Share & Access Features
If your primary reason for getting a file sharing service is sending large-sized files, then one aspect you need to consider when looking at different services and plans is the maximum file size. Every file sharing site allows you to share large files, but the maximum file size that you can share varies a lot from site to site. Some services max out at 2GB, while others can share files as big as 10GB, and others have no limit to the file size. Some services specialize in sending large media files, while others are focused on sending smaller files quicker.
A few services have a maximum bandwidth, which is a limit on how much data you can transfer within an allotted time, usually a month. Many services have moved away from this model and offer unlimited bandwidth, but be aware of services that do have them, as they may impose overage fees. Usually bandwidth limits would apply only if you use the service's cloud storage for hosting.
The best file sharing sites come with interfaces designed around online collaborations with clients and colleagues through private share folders or complex digital workspaces. Private share folders simply mirror the contents of a folder with anyone invited to the folder, while digital workspaces offer a more complex platform for communicating ideas, suggestions and approvals in addition to syncing files.
Other important features include public share links that allow anyone to download a file using a URL address, device syncing for access to your files on multiple machines, mobile apps for sharing wherever you go, third-party apps that incorporate your account, plugins for attaching files seamlessly to emails and custom branding.
With so much data being passed over the cloud, security should be a top concern when considering these services. We looked at these services' security protocols to determine which sites are the most secure file sharing services. This begins with 256-bit encryption for when the file is in transit and when it's idle on the servers. File encryption acts as a protective shell around a file so that a hacker can't view the contents if they intercept it at any point. In addition, we looked at whether the service uses firewalls and virus scanners to protect the servers from unwanted external and internal attacks.
Another important security feature to consider is the remote wipe. This feature allows you to delete files remotely from any device synced to your account. For example, if an employee leaves your company or someone steals a smartphone synced to your account, the remote wipe feature allows you to remove the files even though you don't have access to the physical device. In addition, a password protection tool is one of the most basic security features for protecting files with customized passwords, ensuring that only people you want to receive files can download and view the contents.
It's important to know how many times you've shared a file, whom you've shared it with, when you shared it and how much of the bandwidth quota it used (if applicable). As such, we favor file sharing services that provide comprehensive audit logs, folder permissions, identity verification, file locking and file-access expiration settings. The best file sharing services allow you to control how you track the files, including how long share links are available.
File versioning is critical for share folders and digital workspaces because it allows you to reverse errors and unwanted changes. Instead of overwriting the previous version of a file every time you save changes, file versioning maintains the earlier version. Every time you make a change to the file, you create a new version of the file. Some file sharing services maintain every version you create, while others only maintain a limited number.