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Top 3 File Sharing Software: Comparison of Synology Drive, monday.com, and Dropbox Business

Category: B2B News
What is the best file sharing software solution on the market?

The best file sharing software solution is Synology Drive, given its advanced capability in providing a secure, centralized location to better store, access, and share documents and other important files. It is designed to help you gain total control over your critical company files and user activity, both on-premise and on the cloud.

With the demand for cloud-based technology expected to reach $390 billion by 2020, you can expect that plenty of your transactions and operational processes will be happening online in the near future. That said, you will need a reliable platform through which you can securely transfer, store, and archive your confidential company files. This is where file sharing tools come in. These software solutions serve as hubs where you can keep documents easily accessible for better team collaboration and transparency while keeping them safe from unauthorized individuals or online threats.

If you’re looking for the best file sharing software solution to help your company exchange documents and other important files in a simplified and secure manner, we’ve got you covered. Our team of B2B professionals prepared a detailed comparison of the most popular file sharing products on the market — Synology Drive, monday.com, and Dropbox Business. With this in-depth analysis of their key features, performance, and pricing, you will be able to zero in on the best service for your unique business needs.

top 3 file sharing software

Top 3 File Sharing Software

Gone are the days when piles of paper cluttered office desks, hampered employee productivity, and disrupted your office organization. With the increasing number of tools for digital file sharing, you can simply take your pick of software and instantly transfer and store your documents on the cloud. By doing so, you can make your files easily accessible yet secure from prying eyes. Moreover, you can reduce paper waste in your workplace and even save a buck or two on ink and paper. It will also allow you to leverage the cloud for more efficiency.

According to the Secure File Transfer Market Global Outlook and Forecast, the file sharing technology market will hit $1.6 billion by 2023. In addition, it is also evolving as a form of communication preference among professionals. While they still use emails, phone, and in-person meetings, a good 16% of professionals have also incorporated file sharing services for information dissemination purposes. This goes to show that file sharing services do not just provide visibility but also increase collaboration. 

Top Channels Used for Collaboration and Communication

Source: Adobe Consumer Email Survey (2018)

With these benefits in the offing, why wouldn’t you invest in these solutions? To help you get started, we will be comparing the top 3 file sharing platforms. These are Synology Drive, monday.com, and Dropbox Business. However, before we get down to the comparison, let us first give you an overview of these products. This way, you’ll get a better idea of their infrastructure, features, and the kind of services you can get from each provider. In case you want more options than our top platforms, you can also check out our list of best file sharing solutions for 2020.

1. Synology Drive

Synology Drive Dashboard

Synology Drive connects and syncs files between your company’s devices from PCs to your Synology NAS (Network-attached Storage). If you are not familiar with NAS, it is a file-level computer data storage device connected to a network. Businesses use this technology to share files securely throughout their private networks. Similarly, many individuals also use these in their homes.

For users employing Synology devices from the 24-bay FS6400 or the 8-bay DS1819+, Synology Drive provides them with the ability to sync and share files on-premises. This provides them with their very own private cloud. Synology allows users to work across computers in continuity using its Drive application. Also, it doesn’t matter if users are on different operating systems. The application will sync the same files to all chosen devices whenever they get connected.

Synology Drive features allow users to collaborate in real-time. It supports concurrent file editing and revisions by multiple users thanks to its Synology Office module. With Synology Office, you can edit different types of files from documents to spreadsheets. Moreover, Synology has a chat feature that makes collaboration way easier.

If you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can do so when you sign up for Synology Drive free trial here.

Moreover, the platform also offers asset backup capability. Thus, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. You can even use this when you want files to revert to a certain design or previous state. Simply right-click on a file and choose which version you want to bring back. It’s that easy.

Synology Drive and NAS allow you to create a private cloud that is much safer in more ways than public ones. However, should you want to sync it with your public cloud services, you can do so with its Cloud Sync offering.

Key features of Synology Drive

  1. It is a dedicated client for syncing and sharing files via your private cloud that’s enabled by Synology NAS devices.
  2. The system syncs files even for different users on different operating systems.
  3. There is a great backup feature that also allows users to revert their files to previous versions should they need to.

2. monday.com

monday.com dashboard

monday.com is obviously not a dedicated file sharing platform. However, it does offer robust file sharing capabilities as part of its comprehensive collaboration features. In fact, this functionality in the business management context is so well-done that it counts as a top-tier file sharing service.

