4 Great Dropbox Alternatives You Have To Check Out
Dropbox is a very popular file syncing and online backup service. It makes syncing a folder with other computers over the Internet and sharing files second nature. One of the first things that I do when a new computer gets added to my household is I make sure that Dropbox is installed.
Another task which Dropbox does well is it allows access to shared files over the web, effectively becoming a web-based backup solution. Also, you can jump onto a public computer and still have access to those files in your Dropbox folder via a web interface. Dropbox gives you 2 GB of storage for free which is plenty for document sharing and syncing. If 2 GB isn’t enough for you, here’s how you can increase that online storage space by 768 MB instantly.
However, Dropbox is not the only tool on the Internet that does those things. I can show you four more services that are the great alternatives to Dropbox that you should really try out. To an extent, their features are pretty similar, if not better, than what Dropbox has to offer.
Before we start, it’s probably a good idea to quickly go through the offerings from Dropbox.
A free 2 GB account, with
50 GB for $9.99/month
100GB for $19.99/month
Files uploaded through the desktop clients have no size limitations; 300 MB limit if shared via web interface
Amazon is a company that has long given up on just selling books online. Now, they even offer online services such as scalable cloud services, etc. Amazon Cloud Drive is a solution that seems to be a good web-based storage solution. The interface is simple to read and simple to figure out.
The one feature that promotes Amazon Cloud Drive as an alternative to Dropbox is that they offer 5 GB of space for free rather than the 2 GB Dropbox offers (not available in certain countries) and they offer much, much better transfer speeds. Trade off the simplicity of a shared folder on Dropbox for the extra space and faster connection speeds, and you’ve got a great alternative to Dropbox. As far as system requirements go, you can access your files from any computer with an Internet connection because it’s all web-based. The pricing structure is as follows:
5 GB – Free
20 GB – $20/year
50 GB – $50/year
100 GB – $100/year
200 GB – $200/year
500 GB – $500/year
1000 GB – $1000/year
By default, Amazon prepared 4 folders for you to start using Cloud Drive right away: Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos. You’ll be able to access Cloud Drive as long as you have an Amazon account. Each individual file can be as large as 2 GB. Amazon Cloud Drive provides a little more security in the sense that only 8 devices are allowed access to your account — this includes mobile devices and different computers. On the downside, there’s no public access to your Cloud Drive so only you will be able to access it, unless you decide to share your credentials (which is not advisable).
Box.net has been around since 2005 and they’ve finally got desktop integration similar to Dropbox’s folder. It’s called Sync and is supported by Windows XP, Vista and 7 32 & 64 bit versions of Windows and Mac OS X support is coming as well. Additionally, Box.net is supported by a whole list of mobile operating systems:
Playbook (Blackberry tablet)
m.box.net (mobile site)
Since they offer a bit more space (5 GB) and a similar desktop folder feature, it is my opinion that Box.net is a worthy alternative Dropbox. They’ve definitely come a long way — featuring a more pleasant web user interface compared to Dropbox, and Google Docs integration, allowing you to create and edit Google documents and spreadsheets right from your Box.
Unfortunately, Box.net restricts the size of any shared file to a maximum of 25 MB.
The pricing structure for Box.net is as follows:
5 GB – Free
25 GB – $9.99/month
50 GB – $19.99/month
They also offer competitive business and enterprise solutions.
SugarSync does the job that Dropbox does with a web interface that has a bit more functionality than Dropbox’s including keeping photos separate and the ability to edit files from within the web interface. More importantly, SugarSync allows you to sync individual folders outside of a common shared folder, which means that you’ll be able to keep system folders in sync between multiple computers. And it won’t use up any additional space on your computer because you won’t need to copy the files you need to share into the common shared folder! This is what really makes SugarSync a great alternative to Dropbox
The ability to not only sync a shared folder means endless possibilities:
You can sync folders containing fonts so that all of your computers have access to the same, downloaded fonts you like.
You can sync your desktop so all of your computers will have the same files on the desktop.
You can sync your photos folder so your photo albums will always be in sync on multiple computers.
Like Box.net, SugarSync will only allow you to share files that are 25 MB in size but that restriction is not imposed for files synced within your account i.e. not publicly shared.
SugarSync provides you with a free 5 GB account to get started. You can always purchase more space if required.
Wuala offers locally encrypted data backup and syncing. Unlike the rest of the services in this group, Wuala only offers 1 GB of space but offers an interesting way to earn more space rather than purchasing it. You can actually trade hard drive space to be used by the service for more web-based space for yourself. For example, you can trade 100 GB of disk space on your computer for 100 GB of additional online storage. This particular feature is what makes Wuala a great alternative to Dropbox.
Alternatively, you can also buy online storage space if you don’t feel like trading.
1 GB – Free
10 GB – 19 EUR/year
25 GB – 39 EUR/year
50 GB – 59 EUR/year
100 GB – 99 EUR/year
250 GB – 229 EUR/year
Wuala is available for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as iOS and Android mobile platforms.
Interestingly, Wuala accepts files up to 14 GB in size.
Alternatives to Dropbox – Conclusion
If there is a reason you’ve become disenchanted with Dropbox or you simply need a few more gigabytes of free space, it’s good to know you’ve got some choices. Sift through these services and see if one of them suits your personal online storage and/or file syncing needs more than the others. Some provide really enticing syncing features while others give you the option of expanding your online storage capabilities without paying a cent.
Which service do you think is the perfect alternative to Dropbox? What are your options? Let us know in the comments! Please read my article