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Top 3 File Sharing Software: Comparison of ShareFile, Dropbox and Google Drive

What is the best file sharing software solution on the market?

The best file sharing software solution is ShareFile because of its streamlined interface, robust security features, and enterprise-grade file management options. With this, you can transfer files quickly yet safely. Moreover, it comes with a searchable database for easier file access.

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 files in a simplified and secure manner, we’ve got your covered. Our team of B2B professionals prepared a detailed comparison of popular file sharing products and market leaders, and analyzed their performance in various scenarios. Hopefully, with this guide, you can find the best service for your company needs.

file sharing software

Gone are the days when piles of paper cluttered office desks, hampering employee productivity and disrupting your office organization. With the increasing number of file sharing software solutions, 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 2018-2023, the file sharing technology market will grow to a whopping $1.6 billion by 2023. In addition, it is also evolving as a form of communication preference among professionals. As you can see on the table provided, while the majority are still using email (72%), phone (60%), instant messaging (35%), and video conferencing (19%), a good 16% have turned to file sharing services for disseminating information. This only goes to show that there are plenty of ways through which you can use these systems for your operations.

Source: 2018 Adobe Consumer Email Survey

With these benefits, why wouldn’t you invest in these solutions? To help you get started, we will be comparing the top 3 file sharing platforms on the market: ShareFile, Dropbox Business, and Google Drive. However, before we get down to the nitty gritty of dissecting their similarities and differences, let us first give you an overview of these products. This way, you’ll get a better idea of their infrastructures, features, and the kind of services you can get from the vendor. In case you want more options than our top platforms, you can also check out our list of 20 best file sharing solutions for 2019.

1. ShareFile

One of the leaders in our File Sharing Software category is ShareFile – an outstanding collaboration performer. We consider it to be one of the most advanced out-of-the box performers in its category, relying both on the expertise of our B2B team and the opinion of satisfied users. More information about the product can be found in our team’s detailed ShareFile reviews, where we’ve emphasized the numerous practical aspects of the software, as well as its flexible pricing scheme, numerous benefits, and useful integrations.

ShareFile is Citrix’s masterpiece file transfer suite, packed with business capacities for all business scales and industries, and capable of streamlining file sharing despite of the differences in users’ financial possibilities. The main power of this software derives from the fact that it ensures an all-in-one file transfer process, where methods are flexible, and data is secure. On top of that, ShareFile is ready to be integrated and blend seamlessly into your current software infrastructure, which also suggests that you will be able to customize it and make it more brand-centered. The company will also make sure your questions are answered promptly and on time, and will be available for you 24/7 with phone and email support.

2. Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business is one of the best file sharing software solutions that has recently pushed its way to the significant second position on our list. Overall, the Dropbox suite offers off-server storage and files sharing capabilities, and can be managed from multiple devices, as our detailed Dropbox Business reviews explain. Dropbox Business certainly deserves to be considered as a smart transfer solution, especially after you become familiar with its less-known features.

The reason why Dropbox Business is struggling to lead the file sharing software category is that the personal Dropbox application is more popular on the market, and its enterprise-level application is still something companies are learning about. Nevertheless, Dropbox Business developers thought of a plethora of business-tailored and innovative features to deliver a professional package which, however, has a price tag compared to the free suite member created for personal usage. Despite of it, Dropbox Business is still an affordable and smart solution, offering automated updates, backup, device syncing, and secure sharing. Among its other features, you can also find offline access, large file sharing, and enjoy a respectable degree of settings customization.

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is often neglected as a business solution, in particular when it comes to large enterprises which are not aware of the platform’s unlimited sharing capabilities. Our B2B experts’ team took the matter in their hands, and emphasized the product’s business suitability in their Google Drive reviews.

