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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.

5GB Free account max file size: 10GB Paid account storage space: 25GB ($2.49/month); 100GB ($4.99/month); various other plans up to 16TB ($799.99/month) Paid account max file size: 10GB File storage expiration: None Other paid options: None Time to upload 100MB file: 6 min. 55 sec.

Minus

A still-evolving service (the company doesn't offer a paid tier yet), Minus allows signup via Facebook or Twitter and has browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox that allow fast uploading of images and content.

Apart from allowing files to be shared for download, most of Minus's features seem geared towards Tumblr/Pinterest-like social sharing, not professional use. Users can follow each other and see feeds of newly uploaded content, which can be organized into publicly browse-able categories. Sharing is limited mostly to making a link public and manually distributing it.

The desktop client works as both a drag-and-drop uploader and a remote management tool for your stored files. It also has the ability to snap and upload screenshots. One handy function of the browser add-on: You can take a snapshot of a whole Web page and upload it.

10GB (up to 50GB as reward for recruiting other members) Free account max file size: 1GB Paid account storage space: None Paid account max file size: N/A File storage expiration: None Other paid options: N/A Time to upload 100MB file: 6 min. 50 sec.

SkyDrive

Microsoft's SkyDriveClick to view larger image.

Part of the Microsoft Live family of services, SkyDrive provides client apps for Windows and Mac that sync to and from folders on a client machine. Drag-and-drop uploading through Web browsers is also supported, but only for individual files and not whole folders; to do the latter you need to use the client software.

The PC client comes off like a poor man's version of Dropbox; there's no way to share files with other users except through the SkyDrive website. On the plus side, the website previews Microsoft Office-format documents using Office Web Apps; these files can be created directly in SkyDrive with Office Web Apps as well. Files can also be mass-distributed easily to users in your Hotmail contact lists.

7GB (25GB for users eligible for free upgrade) Free account max file size: 2GB Paid account storage space: +20GB ($10/month); +50GB ($25/month); +100GB ($100/month) Paid account max file size: 2GB File storage expiration: None Other paid options: None Time to upload 100MB file: 8 min. 37 sec.

SugarSync

SugarSyncClick to view larger image.

SugarSync, a competitor to Dropbox and Box, has a somewhat more complex usage model. You can designate existing file folders in your computer to be synced to the cloud and to any other computers you designate. SugarSync also creates a "Magic Briefcase" folder in the Documents folder; anything placed there is automatically synced across all devices registered to your user account.

 

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