As the country has quickly adapted to the home-working environment, businesses have faced something of a scramble to ensure their teams can continue business-as-usual with little interruption.
Of course, file sharing and device-to-device collaboration is key to remote working – but many have been left scratching their heads as to which platforms and services are right for them.
To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to 10 of the different file sharing options out there, with details about their benefits, potential pitfalls and unique features. By reviewing your options, you’ll be well placed to find the platform that works for your business.
Dropbox may be the biggest name in the world of file sharing, but is it right for your business? The answer in most cases is yes. Since its launch, Dropbox has been completely overhauled, and now offers a wealth of app integrations and features which make it a reliable partner for your business. On a free account, you get 2GB storage space, with no max file size for sharing. Upload and share speeds are also on point, so even the most agile teams should have no trouble sharing documents and files on the platform.
Does your business rely on Microsoft systems? Perhaps a lot of your work is conducted on MS platforms, like Word, Excel and Outlook? If that’s the case, Microsoft OneDrive provides seamless integration and ease of use alongside your other MS programs – simplifying an endless array of daily tasks. Even with the free plan, you’ll enjoy full app integration and 5GB of free storage space, while premium options are reasonably priced to suit an array of different users. For example, an individual can upgrade to OneDrive’s premium package for £1.99/month, and enjoy an extra 95GB of storage space.
If you regularly use Google products, like Google Docs for example, why not keep things simple and use Google Drive too? This file sharing platform integrates seamlessly with other Google accounts, platforms and tools, so you’ll find it easy to navigate and control right out of the box. What’s more, Google Drive offers the largest free storage drive of any file sharing platform, with 15GB of space at your disposal. For small businesses which need a simple, inexpensive solution for sharing the odd file, we think Google Drive is a no-brainer.
Apple iCloud Drive
For macOS devices and those accustomed to the Apple ecosystem, iCloud Drive offers a range of benefits, including 5GB free storage, simple drag-and-drop file sharing, and an intuitive, slick interface. Though not quite as feature-laden as Microsoft or Google drives, Apple iCloud is ideal for fast and efficient file sharing, without the need for additional collaboration or editing. While the platform is available for both macOS and Windows devices, it’s really only Apple users which will feel the benefit of iCloud Drive – particularly those working across both macOS and iOS devices.
Box is the direct competitor of Dropbox, and the two platforms share many similarities – from the amount of free storage you get on standard accounts, to comprehensive app integration and features. Historically, Box was favoured by larger businesses with dedicated IT resource, but several interface updates mean it’s now more than accessible for the everyday user. That said, Box is much more expensive than other interfaces (in a similar band to Dropbox), but for on-demand and swift file sharing, there’s really no better service out there.
SugarSync is a little different from your average file sharing platform. With it, you need to install a desktop client, which essentially allows you to right-click any file and sync it to the cloud. This is unusual, because most file sharing suites dictate that you drag a file into a dedicated folder, or else go online and do it manually. This does allow for total flexibility and speed, but it may feel a little odd to some users. There’s no free version available, but premium plans are reasonably priced, with masses of storage allowance to go at.
IDrive may not be the most well-known file sharing platform out there, but you should certainly add it to your list of potential interfaces, because for the money, there’s really no equivalent. The service offers a range of benefits where others fall short, including unlimited devices per account – ideal for growing businesses which may need to scale-up in the future. Elsewhere, there are lots of integration options, as well as simple drag-and-drop folder syncing and supremely fast upload speeds. If you’re looking for an alternative file sharing solution, this is the one to go for.
SpiderOak ONE offers a range of great features for seamless file sharing, including a well-designed desktop app, easy file syncing and unlimited devices per account. But what the program does really well is security. This is by far one of the most secure file sharing platforms out there, with a range of in-built features, including efficient and flexible backup options, designed to maximise data security and privacy. Of course, this comes at a premium price point, but if security is important to your organisation, it could be a price worth paying.
Another file sharer which places security above all else is CertainSafe. One of the most expensive options out there, the app has a range of top-notch security features, including two-factor authentication, bulk data vaults, secure file sharing and the retention of past file versions. It’s not the easiest tool to work with, and doesn’t integrate seamlessly with other software, like Office, but if you need a stalwart solution that won’t let you down in the security department, this is it. Plus, CertainSafe comes with an integrated secure chat feature, which is great for private collaboration between teams.
It makes sense that Amazon would want to launch its own file sharing platform. After all, the corporation has data sites and server centres in virtually every country on Earth, meaning it has lots of data real estate going spare. Amazon Drive is a decent tool for most file sharing tasks, but it does lack the functionality and integration options of other tools. That said, if you really only need to share and store files, it’s an easy and intuitive platform to use, with affordable plans that won’t put too much strain on your finances.
We hope this guide to file sharing options proves useful to your business. For more business help and advice, head to the CDL blog. Or, if you’d like to learn more about our IT disposals and data sanitisation services, click here to visit our homepage or call us on 0333 060 1619.