One great feature: Dropbox keeps a history of file changes, so you can roll back to a previous version at any time. And the tech-savvy can come up with a million and one creative ways to use Dropbox. For example, you might integrate it with a BitTorrent client so that you can download torrent files reÂÂmotely. First, set your BitTorrent client on your home PC to monitor a folder on your Dropbox account and to automatically open any .torrent file copied to it. Then, while youre at work or traveling, use your remote PC to copy the .torrent file to Dropbox, and your home PC will begin downloading that file the next time Dropbox syncs.
On the downside, when you share a folder, you cant set a password or give some people permission to edit files while withholding permission from others. You also cant upload files to your Dropbox account via email. If neither of those limitations is a deal breaker for you, Dropbox is a strong contender.
Unlimited storage and downloads sounds enticinguntil you realize that MediaFire has little else to offer, at least to free users. The biggest deal breaker for free users is that files vanish after 30 days. (The $9-per-month Pro and $49-per-month Business accounts dispense with the disappearing act and hold on to files forever.)
The list of negatives is long. You cant place restrictions on shared files, no mobile apps are available, files arent encrypted in transit or in storage, and MediaFire doesnt keep a history of changes. The final nail in the coffin: Users with a free account cant upload files bigger than 200MB.
Are you planning to subscribe to Microsofts Office 365 or buy Office 2013 when the new suites are available later this year? If so, SkyDrive is the file-sharing service for you. To use it, you must have a Windows Live account, and so must any colleagues you authorize to edit files (merely viewing shared documents does not require an account). SkyDrive allots 7GB of storage for free accounts, and you get 20GB more with either version of the Office suite. Even without that commitment, upgrades of 20GB to 100GB cost just $10 to $50 per year, not per month. Thats an incredible value.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has been paring down its service. SkyDrives free storage quota, for example, was once 25GB (existing customers were grandfathered into the original cap if they were using more than 4GB as of April 1, 2012, or if they took advantage of a Microsoft loyalty offer, which has since expired).