Sharing large files like videos or graphic-intensive documents used to be painful. Depending on the size of the file, email was impractical if not downright impossible. FTP sites were the most common alternative, but these were often cumbersome to access and use.
Fortunately, a number of file sharing tools and services have been rolled out over the past few years which speed and simplify the process. These tools make it easy and (relatively) secure to share large files with another individual, co-workers, outside vendors, or any ad hoc group for collaboration.
File sharing tools are invaluable not only for content marketing professionals and consultants (e.g., collaborating on a video or ebook), but across the organization: in product design, finance, supply chain management, application development, and other functional areas.
Most of these services operate similarly in that you can upload files and automatically notify team members by email, and optionally download files for local storage. Different tools do vary though in terms of additional features, pricing, and storage capacity.
Here are seven of the best file sharing tools according to expert reviewers. As with all posts in this series, tools are shown with the number of results returned by Google on a search for reviews of that tool (not necessarily the actual number of reviews) and example showcase reviews. Links to all showcase reviews are included near the end of this post.
Google Review Count: 699,000
With its downloadable app, any files you save to Dropbox are synced across all your devices. Files can be shared with anyone, even if they don’t have Droxbox accounts. For collaboration purposes, any file edited in a Dropbox folder is automatically updated for everyone it’s been shared with.
Sample review: “Dropbox is first of all a file sharing tool. You can use it in your browser, mobile app or computer application. You can share folders with other users. But this is just the basic function. What makes Dropbox great is the choice of apps which allow additional functions for your Dropbox. You can have photos, your website, your database or email automatically saved to your Dropbox.” — Anders Orsander
Pricing: free to $12.50 per user per month; enterprise pricing available by quote
Showcase reviews: Anders Orsander, PR Daily (7 PR Tools), Johnny Lists, SmartBug Media, StoreYa Blog
2) Google Drive
Google Review Count: 574,000
Store files, sync across devices, share files with anyone (even if they don’t use Google Drive), and integrate with Google Apps for Word (Docs, Calendar, Sheets, etc.).
Sample review: “Google Drive is a great place to keep your editorial calendars for easy sharing and collaboration during the content planning process.” — Online Marketing Institute
Pricing: free or $10/user per month
Showcase reviews: Online Marketing Institute, PR Daily (23 Tools for PR Pros), Marketing Insider Group, Blogging Wizzard, SmartBug Media, StoreYa Blog, Hunter & Bard, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count: 137,000
The free version allows you to transfer files up to 2GB. The paid version enables you send up to 20GB, customize your background, personalize your file sharing URL, and store files indefinitely.
Sample review: “An easy way to send big files.” — Johnny Lists
Pricing: free or $12 per month / $120 per year
Showcase reviews: Siasat, Johnny Lists
Google Review Count: 41,500
Transfer up to 2GB of files free, or upgrade to 50GB of storage (1GB individual file size) or a plan with 1 terabyte of storage and up to 200GB per file.
Sample review: “Quickly send a file to someone, they can even preview it before downloading.” — Siasat
Pricing: free to $4 per month
Showcase reviews: Siasat
Google Review Count: 25,100
Otixo is a cloud manager that lets you organize, share, and encrypt files across a range of services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon, FTP sites, Evernote, and other services. Access all of your files with a single login, search across services and transfer files between them, and preview documents and images.
Pricing: free to $10 per month
Showcase reviews: Siasat
Google Review Count: 2,900
Clip articles, photos, videos and pages from web and apps; group and organize these into collections; and share your collections or work collaboratively with any group.
Sample review: “Raindrop, which functions as an archive and collection system, is a cloud–based web, desktop and mobile app that syncs across all of your devices. Use it as a collecting, organizing, sharing and collaborating tool.” — Social Media Examiner
Pricing: free or $2 per month
Showcase reviews: Social Media Examiner
Google Review Count: 265
Send files up to 5GB for free.
Showcase reviews: Siasat
Hunter & Bard
Marketing Insider Group
Online Marketing Institute
PR Daily (7 PR Tools)
PR Daily (23 Tools for PR Pros)
Social Media Examiner
This was the 11th post in the Best Online Business Tools series.
#11: The Seven Best File Sharing Tools