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Four excellent Dropbox alternatives for your small-business storage needs

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Aug. 19, 2013
From extra security to advanced collaboration, these consumer cloud storage providers cater to your professional needs.

Google Drive's advanced collaboration features make it a great choice for distributed workforces.

But that doesn't mean you should overlook Google Drive as a viable Dropbox alternative. Its built-in tools, such as Google Docs and Google Sheets, are great for editing files on the go or collaborating with multiple users. Dropbox and other cloud-storage providers' collaborative properties typically end at sharing: It's up to each user to open, edit, and upload the files. With Google Drive, however, you can work on files simultaneously with other users in any Web browser.

For users who need more functionality, there are several free third-party add-ons and services, including an assortment of IFTTT recipes for automating your Google Drive workflow.

While you're probably used to accessing Google Drive via a Web browser, the service also offers a desktop client (available for Windows and Mac OS X), for drag-and-drop syncing. Google also offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS.

Free storage: 20GB

Pricing: $99/year for 250GB, $149/year for 500GB

Best for: Affordable storage

Dropbox gives its users 2GB of free storage, and paid accounts start at $99/year for 100GB. But what if your cloud storage needs lie somewhere in between a 2GB and 100GB?

Copy is Barracuda Networks' cloud-storage service, and it offers a whopping 15GB of free storage to its users, along with an extra 5GB when you download the desktop client. That's 20GB right off the bat, plus you have opportunities to earn more free space through referrals. (You can earn up to 20GB of free space on Dropbox through referrals, but it takes awhile.) Copy's paid plans offer more storage per dollar as well: $99 a year gets you 250GB, while $149 a year nets 500GB.

Inexpensive plans make Copy the go-to service for small businesses with big storage needs.

Like Dropbox, Copy's desktop client installs a special syncing folder on your computer, for dragging and dropping files. Your files are then accessible through the desktop client, Copy's website, and its iOS and Android apps.

BitTorrent Sync
Free storage: Not applicable Pricing: Not applicable Best for: Secure syncing

Even with extra encryption and zero-knowledge privacy policies, data stored in the cloud can be insecure. BitTorrent Sync is a service that offers Dropbox-like convenience without the vulnerabilities of cloud storage. Working off of BitTorrent's peer-to-peer protocol, BitTorrent Sync lets you link up folders across multiple devices and sync files, without ever pushing your data to an external cloud-based server. This means it's inherently safer than the most secure cloud servers, because files are stored locally and file transfers are encrypted.


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