With 76% of businesses shifting to a hybrid working model in 2022, it's key that employees and any companies are able to easily share, collaborate and feed into documents.
Yet, with so much information online about file-sharing tools, it’s hard to know where to begin.
That’s why we’ve compiled a run-down of popular cloud-based file sharing solutions to help you make file sharing pain-free.
Cloud file sharing refers to a range of online services that allow people to store documents, photos, videos and other files in the cloud – and share them with others.
It’s particularly helpful for teamwork and collaboration, as files can be shared and edited easily by multiple users at the same time. The data is automatically refreshed as soon as changes are made, meaning the file is always up-to-date.
Essentially, this cuts out the process of having to attach a document to an email, wait for the recipient to make their edits, and then send back. Edits are made in real time – all without having to open your email application!
Wondering which solution could be best for your business? Here are five popular options.
Pros Intuitive user interface: No steep learning curve or technical knowledge needed.
Supports many operating systems: Whether you use Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, or iOS, Dropbox is compatible with almost every device imaginable.
Broad range of functions: Including the creation of work groups, and the sharing of files with users who don’t have a Dropbox account themselves.
Cons Data protection concerns: Dropbox has been criticised for the security of its stored files and has faced a number of security issues over the years.
Limited free storage space: The free version of Dropbox only offers users 2GB of storage space, equivalent to around 1,200 photos.
No in-browser editing feature: Documents like presentations have to be opened with a suitable programme downloaded on the computer or mobile.
Pros High level of free storage space: Simply create a Google account to receive 15GB of storage space free of charge. If you need more though, you can upgrade to Google One for 100GB, 200GB and 2TB storage options.
Great functionality with Integrated Office Suite: The inclusive Google Workspace allows you to work on documents directly in your browser. Documents can also be worked on easily as part of a team, as changes automatically save and a complete version history of every document is available.
Good user interface: Quick and easy for first time users to start using it.
Cons International server locations: There’s no clarity as to where data is stored.
Pros Great option for Apple users: Although it also works on Windows computers, it’s particularly convenient for Apple users as you’ll already have an iCloud account on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. So, you can immediately get started with file storage and sharing.
iWork: Apple’s own Office package allows your team to work on the same document simultaneously.
Cons Doesn’t support all non-Apple platforms: Other than classic Windows, iCloud Drive doesn’t support other applications, such as Windows Phone or Android.
Server location: No information is given on server location, so you can’t be sure where your data is stored.
Pros Fully functioning office suite at no extra cost: In combination with the low-cost Microsoft 365 package you get 1TB of storage space, and also a fully functioning Office Suite for no extra cost.
Wide range of great value offers available: Including a no-cost option, giving users 5GB of free storage space, which can be expanded for a really low monthly cost.
Easy to use: User-friendly and intuitive service.
Cons Limited free storage space: Only 5GB is offered for free.
International server location: Meaning you can’t be sure where your data is being stored.
Pros Highest level of protection for data: All files are stored on a server in Switzerland, offering higher data protection regulations than most other countries globally, so you can rest assured it’s strongly encrypted.
Very high security in all features: A triple redundancy backup and user authentication feature via Secure Remote Password Protocol (SRP) ensures the data is very secure. SecureSafe also acts as a manager for your personal passwords, including practical import and export functions.
Cons Very little storage space: A mere 100MB is offered in the free version.
Quite expensive: The free version is only suitable for saving small files and passwords. To upgrade, 100GB storage space comes in at £12 a month compared to £1.99 a month for the same space on Microsoft OneDrive.
With hybrid working here to stay, convenient and safe cloud-based file sharing tools are part of everyday work. Now you’re on your way to deciding which file-sharing option to use for your business, perhaps you’re keen to read more widely about other tools that can help your employees collaborate in the new world of hybrid working?
Read here to learn about our ‘top five collaboration tools every business needs’.
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