10 file-sharing options: Dropbox, Google Drive, and more
Sharing files with one or more colleagues can still be a hassle. We look at 10 online services that aim to make it easier
The lowest tier of YouSendIt is rather constrained, but the higher tiers are clearly aimed at business users, with add-ons like Outlook plug-ins (great for mass distribution) and Active Directory integration. Links to files sent via YouSendIt's mailer option -- as opposed to just generating a manually distributed link from an uploaded file -- can be set to expire after a given length of time (a paid option) or require a user login with a verified YouSendIt account to read the file (available for free accounts).
The desktop client works much like Dropbox: It creates a folder into which you drop files to be uploaded, with the sync status of each file displayed as an overlay icon. The only way to obtain a given file's direct download link is through the YouSendIt site; the desktop client doesn't provide a way to do this. But the site does have a good preview system for common file types.
Free account storage space: 2GB (max 1GB of download bandwidth per month)
Free account max file size: 50MB
Paid account storage space: 5GB ($9.99/month or $99.99/year); unlimited ($14.99/month or $149.99/year)
Paid account max file size: 2GB
File storage expiration: 7 days or 100 downloads, whichever comes first (free accounts only)
Other paid options: Expiration date control; full-folder downloads (instead of individual files); premium file delivery options; phone support; upload to Dropbox; Active Directory integration and enterprise security options available via Workstream plan
Time to upload 100MB file: 9 min. 23 sec.
General file storage
These services are known more for file storage and backup than for the distribution of files. However, they all have file-sharing capabilities, and if you already use one of them -- or if you're looking for a file storage service -- it could make sense to use that service for file sharing as well.
The basic free version of Box provides file management exclusively through its Web interface. You drag and drop individual files to upload them, but if you want to upload whole hierarchies of files (folders and subfolders) there's also a Java-based bulk uploader. A list of links is maintained for recently updated items, and discussion threads can be created for folders and files. Public file links can be automatically distributed via social media and email, with contact lists for the latter importable from many common services and applications.
Free account storage space: 5GB
Free account max file size: 100MB Paid account storage space: 25GB ($9.99/month); 50GB ($19.99/month); 1000GB ($15/user/month); unlimited (custom quote)
Paid account max file size: 1GB/2GB
File storage expiration: None
Other paid options: Full text search; item version history; Google Apps/Active Directory/Salesforce.com integration; ECM cloud support; custom branding
Time to upload 100MB file: 12 min. 24 sec.