Top 5 Box Alternatives for Business File Sharing in 2020
Looking for alternatives to Box? With the recent push to remote work, many organizations are looking for a Cloud Content Collaboration software to help with the interface, file sharing, file support, and file Audit. What’s important is finding out what software is right for you. We have a list of Cloud Content Collaboration tools that are best suited for your needs if you are looking for an alternative to Box.
Before jumping on to the list of the best alternatives, let us breakdown and see what box offers and compare the features with others
The system places a strong emphasis on security, especially with collaboration and workflow. For instance, a user or administrator can protect their shared links via passwords set with an expiration date. Or, they can view the times and frequencies of when specific content is viewed or edited. Box also allows users to share content outside of the company (i.e. clients or other partners), no matter what device they use. It also allows for 10GB of free storage.
- Mobile access
- Integration with other applications such as: Microsoft Office, Google, Salesforce, DocuSign etc
- Ability to add/edit multiple users
- Editing documents
- Workflow automation
- Box Notes functionality for project management tasks, such as status updates and meeting notes
- Custom branding
- Global compliance standards, such as
- Sync allows users to sync folders/files from Box Cloud to your finder so it feels like your just working from finder but it’s being backed up the cloud! BoxSync when used in conjunction with a box account does a great job of doing automatic backups on the cloud, that also help in access from different computers/collaborators simple.
- Box is a great way to securely store and share files in the cloud. The granular permission settings within each folder allow the administrator to help regulate privileges from editing to downloading, and reading which is a great tool when looking to share with multiple parties at different levels.
- Box is easy to set up and uses with decent functionality for the initial version
- MetaSearch on Enterprise allows granular searching. Every time someone has ever used a single word is indexed.
- Security focuses on compliance, encryption, enterprise-grade management.
- There’s no indication when a file is open by another user. This has led to multiple users editing a document, and those documents don’t merge well or at all, leaving a red exclamation point indicating there’s an issue or an alternate file.
- When compared to its competitors (Google Drive/OneDrive), Box does look a bit unappealing owing to its price tag.
- For new users, it can be a bit difficult getting started with Box
- Box sync doesn’t work on older Windows OS versions
- The user interface is not the best for Box. It’s not as user friendly as some of the other software
Now that we have covered some pros and cons on Box let’s go through some of the other file-sharing software available.
Dropbox is simple. It’s just a folder—a magical folder that syncs everything you put in it up to the cloud. Before Dropbox, file sharing and sync were geeky and confusing, so it’s no wonder that it quickly became the default cloud-storage app after it launched in 2007. While it’s far from the only way to sync your files, the hidden features put Dropbox a step ahead of the rest. Dropbox has provided the opportunity for employees in the organization to manage and share files locally and remotely without the need for carrying thumb drives from workstation to workstation. Not only has this feature enabled flexibility and efficiency in the workspace but also improving the standard of work, saving time and energy as compared to other file management solution. While the sharing of information is critical Dropbox for Business allows the administrators to issue special permissions for users to access links and files. Administrators can further perform other security tasks such as the setting of expiration dates for every information that has been shared with the Cloud. These types of security measures are available to avoid a breach of information on Dropbox for Business.
- File Versioning – Once a file has changed still it keeps an older version of the file and can be accessed as well which is great and is kind of a backup on its own.
- Dropbox has fantastic conflict resolution features – automatically creating a “conflicted copy” of a file whenever a potential conflict is detected (i.e. a file is being edited by two people at the same time).
- Dropbox also has plugins for Microsoft Office that allow for multiple people to edit a file simultaneously without creating conflicts.
- Dropbox provides a “smart sync” feature, allowing for files to be seen on the computer locally, but not stored locally until opened up. This allows a user to access all of his/her Dropbox files without using up disk space
- Dropbox for Business is very limited compared to alternatives. Both Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 cost comparable or less, and includes not just file syncing capabilities but an entire office suite.
- You cannot edit files without downloading them. It would be great to see this feature added in the future.
- The Dropbox file compression will degrade the media quality to a noticeable extent when clicking a direct play link.
- Mobile version faces challenges when dealing with big files hence not as flexible as the desktop version Syncing folders from desktop
Google Drive is simply a cloud-based storage option that gives you the ability to keep your photos, emails, and other files on their server.
But having extra storage is just the beginning.
Google Drive also comes with a suite of office tools rivaling the heavyweights from Microsoft Office, including:
- Docs, Google’s word processor comparable to Microsoft Word
- Sheets, Google’s version of Excel
- Slides, the Google answer to PowerPoint
You can even share these documents and make edits in real-time so collaborating with your team has never been easier.
- With mobile application and website access, You can access your files anywhere you have internet.
- It is free, which makes it a great asset to any small business that does not have a lot of funds to spend on IT.
- Readily compatible with many apps. All your data stored in one place. With your Google account, all the stored data can be accessed at any time.
- Ease of installation, ease of setup and you don’t need the knowledge to use it as an end-user.
- The processes of uploading (automatically), deleting, scrolling, and downloading are tedious as they have to be done by checking each file.
- Sometimes the interface could become a bit cluttered with the files that were uploaded and it was difficult to tell which ones were most recently shared/ uploaded without sifting through and organizing them myself, however, this is probably more of an aesthetic issue.
