Top 10 Cloud File Sharing Services

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One of the most popular cloud computing use-cases for organizations of all sizes is for file sharing and synchronization.

Cloud file sharing and synchronization services enables users and organizations to easily load, store and access files on a service from a cloud company. Synchronization can keep local, on-premises version in-sync with the cloud. Cloud file sharing services have emerged over the past decade to become mainstays for many IT users, sometimes augmenting and often replacing the need for on-premises local file storage sharing.

There is no shortage of different cloud file sharing services for users to choose from, ranging from those that are tied closely to a specific platform or cloud vendor, to options that users can fully manage and run on any cloud they want.

How to Choose a Cloud File Sharing Service

When looking to choose a cloud file sharing service there are several things that users should consider:

Collaboration. Simply sharing files isn't always sufficient, often there is a need to collaborate and as such there are capabilities within multiple tools that can help with inline commenting and workflow.

Security and Access Control. Data is precious so having the right type of access control that can integrate with an organization's existing policies is a key feature.

Integrated Applications. Often there is a need to preview and work on files that are shared, which is why it's important to have integrations with the applications the your organization uses.

In this Datamation top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top 10 cloud file sharing services:

Amazon WorkDocsAWS

Value proposition for potential buyers. Amazon WorkDocs pairs the global availability and reliability of Amazon Web Services with file sharing, providing a fully managed service that can scale to meet the needs of global enterprises.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key feature of Amazon WorkDocs is the ability to create and edit Microsoft office documents directly in the browser.
  • Among the key differentiators, are the strong administrative controls for access control and visibility, including a real-time activity feed to see what file is being accessed and by whom.
  • While the service is cloud-based, the Amazon WorkDocs Drive feature provides desktop integration, such that Windows and macOS users can directly launch and store content via Windows File Explorer and the Mac Finder.
  • Collaboration and workflow are part of the solution, with the integrated Approval Workflow feature that can enable an administrator to assign tasks and approve completed items.

Apple iCloud Driveapple

Value proposition for potential buyers. Apple iCloud drive is likely only a good fit for Apple iOS and macOS users, enabling cloud based file storage and sharing.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The iCloud Drive is a desktop interface for file sharing and syncronization to Apple's iCloud service.
  • Directly integrated as part of Apple's operating systems making it easier to get started for existing Apple users.
  • Full synchronization of files across connected devices, such as iPhone, iPad and macOS
  • While Apple users are the primary use-case, there is an iCloud for Windows application that extends the service out to Windows PCs

Boxbox

Value proposition for potential buyers. Box is no longer just a single service, rather it's a platform of multiple capabilities for organizations of any size for cloud content management.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Box is the broad support and integration for many different enterprise applications including Office 365, Salesforce and Google Suite.
  • Box also provides an approval based workflow system that can be used to help facilitate business processes.
  • Security at Box goes beyond basic access control, with the Box Keysafe feature which provides full encryption key management features for organizations.
  • Going a step further is the Box Skill service which brings machine learning to cloud based file sharing, so users can derive insights from their stored content.

Dropboxdropbox

Value proposition for potential buyers. Dropbox for Business is a great option for work groups and organizations that are looking for a file sharing service that provides lots of management, security and productivity options.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Among the key differentiators for Dropbox for business are the file recovery capabilities that can enable an administrator to recover a deleted file.
  • For security and compliance for synchronized desktop files, the service has a remote wipe feature, to delete files from hardware that has been lost or stolen.
  • Full administration dashboard is another big win for Dropbox, with an interface that provides visibility into file sharing activities.
  • Integration with Dropbox Paper, which is a collaborative document and workflow service provides an good option for collaboration.

Egnyteegnyte

Value proposition for potential buyers. Egnyte is a good choice for small to mid-sized organizations looking for file sharing tool with collaboration features.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Egnyte is the platform's robust reporting and auditing for file and folder level activity and access.
  • The Egnyte Desktop Sync feature is a useful capability that provides synchronization of files that user have download to a local system.
  • Also has integration with Microsoft Office 365, so user can access, share and store documents.
  • Of note are Egnyte's mobile clients, which provide a native experience that is optimized for mobile devices.

