Dropbox is a hugely popular “cloud based” file sharing service (and app), that allows you to synchronize files among different computers. It has a cool user experience, but has its downsides as well –

  • you can’t host your own server,
  • provides measly 2 GB storage,
  • it’s not open source
  • no remote access to computers.

dropbox-alternatives

If you are using Dropbox for a long time I am sure you will be so impressed with its ease of use and feature-richness, that you might not have cared to look for an alternative. But there are quite a few new (and old) services which can really give Dropbox a run for their money.


Related: Top 10 Online Backup Solutions.

Here we take a brief look at some of the best alternatives for Dropbox which you can try and see for yourself.

Top 10 Dropbox Alternatives

1. Dmailer Backup

dmailer-backup

Dmailer is also a free online file hosting solution. We can use the application on Windows and Mac operating systems and use it to backup as much as 2GB of data. The interface copies by default files from the Desktop, Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders. This makes restoration easier in case of data loss or corruption of operating system. So, in addition to being a cloud based file storage service, Dmailer is also a good live online backup solution too.

2. Syncplicity

syncplicity

Syncplicity is automated sync, back-up, collaboration and file management service powerful enough for a business user and easy enough for a novice. Secure, anywhere access to your files. But yeah, just like Dropbox, Syncplicity lacks a remote-access feature. Syncplicity’s sharing is a little safer with no easy and guessable public link to your files. But Syncplicity’s memory footprint is much heavier than that of Dropbox.

3. Wuala

wuala

Wuala is a Linux friendly secure Dropbox alternative. This Swiss-based service boasts tens of thousands of users with millions of files being actively saved, stored and accessed already. Wuala has Cross platform native client support with extended privacy and sharing options. You get 1GB cloud space for free but users can gain more space by ‘trading idle HDD space’ or by inviting other users.

4. SparkleShare

Sparkleshare is the solution for those who have problems with Dropbox not being an open-source service. Like Dropbox, SparkleShare sets up a local folder which is automatically kept in sync, though not in the cloud. Instead, you and your friends/coworkers set up connections to each other’s shares. Since you will be hosting your own server, there is no need to worry about the monthly fees. A Linux release is the first item on the agenda, with OS X and Windows versions to follow. Mind you, it is yet to be released officially.

5. Live Mesh

livemesh

LiveMesh is arguably the best free alternative to Dropbox, from Microsoft. It provides 5 GB of free online backup space, as compared with 2GB of Dropbox. It also keeps your data in sync online, as well as on multiple computers. What’s more? Live Mesh even lets you connect to your computer remotely using any browser. Live Mesh works on Windows, Mac, and even your cell phone. The remote access feature works on Windows only.

6. SugarSync

sugarsync

Like Dropbox, SugarSync also offers 2GB of free space. SugarSync also backs up your data online, and syncs across multiple computers. SugarSync supports both Windows as well as Mac. Apart from that, SugarSync supports all mobile devices, including, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. What’s more? It also provides file versioning.

7. LiveDrive

livedrive

LiveDrive is touted more as a Live online backup service than just an online storage service. LiveDrive offers two options: LiveDrive Backup and LiveDrive Briefcase (Pro). The Backup edition can backup of unlimited online devices and an unlimited quantity of files. The Briefcase or Pro edition retains all the features of the Backup version but also gives sharing and synchronization of data from unlimited online devices.

8. Tonido

tonido

Using Tonido you can even mount a remote drive as your local drive from anywhere: over the LAN and the Internet. Tonido is not only meant for file sharing. It is truly your personal digital hub that provides an array of powerful applications to stream your music, download torrents, take distributed backups and run your own personal blog. Codelathe has listed out 10 reasons as to why they think Tonido to be better than Dropbox.

9. SpiderOak

spideroak

SpiderOak is another good free alternative to Dropbox. SpiderOak is almost same as Dropbox in terms of features provided. It also offers 2GB of free storage space, can sync multiple computers, and provide version history of files. Apart from that SpiderOak supports multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

10. Box.net

box.net

Box.net’s online file storage makes it easy to securely share content as a link or a shared folder with anyone inside or outside your company. This will help you create an online workspace where you can share project files, add comments, assign tasks, start discussions or create new content. It even has dedicated apps for iPhone and iPad

 
Founder-Editor

Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp

 
 
  • http://blog.arpitnext.com Arpit

    Include Windows Live Sync (beta) to this list. This freeware automatically sync files and folders – and also create a backup online – with SkyDrive account.

