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Best apps to share files securely

Our guide to the best apps to share files evaluates the many secure options available, including some less well-known brands and providers

man typing on laptop in office

The best apps to share files have played a pivotal role in businesses worldwide since the COVID-19 pandemic started. These platforms are often the best cloud storage solutions too, and file sharing facilities are particularly important to the best cloud storage for business.

File sharing has a big impact on staff and employee interactions and overall efficiency, and given that so many now work from home full- or part-time, cross-collaboration between homes and offices is more important than ever. In this vein, it's absolutely key for any business to utilise a service that safely, securely, quickly, and easily handles remote data transfers at a high level and frequency.

In our guide below, we reviewed, evaluated, and ranked the best apps to share files, to help you or your business to identify and choose the right file-sharing solution for your needs.

The 3 best apps to share files securely available

  • Egnyte: top-level security and synchronisation
    Egnyte's business-focussed platform offers scalable pricing and enterprise-level security, as well as desktop syncing and integration with Microsoft Outlook. It's the best file-sharing app for businesses looking to secure their file transfers.
  • SpiderOak: zero-knowledge, encrypted file-sharing
    SpiderOak's zero-knowledge architecture ensures that even the provider cannot access your data, and this makes it a top choice. Other tools include backup and restore process encryption, while an accessible interface gives it a user-friendly boost.
  • pCloud: scalable, secure cloud storage
    pCloud is the best choice for security, as all business accounts come with end-to-end encryption on an unlimited number of files. Competitive plans include 1TB per user, and users can be added or removed as necessary, with a straightforward app and great file sharing enabling link sharing and custom access privileges.

The best apps to share files securely, compared

File-sharing appLowest-priced planFree tierSecurity specialityOperating systems
Egnyte£16.35 a month per employee (Business)✔ (15 days)MFAiOS, Android, macOS, Windows
SpiderOak One£4.90 a month (150GB Plan)✔ (21 days, no card required)Zero-knowledge encryptioniOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Fedora
pCloud£4.99 a month (Premium)✔ (10GB)TLS/SSL encryptioniOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
Dropbox£7.99 (Plus)✔ (2GB)File splitting during encryptioniOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Box£8 a month (Personal Pro)✔ (10GB)2FAiOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Microsoft OneDrive£1.99 a month (OneDrive Standalone)✔ (5GB)Files individually encryptediOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Resilio£48.96 (Sync Home)Zero-knowledge encryptioniOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

The best apps to share files available right now

Egnyte

Egnyte logo

Egnyte

An excellent option for businesses

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £16.35 a month per employee (Business)
  • Free tier/trial: 15 days
  • Security specialty: MFA
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

REASONS TO BUY

  • Intuitive web app
  • Perfect for businesses

REASONS TO AVOID

  • No options for individuals

Egnyte pitches itself as a business-only platform, and it excels in fulfilling this brief. Its scalable pricing system starts at £16.35 a month per employee for 1TB of online support, before jumping up to Enterprise Lite and Enterprise levels that require contacting sales. 

What it lacks in editing functionality, it makes up for in enterprise-level security, desktop syncing, and Microsoft Outlook integration. A gold standard choice for businesses of all kinds.

Read our comprehensive Egnyte review.

SpiderOak ONE

SpiderOak logo

SpiderOak

A safe and easy way to back up files

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £4.90 a month (150GB Plan)
  • Free tier/trial: 21 days, no card required
  • Security speciality: Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Fedora

REASONS TO BUY

  • Gold-standard security

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Mobile functionality
  • No two-factor authentication

SpiderOak has long had a “No Knowledge” approach to data management, meaning that it can’t access any of your information. Other strengths include encryption during the backup and restore processes and an incredibly accessible interface design. 

SpiderOak has a few obvious weaknesses. The mobile app, for example, can be buggy, and there is no way to edit a document at the same time as someone else. 

Read our full SpiderOak review.

pCloud

pCloud logo

pCloud

Safe, easy to use, but no editing capabilities

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £4.99 a month (Premium)
  • Free tier/trial: 10GB
  • Security speciality: TLS/SSL encryption
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

REASONS TO BUY

  • Generous pricing
  • Additional encryption available

REASONS TO AVOID

  • No editing options

pCloud’s security capabilities are impressive, but can be expanded further for £4.99 a month to include encryption during transfers. 

Its pricing structure is also impressive, offering a generous 10GB for free, 500GB for £4.99 a month, or 500GB for a one-off fee of £175. If utilised for long enough, the latter deal could be incredibly cost effective. Collaborators beware though, pCloud has one main weakness—a dearth of any real-time editing options. 

Read our comprehensive pCloud review.

