File sharing is the process of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. File sharing may be achieved in a number of ways.
Cloud-based file syncing and sharing services facilitate automated file transfers by updating files from a dedicated sharing directory on each user's networked devices. Files placed in this folder can also be accessed through a website or mobile app, and can be used for viewing or collaboration. Such services have become popular via consumer-oriented file hosting services some of which have been discussed below:
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, client software, a free account with a set storage size and paid subscriptions for accounts with more capacity.
It allows users to create a special folder on their computers and synchronizes it so that it appears to be the same folder with the same content regardless of the device used to view it. The users can also view the files via the Dropbox website and mobile apps. In 2012, Dropbox has added a new feature that allows users to automatically upload photographs or videos from camera, tablet, SD card or smartphone.
2. Google Drive
Google Drive, formerly Google Docs is a file storage and synchronization service created by Google to facilitate users to store files in the cloud, share files as well as edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms and more.
Google offers 30 GB Drive storage for all Google Apps users and unlimited storage for those using it for work or education as long as there are at least 5 members.
iCloud is a storage and cloud computing service from Apple Inc that allows users to store music, photos, applications, documents, bookmarks, reminders, backups, notes, iBooks and contacts.
It provides a platform for Apple’s email servers and calendars and also lets the users to back up the settings and data on iOS devices running iOS 5 or the later version.
4. We Transfer
We Transfer is a cloud-based file transfer service that is designed to send small to large files. It allows users to send files up to 2 GB in the free version.
Box is an online file sharing and content management service that offers cloud storage and file hosting services for both personal accounts and businesses.
The users can determine how their content can be shared with the other users as well as invite others to view or edit an account’s shared files, upload photos and documents to a shared files folder and give others the right to view the shared files.
OneDrive formerly SkyDrive, Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Folders, is a file hosting service that allows users to sync files and access them from a web browser or mobile device later. The storage limit is 1 TB for Office 365 paid subscribers and 5 GB (earlier 15 GB) free storage.
The users can share files publicly or with their contacts without the need of a Microsoft account to access them. It also has the Recycle Bin feature where the deleted files are stored for the user to retain later if need be.
MediaFire is a file hosting synchronization and cloud storage service and offers downloadable clients for mobile devices and desktop computers which vary in terms of capabilities and types of storage.
It includes 50 GB storage starting at 10 GB and increased by as much as 40 GB when numerous activities such as installing mobile or desktop clients or sharing on Facebook or Twitter are done.
4shared is an online file sharing storage service that allows users to access, manage and share music, video, photo and files with others in a secure cloud storage.
ShareFile is a secure enterprise file sync and share system as well as a SaaS product that allows users to choose where to securely store documents and files either on premises or in the cloud.
Sendspace is a file hosting website that offers file hosting to enable the users to send, receive, track and share large files.
Ziddu is one of the leading free cloud storage platforms that provides a digital wallet and free cloud storage for professionals, business and individuals to store, manage, backup, collaborate and share files with others.
Egnyte differentiates itself from other cloud-based file sharing services with its ability to store files on a company’s existing data centre infrastructure and cloud storage.
It integrates with a number of clouds, devices and business applications to give customers control of where their data exists besides letting the companies to work with the hardware they have invested in.
14. Deposit Files
Deposit Files is a cloud-based service that lets the users to store their files on its servers for unlimited time as well as download files from slow servers and store them on Deposit Files’ servers. It allows a maximum of 2 GB file size to be stored on its server with a password protection for the files.
FileFactory is a file sharing service that enables the users to upload, send, receive and share unlimited number of files. The file may be of any type but the file size is restricted to 5 GB with unlimited file bandwidth.
OpenDrive is a cloud-based office suite that offers unlimited cloud workspace, online storage, backup and cloud content management. It allows the user to store, sync or backup documents, music and pictures online with instant access, sharing and collaboration as well as to create notepads with single notes and to-do lists.
DropSend is an online file sharing service with a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to upload and share files as large as 8 GB.
Jumpshare is a free file sharing service that allows users to share unlimited files, screenshots, screencasts and more with their teams or clients and collaborate with them in real time for free.
Hightail formerly YouSendit, is a cloud service that lets the users send, receive, digitally sign and synchronize files.
justcloud.com allows users to store all files in the cloud and access them anywhere anytime. It also automatically backups and protects the files, photos, documents and more to its Google powered cloud.
Zippyshare is a file hosting service that allows free file hosting and lets the users upload files and media through a simple interface.
File-sharing web services solve most of the problems. They are free (most of them) and allow large files to be sent securely. Therefore, be it to share files or to make business easier, cloud storage becomes important as it facilitates the storage of data on multiple servers on the network.