Google Drive is powerful, to say the least. Unlike the individual package covering 15GB of storage space, the business plans vary from $1.99 to $299, depending on how many files you intend to share. There are many file transfer aspects where it can confidently claim a leadership position, most of all its heavy connection to similar Google services, automated long-term monitoring, updates, and data protection. Just as the leaders in this category, Google Drive is a cloud-based application, meaning that you can access it and manage data from literally every device. For a developing business, this would mean unlimited internal and external collaboration, and access to a powerful Google Hangouts integration to allow notes and file discussions. In fact, we’re quite convinced it is integration you must consider first when deciding whether to purchase your enterprise Google Drive package.

1. File Sharing Features

File sharing is the vital function of these products which dictates the channels, speed, and security of the delivery, and that’s why buyers need to be really specific as to what they’re looking for, and compare all products closely. In this section, our experts once again stood in support of ShareFile, as it is a tool specifically developed to fill the cracks Dropbox Business and Google Drive left open in their development phase.

To be more precise, ShareFile simplifies the file transfer process by allowing users to upload 10GB of content and organize it in folders using a practical drag-and-drop widget. With ShareFile, you will automatically have access to your local documents, but will also be able to upload web-based content (which is also feasible with Google Drive, but technically impossible with Dropbox Business). The powerful user management permits fast and automated selection of files/folders, memorizes actions, and syncs automatically the files from the local device. Dropbox Business is fairly similar in this aspect, with a slightly simpler dashboard, weaker customization, and upload capacity reliable on the plan the user has subscribed for. Google Drive, as fast and secure as it is, doesn’t sync files automatically, and is completely dependent on its email integration to allow you to upload your documents.

ShareFile is also very competitive when it comes to security matters. While ShareFile and Google Drive use a slightly weaker encryption standard (SSL/TLS 256-bit encryption for motion files, and 128-bit for the regular one) compared to Dropbox Business(AES SSL/TLS 256-bit encryption), ShareFile is still a smarter choice to make as it doesn’t leave protection entirely in the hands of Rijndael. Instead, it makes use of more than 25 internal data safeguards, as for instance granular folder permissions, activity logs, and multi-factor authentication, unlike Dropbox Business that only uses an extra security layer and Google Drive which uses a simple two-step authentication.

On top of that, you may also choose to share files via ShareFile because of its compliance with HIPAA, FINRA, and similar industry regulations, which may prove equally worth of the money as the possibility to customize visibility and access yourself.

ShareFile offers a comprehensive set of features that let you make documents accessible to stakeholders.

2. Storage Capacity

When it comes to storage, the comparison goes deeper than simply examining how many files can be attached in each database. Our experts evaluated the storage locations, methods, and longevity, and paid specific attention to the availability of a functional search filter.

Once again, it was a matter of nuances to determine that one app is better than the other. Even here, we decided on ShareFile, and there are a few specific reasons for that. ShareFile’s storage power starts from incredible 100GB to an unlimited one in the Business package, while Dropbox Business describes its maximum business storage capacity as ‘customizable to meet the team’s needs’. While this may be completely enough in some cases, certain companies may find themselves paying extra charges for services they’ve already covered. Unlimited storage is not available on Google Drive either, even if this app is easier to compare to ShareFile because of the modest pricing and the incredible 300TB storage space available for highest-plan users.

As for the search filters, all three apps have fully searchable databases, but a slight advantage leans again in the ShareFile direction, as the app allows you to organize and tag content with dynamic watermarking in order to find it easily.

ShareFile offers an unlimited storage capacity to accommodate all of your documents.

3. Backup Features and Reliability

In terms of backup and recovery, the three apps seem to have covered the problem appropriately, so it won’t be a mistake to choose any of them. ShareFile, for instance, is fully backup-enabled; as it syncs your files automatically, and makes sure you’ll always work with updated information. What is more, ShareFile stores data in multiple locations, meaning that you will never have to worry about recovery. Dropbox Business, on the other hand, permits users to automate backup and to recover files online, while Google Drive may be slightly behind in this aspect because of its absolute Gmail dependence, and the fact that it can store the changes you’re making for nothing more than 30 days.

Dropbox Business comes with a comprehensive dashboard as well as automated file backups.

