Dropbox was for a long while the undisputed ruler of cloud storage. Since then, however, a host of pretty interesting competitors have arrived on the scene. As it stands, it’s natural for anyone to want to check out all the options. The only question is … which are the best alternatives to Dropbox today?
In the following, we will review the most serious contenders.
Best Alternatives to Dropbox – Reviews
Google Drive is one of the most popular and the best alternatives to Dropbox today. It’s a free service with an array of paid plans for those who need additional storage space. Google protects data with modern encryption and offers completely free backups of photos.
One of the best things about Google Drive is that you start with the free plan the moment you create your Google account. It gives you 15GB of storage, which is far more than Dropbox’s 2GB. That is among the biggest free plans around, as most services have a cap of 5GB or 10GB if you don’t want to pay.
Another upside of using Google Drive is that you can upload and backup as many photos as you want. The only catch is that you’ll have to compress them to 16 megapixels. Pictures don’t count toward your 15GB, which you might want to save for important personal and work documents and files.
The free plan includes the use of all free collaboration tools. Also, you can use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and all other apps for free. Google even has Drive apps for all relevant operating systems and platforms so that you can have a seamless experience across the board.
Google also offers a broad range of paid plans if you find the initial offering of 15GB insufficient. You can get 100GB for $1.99 a month, though the 12-month version would cost you $1.67 per month.
200GB is the next tier. It will cost you $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. The 2TB plan is $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. It is a hugely popular option among Google Drive users. Next, there is the 10TB plan that goes for $99.99 a month. 20TB will cost $199.99 each month, while the 30TB plan costs $299.99 for the same period.
Google also scores high in the security department. Google Drive encrypts your data with AES 128-bit encryption. That is on par with some of the popular VPN apps out there. Google encrypts user data after connecting the Drive with PRISM.
Even though your files are safe, things are not perfect. Google is open about scanning your stuff. However, the tech giant claims that the scanning is only to enhance your Google experience, as well as provide more relevant targeted ads. Malware and spam detection are other reasons for that, as well.
The desktop application offers continuous backup, as well as the ability to sync any cloud folder to a particular folder on your machine. The client is fast and doesn’t have block-level copying. It also has Google’s office suite, among many other features. You can even use 3rd party apps with it.
You can share files via links or send them directly via Twitter and Facebook. You can customize the privileges you want to give to people you share data with. You can’t protect the shared content with a password, nor can you set the download cap. However, you can set the expiry date, after which the file or files won’t be available.
Google Drive starts with an excellent free plan that offers 15GB of storage space plus an unlimited photo backup. The paid plans feature reasonable prices and go up to 300TB. Also, you get to use an array of collaboration tools, as well as all other free Google services.
Google encrypts your data with 128-bit encryption and has apps for all major operating systems. The apps are full of handy features and work smoothly. Finally, sharing with others is easy.
On the downside, Google scans all of the files that you upload to your online storage. That might be a turnoff for the privacy-sensitive users.
- Excellent free plan
- Free collaboration tools and associated apps
- Reasonably priced paid plans
- 128-bit data encryption
- Coverage for all major OS platforms
Google uses file scanning to tailor advertising for you
OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox and other popular cloud storage services. It’s a high-quality service that comes with an excellent free plan and possible integration with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office 365 suite. You also get an array of handy features and tools to increase your productivity.
OneDrive services start with a free plan, similar to many other popular storage services. With OneDrive, you get 5GB of free storage space, which is one and a half times more than Dropbox’s 2GB. However, some other services offer 10 or even 15GB with the free plan.
If you find 5GB too little, you can switch to one of the paid plans. However, you can also opt to buy a yearly subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for $69.99. It arrives with a whopping 1TB of free storage space on your OneDrive account.
Suppose you don’t need Office but want more cloud storage space, you can opt for one of the paid plans. The 100GB plan will cost you $1.99 a month. It is a great solution for users that don’t need too much space. The mentioned 1TB plan costs $6.99 a month.
