In a world where Google is considered the kingpin of all the services it provides, it’s quite understandable why users would immediately use Google Drive to store and share data.
However, how secure is Google Drive link sharing? Is Google Drive really the best solution for you? On first thought, you may consider the answer to be “yes” because:
- The platform is free to use (to some extent).
- It’s easy to use.
- It gets the job done.
But what if we told you that there are better software options out there, just as free and easy to use, and — as an added bonus — more feature-rich than Google Drive?
Simply because they’re not as well-known, these perfectly competent choices get overshadowed by Drive’s dominating presence. It’s time to end that tale and bring the best Google Drive alternatives into the light for you to judge for yourself!
In this article, we’ll do just that by comparing these solutions based on their key features, pricing, user reviews, customer support options, and more.
Why Opt Out of Google Drive?
The truth is Google Drive has a laundry list of issues, though most of them could be considered minor. So, instead of focusing on those, we’ll drill down on the major offenses Google Drive faces that might make users want to opt out of the service.
Limited storage space
At the time of writing, Google Drive provided users with a free storage space of 15 GB. Truth be told, 15 GB of storage is not enough for an individual, and it’s pushing the bounds of how much storage space small businesses would need in a year. Google knows this because once you’re hooked on the platform, you’re bound to buy more space from them. But that can turn out to be pricey — for context, the standard Google storage plan for 200 GB costs $2.99/month (and that’s if you opt for the annual plan where you’ll be saving money).
No audit trails
Users who access Google Drive products such as Sheets, Docs, or Slides do not get to know how, when, or why their documents were viewed or edited. Even in the case of real-time editing, Google products will show user names as “Anonymous Blob” or “Anonymous Turtle.” And when you go to access version history, you might see where users made changes in Docs (the same is not true for other products), but you still won’t be able to discern who made those changes.
Extensive document analytics missing
While recent file-sharing options are becoming more and more analytics-focused (i.e., providing information about who accessed the document, when they opened it, how many minutes they spent reviewing it, whether they downloaded it, etc.), Google Drive still lacks document analytics features which might help businesses understand where they shine in data and where they have gaps.
Issues with sync
Much like many other service providers, Google has automatic sync capabilities. This means that users don’t need to do anything from their end to update any document. The flip side of this coin is that when its sync function doesn’t work (as has been reported), users are left with no option but to wait for it to start.
Top Free Alternatives and Competitors to Consider
Option #1: SecureDocSharing
Created by PandaDoc, SecureDocSharing is a newer solution to the market with some pretty terrific features. Aside from just providing advanced capabilities, the product is also entirely free to use, which makes it an absolute winner in our eyes. Let’s dive in to find out more about SecureDocSharing’s features.
User activity tracking
Tracking user activity is an important element in finding out where your customers stall (in other words, the places where your document has room for improvement). Combining this feature with added aspects — like information on how much time they spend on your documents, how many times they view the document, when they last viewed it, and whether it was downloaded, etc., — will make you well-equipped to edit and create documents that do not cause any hiccups for clients. Google Drive, on the other hand, doesn’t have this activity-tracking feature.
Easy to navigate
Since the solution provides a simple drag-and-drop option, users can quickly upload files with ease. The best part is that the software supports multiple file types (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and JPG), uploads files quickly, and supports files as large as 10 MB. Even features like “access management” require users to just click on buttons to reap benefits.
Security is absolutely guaranteed with SecureDocSharing (heck, security is in the name of the solution). So, what security features does SecureDocSharing provide?
- Ability to allow or disallow downloads.
- Ability to create public or private access links.
- Getting to password-protect documents.
- Requiring verification of email IDs to view documents.
- Adding expiration date to files.
The solution is entirely free to use. If you’d like to access premium features like extended document analytics and expiration dates, then you’ll need to sign up for the 14-day trial.
Users can get in touch with the SecureDocSharing team through the “Contact Us” page.
Option #2: MEGA
With over 270 million registered users, 10 million daily active users, 131 billion file uploads, and a presence in over 200 countries, MEGA is no underdog when it comes to document storage and file-sharing space. In fact, with the features and pricing it offers, it might just go on to become your favorite solution.
Generous storage space
While a tech giant like Google Drive only gives users 15 GB of free storage, MEGA provides users with a larger 20 GB for free. Additionally, if MEGA users wish to access more storage of up to 16 TB, they may do so by purchasing the Pro 3 plan. The maximum storage a user can purchase with Google Drive is 5 TB/user, and if they want more storage, they’ll need to get in touch with the sales team.
Options for collaboration
MEGA creates a virtual office for its users, with features such as:
- Easy file share.
- Access to documents anytime.
- Communication with team members.
- Encryption for all communication through chats and calls.
- Permission management.
- And it’s developing a feature to allow video and audio embeds.
