Open Source Dropbox Alternative

admin 11/22/2021
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Dropbox is a top-rated file sharing platform, with a free version. However, it might not meet everyone’s diverse needs. Check out these free Dropbox alternatives.

  • The Open Source allows you to sync your data to the cloud and access them from anywhere including files shared with you from Dropbox. OwnCloud Like the others on this list, it features a premium edition for users who want to take server control to the next level.
  • But with the number of open-source solutions out there, choosing the right one for you can be time-consuming so, in this article, we compare Seafile vs. NextCloud vs Syncthing. Finding The Best Open-Source Dropbox Alternatives. While there are a lot of alternatives to Dropbox out there, each of them generally fits a specific use case best.

There are many alternatives to Dropbox for Linux if you are looking to replace it. The most popular Linux alternative is Nextcloud, which is both free and Open Source.If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to Dropbox and loads of them are available for Linux so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement.

Gone are the days when businesses relied on hard drives to store files and users had to plug in a thumb drive to move files from the office laptop to the home computer.

Today, we expect our files to be available on all our devices, with the latest version synced automatically. We also expect to be able to share files with a couple of clicks and have multiple people work together on a single file.

This has been made possible by the likes of file sharing software such as Dropbox, which offers free and paid file storage services. The platform currently has over 500 million users, of which only 13.2 million are paying users.

For the non-paying majority using Dropbox’s Basic (free) version, one of the biggest challenges, ironically, is space. Dropbox Basic offers a measly 2GB of free storage. It also caps the number of devices you can sync to three and does not offer full text search, shared link controls, or viewer history.

This article looks at four Dropbox alternatives. See the full list of Dropbox alternatives here.

With that in mind, here are the four best free Dropbox alternatives for you to explore, all with at least 5GB of storage.

4 Best Dropbox alternatives for file sharing

To be shortlisted, products have to offer at least 5GB of free storage and have received 100 user reviews on Capterra’s software directory in the past two years. See the full selection criteria here.

Accordingly, we narrowed down our list of free Dropbox alternatives to the following four providers (arranged alphabetically):

1. Box

Dashboard view in Box (Source)

Box is a cloud-based file storage and sharing platform that is quite similar to Dropbox in its look and feel, as well as functionality. Both of them let you drag and drop files into the cloud and invite others to view, edit, and upload files to folders.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • View over 120 types of files, including Word, Excel, PDF, AI, EPS, PSD, and photos without downloading.
  • Document and share ideas, discussions, and to-do lists with BoxNotes—a collaboration tool similar to Dropbox Paper.
  • Control access to determine who can view and/or edit your documents.
  • Integrate with over 1,400 third-party applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Suite, Slack, Salesforce, and DocuSign.

Pros

Cons

Ease of use and integration with multiple third-party tools.Initial learning curve can be difficult.
Sync between mobile app and desktop are almost instant.Limited editing and creating functionality built into the platform.

How much storage does Box offer?

The free version of Box offers 10GB storage. But there’s a 250MB limit on the size of individual files that can be uploaded.

2. Google Drive

MyDrive in Google Drive (Source)

If there’s one free Dropbox alternative that you’ve probably heard of, it’s Google Drive. Google offers this free file storage and sharing cloud to its 1.5 billion Gmail users. So, if you already have a Gmail or Google account, this is the obvious cloud storage option to go with.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • Connect with 100+ Drive Apps, including Slack, Airtable, Freshdesk, and Zipbooks.
  • Save files directly to the cloud from email using the “Save to GoogleDrive” icon in Gmail.
  • Find files quicker with the platform’s full-text and image search features.
  • Use the “work offline” mode to work on files while off the Internet. The files get automatically synced to the cloud as soon as you go online.

Pros

Cons

Ability to access, edit, and save documents on the go.On rare occasions, uploads and downloads can be slow.
Ability to move files quickly within the interface.Files and folders are prone to becoming disorganized when used by multiple people.

How much storage does Google Drive offer?

Google Drive offers a whopping 15GB of free storage. However, the catch is that the storage is shared between Gmail, MyDrive, and Google Photos (storage for low-resolution photos is unlimited and not included in this 15GB).

3. OneDrive

OneDrive synced with desktop folders (Source)

OneDrive is a file storage platform offered by Microsoft. Just like Gmail users have access to Google Drive, OneDrive comes built-in with Windows 10. So, if you’re one of the 700 million Windows 10 users, you don’t even have to think of OneDrive as an additional service to sign up for.

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

Open Source Dropbox Alternative
  • Auto-sync files—any files you save on your computer will get automatically uploaded to the cloud.
  • Search files stored on the cloud via your browser. Also use the “files on demand” feature to download files to use when you’re not online.
  • Control access to your files, share them with users via a link, and control what they can do with the files.
  • Search the full text of files (not just filenames), with the “search and discover” feature.
  • Automatically upload photos and videos from connected devices.

Pros

Cons

Easy to set up and use.Autosave on files doesn’t work without an internet connection and you have to remember to manually save open files in case of lost connection.
Android app and browser access make cross-platform use effortless.Setting auto-sync on Macs can be complicated.

How much storage does OneDrive offer?

OneDrive gives you 5GB of free storage with a Microsoft account. If you have a Microsoft Office 365 Home account, you get 1TB storage on OneDrive for up to six users.

4. Zoho Docs

File sync online and offline in Zoho Docs (Source)

Zoho is usually recognized for its CRM software and invoicing software. However, it also has a not-so-widely-known file storage and sharing platform Zoho Docs, which is a viable Dropbox alternative.

Sites Like Dropbox

Zoho Docs can be downloaded as a desktop app and from there it functions like OneDrive. It supports file types such as documents, presentations, spreadsheets, audio, and video. However, it doesn’t have the capability to host industry-specific file types, such as AutoCAD (.dxf), Photoshop (.psd), or Microsoft Project (.mpp).

Some of the platform’s highlights include:

  • Use the built-in document editors—Writer, Sheet, and Show—to create and edit documents online.
  • View as many as 25 iterations of a document in version history.
  • Find information with full-text search.
  • Control who accesses which files and if they can view/edit them.

Pros

Cons

Real-time collaboration between multiple users.User interface can sometimes be slow to respond.
Preview files in the cloud, without the need to download.To share files with external users who do not use Zoho Docs, users need to convert files to popular formats such as MS Office or Google Suite files.

How much storage does Zoho Docs offer?

The platform offers 5GB of free storage per user, and supports up to 25 users. However, the combined free storage caps at 25GB.

Next steps

Before choosing to implement Dropbox, we recommend exploring these free Dropbox alternatives for your business. You can also check out user reviews on our website for better insight into how users experience these solutions.
Read user reviews for:

You can also compare other file sharing solutions on Capterra.

Selection criteria:

Open Source Dropbox Alternative For Pc

  • Storage: While Dropbox Basic offers only 2GB of free storage, in our research we discovered that a lot of Dropbox competitors offer anywhere from 5GB to 15GB storage in their free plans. For this list, we included products that offer at least 5GB of free storage.
  • Security and privacy protocols: Dropbox uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to protect stored data, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect data during transfer. Both of those are widely used security protocols. Dropbox also has measures in place to protect user privacy, as well as detect any suspicious account activity, phishing, and malware. For this guide, we considered options that have similar protocols to maintain security and privacy of user data.
  • Mobile apps: Dropbox offers both Android and iOS mobile apps. For this guide, we included options that offer a mobile app for at least one of the two platforms.

In addition to these qualifications, we checked for products that received over 100 reviews over the last two years.

Is There A Free Alternative To Dropbox

Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by Capterra or its affiliates.