The best file sharing apps in 2024

Close-up of file sharing icons on a screen
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Best file sharing apps: Jump Menu

The list in brief

1. Best overall: Google Drive

2. Most reliable: Dropbox

3. Best for manual keys: Box

4. Best for teams: Microsoft OneDrive

5. Best for Apple users: iCloud Drive

6. Best for security: SpiderOak One

7. Best no-registration sharing: WeTransfer

8. Best budget choice: pCloud

9. Best free app: Send Anywhere

FAQs

How to choose

How we review

The best file sharing apps enable increased cooperation across hybrid workforces in homes and in offices. They help make workflows more efficient, secure, and simple. Many of the top providers offer the best cloud storage as well as file-sharing capabilities, and this combination of services can be a boost to individual or business-level collaboration.

In a world where friends, family, and colleagues can be spread far and wide, your choice of the best cloud storage can make all the difference between easy and safe file transfers and insecure services that risk a loss of data or important files.

We've extensively tested the most popular file sharing apps on the market. Below, we've reviewed and ranked the best file sharing apps currently available, with a particular focus on each service's security tools as well as the amount of free data storage and transfer available. Read on to find your file-sharing provider.

The quick list

Looking for the best file-sharing apps of 2024? Here’s a concise overview of the top apps we’ve reviewed, highlighting their standout features. Check the detailed reviews below to find the perfect fit for your requirements.

Our deals on the best file sharing apps

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SpiderOak: 150GB storage for only $6 a month
SpiderOak offers a range of cloud storage plans that feature drag-and-drop file-sharing, alongside data recovery. The Share Room web interface allows for temporary, self-destructing file sharing, and its 150GB storage plan starts at $6 a month.

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pCloud: Get 500GB storage for life for $175
Offering a suite of top additional features beyond cloud storage, pCloud provides backup and restore functions, playlists and video streaming, and link sharing for files. Its individual plans offer lifetime subscriptions, with its cheapest offering 500GB of storage for a one-off $175.

The top 3 file sharing apps right now

Google Drive: the top file sharing app

Google Drive: the top file sharing app
Google Drive offers impressive functionality and a generous 15GB of free storage, making it an excellent choice for smaller enterprises. With top-level security capabilities and extensive third-party app support, it provides ease of file sharing and editing.

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Dropbox: The most reliable file sharing app
Dropbox offers a range of pricing plans, a free trial, and has strengthened its security measures with 256-bit encryption and SSL/TSL tunneling. Dropbox remains a reliable and accessible file-sharing platform for general use.

Box: The best app with manual encryption keys

Box: The best app with manual encryption keys
With four pricing plans and a generous free tier, Box provides ample space and integration options with popular platforms like Google Workspace and Slack. 

The best file sharing apps of 2024 in full

Best overall

Google Drive logo

(Image credit: Google)
The best file sharing app

Specifications

Free tier: 15GB
Security specialty: Extensive backup options
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux

Reasons to buy

+
Generous free plan
+
Third-party integrations
+
Affordable prices

Reasons to avoid

-
Few password protection options
-
Backup not available on Linux

Google Drive offers nearly all of the same functionality as Microsoft OneDrive, but its free plan goes further in providing an impressive 15GB of free storage, which may be plenty for smaller enterprises. And like OneDrive, it allows you to share, create, and edit files with ease. 

Google is a huge multinational firm with top-level security capabilities, so your data is in good hands during transfers. However, privacy could be a concern, and they will probably collect some of your online activity for advertising reasons. It is also an oversight that the service offers no password protection options when sharing a file.

Google Drive's robust backup capabilities for both Android and iOS devices should not be overlooked. The platform allows you to effortlessly backup all your photos and videos from your smartphone, a feature that proves incredibly useful for those who require a safe repository for their media files. 

The settings in Google Drive, however, can be confusing. The platform presents options to either stream or mirror files, which are not straightforward terms for the average user. The 'streaming files' option lets you connect to Google Drive as if it's a network drive, while the 'mirror files' option results in Google Drive functioning more like Dropbox. But unlike Dropbox, with the mirror files setting, you cannot opt out of syncing any files or folders; everything is perpetually in sync. 

Overall, we like Google Drive's extensive support for its third-party applications,  affordable pricing, and extensive set of backup options. Its apps also work well on a wide range of platforms.

Read our Google Drive review and our Drive Enterprise review.