FilecloudFilecloud

Value proposition for potential buyers. Filecloud is a good fit for organizations of any size that want to either self-host or have a fully managed file sharing service.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Filecloud is the ability for an organization to have a custom domain, with full branding to provide a very tailored experience for users.
  • Another unique attribute is the platform's integration with Microsoft NTFS and Active Directory, which can enable a company to extend existing security policies and access control to Filecloud.
  • Security overall is a strong suit for Filecloud, which also includes data leak prevention and ransonware detection capabilities.
  • Integration with Office 365 as well as Microsoft Outlook is part of the platform enabling users to automatically upload attachments to FileCloud and share them as a link in emails.

Google Drivegoogle cloud

Value proposition for potential buyers. Google Drive Enterprise is a great fit for businesses that are already using Google Suite and are looking for an easy onramp to cloud file sharing.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Google Drive Enterprise goes beyond what the personal edition of Google Drive provides, adding in integrated workflow capabilities for task assignments and approvals.
  • Support for both Google's own suite of office tools as well as Microsoft Office is a core part of the offering.
  • A key differentiator for Google Drive is the platform machine learning based search that provide a more intelligent way to find files, based on context.
  • Machine Learning is also used to create curated workspaces for users based on the most often accessed content.

Microsoft OneDrive for BusinessMicrosoft

Value proposition for potential buyers. For organizations that have already standardized on Microsoft tools like Office 365 and Outlook, OneDrive is a natural and easy choice for file sharing and synchronization.

Key values/differentiators:

  • While many file sharing services integrate with Office 365, the experience with OneDrive is more seamless and fluid.
  • Mobile app extends OneDrive to both IOS and Android devices
  • OneDrive is available for both Windows and macOS systems and can even extend out to Xbox gaming consoles.
  • Security is also a strong feature with the ability to recover files and block potential malware attacks.

Nextcloudnextcloud

Value proposition for potential buyers. Nextcloud is a good options for organization that want to control their file sharing cloud, and deploy it wherever they want.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Nextcloud is an open source based file sharing technology that can be deployed as a self-hosted option by organizations of any size.
  • Nextcloud itself does not currently provide a fully managed service, so it's up to users to choose a cloud provider, or to install it on their own, on-premises or with a hosting provider.
  • There are desktop and mobile clients as well as a web interface to access data.
  • Integration with existing FTP, Windows Network Drive, SharePoint, NFS data storage devices enables an easy on-ramp for file sharing and collaboration.

OpenText HightailOpenText Hightail

Value proposition for potential buyers.HighTail is well suited for larger organizations looking for an enterprise data file sharing and collaboration service,

Key values/differentiators:

  • OpenText acquired Hightail in 2018, the company had been known from 2004 until 2013 as YouSendIt.
  • HighTail integrates collaboration capabilities that can be used for basic workflow with partners
  • The system enables administrators to assign tasks such that followup and due dates are part of the collaboration process.
  • The integrated approval system is a key value of the platform, enabling a workflow with authorization for content items.

Vendor Comparison Chart

Key Differentiators

Pricing (per user/month)

Amazon WorkDocs

Fully managed service on the AWS public cloud

$5 / 1 TB storage

Apple iCloud Drive

Directly integrated with Apple products

50GB: $0.99

200GB: $2.99

2TB: $9.99

Box

Broad support and integration with enterprise applications

Starter: $5 / 100GB

Business: $15 / Unlimited storage

Dropbox

File recovery and security access controls

Standard: $12.50 / 3TB

Advanced: $20 / unlimited storage

Egnyte

File activity and reporting features.

Office: $8 /  5 TB storage

Business: $20 / 10 TB storage

Filecloud

Custom domain support for branded shared file portals.

self-hosted:

$4.20

Online:

Standard: $10 / 1TB storage

Enterprise: $15 / custom domain support

Google Drive Enterprise

Machine learning powered search and categorization for workspaces.

$8 + $1 per 25 GB

Microsoft OneDrive for Business

Deep integration with Office 365

Plan 1: $5 / 1TB

Plan 2: $10/ unlimited storage

Nextcloud

Open source solution that is self-hosted

Contact vendor

OpenText Hightail

Integrated approval system for document workflow.

Pro: $12 

 file send limit 25GB / unlimited storage space

Teams: $24 

file send limit 50 GB/

unlimited storage space

Business: $36/

file send limit 100GB

unlimited storage space



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