You can view your files on monday.com under the Files View. This allows you to see all your files from pictures to any documents like contracts and whatnot. Moreover, you can easily upload your files from other sections of your monday.com solution like updates or infoboxes. This way, you can keep all your critical files in one place.

monday.com’s Files View also allows you to add new files. With just a few clicks, you can upload, download, and share files from the platform. However, the downside here is that you can’t directly edit them on monday.com. You need to access and modify them via other systems integrated seamlessly with it, like Google Docs or Microsoft Excel.

To get a better grasp of its features, you can sign up for monday.com free trial here.

Again, monday.com is not your typical dedicated file sharing service. It is a project management platform with features that track project progress and task statuses, but it also comes with a top-notch file sharing module. Thus, it is one of the best platforms out there if you want to share and collaborate on files within a project management context.

So, if you prefer file sharing on the cloud within a project management environment, monday.com could be right for you. However, if you prefer file sharing on a private or public cloud outside a project management solution, then this is not for you at all.

Key features of monday.com

  1. Its Files View allows you to see all media and files uploaded for a particular project.
  2. The user interface of monday.com is highly-visual and easy to use. This also covers the way you upload and download shared files.
  3. For file sharing in a collaborative project management context, monday.com is a great choice. However, it is not a standalone file sharing tool. If you want a standalone platform, monday.com is not right for you.

3. Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business Dashboard

Dropbox Business is one of the perennial leaders in the file sharing software market. Overall, the Dropbox suite offers off-server storage and file sharing capabilities and can be managed from multiple devices, as our detailed Dropbox Business review explains.

Dropbox Business certainly deserves to be considered as a prime choice among file transfer platforms. Millions of businesses throughout the world do so. They use it to organize their digital assets and keep their business data protected.

Many consider the platform an affordable and smart solution, offering automated updates, backup, device syncing, and secure sharing. While its free version continues to be a popular choice among individual and light users, this premium version is the file sharing platform of choice for some top global organizations. Enterprise clients include National Geographic, MacMillan, Yahoo!, and Hyatt.

Its developers thought of a plethora of business-tailored and innovative features to deliver a professional package that over 300,000 teams use in their work. Among its other features, you can also find offline access, large file sharing, and a respectable degree of settings customization.

Key features of Dropbox Business

  1. It gives you as much space as you need for all your files.
  2. It offers advanced file recovery and version history services for an extra charge.
  3. You can get admin controls like remote wipe and account transfer.

Comparison of Key Features

Easy file storage and management

Both monday.com and Dropbox Business are cloud-based. This means that all files shared go through their servers. On the other hand, Synology Drive’s basic setup is for an on-premise storage NAS system. However, take note that Synology Drive can also be connected to public cloud services via its Cloud Sync feature. Thus, it is more flexible than the two.

This flexibility in deployment allows it to edge out its other competitors when it comes to storage and management. Furthermore, its dashboard has a familiar desktop window design that is very intuitive to use. You can manage permissions, send files, and edit them via simple drag-and-drop, left-click, and right-click controls.

Familiar features include starred items, My Drive, Team Folder, Recycle Bin, Shared with me, Shared with others, and Labels. This neat design is somewhat similar to Dropbox. However, monday.com is the outlier here in this regard.

As mentioned, it is, first and foremost, a collaboration platform. Thus, it doesn’t just share and manage files. The platform allows you to do both in the context of your projects or business operation. Thus, these features are within the context of monday.com’s overall use as a total business solution.

Furthermore, should you choose to have monday.com as your collaboration platform, you can also use it with Synology Drive and Dropbox Business. However, if you want a standalone file sharing software, this is not for you.

Meanwhile, if you want a simple file sharing software, you can opt for Dropbox Business. However, it is solely cloud-based, and some people are not comfortable with having their sensitive files on a third-party server.

Lastly, if you are looking for a (typically more secure) private cloud deployment, then Synology Drive is the choice. Keep in mind that it can also connect to the cloud.

Verdict: Synology Drive is best in easy file sharing and management. Its flexibility and customizability make it the clear winner here.

