In today’s world, businesses need to share large files between employees, vendors, and contractors. There are a number of great services available like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive, but how can you maximize your efficiency between all your devices when out of the office?
- Amazon Drive: I know, big surprise that Amazon also has its hands in free hosting file sharing, right? The free version is fantastic if you are already an Amazon customer (5GB), but for those still living under a rock the non-account version (2GB) isn’t half bad either.
- Box: Box sounds like the other competing file sharing service of a similar name though they have no relation. Box is more geared toward business. The free version offers 10GB of storage and 250MB file upload limit which is plenty for most small businesses startups.
- Dropbox: One of the originators of free cloud hosting file sharing, Dropbox is still depended upon for a lot of SMBs though some people complain about its 2GB of storage.
- Google Drive: Along with Amazon, Google has tossed its name into the hat of filing sharing providers. Google Drive works seamlessly with the other components of Google, which is not surprising. The shocking part, however, is that the free service produces 15GB of storage. Paid accounts can get you even more storage space.
- MediaFire: The free storage is reasonable at 10GB and paid accounts can get you to that 1TB threshold.
- Microsoft OneDrive: Microsoft feels like it has dropped under the radar of late compared to Amazon and Google, but it’s still running strong. The case in point is OneDrive which provides 5GB of storage.
Tips when picking a free file hosting provider
Learn more with our five tips for small businesses:
Focus on compatibility – Pick a sharing platform that works on all devices utilized by your business. If your business operates multiple OS environments, you should make sure the service can connect to your PC, Mac, Android, Windows 8, Blackberry, and iOS devices. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box all have numerous applications available.
Integration is key – If you need more integration options, check out Box. It integrates with CRM tools like Salesforce, Netsuite, and productivity platforms like Google Apps.
It’s not backup – Don’t confuse file sharing for backup. File sharing is great for business productivity, but when push comes to shove, it isn’t a great solution for backing up important business operation files. Make sure you have a backup solution that moves your data to multiple locations, and specifically off-premises if possible.
Avoid conflict saves – Dropbox and Box are good with notifications about multiple users accessing the same file, but they can easily be missed if you aren’t in front of the computer. Make sure you are saving with some type of versioning if using in a multi-user environment.
Go 3rd party to get work done – Get the most out of your investment and edit documents while on the road. 3rd party applications like Documents To Go and Quickoffice Pro let you actually do work on your mobile synced devices, instead of just viewing the files.
Go Free First – All of these sharing options (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Mediafire) have free plans with plenty of space to help you get started with their service. Some even let you refer friends to earn more space. Use the free version with their apps to make sure you like the service before investing in a premium paid plan.