  • http://www.cravingtech.com Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com

    Ugh..so many of them.. So far I’ve tried box.net, dropbox (my favorite), syncplicity, and wuala

    I guess more options are good for us “consumers” :D

  • Nihar

    Thanks for the list…

    Will check few of these.

  • Mat

    You start the article by saying that Dropbox doesn’t allow you to host your own server, and that there these are the best alternatives.

    What did I miss? I can count only one which allows you to self-host, and it’s not even that obvious!

    • http://techpp.com Raju

      I started off with different short-comings of Dropbox, which result in people looking for alternatives. Not everyone would need every feature available (or missing) in a service. That is precisely why competition broods innovation. If you were expecting all the 10 alternatives to do everything what Dropbox does + everything what Dropbox lacks, I’m sorry, this isn’t the right place

      • Billb

        I’m very interested in a self-hosted version of dropbox. It would be good if it is supported over the Internet but would be ok if only on the LAN. I saw the Sparkleshare program but it looks like it might only be for Linux. I don’t care what OS the host is (I prefer Linux) but I need windows & mac users to be able to access the data and set permissions.

        • Duncan

          How about Pogoplug box? you plug in your own drives and (according to demos) it allows you to share over the internet. I might buy one and try out sometime soon.

  • Jim

    Uhhmmm, SpiderOak the same as dropbox.. WTF?

    SpiderOak is half the price of dropbox. plus their minimum plan is 100GB. Dropbox stops at 100GB. Dropbox only lets you use one folder. Spideroak syncs whatever you want. Also SpiderOak has a 50% student discount. Also spideroak only counts the true space used on their servers when the files are compressed dropbox doesn’t. SpiderOak works on Linux. One of the best features is SpiderOak only stores encrypted files. What that means is SpiderOak can’t access your files. For business users that is absolute requirement (unless you are careless with your files). dropbox doesn’t even offer this service and even says in their contract they might look at your files if there is a complaint (Who the hell should be complaining about MY files). I could go on but I already feel like people think I work for the company. I don’t I just dislike so many things about dropbox and love so many about spideroak.

    • V

      I’m about to change from dropbox.. very keen to hear more about the advantages of spider oak. or any disadvantages of it against dropbox.
      Are there any that handle collaboration well? i.e. 2 docs open at different venues when changes are made on each do you get 2 renamed “versions” or is there a better alternative to this issue?

      • Adam

        Google Docs is great for collaboration

        • http://unhackmee.wordpress.com unhackmee

          Google Docs is great in many aspects, i should agree…

          But- and this is a HUGE but…. there is no native client that eases file upload. Google is always strictly inside browser… which makes it only as stable as the browser you are using.

          The best thing about dropbox is the rsync likeness of dropbox… Uploading only minimum… changed parts of a huge file… and also being able to resume uploading without any hiccups.

          When google docs releases the API to be able to upload any file (currently limited to specific filetypes) then i would be all with Docs… until then, bring on the other dishes i need to try.

          • http://www.OmniZed.com prometheOZ

            SyncDoc works with google docs. It’s been free but now they are planning to charge $20 a month. If there was a smartphone app, I would maybe consider it.

  • thibault

    Great article ! Thanks !

  • http://www.sameerchavan.com sameer

    there is Trend Micro’s SafeSync solution for unlimited backup with just $50 per year and it sync multiple computers and can share files. Very reliable company.

  • Rahul

    Have anyone tried VembuHome (http://home.vembu.com/) for file Syncronization (sync between multiple devices).

    Currently, VembuHome supports file synchronization and Sharing (send only download link of the files) in addition to local and remote cloud backups. share your thoughts on it..

  • Daniel

    not suprised to see Dmailer ranked so high…!
    As a user of them, I enjoy it;-)

  • Sharly09

    I like the ease of use of http://www.ezubi.com for multimedia file sharing. Although it does not provide file syncing, which is fine for me as I don’t want to install any app on my computer that would open a breach in my firewall. I’d rather upload files I want to share.

