePoint Online/Office 365 – please, for the sake of your users, make an effort to do the right thing and set it up correctly! Even if all your users care about are documents, make sure to set up proper Information Architecture, by creating proper site hierarchy. Moreover, take advantage of additional features like Office 365 Groups – your users will love them!!!

Dropbox 50gb Free For Life

Oh yeah, and something else you should never forget about – TRAINING! If you think that your users don’t need any training because you know, it is just files and folders, then you are an ignorant schmuck that does not care about your employees or company intellectual property. I had a client the other day whose employee had synchronized a document library to the laptop and then decided to delete a synchronized folder on his laptop. This, by design, removed the folder from the SharePoint site/document library. 10,000+ working files ended up in a Recycle bin. I do not know about you, but I would not want to be that employee and explain things to my boss on what happened. And by the way, if you want to learn how to prevent such a disaster from happening, you might want to read this post.