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10 file-sharing options: Dropbox, Google Drive and more

Serdar Yegulalp | July 16, 2012
Even with all the online storage now available, sharing files -- especially large ones -- can still be a problem. We look at 10 online services that aim to make it simpler.

None Free account max file size: N/A Paid account storage space: 5GB & 2 employee accounts ($29.95/month); 10GB & 10 employee accounts ($59.95/month); 20GB & 20 employee accounts ($99.95/month); corporate plans (require rate quote) Paid account max file size: 10GB File storage expiration: Only as designated by uploader Other paid options: Outlook plugin; desktop sync; stored file encryption; drive mappings; SAML support Time to upload 100MB file: 7 min. 27 sec.

YouSendIt

The lowest tier of YouSendIt is rather constrained, but the higher tiers are clearly aimed at business users, with add-ons like Outlook plugins (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.

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.

Box

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.

 

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