4. Customization Level

Customization is another area where ShareFile shines thanks to its User Management feature, the activity logs, and the considerable number of available templates, you can literally share files and report in a brand-centered manner. Unfortunately, this is one aspect that neither Business and Google Drive can offer.

ShareFile offers a user management tool that lets you have full control over the accessibility of your documents.

5. Integrations

Integrations are vital for file sharing applications and will, most of the time, be the deciding factor for businesses when purchasing software. Ideally, they will be looking for an app that can fit seamlessly within their software infrastructure, import and export information in no time, and function impeccably with their CRMs, marketing apps, and accounting and management programs.

All of the products we’re discussing in this article are well-integrated, to say at least. Had the criterion been the number of available integrations, the leading position would belong to Dropbox Business, as this is the app that blends perfectly with most CRMs, CMSs, and content and business process managers. The number is similar even in the case of Google Drive, which is more popular with its integration with Google products, social networks, and social media monitoring services. In this regard, ShareFile may be at a disadvantage as it has the shortest list of available integrations, including mostly accounting, finance, project management, sales, and e-signature apps. However, ShareFile is the only representative here that has open APIs, meaning that you can govern the way it will interact with any other app.

Dropbox Business offers seamless integrations with a variety of third-party business systems.

File Sharing Best Practices

Finding a suitable file sharing tool is only one piece of the puzzle of reaping its full potential. The real challenge is to make your new investment work for you. To do this, it is pertinent that you apply a few tips and tricks to maximize its functionalities. This may range from learning the ins-and-outs of your file sharing platform and carefully orienting your employees about how to use it to performing routine upgrades and maintaining data hygiene.

Other than those, there are plenty of other things you can do to optimize your file sharing efforts. Here are some best practices that you can start with:

  1. Come Up With Naming Conventions. While most file sharing applications are built for searchability, you might still find it difficult to get the information you need if your documents are not labeled properly. To address this, 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 will make it easy to pull files for sharing later on. Moreover, this will simplify the archiving process.
  2. Plan a Filing Structure. Making file transfers fast and secure is one of the main uses of these software solutions. However, if you store all of your files in one folder and give stakeholders, consultants, and team members access to it, then, you might end up compromising your documents. This is where having a filing structure comes in handy. For one, you can keep files with similar retention rules in one folder. It is also good to have separate folders for specific departments or job ranking. This way, mapping out user permissions is much more streamlined.
  3. Create Clear-Cut Authorization Privileges. Speaking of user permissions, it is also crucial for you to have clear-cut authorization privileges. Specify which users can view, edit, or upload files and be strict with your rules. This will allow you to further control the changes within your database as well as keep track of everyone who has uploaded or downloaded files from your system.

To sum it up, while we think that the tree products we’ve featured here offer quality tools, we recommend ShareFile if you are looking for an all-in-one solution that can take care of all your file sharing requirements. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from checking out the other platforms we mentioned as they are equally good options in terms of usability and flexibility.

Our Final Verdict

Comparing the file transfer capacity of the three apps in question, we concluded ShareFile and Dropbox Business have a significantly better list of features to offer to their users with respect to Google Drive.

We examined four different aspects of the file sharing process, and concluded that ShareFile is an undisputable leader due to its powerful upload features, simplified sharing and customization, unlimited storage, and automated backup. It also offers a great free trial that you can use to try out the capabilities of the software.

Dropbox Business didn’t stay that much behind, except maybe for the fact that you can’t upload web-based files on it, or to customize it. Still, Dropbox Business shines when it comes to security (it has the highest SSL/TLS standards in place, and guarantees 256-bit encryption for all types of files), and has the largest number of available integrations. Therefore, we believe medium businesses which aren’t in absolute hurry to purchase unlimited storage could consider it as their new file sharing system.

Google Drive, as you saw, manages to stay in the game despite being seriously flawed in some aspects. For instance, it doesn’t offer unlimited storage even in the most expensive plans, it works with lower security and authentication standards than the other two apps, and keeps changes valid for no more than 30 days. Still, Google Drive is a perfectly-integrated, easy, and affordable tool that can be enough for less demanding and small businesses.

Category: B2B News

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