Secure File Sharing: Everything You Need to Know

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Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to share large files, you had limited options. You could copy the file to a disc and give it to somebody. You could use emerging USB stick technology, which could only store 32 megabytes max. Or you could use a file-sharing service like YouSendIt, which was brand new at the time and had 1 GB file limits. Any way you shared data, you faced the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.

It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since then. But the same issues from the early 2000s are still around today. Data security continues to be a problem. Hackers target cloud accounts and servers. And they can intercept files sent over an insecure public network.

It all raises a question: what’s the key to secure file sharing? Without further ado, let’s try to answer it.

What is Secure File Sharing?

Secure file sharing has become an integral part of the business. Collaborative work allows teams to edit documents and presentations, managers to supervise progress, and a whole lot more. This sharing puts platforms to a problematic situation. Documents and files have to be both accessible to collaborators and protected from hackers.

For most users, secure file sharing means having both a safe place to store files and an easy option to share them with other users.

Many platforms provide an option of sharing files. The best options allow you to set permissions, allow read-only access, and open up data for full sharing and collaboration.

Top Options For Secure File Sharing in 2020

Here are some of the best platforms for secure file sharing available right now. The list includes popular cloud providers, encryption software, and other ways you can share files with ease while maintaining enough security.

1) Dropbox

Pros:

  • Easy file-sharing process
  • Functions cross-platform

Cons:

  • Limited free storage allowance
  • Not very secure

When most people think of cloud computing, Dropbox is the first thing that comes to mind. Even with the most prominent tech names like Apple, Microsoft, and Google introducing cloud services, Dropbox remains a leader. It’s easy to use, and it does function across all platforms.

You can share files via a URL compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux. It also affords basic security protections like time limits and passwords. And, receiving users don’t need a Dropbox account, making it convenient.

Dropbox doesn’t give you much storage for free. But it has affordable personal and business plans starting at $10 a month for 3 TB.

computer, data, database

2) NordLocker

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with many platforms
  • Uses highest levels of encryption

Cons:

  • Needs an account
  • Doesn’t provide cloud storage

NordLocker is a powerful encryption tool, developed by the same team that offers leading VPN software provider, NordVPN. This time they’ve created an advanced yet easy-to-use Mac encryption software that secures any file type.

It’s not cloud storage, nor is it a typical file sharing service. But it does make file sharing much more secure. Save files you want to share to the Locker folder on your computer, share access to a specific person, and as long as they have the NordLocker account, they will get access to those files. No password sharing needed.

3) pCloud Crypto

Pros:

  • Encrypted storage
  • Affordable prices

Cons:

  • No file version history
  • Encryption is an added feature

pCloud Crypto is a cloud storage platform that uses encryption to add security to files. It’s versatile and doesn’t have file size limits. It makes it an excellent option for syncing data and devices, including business networks. It has robust sharing options and an extensive set of features. They include media playback, two-factor authentication, and auto-lock encrypted files and folders.

pCloud Crypto is also affordable. You can get 500GB for $5 per month. They even have a lifetime option for a one-time charge of $200. It can make it cost-effective in the long run. But encryption comes as an extra feature that you’ll have to pay an additional $5 a month for.

4) Send Anywhere

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Lacks encryption
  • Limited features

If you need a free service that you can use immediately, then Send Anywhere is an excellent option for you. You can share files within just a few seconds through a URL link or email. You don’t need to log in or enter any personal information.

Send Anywhere has a variety of different options and tiers if you want to upgrade, including a desktop app. Best of all, the service is free. You can transfer up to 10 GB with links active for 48 hours.

Upgrading to the paid tier costs $6, and you can get 1 TB of storage with 50 GB upload limits and no ads. Combined with the security technology of Nordlocker, Send Anywhere can be a perfect file-sharing option for most users.

icon, file, extension

5) Box

Pros:

  • Many features and apps
  • 10 GB Free

Cons:

  • Too advanced for some users
  • Needs an account

Box is a business-focused alternative to Dropbox. It combines a wide variety of tools, including syncing and file sharing. The box is free, but you need an account to get started.

Box makes it easy to share files. Using right-click, you can create unique share links and protect them with passwords and expiration dates. You can also collaborate on documents and configure other settings from the dashboard.

The box is a little tricky to use, and it does take some time to get the hang of it. Once you do, you can enjoy a wide variety of features. If you’re looking for a Dropbox alternative, try out Box.

Is Secure File Sharing Worth It?

There is no shortage of ways for you to share your files online. A Google search can present you with thousands of websites you can use to send data online. But don’t forget that any time you share files over the internet, you run the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.

So, what to do? You have two options:

  1. Pay to use trustworthy and secure services to store and share data online,
  2. OR encrypt files on your computer or smartphone before sharing them anywhere.