Real-time collaboration

These top 3 file sharing software providers approach collaboration differently. Both Dropbox Business and monday.com outsource concurrent file editing to third-party integrations. For example, if you have a .docx file, you edit it via Word or some other word processing app. The same thing goes for worksheets and other files.Also, both platforms offer collaboration features such as comments. This is helpful in ways where users can leave notes and start discussions. On Dropbox, you can comment on files from your folder. On the other hand, monday.com allows you to comment, like, and perform other actions on project boards. This looks like a disadvantage. However, others may prefer cloud collaboration software for file sharing and collaboration.

Synology Drive employs a different approach from the two.

In fact, it even goes beyond comments by allowing users to edit files within the Synology ecosystem itself. Thanks to Synology Office, users can concurrently work on a particular file. Meaning, you and other users can edit the same file at the same time. This goes for documents and spreadsheets. Just picture having your good old Microsoft Office Suite but just with Synology as the logo.

Additionally, just like popular platforms such as Word or Google Docs, you can make comments directly on the file itself. All you have to do is select the text you want to comment on and then click the ‘insert comment’ icon in the toolbar. Also, just like monday.com and DropBox Business, you can @mention colleagues or clients too.

Verdict: With these added features, Synology Drive clearly is the best in this regard among the three.

Synology Office Module

Synology has a native Office module that allows users to concurrently edit files such as spreadsheets and other documents.

Seamless syncing

Unfortunately, monday.com does not offer native syncing features for files. The only things that sync are your project dashboards. However, you can sync and back-up your files using a number of integrations. But, for our purpose, this lack of feature makes it a laggard in this point of comparison by default. That’s the price of being a collaboration program. The other two, Dropbox Business and Synology Drive, provide native file syncing well.

Dropbox Business and cloud-based syncing

Dropbox Business provides version syncing through its Smart Sync feature. What’s cool about this feature is that you can access every file and folder on your Dropbox account without using hard drive space. Furthermore, you can also choose how files are getting stored and synced.

For example, you can select whether a folder is available online-only, on-premise, or mixed state. Mixed-state folders contain both local and online-only assets. Moreover, you can choose a default sync setting for new files and folders being shared with you.

When and how is this useful? Well, picture that you are running out of storage on one of your devices. Let’s say that’s your home laptop. You want to have more files available to you there, yet you don’t want to bog it down further. What can you do with Dropbox Business? You can free up space on your hard drive by making files available as “online-only.”

Once you do this, you’ll free your hard drive space in minutes and keep your files on your Dropbox Business cloud-based account. However, you need to have your internet connection up for this to go without a hitch.

Synology Drive and local syncing (with online options)

On the other hand, Synology Drive can help you save local drive space by saving and syncing files on your on-premise NAS. As your basic Synology setup creates a private cloud, you only need to have your computers connected through your local network. Thus, you can just transfer files and have them available on any connected device without an internet connection.

Again, you can also configure it to sync with public cloud files should you want to. In this way, you get the best of both worlds: on-premise and cloud.

Also, Synology Drive has what is called ‘Syncing on Demand.’ This allows you to see your files in synced folders, but they are only streamed to your computer when you open them. Thus, you can save hard disk space. Moreover, it has options for you to exclude subfolders, file formats, or put limits to file size too. It is very customizable.

Verdict: Synology Drive is superior when it comes to syncing. Firstly, it doesn’t need an internet connection. Secondly, it does everything Dropbox Business does. It is also more customizable. Thus, it is better in this regard. You can also customize your hardware and software according to your changing needs.

Synology Drive Sync and Backup

Synology Drive provides you with easy controls for syncing and backup. These and various features are conveniently located in your Synology Drive dashboard.

Backup and versioning

Both Synology Drive and Dropbox Professional offer backup and versioning. There are ways you can do this with monday.com, but it’s a little bit more complicated. The two aforementioned apps do this automatically. Let’s start with Dropbox Business.

Dropbox Business and extended version history

Dropbox Business and Professional can only recover file edits or deletions made in the last six months. But, if you purchase what is called the ‘extended version history,’ you’ll be allowed to recover any changes and deletions made in the last ten years. Another nice thing about it too is that deleted files, and previous versions don’t count against your storage quota. However, there are limits for this deal:

  • Permanently deleted files can’t be recovered with extended version history
  • It doesn’t allow users to recover files within an unshared folder

It is easy to recover older file versions on Dropbox Business. All you have to do is select the files you want to see, hover on the files, select the checkbox on the left, and click version history. From there, you can preview the historical versions and click ‘Restore’ if you want to restore it. Easy peasy.