However, if you want cloud storage for the entire family or a startup company, Microsoft also has a 6TB plan on the menu. With it, you can register six Office 365 users that each gets 1TB. This plan costs $9.99 a month.
Regarding security, Microsoft doesn’t fall behind the competitors. OneDrive uses 256-bit encryption for the stored data, as well as the TLS protocol to keep it safe during transfer. That said, OneDrive doesn’t have a zero-knowledge policy. That’s one of the few downsides of this otherwise excellent service.
The advanced safety tools include multi-factor authentication, ransomware detection, and recovery tools for users with business accounts. Compliance standards, expiring sharing links, and personal vault are also included, though the last one is only for the paying users.
The good news is that you can use OneDrive on pretty much any platform out there. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, as well as Xbox One devices can access the drive.
Another highlight of OneDrive is that you can mark files for offline use. In that way, you can keep working even if the internet goes down. Other productivity tools include a multi-page scan and a higher sharing limit.
OneDrive offers a broad range of security features, such as 256-bit encryption, TSL protection during the data transfer, expiring links, multi-factor authentication, and many others. The paid plans are pretty affordable, and you can bundle them with Office 365 at an upper limit of 1TB per user.
You can select files for offline use, and you can continue to work on them if the internet connection drops. Finally, OneDrive is compatible with all popular operating systems. You can even use it with Xbox One.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of OneDrive is not having a zero-knowledge policy. Also, its free plan offers less storage space than some other options.
- Exceptional safety features
- Productivity tools
- Possible integration with Office 365
- Offline mode
- Compatible with all popular operating systems
- No zero-knowledge policy
- Only 5GB with the free plan
pCloud is among the best alternatives to Dropbox, with more than 10 million active users around the world. It offers affordable and reliable services, along with a range of handy features and collaboration tools. Also, it is safer than Dropbox.
First, let’s see what pCloud offers to nonpaying users. If you sign up for the free plan, you can get up to 10GB of storage place. That’s if you opt to get the phone app and successfully get a friend to sign up. That takes your free plan to a pretty respectable 10GB. Otherwise, 5GB.
pCloud works with most platforms and operating systems out there, including macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and iOS. It even works with Adobe Lightroom. Each system has a dedicated app for smoother operation.
pCloud supports a vast range of file types, including videos, photos, docs, music, and many more. It also supports files that most other cloud services don’t. There’s no limit to the size of files you want to upload. Your only limit is the size of your storage. pCloud also offers blazing up and download speeds.
Privacy is where this Swiss-based cloud storage service shines. It has top-grade encryption through a feature called pCloud Crypto. Data encrypted via pCloud Crypto can only be unlocked with the key that only you have. Not even pCloud can access it. That said, you don’t get pCloud Crypto with the free plan.
The Premium 500GB plan costs $3.99 per month. The yearly subscription is $47.88 (no discount), and the one-time (lifetime) subscription to this plan is $175. The Premium 2TB plan has 2TB of storage space and costs $7.99 per month or $95.88 for a yearly subscription. The lifetime subscription will be $350 in this case.
pCloud is an affordable cloud storage service, and it offers excellent safety and privacy. Only you can unlock the files you encrypt with pCloud Crypto. Also, this Swiss-based cloud service has a firm zero-knowledge policy.
Apps across all devices work smoothly, and you also get a bunch of productivity and collaboration tools with them. Finally, there’s no file size cap, and both download and upload are lightning-fast.
The only downside worth mentioning is that you get only 5GB on the free plan if you don’t refer a friend.
- Superb safety and privacy features
- Zero-knowledge policy
- No file size cap
- Super-fast upload and download
- Excellent compatibility
The free plan has only 5GB of storage space
These are the best alternatives to Dropbox on the market at the moment. Google Drive is the most generous with the free plan, and it also has all other free Google products to back it up. OneDrive is perfect for those who use Office 365 extensively. Finally, pCloud could be your best bet if privacy and security are paramount.