Dropbox suffers from privacy concerns and bad decisions. Those concerns could be unacceptable for business usage. For personal usage, those concerns could be unacceptable to some people, but some alternatives should be acceptable to anyone.
I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the entities providing free online file storage for consumers, but I have a few. Feel free to suggest any I’ve overlooked in the comments section. I’ll add them as I check them out.
I left out Ubuntu One, which is no longer available. I’ve intentionally left out the paid-only online file storage services, like SugarSync. I think you should be able to test any service as free before paying for more storage. If the service support is good when it’s free, you should feel at ease when paying for more space.
Another option is Resilio (formerly BitTorrent Sync), which isn’t online file storage in the “cloud” sense. You use your own computers and computing devices and your files completely bypass any kind of cloud storage.
The way I look at it, you shouldn’t be storing your sensitive files on any of the online file storage services (like tax return files). I have a PHP script backing up the things I need backed up to my external solid-state drive. I store sensitive data on the same drive and I always keep that drive plugged into one of my USB ports.
I’m not using any online file storage services anymore. My DSL service uploads too slowly. I can’t do anything while files are uploading. I can’t connect to my web server by SSH when uploads are taking place. Although I have a Microsoft One Drive account, a Google Drive account, a Dropbox account and a pCloud account, I’m not storing anything on any of them. Someday, when I finally get a fiber connection, I’ll be able to use one or all because it won’t affect me this way.
It probably doesn’t matter which services you use. You can use one or all of them at the same time if that’s what you want. With just a few, you’ll have more online file storage space available than standard hard drives had on them several years ago. That amount of space is more than enough to store the things you should be storing and not the things you shouldn’t.
Originally published in April of 2014.