Synology Drive and intelliversioning

For Synology Drive, it has an ‘intelliversioning’ algorithm that pinpoints the most significant changes done over time. This ensures that versions available to you aren’t the ones that you did so recently. Synology Drive also allows you to choose between a real-time or scheduled back up of important folders. So, if you make an accidental deletion, you’ll always have a copy. This versioning protects you from ransomware, as well.

Moreover, with its Active Backup for Business feature, Synology assures that your data, services, and applications will be backed up immediately after service downtime. Lastly, it offers 32 historical file versions plus an unlimited number of Synology Office versions. This may be its greatest advantage.

File backups on monday.com

For monday.com, there isn’t a native backup or versioning feature. Again, it does this via its integrations. Dropbox is one of them, and Synology Drive can be used as well. So, if you want monday.com as a collaboration platform, you can incorporate Synology Drive and Dropbox Business to your technology stack. Then, you can have back up and file versioning.

However, you can manually keep files up to date and keep versions. All you have to do is upload file versions yourself into your monday.com boards. With the right filing procedures, you can do this. But, it can be complicated and tedious. So, we recommend using integrations for this.

Verdict: Synology Drive is better at back up and revisioning. This is especially true if you value security and reliability. Synology Drive has both on-premise and cloud capabilities. Thus, you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket. There is also more leeway when it comes to versions with Synology. You get 32 historical versions plus an unlimited Synology Office file versioning available.

Synology Drive Backup

Synology Drive offers multi-version backups and intelliversioning to protect all of your important files.

Mobile capabilities

The three apps being featured here are top apps. They exemplify the best solutions there are on the market. Thus, all of them have great mobile capabilities for collaboration and file sharing. In fact, all three of them have native mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.

Having a mobile app is important when it comes to business solutions. This is because you want to be able to attend to high-risk and critical processes anytime, anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. In addition, you want these mobile apps to have (more or less) the same functionalities as their desktop clients or web versions.

These are all given when it comes to the three software in focus. However, their desktop and web-based versions have different functionalities to start with. Thus, mobile capability is not a big issue. It’s the basic software functionalities that count.

Consider monday.com. Its app is simply great in its own right. It is great as a collaboration tool. However, when you want advanced file-sharing and management features, it does not have these. Its app is mainly a project management and collaboration tool. It goes beyond core file sharing solution features, our points of comparison here. Also, it outsources these advanced file sharing capabilities to integrations. Thus, it comes out last when it comes to mobile capability as well.

Verdict: It’s a tie between Synology Drive and Dropbox Business. Both software providers offer great apps that enable users to do what they can on their desktop clients as well as on their mobile devices. So, it really depends on how one scores the other features that they have.

Integrations

A cool fact is that you can use all three solutions at the same time. If you use monday.com as your project management platform, you can add and sync files using Dropbox Business and Synology Drive at the same time. Yes, all of these top-three solutions can work together seamlessly in a unique ecosystem.For example, you own a small marketing consultancy business. You may use monday.com to manage the different projects you have all at the same time. Also, you may have Synology NAS and, therefore, Synology Drive deployed for your private cloud. In this way, your files can be safely synced and shared with your teams. Moreover, you can also use your Synology Cloud Sync to connect your own private cloud to public cloud servers such as Dropbox Business. In this way, you can sync files and folders shared with outside entities for client copies and maybe contracts from legal consultants.

However, if you don’t have the budget for a technology stack and you want a dedicated file sharing software, it is a toss-up between Dropbox Business and Synology Drive considering all other features. It’s a tie again in this regard because both integrate well with different applications.

Dropbox Business claims to integrate well with 300,000 apps. Synology Drive, with its private cloud infrastructure, can also integrate with many, many others. It can connect with virtually any system. These include Dropbox Business, Google Drive, Amazon Drive, Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS), Backblaze B2, and a host of others.

Verdict: It’s a tie between Dropbox Business and Synology Drive. Both platforms integrate well with many solutions. Moreover, they can connect with virtually every business ecosystem.

Dropbox Business Integrations

Dropbox Business can integrate with various third-party applications. For example, it can seamlessly connect with Google Suite so you can add your files directly to Dropbox.

