File sharing is a totally different beast from data synchronization or cloud backup. The basic premise is that you are using cloud storage services to share and distribute your files to others. It could be your personal files like photos you took during last holiday. Or it could be for business purposes, like sharing an important document to a client but emails and FTPs are not convenient options. For all of those sharing needs, there are several providers in the market ranging from free to paid services.
With cloud backup companies, we have a paradox of choice. There are literally too many good options that we don’t know what to choose. But with file sharing service providers, the issue is different. We have some reputable and reliable file sharing service providers, and not so reliable ones that are spawning like Zergs. So how do we know which ones are reliable and which one we should be avoiding? What factors do we look at? How do we even determine which provider is secure enough for sharing our business documents and working with our clients?
Answers to all those questions aren’t available easily without hours of research, tests and comparisons. Luckily for you, our team at BestBackups have done exactly that, and round up 5 best online backup companies for file sharing. Check them out after the break.
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1. MediaFire – From Free
MediaFire is our favourite in file sharing space. For a free account, you get 50GB storage straight out of the box, with maximum file size limit of 200MB and as long as your account is active, your uploaded files will stay there forever. There are other awesome features like creating documents and editing them online, file and folder sharing, one-time sharing links, unlimited fast simultaneous downloads (the only provider which allows that on free accounts) and custom folder links. Yes, you heard that right. MediaFire provides all that. If you want premium features, pay $18 per year (only $1.5/month) and you get same storage space and all basic features from Free account, but you will also get 1GB max file size limit, 50GB/month Content Distribution bandwidth, downloading entire folders, enhanced security and priority support. Go higher and pay $27/6 months ($4.5/month) for Pro plan, and you get 250GB of storage and 4GB max file size limit. Pro plan users will also enjoy business features such as FileDrop Uploader, a widget which you can place on your website and anyone can use it to upload files to your MediaFire account. Using that, you can skip asking your clients to email in files and instead use FileDrop Uploader feature. Read here about how much we love MediaFire.
2. 4Shared – From Free
We all know about 4Shared. In fact, there are a lot of things people have already shared on 4Shared. If you are looking for a quick way to share your files, free plan at 4Shared includes 15GB of storage, 2GB max file size limit, but with limited speed. If you choose to sign up to Premium plan, it will cost you $6.50 per month on 1 year contract, but $9.95 per month on monthly contract. However, you will get 100GB of storage for that, 5GB max file size limit, FTP access, direct hot links for file sharing, and uploading files directly from the Web. Its web-based file management features are pretty solid, and file sharing with 4Shared is very straightforward. We have reviewed 4Shared here.
3. ShareFile – From $29.95/month
ShareFile is the only company in this list that caters only for businesses, which explains the pricing a lot. You only get 5GB of storage with starting plan, but the features ShareFile provides are very impressive and cover many things that a business would need. Individual file size limit is very high at 10GB, and also you get customized security settings to fit your industry requirements. You will also get unlimited client users (to view and download your files) as well as custom branding options. Since ShareFile is a subsidiary of Citrix, you don’t have to worry about their network and customer support. So if you are a business user with needs for file sharing service with kick-ass enterprise features, just sign up for ShareFile. Read our full review here.
4. YouSendIt – From Free
To be perfectly honest, we don’t really like YouSendIt (read our review to understand why), simply because we feel that its pricing plans are a bit too expensive when compared to other competitors like MediaFire or 4Shared. You get free account at 2GB storage but maximum file size is limited to 50MB. If you want to go paid plans, then Pro plan is $9.99 per month and you will get 5GB storage with 2GB max file size. Yes, ridiculously low 5GB storage. This is not a typo. Pro Plus plan will eat about $14.99 per month and oh you will get unlimited storage. It makes us wonder if YouSendIt is actually pushing Pro Plus plan by giving ridiculous storage amount for Pro plan. However, other services (even FileSwap) gives a lot more storage than that.
But YouSendIt also gives a lot more features. You can sign electronic documents. You can do syncing. There are several sharing options. And YouSendIt customer support is pretty solid. So if you can withstand a low amount of storage for $9.99 a month, or want to shell out $14.99 to get unlimited storage, then YouSendIt is for you.
5. FileSwap – From Free
If what you want is a straightforward service to share your files without any concerns about long term usage, security and file management, then FileSwap is for you. However, the features are barebone and support is almost non-existent (read our full review here). But you can share single files without having to sign up, although FileSwap would only keep those files for about 30 days and there is a cap on individual file size. If you sign up to Personal Free plan though, you will get 15GB storage for free, 5000 maximum files and 250MB max file size. As usual with file sharing services, you will be irked by download wait time and speed caps. If you sign up to Personal+ at $9.95 per month, then you get 50GB storage and 2GB max file size, with unlimited amounts of file to store. You can get additional storage space at $5 for every 50GB too. Download time and speed caps are also waived for Personal+ plan.
Be warned though, as FileSwap doesn’t have encryption on the files you uploaded. The only protection is the ability to put passwords on your files and folders. The interface is very straightforward and dashboard is easy to use, and you can also use FTP to upload big files (although it will take about 1 hour for FTP-uploaded files to appear on FileSwap dashboard). So if you just want a simple file sharing service, go with FileSwap. If you want premium features, move on to our next providers.