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Best apps to share files securely: for safe file-sharing

Best apps to share files
(Image credit: Unsplash)

File-sharing plays an increasingly important role in the modern working world. The software a business chooses can have a huge effect on how employees interact with each other, as well as their overall efficiency. With so many of us now working from home, it’s also vital to find a platform that can securely handle a large amount of remote data transfers. 

To help you pick the right file-sharing solution, we’ve researched and reviewed the best file-sharing apps in 2020.

Best apps to share files

CertainSafe offers one flat-rate pricing plan as standard (Image credit: CertainSafe)

1. CertainSafe

Great security but to the detriment of all else

Security specialty: Secure messenger | Operating systems: Browser-based | Free tier: 30 days, no card required

Reliable
30-day free trial
In-browser app
Development questions
Dated interface

CertainSafe certainly keeps your data secure. It offers impressive MicroEncryption and anti-phishing functions, such as tailored pictures at log-in, to make it easier to spot a hoax site. CertainSafe also scrambles your data into various subsections, making your files unintelligible even if a hacker did manage to access them. 

Aside from security, CertainSafe has some obvious weaknesses. The user interface feels clunky, and they offer an odd pricing set-up where you can only access more data by purchasing another user. CertainSafe’s social media streams also look pretty threadbare, calling into question whether the site is even being actively developed.

Best apps to share files

SpiderOak offers an impressively sleek design (Image credit: SpiderOak One)

2. SpiderOak ONE

A safe and easy way to back up files

Security specialty: “No Knowledge” encryption | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Fedora | Free tier: 21 days, no card required

Gold-standard security
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.

Best apps to share files

Dropbox has long been a file-sharing market-leader (Image credit: Dropbox)

3. Dropbox

The cloud platform’s app is reliable and simply designed

Security specialty: File splitting during encryption | Free tier: 2GB | Operating systems: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows

Attractive user interface
Different tiers depending on your needs
Some security blind-spots

Dropbox has a strong security capability, utilizing 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.

Best apps to share files

Box has a selection of pricing plans to choose from (Image credit: Box)

4. Box

Dropbox’s rival has ample space and good security features

Security specialty: Two-factor authentication | Free tier: 10GB | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Third-party integrations
Excellent security
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.

Best apps to share files

pCloud’s security capabilities set it apart from less-specialized file-sharers (Image credit: pCloud)

5. pCloud

Safe, easy to use, but no editing capabilities

Security specialty: TLS/SSL encryption | Free tier: 10GB | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

Generous pricing
Additional encryption available
No editing options

pCloud’s security capabilities are impressive but can be expanded further for $5 per month to include encryption during transfers. Its pricing structure is also impressive, offering a generous 10GB for free, 500GB for $5 per month, or 500GB for a one-off fee of $175. If utilized for long enough, the latter deal could be incredibly cost effective. Collaborators beware, pCloud has one main weakness—a dearth of any real-time editing options.

Best apps to share files

You can send as much data as you need on all of Resilio’s plans (Image credit: Resilio)

6. Resilio

High security and impressive performance

Security specialty: “No Knowledge” encryption | Free tier: None | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

No maximum on data
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 $59.90 and $99.90 for individual and family use respectively, and you can store as many files and as much data as you require.

Best apps to share files

Features abound on Microsoft’s cloud platform (Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Microsoft OneDrive

Free option is meagre, but Microsoft has nailed everything else

Security specialty: Files individually encrypted | Free tier: 5GB | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Ideal for collaboration
Elegant mobile app
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.

Best apps to share files

Egnyte offers a huge amount of storage on all its plans (Image credit: Egnyte)

8. Egnyte

An excellent option for businesses

Free tier: 15 days | Security specialty: Multi-factor authentication | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Intuitive web app
Perfect for businesses
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 $10 per month per employee for 1TB of online support, before jumping to $20 for 10–100 employees. 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.

Best apps to share files

Signal allows you to send files to friends and family on its messenger service (Image credit: Signal)

9. Signal

The best option for secure messaging

Free tier: Entirely free | Security specialty: Open-source encryption | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS

Top-of-the-range encryption
Group messaging
Small attachment sizes

At its core, Signal is a messaging app. This means two things—firstly, that it’s not really possible to create a folder system, and also that maximum attachment sizes are limited to 100MB. Aside from the simple design, Signal offers incredibly secure encryption and allows you to send text, photos, and files directly and in group chats. 

Best apps to share files

Send Anywhere has recently announced “Sendy Pro”, which offers file management (Image credit: Send Anywhere)

10. Send Anywhere

Send quickly and simply

Security specialty: QR code scanning | Free tier: 10GB | Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

Intuitive design
Time-limit on file storing
No file management on free version

Don’t be fooled by its simple design, Send Anywhere offers strong encryption and 10GB of free storage. The developers have also expanded their offering to include file management under the “Sendy Pro” tier, which has a generous 1TB of space for $7.99 per month.