  • http://www.trueshare.com Mitch Matt

    Hello, Nice list! I am a principal with TrueShare.com (2005) we have been in the file storage/sharing business since 2002 (easyftp.net) and along with a sound and secure system we boast excellent customer support. Business minded features, on disk encryption security, and unlimited users are what seperate us in this field. Worldwide clients in financial, medical, construction and engineering, energy, and education are our base. Check it out or contact me for a live online walk through! Thanks!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/sonamdolma20032000?feature=mhum Christine Anastasia Mason

    Hi there — I suppose I represent some of the less-tech-savvy of your readers. Can any of you tell me: Would using one of these file storage systems require space on my computer? If I upload 2GB of files, is that represented by 2GB on my computer being used by the online storage box?

    I am not so much interested in sharing files. I do like the idea of backing up files, but primarily I need to clean up my computer and free up some space. Could I do that by using an online storage system? Also, once I set that up, would I be able to create links to specific files so that I can reference them in other documents?

    Hey, Thanks so much for taking the time to educate me; This is all very interesting!

    • http://techpp.com Raju PP

      Yes Christine. You can see them as a source to keep your backup and not as dedicated storage systems. They need space on your PC to store the originals, which they sync at their backend (cloud).
      As for using them as online storage system, you can’t really do that. But there are other services like Rapidshare, Megaupload etc for that.
      However you can create links to specific files on Dropbox (and other related services) and reference them in your documents.

  • Mark Disk

    MediaFire.com is pretty good, a free account gets unlimited permanent storage with an upload limit of 200mb per file. So for those of you looking to upload bigger files without zipping them into parts then just get a pro account which will allow you an upload limit of 10gb per file

  • barneydurant

    Why dont you mention 4shared sync?! As for me, it is such more better than dropbox. 4Shared provides 15 Gb free storage space instead of 2Gb of Dropbox.

  • b1989

    Sugarsync is the way to go. It has the best free storage around and is as seamless as dropbox (maybe better).

  • PhilD

    Ever since the change in DropBox TOS
    – These alternatives are probably more needed now

    Thanks for sharing

  • tsolias

    Sugarsync has 5gb of free space
    with every referal you take 500mb of free space with no limit!!
    (dropbox gives you 250mb with a 8gb topper)
    So i think Sugarsync is the way to go, check memopal if you have linux ;)

  • el56

    Where are they hosted? To many the two most important features are security and confidentiality.

  • Klaus

    For high end professional usage within large international firms: Acellion.com

  • Peter

    4shared does NOT mention anything about storing your data encrypted. http://www.4shared.com/security.jsp

  • http://www.iozeta.com/ Tom

    I could recommend Iozeta. I use it because they have unlimited back up at a very affordable price.

  • Kevin Handy

    OK Let’s differentiate here – or at least argue about the same thing. There are back-up services and there are file synch services and there are some that claim both. Some of folks are writing about back-up services as being “half the price” or what have you. These services are for back-up only – they don’t allow you to save the file on a local folder which is watched and then made available in the Cloud. Not everyone wants and needs that UNTIL – tadaaa – you’re away and busy and need it on your phone NOT or your internal HD bites the dust – then all of a sudden that back-up software – not so cool. Incremental versus full back-ups are part of the problem. The incremental back-up creates a virtual image of your data incrementally – that is – if a file changes – a back-up is made. But what IF folks – your back-up file is corrupt for some reason – the data file as it back-ups runs into a checksum issue or what have you – then what? No thank you – I’ll pick synch software every single time and pay more for the piece of mind.

  • http://simplisticthoughts.com simplistic thoughts

    It’s hard to decide which one is best. I think I will go with dropbox first so I can compare it with the others.

  • Semibreve

    I would like to be able to put files into a cloud space and send out a link for others to download them. Whilst I don’t mind downloading a program in order that I can upload, it is not (in this instance) appropriate to ask others to download a program in order for them to be able to access my files. Are any of these (or others) suitable for this use? Thanks for your help!

    • Ben

      Yes Semibreve, dropbox will do that. Put it in the public subfolder and share the link. The file will be accesible to anyone with a browser

    • Declan

      Sugarsync does exactly what you require. I have been using it for over a year & consider it superior to Dropbox which I also use.
      They have now upgraded their free accounts to 5GB.
      When you send a link or share a folder Sugarsync will advise you by email that your file has been accessed.

