Given that cloud computing is the new standard for the most efficient data management solutions, file sharing is something that people do every day. If you want to succeed in an online environment, and especially if you want to be productive, you need to know how to use a file sharing service. Fortunately, there are dozens available to turn to, and even some of the best won’t cost you a single dime. However, there’s a learning curve associated with each of them, and they are not all created equally. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best file sharing sites for you to be using in 2017.
If you’re unfamiliar with file sharing service–or if you want to learn a new one for the new year–read on to find out more!
The days in which physical media are the most useful way to store and transfer files are quickly coming to a close. As a majority of people now have reliable access to a high-speed internet connection, cloud-based computing is quickly becoming the king. It’s more manageable, arguably more secure, and is less demanding on peoples’ individual hardware setups. A phone can have access to the same files as a PC, without needing to share anything other than a file sharing account.
Similarly, work environments can share access to an entire collection of documents, projects, and resources without needing to transfer them via any type of local network. Branching access to a single file sharing service takes care of everything, and that is quickly bolstering a new precedence to cloud computing. Bye-bye, USB sticks. Hello, Dropbox.
Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best file sharing sites and services that you can find online. Whether you’re looking for a new one, or are simply still hunting for the best one for your particular workflow, these are the top contenders of 2017; the services that you’ll feel safe entrusting with your files and data.
10 Best File Sharing Sites & Services
Though there are dozens of file sharing services available online, we’ve pared a mighty list down to just 10. Of course, you might have recommendations of your own that don’t line up with what we’ve listed here, and in that case, we’d love it if you chimed in with your own thoughts in the comments, below!
Meanwhile, take a gander at the options that the internet can’t get enough of. Some are free, some will cost you a small chunk of change every month, and some will give you a variety of options depending on what you’re looking for.
The success of Windows 10 carried with it a renewed feeling of trust and belief in both the Windows platform as well as its proud parent, Microsoft. OneDrive has been around for a while, but it’s now more useful than ever; one of the very best cloud computing and file sharing services that you can find, online.
Windows users will automatically get access to OneDrive as part of signing up for a Microsoft account, and users who have purchased a licensing subscription to Microsoft Office 365 will get a massive upgrade in their amount of available storage. If you own a Windows PC (or if you use Microsoft Office) you owe it to yourself to give this particular service a try. You can open up file sharing to whoever you want, and mobile apps allow you to access all of your data on the go.
Many users have mixed feelings about iCloud. On one hand, it’s not quite as user-friendly as many other options on our list. It can feel limiting, especially if you’re not wholly embracing the Apple software and hardware ecosystem.
That said, it’s still one of the best cloud storage solutions available for the average consumer, and it affords plenty of flexibility when it comes to file sharing. You’re going to get the greatest use out of iCloud if you own an iPhone, an iPad, or better yet, a Mac, but even PC owners that have only partway bought into the Apple software ecosystem can get significant use from iCloud.
For most users, Google Drive is a no-brainer. If you have a Google Plus, Photos, or Gmail account (or more than one!) then you probably already have access to Drive, even if you’ve never used it.
It might just be one of the most accessible file sharing options available to you, primarily because of how easily Google’s application ecosystem integrates with everything. If you use Gmail, there is no more reliable method of keeping track of your attached and shared files. You can use other options, but Drive will always be the most efficient. On top of that, you can use all of the features of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms from within Drive, itself. As you might have guessed by now, this completely removes the need to have these applications installed on your computer; they can be used and managed entirely from the cloud.
No matter what operating system you’re working from, Dropbox remains one of the most well-regarded file sharing services available. A small amount of storage space comes with a free signup, but for just $9.99 per month, you can get 1 TB of space for anything you’d like to upload. Documents, data, images, videos, anything.
Sharing them is a cinch, too, and Dropbox offers comparatively wide amounts of customizability options compared to most of its competitors. The mobile apps are among the best, too–arguably better than the next best option, Google Drive.
Unfortunately, the flocks of people flooding towards aforementioned cloud storage solutions have allowed for less attention to be given to IDrive, an otherwise fantastic cloud storage and file sharing system. It’ll cost you (only $5 per month) but it continues to have one of the most minimalistic file managements systems, combined with excellent productivity tools.
Like most successful file sharing systems, it has mobile apps that will keep you in constant contact with all of the files and data in your account. It’s also known for being incredibly secure and offers numerous backup system for your local storage drives. In addition to that, you can use as many instances of IDrive across your numerous devices as you want.
Occasionally, some who use file sharing services need to be able to back up multiple version of the same file, to ensure that various iteration of it are available across a specific period of time. That might sound like a very peculiar use case, but it’s the very one that SugarSync is great for.
It’s a bit more expensive than other options on this list, but with that comes an intuitive interface that has enough flexibility to be great for professional use, while still being simple enough to learn for even a beginner to file sharing services. On the other hand, there’s no free trial currently available for SugarSync, which makes it idea for those who know exactly what they’re shopping for.
Fans of encrypted data and communications usually tend to be fans of SpiderOak. This is because the host of this cloud and file transfer service doesn’t know anything about the data that you’re actually encrypting when you use it. It guarantees your safety in the best way.
It’s that precedent set for user safety that gives SpiderOak a place on this list. Though it does support file sharing (and does a pretty great job of it) the actual process of sharing files is a bit more complicated than it needs to be. It’s all in the service of security, though, which makes this solution best for people who need the reassurance of added protection for their data.
While many of the file sharing solutions featured on this list come with a free, low-end option, Box does not. You’ll start out with 100 GB of cloud storage space for $5 per month, per user. This makes it somewhat more attractive to enterprise clients than individual users, but it’s no less an option, and a very good one, at that.
Your Box account will allow you to place links to your stored files in just about any type of communications that you’d like–Slack chats, emails, text messages, and more. It removes the necessity of any sort of file attachment, which frees up some constraint from most users’ workflows. Like Dropbox, Box also supports file previewing for just about everything under the sun. If you need a professional solution and you’re not afraid to shell out a few bucks a month to have it, Box is a great file sharing solution.
Evernote might not be the most traditional choice of file sharing software, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a place on this list. Many people consider it to be one of the best organizational tools that they have on any of their devices (and it’s compatible with most of them.) In addition to its well-reputed usefulness, this note-taking application offers some very specific, handy ways of sharing files.
It’s not quite as focused on the “file sharing” aspects as other options on this list, but many who are already using Evernote are relieved to know that they can use it for this very purpose.
If you’re already using Microsoft Office, you owe it to yourself to give OneNote a try. Not only is it one of the best note-taking application out there (comparable to Evernote) it also gives you some extremely flexible file sharing options that other resources on our list can’t give you.
Notes, documents, files, and links that you save in OneNote operate off of a folder system within the application. Using syncing and sharing features, you can selectively share the folders in your OneNote account with other users, thereby giving them access to your work without the necessity of digging through a bunch of different shared files. Like Evernote, it’s quite a different method of file sharing compared to some of our other top-10 choices, but for certain users, it’s the best method.
Are there other options? There sure are, but the above 10 file sharing and cloud computing services are the best that you’re going to find, going into 2017. Who knows? Maybe a new startup will come along and knock down one of our contenders, but until then, this lists your best bets for better productivity! If you have any questions about our recommendations, let us know in the comments below!