Best for reliability

Dropbox logo

(Image credit: Dropbox)
The most reliable file sharing app

Specifications

Free tier: 2GB
Security specialty: 256-bit encryption
Operating systems: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Good selection of price levels
+
Easy to use
+
Strong encryption

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Limited storage on free tier 

Dropbox was one of the earliest file-sharing platforms to become a household name, and it has had time to hone its offering. Several pricing plans under both its Individual and Business tranches means you can find the right setup to suit your needs. If you’re not entirely sure, there's a free 30-day trial.

With Dropbox, you'll find top-of-the-line synchronization. It pioneered the feature where all the contents of a folder are constantly synced between multiple devices—a feature that grabbed millions of users' attention when it first appeared. 

Even today, no other competitor has managed to replicate Dropbox's level of efficiency in synchronization and shared folder access. It's particularly useful when you need to share files with others, ensuring both you and your colleagues can access and edit them simultaneously and seamlessly. 

Dropbox's offerings extend beyond just the basics. For instance, with the consumer subscriptions, there's an automatic backup feature for both internal and external disks. This means you can use Dropbox as a cloud backup, similar to services like Backblaze, while simultaneously using it for file sync.

In terms of security, there are a couple of concerns. Firstly, Dropbox has a huge market share, and so—along with its rivals—it is naturally an obvious target for malicious attacks. And secondly, the firm has reserved the right to decrypt any file that is stored on its servers, as well as disclose that information to a third party.

Thankfully, Dropbox has recently beefed up its security measures. At rest, files are protected with 256-bit encryption, and during transfers, they are encased in an SSL/TSL tunnel. If you are not looking for a specialist option, but one that is still thoroughly reliable, Dropbox is a solid way to go. 

Read our Dropbox cloud storage review and our Dropbox Business review.

Best for manual keys

Box logo

(Image credit: Box)
The best file sharing app with manual encryption keys

Specifications

Free tier: 10GB
Security specialty: Two-factor authentication
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Rapid uploading
+
Large free storage
+
Several useful integrations

Reasons to avoid

-
Confusing design choices
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Basic security

Box has been Dropbox’s biggest rival for some time. Previously, the former was geared towards businesses and the latter SMEs and individuals, but no longer. Both now aim to capture every part of the file-sharing market, and Box’s offering is impressive. 

It has four pricing plans to choose from, but its free tier has significantly more space than Dropbox’s. Like its rival, it can be integrated with Google Workspace and Slack. It also offers a useful Keysafe feature, allowing admins to easily manage encryption keys. 

Box sets itself apart in the crowded file-sharing market with its robust integration capabilities. From Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace to Adobe Creative Cloud, the service ensures smooth cooperation on tasks with a focus on syncing files within a dedicated folder.

This is a cloud storage platform, not a cloud backup solution, and as such, it excels at providing an easily managed, shared space for your files. You can easily control access to files and folders, monitor collaboration, and track file usage - making it a top choice for businesses with complex cloud storage needs.

However, what truly elevates Box’s offering is its focus on security. File transfers, logins, and even app installations are all tracked and logged. With the addition of the full Admin console, you get even greater auditing and control options. Every time a file or folder is accessed, you can be informed by email. The service also offers an auto-delete feature to set some files and folders to expire on a specific date, adding an extra layer of control.

In terms of usability—often a concern for Box—a recent upgrade improved things, but the platform could be streamlined further as some convoluted aspects remain.

Box is great for rapidly sharing files with friends or colleagues. You get a lot of space in the free tier, and two-factor authentication is available for improved security.

Read our Box review and our Box for Business review.

Best for teams

Microsoft OneDrive logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)
The best all-round file sharing app for teams

Specifications

Free tier: 5GB
Security specialty: Individually encrypted files
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Reasons to buy

+
Great for collaboration
+
Huge functionality
+
App is easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited syncing capacity
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Low free storage options

Microsoft OneDrive is packed with features, incredibly usable, and beautifully designed. In some ways it surpasses expectations. Desktop users, for example, are able to access files that they didn’t specifically decide to upload—an incredibly handy feature that shows how much time Microsoft has spent getting OneDrive right. 

Being a Microsoft product, much of the advanced functionality available for OneDrive is tied to the Windows operating system, but there are also useful OneDrive apps for iOS, Android, and macOS.

When it comes to file sharing, OneDrive sets the standard for its powerful collaborative editing feature. As a user, you can share any files or folders stored in the OneDrive cloud with either viewing or editing privileges. This not only makes teamwork more efficient but also reduces the hassle of sending files back and forth.