The product prides itself on being end-to-end encrypted, which means that no one, except those people who have permission, can access files on MEGA. The platform also recommends using password managers like 1Password, LastPass, and KeePassXC to store passwords.
Other security measures MEGA provides are:
- Two-factor authentication.
- Access management (with features such as expiration dates and accessing documents with passwords).
- File versioning and recovery.
Mega’s pricing plans start at $5.18 per user/month and extend to $31.12 per user/month. There are several other pricing options available between these two tiers, and you can also create a free account, too.
Users on TrustRadius gave MEGA a rating of 8.9/10.
You can find answers to your questions via their Help Center or get in touch with the support team through the “Contact Us” page.
Option #3: Sync.com
Developed with the idea of bringing people together to cultivate incredible things, Sync.com (also known as Sync) is one of the popular cloud storage and file-sharing solutions. Presently, the company boasts having roughly 950,000 business accounts, a presence in 180+ countries, 2 million registered users, 7.1 billion stored files, and a workload of sharing 4.1 million files every day.
With their promise of bringing people together, Sync.com has created incredible team collaboration features, allowing users to:
- Share files with internal and external stakeholders easily.
- Access the product from anywhere and from any device, including desktop, mobile, and web.
- Manage permissions based on the users’ tasks and roles.
- Be notified of changes and activity logs in real time.
- Create centralized folders without needing emails.
- Monitor all changes and activities.
Secured sharing of files
Document confidentiality is the utmost priority of any business — Sync.com knows this, which is why it has extensive features that safeguard documents, files, and profiles at all times. For context, Sync.com provides users with features such as being able to manage permissions, monitor activities, create audit trails, password-protect documents, add expiration dates, etc.
The company also has SOC-2 certified data center locations, SAS RAID storage, and is compliant with USA, EU, and UK GDPR, as well as Canadian laws.
Generous storage space
To ensure that there’s no cap on your collaboration, Sync.com provides users with unlimited storage space with its Pro Unlimited plan. This means you can transfer unlimited files and upload unlimited documents without incurring any additional fees (other services like SecureDocSharing allow unlimited file transfers, too).
Two membership options are available: teams and individuals. Both options have three categories. Individual plans start free and extend to $20/month for 6 TB storage. Team plans start at $6/user/month and extend to the “enterprise option,” which means that users will need to get in touch with the sales team to request the price. The team plan also has a “Teams Unlimited” membership, which is billed at $15/user/month.
The software has been rated 4.5/5 on Capterra.
You can use the help center for support or contact the team through the “Contact Us” page.
Option #4: KOOFR
Derived from the German word for a suitcase (koffer), the French word for trunk or chest (coffre), and the English word for small money box (coffer), KOOFR symbolizes being a secure solution that users can take anywhere with them. The software is specifically aimed at helping enterprises make file sharing and documentation accessible without sacrificing security.
If you wish to stick to a solution that gets the job done without making you jump through hoops, then KOOFR is for you. What’s so great about its accessibility, you ask? Well, to begin with, you can access the platform from any place — be it the web, mobile, or desktop. Next on the list: you don’t have to deal with any file caps, and you can connect the solution to existing cloud services. Alongside these features, KOOFR has a simple user interface, which makes navigating everything all the easier.
Much like every other solution on the list, KOOFR, too, is highly secure. We say this because:
- You can customize how you share documents (to allow them to be viewed by the public or to select individuals, set expiration dates, and/or chat with team members).
- The company protects your information through two-step verification and two-way synchronization.
- It also creates data backups of media files on various devices.
Aside from just storing and sharing files on the platform, you can also use its other features, such as being able to save anything from the web on the software, getting access to documents offline, collaborating with others in real-time, and exporting photos and media to KOOFR from Facebook.
Four membership options are available: Free, Briefcase, Suitcase, and Crate. The free option has 10 GB of storage. The briefcase option has two membership tiers — 10 GB (priced €0.5/month) and 25 GB (priced at €1/month). The suitcase option has three membership tiers, L (100 GB for €2/month), XL (250 GB for €4/month), and XXL (1 TB for €10/month). The Crate option has three membership tiers, too — XXXL (2.5 TB for €20/month), 10XXL (10 TB for €60/month), and 20XXL (20 TB for €120/month).
The company has been rated 4.6/5 by Capterra users.
Get answers to your questions through the “Help” page, or you can contact the CS team through the “Contact Us” page.
Well, there you go! Here are the solutions that, in our humble opinion, can easily overtake Google Drive.
But don’t take our word for it (although our word is highly reliable). Try them out by yourself to see if they happen to be the ideal choice for you. You’ll find out all information you need to sign-up on the company’s website (links of which have been integrated into the document).
If you wish to start using SecureDocSharing (hey, that’s us!), then click here and be prepared to bid Google Drive goodbye.