  • http://chastity.com horace

    Which allows upleoads from ANDROID BROWSER??

    Not interested in installing any more apps

  • not sugar

    Sugar SYNC sucks

    They nag you about account inactivity

  • mike

    I want to sync only and not have web access to my files. Which product(s) allow this? Windows Live Mesh for sure allows that configuration.

  • Pickle

    For a variety of reasons I won’t bore you with, I need a way to back up my iphone that does not require a laptop.

    Ideally I would like to be able to save a full copy online (kinda like a cloud version of Mac’s TimeMachine), but failing that just a place to keep photographs, music, books and emails.

    These things were all attended to using a range of back ups, on and off site, using devices of my own, remote devices and cloud services. I may be able to salvage some fragments from some of those, but am not expecting much. The phone is the keeper of the flame – when it goes down so does my data.

    Plus, if anyone happens to have any ideas that *might* provide a way round the following problem.
    – I have data stored on MobileMe.
    – I wish to save that data to another location as MobileMe is being dismantled.
    – I have an iPhone connected to the internet over 3G.
    – I am unlikely to have access to other hardware and/or decent internet for a while.

    (No, I am not in gaol – just had a systemic failure of such magnitude that I cannot implement anything of a new system until I totally kill off this one. That’s all device hardware, router, software, ISP, phone and email contacts, mail servers and the telephone baseplate for starters, potentially any data and potentially any accounts with online services. If it extends past that – even into something outdated like network-over-powerlines… I will then admit defeat.)

    • Singapura

      Eeehm, ever heard of iCloud? It’s only been mentioned like…everywhere on the web.

  • colin

    I’ve been using SugarSync and sugarsync for about a year now and I’m really satisfied. Very little system load compared to other similar products I’ve tried and has never once crashed.

  • Harry

    Is there a sharing solution that doesn’t need installation ?
    Something I can carry on a USB pen drive ?

  • djvpuls

    Of these I like sugarsync the best. They give out more free storage, cost less, and have more features. At sugarsync-review.blogspot.com there is a review about them and a referral link. They now give out 5gb of free online storage(get 5.5 GB free storage using a referral link).

    • MUHAMMAD RAMZAN

      How one can use the referral link

  • AsharudeenS

    Have anyone tried Zukmo (zukmo.com), a cloud based tool to manage online information feed. Which is used to Sync files, Store, Share, Collaborate files and bookmark online content with full content search. Also working on more feature set http://www.zukmo.com/features.html

  • Paul B.

    I’ve tried a few of these services. Dropbox is good, but I thought SugarSync was more feature-rich, and it now gives 5GB of free storage. I had nothing but problems with SpiderOak; couldn’t even get it off the ground, really. I like their idea of encryption before the files are uploaded, though, and found a free adjunct service that you can use with Sugarsync or dropbox to do that.

  • Tom Higgins

    One other service that’s pretty cool is Zukmo, an amazing cloud service bundled with heaps of features.
    The latest launch would be SyncBlaze which is exclusively offered to the resellers. Time to give them a try.

  • Serena Star Leonard

    Thanks for this, the only bummer with seeing all these options is that I am even further away from choosing now!
    I am going to be travelling and many places will not have great internet. Also I like how I can access drop box from the web. I am wondering if it is as secure though as a true backup service?

  • proposition 8

    Keeping a fresh blog is tough and quite tiresome. You might have pulled it off well though.

  • disc

    I have been around for a whilst now, i take into account myself a loyal reader. Just thought i would let you know!

  • JonG

    anyone know what the best solution is for simply having a cloud hosted directory that I can have my team and I point to with drag and drop file transfers like I would perform if the directory was on my desktop? thanks for any advice – all these services sound the same and Im not interested in selecting and uploading a single file. I wana drag and drop and see it hit…

  • James

    Thank you so much!
    Dropped dropbox and because of you, using Live Mesh
    Thanks again….

  • Jean-Simon

    Great selection!
    But… Where is Ubuntu One?

  • freakqnc

    got only 3 things to say…
    – up to 50GB free
    – min.us
    – adrive.com

  • ron

    for me google drive it free

  • http://www.onrupee.com/ King

    you can include Google Drive & MS SkyDrive to this list…

  • BarbNowich

    I think that the best free Dropbox alternative is Bitrix24 if you are using it for team work and Wuala for solo use.