- There isn’t an offline option to work on a document saved to Google Drive.
- No mounting to your computer to use as a hard drive
Microsoft OneDrive supports a specific file-syncing technology called block-level copying, where files are broken into smaller packages. When you make a change to a file, only the packages that house those changes are re-uploaded to the cloud—instead of the entire file. The result is data transfers that take far less time. Microsoft OneDrive’s backup options are more limited, only allowing for photo and video backup. But on the plus side, you get more control over your photo backup settings, including organization options for new photo uploads and the ability to select a file type for HEIC photos.
- It interfaces with the Microsoft suite well, which is good if you’re already engaged with much of the other software applications. Being able to access anywhere with the shortcut is very useful.
- Great with device synchronization which ensures access of files from any device. Integration is more reliable and effective. Cloud storage of data makes it’s easy to access files and documents.
- Multiple files can be uploaded simultaneously. If we add the Active X tool, you can upload elements unlimitedly.
- OneDrive is far easier to set up than using a flash drive. The reason why is because all you need to set it up is a Microsoft account and you’re good to go!
- Private vault doesn’t have great 2FA options. You’ll need to get an authenticator app code, as opposed to just using something like Windows Hello
- More difficult to upgrade storage once you get past 1TB
- It has less storage on a free plan compared to drive.
- User Interface is clunky and takes time to get used to
- Synchronization of shared files needs work.
The latest version of ShareFile has updated workflow options allowing you to send documents out for signatures, feedback, and approvals. There’s integration with Microsoft Outlook, which lets you push document attachments directly from Outlook to ShareFile, sharing those documents securely with others. There are new desktop integrations, similar to those you’ll find in Dropbox, which let you do drop a file into a folder on your Mac and have it synchronize with ShareFile so it’s available on all your device. While it still lacks the kind of refined group management tools we see in other modern file-sharing application, the service’s Distribution Groups are a move in the right direction.
- Great plugin support, such as the Outlook plug-in makes provision for secure file-sharing with customers as well as secure emails very easily.
- Flexible folder creation and sharing.
- Easy to share and request for large size files to personnel inside and outside the organization
- Ability to integrate with existing Office 365 Deployment for ease of use. It allows multiple remote teams to collaborate in real-time with a simple management process.
- Interface not always intuitive compared to other solutions.
- Not commonly used in all industries, presenting a learning curve to some users.
- Sorting out your preferences, in the beginning, is time-consuming. As a standalone product it suffers from not being that well interconnected to Google and/or Microsoft products.
- Sharefile subscriptions come with very different pricing options with varied features. So, if you go with a basic plan you would only get basic features like storage and sharing. Other plans are a little bit costly and include features like Office 365 co-editing, Gmail and Outlook plugins, encryptions, and electronic signatures.
FileCloud, by Codelathe, is an on-premise as well as a cloud-based file sharing and sync solution offering a much secure environment for sharing and storage with unlimited client accounts allowing for a much greater ROI (return on investment) compared to solutions such as Box and Dropbox. The client base spans globally with over 3000+ enterprises.
FileCloud has been focusing on security, data leak prevention, content classification, data governance, and retention for some time with an intuitive and easy to use interface and advanced administration controls. Here are some features that FileCloud provides:
- Access files from anywhere for uninterrupted work on the go. You just need an internet connection to access data in real-time
- Remote file sharing without VPN or FTP
- A collaborative workspace ensures that multiple teams working on the same project can collaborate seamlessly
- FileCloud ServerLink provides geographically-distributed multi-site enterprise file sharing solution
- Hybrid storage for fast, low-latency access via LAN and anywhere access from the cloud
- Security and encryption for protection against data breaches
- Regulations and Compliance for HIPAA, FINRA, EU-GDPR, FIPS-140 2
- Unlimited file versioning
- Free unlimited client accounts
- A storage agnostic solution which can be deployed across any scale-out NAS or an object-based storage system
FileCloud has two plans FileCloud server (self-hosted/on-premise) and FileCloud online.
Plans start at $5,000/ year for 100 users and go up to $18,000 for the enterprise version. Dropbox’s comparable Dropbox business advanced plan costs $24,000/ year for 100 users.
- FileCloud allows users to quickly able to upload and share with a customized link and easy to organize. Setting the restrictions is fairly easy as well and notifications of who accessed what is a good confirmation that the intended party received the files.
- The FileCloud user interface is simpler and completely web-based for full functionality, which is a nice change from the most popular cloud-based file-sharing tools. Drag and drop to copy, click to share, the URL for a file can be easily copied and transferred to emails / messages by any user who understands the “paste” function.
- The GUI is simple to use and massive files can be exchanged with anyone anywhere in the world. Speeds for uploading and downloading are pretty good and there have been no vendor issues when transferring files of 100 + MB to GB.
- With FileCloud you can share and store commercial data and at the same time offer a backup and guarantee of access through mobile devices. Its interface is very minimalist and you can access its options with a few clicks. There are various ways in which you can access the files of the company or organization in which you work, without compromising security.
- The setup process can be a bit intimidating due to its numerous features, but there are plenty of resources and a wiki to help with this.
- Inability to use a protocol different than HTTPs for the downloads, as some companies can restrict it. Having the possibility of using sFTP would bring a huge plus in the flexibility of the tool.
- It’s not a free service.