Importantly, if you are a paid user, you can add password protection to your shared files and set expiration times for sharing, giving you greater control over the security and access of your files.

Also, OneDrive's integration with Microsoft 365 apps allows you to create documents in apps like Word or Excel in your OneDrive folder, making them accessible from any device and the web, with real-time collaborative editing.

In terms of security, OneDrive has never been the focus of any concerns or controversy, unlike many of its rivals, which speaks to the software’s reliability. Individual users can also individually encrypt their files locally on a hard drive, adding an additional layer of protection. 

OneDrive has a robust roadmap for 2024. It promises a redesigned and AI-powered home screen, offline web syncing, more sharing and collaboration options, and file favoriting. There are plans for Teams integration, macOS Desktop and Document folder backup, and a private shared photo (and video) story feature. 

Read our Microsoft OneDrive review and our OneDrive for Business review.

Best for Apple users

iCloud logo

(Image credit: Apple)
The best file sharing app for Apple users

Specifications

Free tier: 5GB
Security specialty: Keychain passwords
Operating systems: iOS, macOS

Reasons to buy

+
5GB free with every Apple device
+
Beautiful design
+
Seamless integration with Apple services

Reasons to avoid

-
No Android compatibility
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Limited free plan

Apple, too, has a cloud file sharing platform in the form of iCloud. iCloud is an attractive file-sharing option, and likely the best fit if you are already deeply integrated with the Apple ecosystem. Although the free tier offers very little space, those with an iPhone, Mac, or iPad are given 5GB free. 

Aside from the 2017 phishing attack, which appears to be a one-off, Apple has steered clear of security problems with iCloud. It should therefore be a safe choice for sharing files easily over iOS and macOS. 

Apple has made efforts to keep iCloud Drive updated and competitive with other cloud storage services. New features have been introduced, such as the addition of a folder-sharing capability and an improved integration with macOS and iOS. Another recent update includes the improved iCloud website which now allows easier access to your files.

iCloud now has a dedicated Files app with its own iCloud Drive section. This app allows you to copy, move, delete, and share files with ease. The interface is visually appealing, as you would expect from Apple, and operating it is smooth and uncomplicated. 

With iCloud Drive, you get an automated syncing service that functions efficiently in the background. Files and documents added to iCloud Drive get synced instantly to the web. On a Mac, you have the option to include the Desktop and Documents folders in the sync list. It's a great tool for file sharing within Apple's ecosystem. 

In our testing, we were impressed at the 24-hour online chat technical support and how easy it is to get two-factor authentication working in iCloud. However, iCloud is a poor option if you primarily use Windows on your desktop computer or the Android OS on your phone, as there are no dedicated iCloud apps for these platforms.

Read our iCloud review.

Best for security

SpiderOak logo

(Image credit: SpiderOak)
The best file sharing app for security

Specifications

Free tier: N/A
Security specialty: No knowledge encryption
Operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Fedora

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent security
+
Easy to use
+
Real-time document editing

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Slow performance

SpiderOak One is a cloud storage solution with end-to-end encryption, meaning you are in charge of your encryption keys so even SpiderOak employees can't decrypt the files stored on the platform.

SpiderOak One is still a consumer-facing product at heart, without too many business-focused features of which to speak.

The app doesn't simply re-upload an entire file every time you make a small modification. Instead, it scans your files, identifies the altered parts, and uploads the new data. This allows it to store the history of your files and minimizes the amount of space and bandwidth required. The service also uses de-duplication and condenses your files to maximize your storage space.

Additionally, when it comes to sharing files, SpiderOak One offers a feature called ShareRooms. With ShareRooms, you can share any folder that is already part of your backup set. Once you've set up a ShareRoom, you can add new files and edit existing ones, with all changes automatically visible to everyone with access.

We found that SpiderOak One has massively prioritized security, leading to weaknesses in other areas. The design, whilst handily integrated with SpiderOak’s other products, has a few of the additional features some teams may require, such as synced,  real-time document editing. 

It is also a relatively expensive way to go—after the free 21-day trial, the cheapest tier is $69 for 150GB of space for a year. One benefit, however, is that every user can have unlimited devices, so it's certainly worth checking out SpiderOak One.

Read our SpiderOak review.

Best no-registration sharing

WeTransfer logo

(Image credit: WeTransfer)
The best no-registration file sharing app

Specifications

Free tier: 2GB
Security specialty: All uploads encrypted
Operating systems: iOS, Android, Linux

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly simple
+
No registration needed
+
Intuitive d