Best Online Tools for Confidential File Sharing

After working remotely and in dispersed teams for a year, we’ve come to rely on one thing more than ever: safe file sharing.

It is of utmost importance for managers of remote teams to ensure that tasks are distributed effectively. Without secure online storage and sharing solutions, documents can easily be misplaced when emailed.

Cloud services are essential for organisations with a geographically scattered workforce. Data can be stored on servers and accessed from any location worldwide. Team members can collaborate on files from any place, with any device, such as a computer, smartphone or tablet.

With the global pandemic having passed its one-year anniversary, there is now an abundance of secure file-sharing software available. Such programs are easily accessible, and many are free to use.

Careful consideration should be given when selecting a suitable file-sharing tool. This article will provide an overview of different file-sharing systems and the advantages they can provide for remote teams.

How Do You Define a File Sharing App?

It was initially stated that sending large files via email is not recommended due to the potential security risks. Moreover, searching for a specific attachment amongst the multitude of emails in an inbox can be a laborious task, equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack.

Application-based file sharing provides an effective way for teams to communicate and share relevant files. This facilitates the storage and management of all documents and papers in one centralised location for ease of access.

For What Reasons Should a Remote Team Invest in a Secure File Sharing App?

This programme can be utilised to manage your team’s file storage and the scheduling of associated activities. Instead of using a third-party programme to share files, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be set up to provide direct access to your servers for team members. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are ideal for larger businesses with a developed IT department. Creating your own network requires significant time and financial resources.

It is important to note that VPN speeds may not be compatible with standard internet connections, which could lead to delays in the workday. This issue is particularly pertinent if your remote developers are based in a different time zone. Small businesses with a global workforce may find that file-sharing applications provide a better solution.

The Value of File-Sharing Applications for Remote Groups

  • Your team will be able to focus on their productivity and performance knowing that they have quick access to the necessary information, tasks, documents and files stored in a file-sharing application.
  • Maximize your savings by consolidating your file storage, administration, and sharing onto one system with a file management system or file sharing application.
  • Helpful in terms of saving time, file-sharing applications provide quicker communication not just inside a team but also with customers.
  • File sharing applications now make it possible to exchange bits of information and documents without compromising anyone’s privacy.
  • These tools facilitate the rapid and straightforward sharing of large amounts of data, such as charts, presentations, images and more, regardless of their size.
  • By utilising these tools, it can save time and effort when searching through hundreds of emails and documents for information on past projects and team discussions.

Several Qualities of Safe File-Sharing Services

The technical requirements for a successful file-sharing service are more complex than discussed here. To be effective, the app must not only provide a user-friendly experience and an aesthetically pleasing interface, but also ensure that data is securely shared, and that teams remain synchronised.

When deciding on a file-sharing programme for your remote workforce, keep the following in mind:

Comparing and Synchronising Folders

Since they pioneered the idea of folder synchronization, Dropbox has become the most recognisable service for sharing large files online. This concept has since been adopted by the majority of file-sharing tools available today. Upon downloading and installing one of these programmes, a new folder is created on the user’s computer and subsequently synchronised with a cloud-based storage system, allowing other members of the team to view and edit the files stored within.

When a file is modified in the cloud, it is automatically synchronised across all of your devices. This ensures that you are always working with the most up-to-date version of the file, regardless of who made the changes or where they were made.


Data security should be a top priority when third parties have access to your databases. Most service providers will be happy to discuss the encryption they use, but the exact details of their security architecture are usually kept confidential.

In 2023, Dropbox experienced a security incident in which 68 million credentials were exposed. This demonstrates the potential risks associated with cyber-attacks, and Dropbox has not disclosed the full details until 2023.


The privacy regulations and laws applicable to a service will depend on its physical location. For example, US suppliers may be subject to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism Project, a series of counter-terrorism initiatives. As part of the scheme, service providers are mandated to give the government access to their user data in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. If this is a cause for concern, it is worth considering the geographical location of your service provider.


Storage costs are generally determined by the service provider. Some services offer a basic amount of free storage, after which you will be charged, allowing you to share files with anyone you choose. It is important to note that there are limits to the amount of data you can download for free. If your project is of a larger scale, you and your team will need to consider a paid solution.

A few of the most widely used file-sharing programmes and their respective prices are listed below.

Top Apps for Safe File Sharing at Work and in Business

1. We Have Dropbox.

Dropbox Basic is a free plan that offers 2GB of storage space. It is compatible with Windows, iOS and Android platforms, so customers can choose the platform most suitable for them. For business plans, storage and user tiers start at 3 people and 3 terabytes respectively and can be scaled to accommodate the requirements of any size of enterprise.

Since its inception in 2007, Dropbox has grown to become the leading provider of file sharing, with over 500 million users worldwide and a market share of over 50%. Its compatibility with a variety of devices, including the Kindle Fire, has made it the most popular choice. However, Microsoft and Google are beginning to make significant gains in customer acquisition, posing a threat to Dropbox’s market share.

2. Google’s Cloud Storage

Google Drive is one of the original and most established cloud storage services available today. It is the most popular choice of alternative to Dropbox due to its generous free account size of 15GB, which is available across all major systems, including PC, Mac, iOS and Android.

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are all compatible with Google Drive, allowing you to save and share your work online indefinitely. However, if your team utilises Microsoft Office or an alternative programme that is incompatible with certain file types, it will be necessary to convert them.


If you are looking for increased privacy, a Canadian firm should be considered. Their official policy is “knowing nothing,” meaning that even under court orders, they cannot access your data. Furthermore, in the event of a hack, you will remain secure as they do not store passwords or encryption keys. offers several features that are not yet available on Dropbox, including limiting the number of downloads for a file and providing 5GB of free storage upon registration. Furthermore, users can increase their storage space by referring friends.

4. ProofHub

ProofHub is an all-encompassing platform that offers a centralised file management system, along with a range of other applications for file sharing and team collaboration. Furthermore, integrations with external services, such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive, are also available. There are no fees per user, and we offer a 10% yearly discount when you opt for our Ultimate Control Plan (priced at $99/month) if you pay upfront. Offer is currently limited.

5. Synology Drive

Synology Drive is a web-based application, allowing users to access it from any computer, and synchronise data across multiple machines. Its automated synchronising features can be utilised to streamline file management within an office environment.

6. FileCloud

FileCloud is a cloud-based application designed to provide secure file sharing for businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. This programme allows users to store and share files securely, either on an in-house server or a web-based platform.

7. Business OneDrive

If your team requires a way to share files, OneDrive for Business could be an ideal solution. This software acts as a central hub for the storage, sharing and synchronisation of data and files used in business. As it is hosted online, OneDrive for Business allows for collaborative and asynchronous work on the same file by several users located in various locations.

8. Hightail

Hightail is an application designed to help manage and share files of any size. It is an invaluable tool for the workplace, enabling users to easily share large files and grant secure access to them.

Choosing Wisely

Upon initial inspection, it may appear that there is little diversity in the available options. The primary purpose of these applications is to enable users to collaborate securely on files, regardless of their location. With the information presented so far, you should be able to select the best tool for your circumstances, taking into account the size of your organisation and the objectives of your project.

Only established companies such as Google and Microsoft are seen as major competitors to Apple and Samsung in this sector. However, there are also some niche competitors that offer something unique, such as, ProofHub and Spideroak. If you prefer to support smaller businesses, read on to find out more about these services.

It is essential to remember that having the right software is not enough to build a successful team. In order to run a prosperous company, it is important to ensure that you have a strong team of employees. If you require any help with recruiting the right people for your team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs