Storing essential files in the cloud improves collaboration and enhances access to important information. Today, many companies provide cloud file storage solutions for individuals and businesses. The biggest and most popular file-sharing tool is Google Drive.
Despite its exciting features, businesses are rejecting Google Drive and embracing its alternatives. Rumors have circulated that Google spies on private data for marketing and advertising purposes. Consequently, customers feel uncomfortable sharing confidential files on Google Drive. Some users also complain that the tool is difficult to use.
In this article, I’ll explain why Google Drive may not be the best cloud file sharing tool. I’ll also explain key features you must look for in a cloud storage system. Finally, I’ll review some Google Drive alternatives. Let’s dive right in!
4 Reasons Why You Need Google Drive Alternatives
Many professionals find Google Drive appealing for the features it provides. These features include free storage, a simple user interface, easy integration, and several sharing and collaboration options.
That said, Google Drive has some major drawbacks that push professionals to seek alternatives. Let’s see the 4 main reasons you need to look for alternatives.
1. Google Has Weak Security
Security vulnerability is a major Google Drive drawback. The Drive comes with your Gmail account, with no added protection for the cloud service. This means anyone with access to your Gmail account can access your documents on Drive. Even a small mistake—like forgetting to log out of your email on a public computer—can give cybercriminals access to your cloud-stored files.
2. Google Gives You No Control over Shared Files
To facilitate collaboration, Google Drive allows you to share your files with other users. Unfortunately, once shared, you have little control over what happens to your files. Your shared files can easily fall into the wrong hands. Your colleagues can create copies, give others access without permission, or use your files for malicious purposes.
3. Google Collects and Analyzes Your Data
Google admits to scanning and analyzing the information you upload to your Drive to create your “user profile”. This profile also helps the company show you personalized ads and searches. In some cases, Google Drive also shares your files and information with unknown third parties. It’s unsettling to have your private life flipped through like a book.
4. Google Owns Everything You Store on the Drive
When you store your files on Google Drive, you’re essentially handing the rights to that file over to Google. As a result, Google can modify or delete entire documents if they break certain policies. Google can also lock you out of your documents and give government authorities or other third parties access to your files.
Given the several drawbacks of Google Drive, it may be a good idea to seek out alternative solutions. But before moving to a Google Drive replacement, what features should you look out for?
4 Features You Need in a Cloud File Storage and Collaboration System
Choosing the best Google Drive alternatives can be challenging due to the many available options. To help you, I’ll suggest 4 important features you should look for in any cloud storage solution.
1. Storage Capacity and Cost
When choosing a cloud storage solution, you must consider the storage capacity they offer and at what cost. While some services offer capped storage options (e.g., a maximum of 2 TB of storage), others may offer unlimited storage options. When choosing a Google Drive replacement, services offering the best value for money should be high on your list.
2. Data Backup and Recovery
File versioning is a feature that allows you to access and restore previous versions of an edited file or compare various versions by tracking changes. You should look for an alternative that automatically backs up your data. This feature allows you to restore previous versions whenever you need them. It’ll also come in handy when you lose your files due to corruption or accidental deletion.
Security features should be top of your considerations list. A secure cloud storage system will have password protection, two-factor authentication, and advanced data encryption. These features ensure that colleagues can’t share your files with unwanted parties. They also ensure that cybercriminals can’t easily access your files.
4. Data Privacy
If privacy is your concern, you should prioritize client-side encryption services over server-side encryption. Why? A client-side encryption service puts you in charge of protecting your data. This encryption also guarantees that your cloud provider doesn’t share your data with third parties.
Once you’ve identified the high-priority features you require, you can start researching the best Google Drive replacement! To help with your research, I’ll go through 5 Google Drive alternatives you should consider.
The 5 Best Google Drive Alternatives to Consider
I’ve reviewed the top 5 Google Drive alternatives in the following section. These alternatives should meet your collaboration requirements without compromising on security.
1. GFI Archiver
GFI Archiver is an archiving platform made for all business types. It automatically backs up your digital records in an easily accessible, secure, and central location. Using the platform, you can also archive and manage your calendar, email, and file history for easy collaboration and improved productivity.
GFI Archiver offers the following features:
- Long-term mail and file storage that meets security and compliance requirements
- Synced integration with Microsoft Outlook, so your emails and calendar entries are automatically backed-up across all devices
- Advanced search feature, so you can readily locate the exact files you need
- Unique business intelligence reporting to analyze business performance via email metrics and improve business efficiency
- Advanced file versioning to access all saved file versions and restore any version you like
- Free 30-day trial available
- $20/year/user—unlimited storage (minimum of 10 users)
- $18/year/user—unlimited storage (minimum of 50 users)
Sync.com is a business-oriented cloud storage solution renowned for its security features. It allows the original file owner to control and monitor access.
Sync has the following features:
- End-to-end encryption to prevent third-party access to shared files
- Guaranteed data backup and recovery to allow users to revert to previous file versions
- Advanced file access control using tools like passwords and expiry dates to prevent illegitimate file sharing and access to files
- Multiple collaboration features, allowing different users to work on a shared file
- Free 5 GB cloud storage
- Free—single user with 5 GB storage
- $6/month/user for 1 TB usage for 1 user
- $15/month/user for unlimited storage
Dropbox is a popular cloud storage platform with 500+ million users worldwide. It caters to individual and business needs and supports most platforms. You can also sync files and collaborate on PC or mobile.
Dropbox offers the following features:
- Cross-platform collaboration on shared files
- Advanced file security using password protection and two-factor authentication
- Modest pricing plans with customizable fees
- Free—Single user with 2 GB storage
- $10/month/user for 1 TB usage for 1 user
- $20/month/user for 2 TB storage
JustCloud was originally founded in 2011. It’s one of the most popular Google Drive alternatives. This software offers secure cloud backups so your data can be safe. It also lets you share your files with colleagues securely.
JustCloud offers you many features:
- Simple user interface
- Multi-platform implementation
- Guaranteed file syncing across multiple devices
- Easy collaboration with colleagues
- Automatic and scheduled file backups
- $10.69/month 250 GB storage for a single user
- $11.94/month/user for 1 TB storage
- $20/month/user for 2 TB storage
IDrive has been around since 2007 and has become one of the most popular Google Drive alternatives. It’s a business-oriented cloud solution that works across various platforms.
IDrive has the following features:
- Easy file versioning, allowing users to restore previous file versions
- Advanced end-to-end encryption, ensuring protection from unauthorized third parties
- Easy collaboration on files
- $60/year with 5 TB storage for a single user only
- $75/year/user for 5 TB storage (minimum 5 users)
I hope one of these solutions will help you protect and share files more efficiently!
For many organizations, adopting Google Drive alternatives is a necessity. Despite Google Drive’s amazing features, it has many disadvantages, including security vulnerabilities, limited file sharing control, and lack of privacy. When looking for other solutions, it’s important to consider storage, cost, and security features that meet your particular requirements. To this end, I’ve also listed some of the best alternative solutions on the market. Now, it’s up to you to pick the best-suited option.
Do you have more questions about Google Drive alternatives? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below.
What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is Google’s cloud file storage solution that caters to individuals and businesses. It allows you to securely store your files on the cloud and free up valuable hard disk space on your device. Google Drive also offers 15 GB of free storage to store files, videos, PDFs, images, and other file types.
What are Google Drive’s best features?
Google Drive integrates with the Google Office suite. This means you and your team members can easily collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. You can simply access Google Drive with your Gmail account, and the service also has a simple user interface.
What are Google Drive’s drawbacks?
What type of encryption does Google Drive use?
Google Drive uses 256-bit SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security) encryption to protect files in motion. It also uses 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption to protect static files. While these encryption methods are good, cybercriminals can easily bypass them. Malicious actors can also exploit vulnerabilities to steal or compromise your data.
How can I choose a Google Drive replacement?
You should consider some must-have features. Google Drive alternatives should have adequate storage capacity, security standards, and data privacy measures. You’ll also need to consider collaboration features and storage pricing plans. These services will offer one feature better than the next competitor, so you should weigh your choices adequately.
Subscribe to our newsletters for more quality content.
TechGenix: Article on Microsoft 365 Alternatives
Learn about the best Microsoft 365 alternatives.
TechGenix: Article on Top Cloud Email Backup Solutions
TechGenix: Article on HIPAA-Compliant Cloud File Storage Services
TechGenix: Article on Google Cloud Filestore
Learn more about Google Cloud Filestore features.