Pricing and packages

For monday.com, you’d be paying for more than a file sharing solution. You get a comprehensive business solution with great collaborative features. For unlimited file storage and activity log, you need to get the Standard plan. It will cost you $59 for five users a month. However, controls for permissions and restrictions are only available for the project boards, not the file themselves. This is not something many people need.

On the other hand, Dropbox Business and Synology drive allow you to set permissions on files and folders themselves. So, this is a biggie when you want file sharing flexibility from your solution.

For Dropbox Business, you need to get its Advanced plan to get unlimited storage. Also, this plan will set you back for $100 for five users a month. Sure, it costs more than monday.com’s standard plan. However, it has more flexibility when it comes to core asset sharing and management features. One of which is the aforementioned sharing permissions and restrictions.

Lastly, we have Synology Drive. For this one, deployments are quote-based, but you get a one-time-payment pricing scheme. Moreover, it is offered with a Synology NAS product. You also just need to download Synology Drive for free when you get a NAS installed. The pricing may be steeper than other solutions on the onset but, at least, you don’t pay for it annually or monthly.

Verdict: There is really no clear cut answer. They offer different deployments, as discussed. Synology Drive includes hardware with a one-time payment. Meanwhile, Dropbox and monday.com are purely cloud-based with monthly or annual payments. The choice in this aspect can be quite subjective. So, what do you think? Which one wins this round on your scorecard? We have it as a toss-up.

Which is the Best File Sharing Software Among the Three?

Well, if you read every point of the comparison above, monday.com ranks last as a pure file sharing solution. The simple reason is that it lacks other features that top file sharing platforms like Synology Drive and Dropbox Business have in its native ecosystem. These features include file syncing, backups, and versioning. What monday.com does, again, is outsource it to integrated apps such as its rivals here in this article.

So, the battle here is really between Dropbox Business and Synology Drive. However, these platforms have different types of deployment. The former, as mentioned, is based on the public cloud. The latter’s basic deployment centers on a private cloud with public-cloud integrations. This makes it eke out the win based on only this. Here are some reasons why:

  • Private cloud is much safer than public cloud
  • On-premise cloud services allow you to backup files and versions locally
  • Service downtimes don’t affect private network file-sharing activities than it does cloud-based ones

Our final verdict

Apart from these, there are other features that make Synology Drive the superior choice. One, it offers true real-time collaboration within the Synology ecosystem with Synology Office. Meaning, users don’t need to switch between systems just to edit concurrently or comment inside the files themselves.

Dropbox Business does not offer this. You have to open files and versions using third-party integrations. The experience on Synology Drive is much more seamless this way.

Two, thanks to Synology’s hybrid on-premise and cloud storage, you get unlimited versioning of your files on the platform. Its intelliversioning algorithm is somehow a little better than the limited versioning deal that Dropbox Business offers.

Thus, as Synology Drive is fitted with more advanced (and useful) features, we can say that it is the most comprehensive solution among the top 3 file sharing software. Many of our experts think so too. So, it is definitely worth a try. You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for Synology Drive free trial here.

File sharing best practices

Finding a suitable file sharing tool is only one piece of the puzzle in reaping its full potential. The real challenge is to make your new investment work for you. To do this, we recommend that you apply a few tips and tricks to maximize its use. Here are some best practices for better file sharing and management that might be of help:

  1. Come Up With Naming Conventions. Finding the information you need is difficult if your documents are not labeled properly. So, be sure to come up with naming conventions for you and your team to follow. Make them short and sweet and, most of all, consistent. This makes it easy to retrieve and archive files.
  2. Plan a Filing Structure. Making file transfers fast and secure is one of the main uses of these software solutions. However, if you save your files in one folder, you might end up compromising your storage. This is where a filing structure comes in handy. This lets you keep files with similar retention rules in one folder. Plus, it streamlines the process of mapping out user permissions.
  3. Create Clear-Cut Authorization Privileges. Specify which users can view, edit, or upload files and be strict with your rules. This will allow you to control the changes within your database and keep track of everyone who has uploaded or downloaded files from your system.

To conclude, we hope that we’ve narrowed down your selection of file sharing systems. However, if you had fewer options to start with, you can also check out other entries in our top ten file sharing solutions today. Lastly, make sure to consider the tips above to increase your software adoption rate among your peers and employees. Remember, a tool is only good as its wielder.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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