The very idea of cloud storage was once inaccessible and even ethereal—I’ll admit thinking that it had something to do with magic satellites when I first heard the term.
Now, “the cloud” feels much more down to earth, and companies of all sizes benefit from cloud content collaboration software. With all of the cloud-based software tools on the market, collaborating with internal peers and external clients has never been easier.
Cloud storage, a type of cloud computing, allows businesses to streamline their file collaboration abilities by transferring data or sharing it in a centralized online space. Free options usually grant users 5–20 GB of storage space for their data, and sometimes include content creation and simultaneous editing capabilities to make collaboration a breeze. Luckily, if you need more storage space than what a free product might offer, most paid options are available for a low monthly fee per user.
For each qualifying product, we created a profile to give a snapshot of what it is and what it does, and to offer some insight into the product features. To help you narrow down file storage and sharing offerings, we have covered a variety of solutions ranked by user satisfaction score as of July 19, 2019.
|TIP: Still think of the cloud as a confusing, unapproachable sci-fi concept? Check out our recently published article, 11 Myths About Cloud Storage, to better familiarize yourself with the idea..|
For each product we provide:
Product reviews and G2 Crowd star ratings were updated as of August 22, 2019
Product Name: Google Drive
Google Drive is an all-inclusive cloud storage and collaboration tool from a small up-and-coming company you probably haven’t heard of. Beyond offering file storage and easy sharing functionality, Google Drive also grants users access to its suite of file creation tools like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Featuring device syncing, a plethora of supported file types, and simultaneous editing capabilities, Google’s comprehensive file storage and sharing software has made itself a necessity for individual users and businesses alike.
Image courtesy of Google
“Google Drive is fast in both uploading and downloading, in some cases even faster than Apple's AirDrop and Skype's file sharing. Also, its office suite is fantastic when it comes to collaborative projects. Google Office Suite has the best real-time collaboration tools in Google Docs, Google Slides and Google Sheets. These are amazing tools that allowed me to get the job done as a group unlike Dropbox where two people cannot work on the same document.”
— Google Drive review by Cho Yin Y.
“The formatting options are not as robust as some standard office suites like MS Office or LibreOffice. For most documents all of the needed formatting options are available, but when writing more technical documents there are some limitations. There is no easy method for changing the font size of inserted math equations. Including images is straightforward, but there are not direct ways to anchor them to different sides or parts of the page.”
— Google Drive review by Paul H.
Product Name: Dropbox
Dropbox provides a workplace-oriented collaboration platform with robust file sharing and storage capabilities. Users can easily share work with each other and clients thanks to Dropbox’s cloud storage and syncing functionalities. However, unlike Google Docs, Dropbox does not offer any content creation tools. It’s simply a place to drop and share files.
Image courtesy of Dropbox
“It has a large amount of space in its free version and I can share my work files with my team in real time. In my daily tasks it helps me to keep the team up to date on the projects because the documents can be edited very quickly and easily. It allows me to have different types of files on a single platform in order to have them at hand when I need the information.”
— Dropbox review from Alexander H.
“Syncing can sometimes throttle network bandwidth. Have to mirror the entire folder on your hard drive. Would be better if you could selectively sync files.”
— Dropbox review from Neil J.
|Related: Learn more about cloud security and how to step up your cybersecurity efforts.|
Product Name: Box
Box brings cloud storage and sharing capabilities to every aspect of a business. Its deep, native integration with a variety of useful products and apps—including Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and Adobe—helps content flow seamlessly across an organization. Box is useful for companies looking to operate within a cloud-based ecosystem.
Image courtesy of Box
“I find this software to be extremely user-friendly which is very important in my business. I am a professional photographer and work with a number of clients that are not computer-savvy. To have a place where I can easily send them to download their high-resolution image files is key. I have been trying to find a solution for some time that was affordable and simple to use. Box fits both of these criteria.”
— Box review from Nicole H.
“Users have a great ability to share data and documents between them, but in an eventuality where they are doing a project that has a considerable size, it is necessary to pay special attention when it is synchronizing, since the file can interrupt the process in the middle of the action and have upload failures, compromising other users who need to use the document elsewhere.”
— Box review from Felipe A.
Product Name: WeTransfer
WeTransfer is a web-based file sharing platform. It’s instantly ready to use as soon as you navigate to WeTransfer’s site. While the free option doesn’t offer cloud storage, it does offer the quick and easy basics on an accessible platform: Simply navigate to WeTransfer's site and share a file with any of your collaborators.
Image courtesy of WeTransfer
“I like how simple and easy it is to both upload and download the files. I can upload and send multiple files at once, including very large ones, and it is just dummy-proof. Also, I find that their feature of letting you know when the person downloads your file is super useful, especially for business purposes.”
— WeTransfer review from Ligia D.
“I wish there were an app that could be downloaded onto the desktop that is browser independent that will work with WeTransfer.”
— WeTransfer review from Paul L.
Product Name: Koofr
Koofr is a file storage and sharing tool that brings all of your files together under one umbrella. Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud-based storage accounts can all be linked to Koofr to make everything accessible in one place. All files stored and shared are secured on Koofr’s EU-based servers.