Dropbox

Dropbox logo

Dropbox

The cloud platform’s app is reliable and simply designed

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £7.99 (Plus)
  • Free tier/trial: 2GB
  • Security speciality: File splitting during encryption
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows

REASONS TO BUY

  • Attractive user interface
  • Different tiers depending on your needs

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Some security blind-spots

Dropbox has a strong security capability, utilising 256-bit encryption when files aren’t in transit, as well as SSL/TSL transfer tunnels when they are. This is encouraging, as the sleek file-sharing platform has previously come under criticism for its data privacy. Of some concern, for example, is how they reserve the right to view any data on their servers. 

Dropbox makes up for these doubts in other areas, however. Its mobile app and interface are intuitive and attractive, and a selection of pricing levels allows you to only pay for the file space you really need.

Read our full Dropbox review, and our Dropbox Business review.

Box

Box logo

Box

Dropbox’s rival has ample space and good security features

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £8 a month (Personal Pro)
  • Free tier/trial: 10GB
  • Security speciality: 2FA
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

REASONS TO BUY

  • Third-party integrations
  • Excellent security

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Slightly confusing design 
  • Can be expensive

Box has been around for a while, and has had time to add to its features and functionality. Integrating it with your macOS, for example, is easy—it appears alongside other folders in the Finder. It also one-ups Dropbox with end-to-end encryption and more space on its free tier. 

One drawback is its slightly unclear layout, but that’s easily overcome after a few hours’ use, and its pricing is competitive.

Read our Box for Business review.

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive logo

Microsoft

Meagre free option, but Microsoft nails everything else

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £1.99 a month (OneDrive Standalone)
  • Free tier/trial: 5GB
  • Security speciality: Files individually encrypted
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

REASONS TO BUY

  • Ideal for collaboration
  • Elegant mobile app

REASONS TO AVOID

  • macOS app needs work
  • Limited free storage

Microsoft was arguably slow off the mark to launch a file-sharing and cloud host, but it was worth the wait. The OneDrive mobile apps, for example, work seamlessly and are elegantly designed, while the desktop version makes files you didn’t even upload accessible. 

All the editing and sharing options we’ve come to expect are available too, making teamwork easy. One disappointment for OneDrive is its macOS client app, which feels a touch clunky.

Read our Microsoft OneDrive review.

Resilio

Resilio logo

Resilio

High security and impressive performance

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Lowest-priced plan: £48.96 (Sync Home)
  • Free tier/trial: None
  • Security speciality: Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

REASONS TO BUY

  • No maximum on data

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Only paid users can send files

Resilio gains many benefits from its use of the BitTorrent Protocol, such as enhanced transfer times and the ability for peer-to-peer communication—so long as you and the receiver are both online. 

In terms of security, Resilio claims that it cannot access your data, and neither can third parties. The service also offers several one-off payment tiers, including £48.96 and £81.65 for individual and family use respectively, and you can store as many files and as much data as you require.

How secure is cloud storage?

The best secure cloud storage provides leading security and encryption, even though it theoretically is not as secure as local storage. Stable and highly secure cloud storage for business in turn must give your sensitive and integral company data the utmost protection.

When looking for secure storage, ensure your chosen provider offers either end-to-end encryption or zero-knowledge architecture. Respectively, these mean services are either essentially hack-proof, or that not even their own employees are able to access your files, including even if law enforcement compels them or the form to do so. 

If these aren't an option, look for in-transit and at-rest encryption. In this case, your data is indecipherable even if a cybercriminal intercepted it from the provider. Storage as a service (StaaS) organisations provide their storage from highly-secure data centres, which are protected 24/7 by security features such as biometric entry authorisation and frequent auditing. 

Finally, look for additional tools like 2FA, which offers you added security on top of what the providers have undertaken behind the scenes. It's perfectly natural to have data security concerns, but the best cloud storage providers offer strong tools that are right on the cutting-edge.

What file-sharing features can cloud storage offer?

The majority of cloud storage providers offering business services are StaaS businesses, providing customers with collaborative tools and seamless digital workflows. These help to facilitate and grow collaboration and productivity across a business.

With hybrid working across remote and office-based staff now more entrenched in the modern business world, these elements are particularly important. These providers also utilise cloud sync technology, which allows edits to documents to be visible immediately across all connected devices and to all users with the requisite access.

In turn, such providers also offer important administrative features and tools, which cover access management and system usage auditing. Such tools can range from 2FA all the way to roles-based permissions.

Further reading on cloud storage

Learn more about cloud storage in our comparison pitting cloud storage vs local storage; our discussion on how you can start reducing cloud storage costs; and our buying guides evaluating the best free cloud storage, and the best cloud storage for photos.

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