These days, it's common for people to get work done using more than one device -- whether you're sending out an email on your smartphone, checking Slack on your tablet or crafting spreadsheets on your PC. And it's created a demand for storage options that let you easily access files -- especially oversized files -- across numerous devices and operating systems, no matter where you are. The good news is that just one quick Google search will uncover an overwhelming number of companies that want to help you painlessly share large files.
But with so many options, it can be hard to figure out which ones offer the best features at a reasonable price for your specific needs. If you just need a way to store and share your smartphone pics, then you're going to need different storage options than a freelancer, small business or large corporation. Luckily, there is an option for everyone. Here are seven of the best apps to share, store and edit large files no matter what device you're on.
Superbeam works over Wi-Fi, allowing you to instantly beam files, and even entire folders, between Android devices -- iOS users are left out, unfortunately. But if you have multiple Android devices, and need to share files between your own devices or with other Android users, it's a great option. Using QR codes or NFC (Near Field Communications) you can quickly pair devices to share instantly and it will also work with your notebook with Windows, Mac and Linux compatibility.
You can opt for the free account, which lets you transfer an unlimited number of files between Android devices, but it does have ads. There's a Pro account that you can get for just $1.99, which allows you send entire folders, share files with multiple devices at one time and pair devices using NFC. It's another app that's limited to Android, but Apple users aren't completely out of luck, since the desktop version still works on Macs.
[ Related story: Facebook Messenger snags Dropbox integration for in-chat file sharing ]
It's become more important than ever to consider security when you are sharing and saving files, especially to the cloud. Because with every convenient app or software comes a slew of hackers looking to discover and exploit sensitive data. That's why BitTorrent approaches file sharing differently than the competition with Sync. Rather than share a cloud server with thousands of other users, you create your own "personal cloud" that no one other than you -- and authorized users -- can access.
However, with heightened security features comes some loss of usability. For instance, you have to use your home computer as a server, which means it needs to always be on. And you can't access the files over the web, instead, its peer-to-peer-sharing between all of your devices. Anyone you want to share files with needs to have the same software on their computer as well.
It's a great option for anyone who takes security seriously or needs to share sensitive data with others. It might not be the best option for casual users, but it's a strong alternative to other cloud-based file sharing apps. Sync for Individuals is free, with unlimited storage, unlimited folders and private device-to-device communication. The paid option for individuals has a one-time fee of $39.99 and offers a few extra features like the ability to change folder permissions at any time and to automatically add all folders to each device.
Box is similar to other cloud storage services, but it also integrates with a number of useful apps like Salesforce, Slack, Office 365 and Google Docs. You can search through your files, view files in over 120 formats and securely share files -- whether it's at work or in your personal life.
Multiple users can go in an edit a document at the same time, with centralized feedback, task assignments and even approvals -- all of which can be done from your mobile device. It's a great way to keep comments, approvals and even old versions of the same file all in one place, without having to go through email. And if a device goes missing, you can remotely log that user out and delete all the data saved to Box on that device.
A Box account starts at $5 per user per month, and goes up to $15 per month for "business" users - defined as three users or more -- while enterprise pricing is dependent on the business' needs. With the most basic account, users get 100GB of secure storage, 2GB file upload limit, mobile access, encryption and two-factor authentication, among other features.
[ Related story: Citrix ShareFile review: Enterprise-quality file storage and synchronization ]
As one of the more popular and well-known storage providers, Dropbox gives users 2GB of free storage right off the bat upon creating an account. It's a great way to share large files -- whether it's a video, photos or a document with people who don't have a Dropbox account. They can simply click a link and gain access to whatever it is you want them to see, without downloading the software themselves. Dropbox also works across iOS, Android, OSX and Windows, making it a great option for sharing files with other devices.
For those who need more space, you can opt to purchase 100GB of storage for $9.99 per month. It's not only a popular choice because of its user-friendly interface and device-compatibility, but plenty of third party -- and even first party -- apps also support Dropbox. One example is Microsoft Office -- with Dropbox integration, you can open, save and edit files in the Office desktop, mobile and web apps. It's also one of the more common enterprise choices for cloud storage, with partners including Dell, Microsoft, Adobe and SalesForce.
If you have multiple devices from different companies, Pushbullet gives you a more unified experience across different platforms. You can have an Android phone, an iOS tablet and a Windows 10 notebook, and still feel as though all your devices are just as connected as if they were all Apple products.
Pushbullet goes beyond just sharing files with others and between your own devices, you can also see and send text messages, receive notifications on your notebook or tablet, chat with friends, share links, get updates from your favorite websites and brands and even send text messages from your phone number.
It's available on Windows, Android and iPhone, so Mac users will have to opt for the third-party option created by community developers. You can opt for the free account, or choose to upgrade to PushBullet Pro for $39.99 a year or $4.99 per month. Pro users can send larger files - up to 1GB - and get 100GB of storage space; the Pro service also allows for unlimited SMS messages - or WhatsApp, Kik, Hangouts, etc - while the basic account allows for only 100 per month.
Adobe Send & Track
Adobe Send & Track is a great option for designers who have to collaborate on large digital media files. The service is $20 per year, and gives you the capability to track changes, see old versions of files, get feedback and assign tasks all within the Adobe ecosystem. It's an especially smart choice for anyone already entrenched in Adobe's cloud software, making it an easy transition for designers so they won't have to even leave Adobe in order to collaborate.
Unlike other apps on this list, Adobe Send and Track is limited to your computer -- it's not yet available in app format. But for designers who need the ability to send large Photoshop files to clients or coworkers, it will more than get the job done.
Despite its cave-man name, Mail Big File is an intuitive and easy way to share oversized files over the internet. For device capability, you'll want to opt for the Pro plan, which gives you access to the iOS app in addition to the desktop version. The Pro plan also offers encryption, some permanent storage and the ability to track files.
The free plan has ads, but it will allow you to send files up to 2GB and files stay available for 10 days; each file can be downloaded 20 times on this plan. The Pro plan is $29 for the year, but you can send files up to 4GB, they stay available for 28 days, can be downloaded 50 times each and its ad free -- among a long list of other key features. Businesses can choose between a Business Lite option for $120 per year and the regular Business option for $240 per year.
This story, "7 top apps for sharing large files" was originally published by CIO.