Image courtesy of Koofr
“Koofr as a service is great! Fast download and upload speeds! Your website is well designed and allows you to perform all actions easily. What I like most about the service is that they offer a two-step verification to improve security.”
— Koofr review from Juan Pablo A.
“We do not like the integration between the platform of Koofr and Google Drive (in general, we do not like any of its integrations with the G Suite) because it does not show adequate performance with analytics. We do not like the slowness with which we work when using Opera and Safari, and its performance in Android phones (regardless of the range).”
— Koofr review from Henry A.
Product Name: pCloud
pCloud is a multiplatform file storage and sharing tool that gives its users full control over secure day-to-day collaboration. It doesn’t offer its own content creation tools like Google Drive, but it does allow collaborators to edit uploaded files.
Image courtesy of pCloud
“pCloud is an excellent cloud storage service. It has compatibility with several image and video file extensions. It has an easy-to-use interface and a lightweight Windows installer. It is also very easy to drag the files to the program window. In addition, it offers a trial version to determine if you should implement it in your organization or not.”
— pCloud review from Danilo A.
“I'm not a huge fan of pCloud's customer support thus far. The first time I reached out to them I received a canned response that did not address my question, and I had to escalate the ticket to a supervisor who solved my issue quickly. But unlike Dropbox, at least ALL customers have access to prompt support.”
— pCloud review from Stephen S.
Product Name: Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs allows users to create, store, share, and collaborate on documents of almost any format. This product sticks to two main functions: document storage and management and document editing and collaborating.
Image courtesy of Zoho
“I do not have to download it and use space on my computer. It is easy to use and can be used in all areas of work. Besides, I do not need to save anything of what I do because everything is automatically saved in the cloud. In my work I frequently use this software to create countless documents such as reports, letters and minutes about the performance of my students.”
— Zoho Docs review from Keilys R.
“I'm a big fan of ease-of-use features. I was hoping that Zoho Docs would have a feature similar to Dropbox for Mac, where you can copy shareable links right from the context menu in the Finder App. In order to share a file using Zoho Docs on a Mac, you have to place the document in the folder and then navigate to the web app to find the file and share it—all this despite having downloaded and installed a desktop app on my computer. This should be a no-brainer feature implementation.”
— Zoho Docs review from Chris H.
Product Name: Apple iCloud
Apple iCloud touts itself as a product that goes beyond file sharing and storage. The product is built into every new iOS and Mac device and allows users to seamlessly access their calendar, contacts, and files from whatever device they’re on. File sharing works similarly to Google Drive’s shareable links, and iCloud enables users to create and edit content together on Apple’s Pages, Numbers, Keynotes, and Notes software.
Image courtesy of Apple
“With iCloud I am able to sync all my devices in one place. Files I start on my computer are also accessible on my iPad, iPhone, laptop, and work desktop. I also have access to text messages, pictures, videos, and apps. No matter where I start to work on something it will always be accessible no matter what device I’m using.”
— Apple iCloud review from Brian J.
“I think something that they should improve for their users is to increase free storage that is only 5 GB—the competition offers more. Another thing that I do not like is that it is not so easy to move the files to other platforms that are not from Apple.”
— Apple iCloud review from Aleni G.
Product Name: Axway Syncplicity
Syncplicity is a content collaboration platform for cultivating a seamless digital workplace. Like Koofr, it serves as a cloud-based ecosystem for a business’ workflow and files. It handles all unstructured data across the enterprise through a choice of public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid infrastructure.
Image courtesy of Axway
“Syncplicity makes working on multiple computers flawless. I am able to start work on one computer and if needed I can go to another that is registered with the Syncplicity app and complete the task. Syncplicity minimized the storage devices I now need to carry.”
— Syncplicity review from a user in Airlines/Aviation.
Product Name: Tresorit
Tresorit is another cloud content and collaboration tool that offers end-to-end encrypted file sync and sharing with a flexible permission system to make cloud collaboration secure. The software allows users to manage who can add, edit, and view shared data. Like Koofr, its EU-based infrastructure makes it an attractive pick for those wanting to follow local European data security laws.
Image courtesy of Tresorit
“It’s simple, it just works, it is hosted in Europe and follows local European data security laws. We use it across our company and are very happy with the performance. Also the sync does not use computer power unlike some American services…”
— Tresorit review from Claus K.
“Enabling verification in two steps in case of loss of my devices has been somewhat difficult to use since it was not entirely clear how to proceed in case of loss or theft.”
— Tresorit review from a user.
When searching for a cloud-based file storage and sharing tool that’s right for you, it’s important to keep key features in mind. Do you need software that allows for content creation and simultaneous editing to make real-time collaboration snappy and intuitive? Or do you simply need a place to store your files and enable other users to access them? Do you need the storage space, or are you just looking for a way to securely transfer files between collaborators? All of these considerations make some software a better fit than others. Be sure to read through verified user reviews to make the best choice for your needs.
If you’re concerned about keeping your company’s cloud content secure, you can learn more about cloud security to put your mind at ease.
*Reviews edited for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and clarity.
Adam is a research analyst focused on dev software. He started at G2 in July 2019 and leverages his background in comedy writing and coding to provide engaging, informative research content while building his software expertise. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing video games, writing and performing comedy, and avoiding sports talk.
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