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

MacBook and iMac on desk in home office
(Image credit: Unsplash)

In the modern working world, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, file-sharing has played an increasingly important role. The software, often forming part of the best cloud storage solutions, can have a huge effect on how a business's employees interact with one another, as well as their overall efficiency.

Now that so many people are working from home full- or part-time, and collaborating with those in offices or their own homes, it’s now absolutely vital for any business to find a platform that can securely, quickly, and easily handle a large amount of remote data transfers. 

We've reviewed and ranked the best apps to share files, in order to help you pick the right file-sharing solution.

How to choose and use cloud storage


The best apps to share files available right now

Egnyte logo

(Image credit: Egnyte)

An excellent option for businesses

Specifications
Free tier: 15 days
Security specialty: Multi-factor authentication
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Reasons to buy
+Intuitive web app+Perfect for businesses
Reasons to avoid
-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 a month per employee for 1TB of online support, before jumping to $20 for 10 to 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: read our comprehensive Egnyte review to learn more about the system and its features.

SpiderOak logo

(Image credit: SpiderOak)

A safe and easy way to back up files

Specifications
Security specialty: “No Knowledge” encryption
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Fedora
Free tier: 21 days, no card required
Reasons to buy
+Gold-standard security
Reasons to avoid
-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. To find out more about the service and its security features, read our full SpiderOak review.

Dropbox logo

(Image credit: Dropbox)

The cloud platform’s app is reliable and simply designed

Specifications
Security specialty: File splitting during encryption
Free tier: 2GB
Operating systems: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Reasons to buy
+Attractive user interface+Different tiers depending on your needs
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

Learn more about the personal version in our full Dropbox review, and find out more about the business-centric elements in our Dropbox Business review.

Box logo

(Image credit: Box)

Dropbox’s rival has ample space and good security features

Specifications
Security specialty: Two-factor authentication
Free tier: 10GB
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Reasons to buy
+Third-party integrations+Excellent security
Reasons to avoid
-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, and its pricing is competitive. Our Box review investigates the platform with an emphasis on the personal side, while our Box for Business review examines its offerings for businesses.

pCloud logo

(Image credit: pCloud)

Safe, easy to use, but no editing capabilities

Specifications
Security specialty: TLS/SSL encryption
Free tier: 10GB
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
Reasons to buy
+Generous pricing+Additional encryption available
Reasons to avoid
-No editing options

pCloud’s security capabilities are impressive, but can be expanded further for $5 a month to include encryption during transfers. Its pricing structure is also impressive, offering a generous 10GB for free, 500GB for $5 a 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. Find out more in our comprehensive pCloud review, and our interview with the company's Ivan Dimitrov.

OneDrive logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Free option is meagre, but Microsoft has nailed everything else

Specifications
Security specialty: Files individually encrypted
Free tier: 5GB
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for collaboration+Elegant mobile app
Reasons to avoid
-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. Our Microsoft OneDrive review provides a detailed overview of the service, its features, security elements, and more.

Resilio's homepage

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

7. Resilio

High security and impressive performance

Specifications
Security specialty: “No Knowledge” encryption
Free tier: None
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
Reasons to buy
+No maximum on data
Reasons to avoid
-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.

Signal's homepage

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

8. Signal

The best option for secure messaging

Specifications
Free tier: Entirely free
Security specialty: Open-source encryption
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS
Reasons to buy
+Top-of-the-range encryption+Group messaging
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

SendAnywhere's Pro page

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

9. Send Anywhere

Send quickly and simply

Specifications
Security specialty: QR code scanning
Free tier: 10GB
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
Reasons to buy
+Intuitive design
Reasons to avoid
-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 a month.