Are there Alternatives to Dropbox?

By at 8 July, 2011, 4:39 pm

Dropbox has quickly become a widely used product and service with a good reputation at least up until recently. In the last few months, Dropox has made a number of misstatements and gaffes regarding who has access to your data and to what extent that Dropbox could make of it. From a lawyers perspective, Dropbox should not be used for confidential or other sensitive data unless it's been encrypted prior to uploading to your Dropbox account. All of this logically makes one wonder if there are alternatives to Dropbox that are 1) as easy to use; 2) are more secure and which have better privacy policies; and 3) work on as many platforms. The folks over at Lifehacker have recently posted an article on this exact topic. Keep reading past the break for a link. 

There are a number of alternatives and I've written about some of them for the ABA and most recently, the State Bar of Wisconsin, in the June Wisconsin Lawyer magazine in my article  Make Your Mobile Life Easier: Online Storage. However, my article was more of an overview of the services and not a feature by feature comparison. For that information  I'll recommend Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?

Melanie Pinola wrotes a great comparison article detailing the features and ease of use of Dropbox vs. 4 of its competitors inlcuding MS Live Mesh, SpiderOak, SugarSynch and Wuala. The article is a good place to start if you haven't already haven't signed up for one of the cloud based synchronization services or if you are looking for an alternative to your current service. For those that really like the ease and convenience of Dropbox but are worried about access to information by others, CompletelyPrivateFIles may have developed a simple solution for you.

In addition to their other offerings including utilities for and Gmail, their newest product is aimed directly at Dropbox users: called  SecretSync, this client side encryption product is currently in beta form and available for Windows and Linux with the site proclaiming that an OS X version will be forthcoming. While you can manually create encrypted containers in Dropbox using a product like Truecrypt (Compujurist recommended), it takes a bit of work. SecretSync appears to make the whole process easy and quick while giving you control over the encrypt ion. According to the FAQs :

SecretSync installs a tunnel folder that goes inside your Dropbox. Files are encrypted before being put in here. The tunnel folder is inside Dropbox to allow it to sync your encrypted files to your other devices. 

While it is in beta testing, SecretSync is free and according to the company, once it is out of beta testing, it will still be free for synchronization up to 2GB of data; $39.99 for up to 20GB; and $59.99 for unlimited use. As with any product or service, you need to read the Terms of Use and Privacy policies to insure that you are comfortable with them. Remember, ultimately, it's up to you to protect your confidential information.

Categories : Cloud/SaaS | Gadget, Gizmos and Widgets | Hmmm! | Internet | Non-Legal Software | Remote Computing | Security | Storage

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Racheal July 13, 2011

Good article.I love Dropbox and it is so good for file Sync and quick sharing of files online.Well i also use SafeCopy is another alternative to Dropbox.A great online backup service for all my crucial files.So SafeCopy + Dropbox = Great Backup and Sync.I just love this.

Sarah Pen July 13, 2011

I have actually found an alternative to Dropbox, which syncs all files quicker and in a more convenient way – 4shared Sync, and they give you 15GB storage space for free,unlike 2 GB, which Dropbox provide.

Sarah Pen July 13, 2011

Moreover, have also found a great deal of various articles with the reviews of sync services, like this one, guess the author knows, what he is writing about:

Tom Dillman September 2, 2011

Most helpful, thank you. A great deal has been said about this lately but I incline toward your practical perspective.

Ava September 3, 2011

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Nick Blanton March 5, 2012

If you haven't heard of it already, Dropbox Enterprise File Transfer from Thru is a secure solution for businesses and enterprises. Their solutions have been working for large businesses for ten years without a single security breach. It might be one that you would add to your research.

Nick Blanton March 29, 2012

Consumer dropbox solutions are convenient but lack necessary security for businesses and enterprises. Michael Osterman, President of Osterman Research, discusses this topic.

Daniel Cheney September 13, 2012

Dropbox and other cloud storage solutions are getting better as time allows these technologies to mature.  But when people talk about compliance to laws such as HIPAA, SOX, SAS 70, PCI and others it's important to understand that cloud storage is not the solution for compliance.  There are multiple other aspects of compliance outside of simply encrypting the file or the transmission of the file.  Take a look at some of these whitepapers to better understand what is involved.

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