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Free Online File Storage for Businesses: Pros and Cons

As the demand for free online file storage rises, many companies' IT departments are struggling to keep up. Finding a solution that is convenient, secure and affordable can be difficult. Citrix ShareFile, specifically designed for businesses of all sizes, is simple to use and provides you with security, admin controls and the customization you need to keep your data safe.

For most companies, flash drives, external hard drives and desktop storage are outdated. These options lack security, the capacity to hold every file your business needs to store and the ability to easily share files stored on these devices among co-workers and clients.

Online file storage is the best solution to this problem. In fact, more than half of U.S. businesses now use cloud-based storage instead of their internal networks and servers to store files. But what is it exactly?

According to Webopedia, "Online data storage refers to the practice of storing electronic data with a third-party service accessed via the Internet. It is an alternative to traditional local storage (such as disk or tape drives) and portable storage (such as optical media or flash drives). It can also be called 'hosted storage,' 'Internet storage' or 'cloud storage.'"

With online file storage or cloud storage from ShareFile, you won't have to worry about a co-worker losing a USB drive or a computer crashing and destroying all of your important files. All of your files will live safe and sound within the cloud, accessible at any time.

Benefits of free online file storage — it's better in the cloud

Cloud storage is a kind of online data storage that is sold on demand. It provides the user with as much or as little storage as needed and offers self-service capabilities.

The benefits of cloud file storage are numerous. From accessibly to unlimited storage to safety and security, storing files in the cloud offers distinct advantages over internally stored data. With cloud file storage you get:

Anytime, anywhere access. With online cloud storage, you have the ability to access your files from remote locations with devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones whenever you want.

As Webopedia notes, "One of the biggest benefits of online storage is the ability to access data from anywhere. As the number of devices the average person uses continues to grow, syncing or transferring data among devices has become more important. Not only does it help transfer data between devices, online data storage also provides the ability to share files among different users. This is particularly helpful for business users, although it's also popular with consumers who want to share photos, videos and similar materials with their friends and family."

Unlimited storage. You'll never have to delete old files to free up space again. With the cloud, storage capacity is unlimited.

Large file transferral. Send large files without having to yield to size restrictions defined by your email provider.

Remote wiping ability. In the event your device is lost or stolen, your data can be wiped clean for immediate protection.

State-of-the-art security. Cloud-based storage incorporates encryptions, customizable settings, multiple datacenter backups, file versioning and activity trackers to keep your files safe. Webopedia notes that "Online data storage also offers distinct advantages for backup and disaster recovery situations because it's located off site. In a fire, flood, earthquake or similar situation, on-site backups could be damaged, but online backups won't be affected unless the disaster is very widespread."

Ease of use. It only takes a few clicks of the mouse to upload information to a cloud-based storage site and retrieve and share it later.

Professionalism. Customize your user portal to your company brand and seamlessly integrate functions to your everyday operations.

Cloud storage, the ShareFile way

Here's what ShareFile says about its online file storage feature.

"Cloud file storage is a cost-effective alternative for companies that do not want to deal with the hassle of setting up and managing their own storage system. For many companies, cloud file storage is a big part of the way business is done. Cloud storage allows the user to keep computer disc space open. In a business setting, it can influence employee productivity and even increase the flexibility of meeting with clients and vendors. Using cloud-based storage gives you the ability to store important and sensitive files in a secure location that can be accessed from anywhere, using any device. Your employees can also use the cloud for team collaboration on projects.

"ShareFile is a cloud file storage provider built specifically for businesses. Whether you need to send large files by email, conduct a secure file transfer or create a collaboration space where project-related files can be posted, we are the solution for you. With ShareFile, you can create a custom-branded, password-protected space to store and exchange business files up to 10 GB with clients and employees. ShareFile is a worry-free way to store your sensitive company and client files. With apps for tablets and mobile devices, ShareFile gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere, and that means your data is protected wherever you go."

With ShareFile, you will enjoy:

Safety. Know that your files are safe with multi-factor authentication, top-of-the-line encryption and regular backups at secure datacenters.

Mobility. Upload, save and access your documents from iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Synchronization. Sync up account folders with folders on your computer for real-time updates and instant backups.

Integration. Integrate ShareFile with your Microsoft Outlook platform for seamless document storage straight from your workstream.

Ease of use. Send, retrieve or share a file with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Capacity. Enjoy unlimited file storage capacity. When you need to share a file, you can quickly do so with files up to 100 GB.

Assistance. Avoid having to figure things out on your own. Our 24/7 customer support line and online chat feature offers backup support for your document storing questions.

Branding. Customize your user portal to match your own brand. You can customize settings for enhanced user friendliness.

Range. Never feel out of touch with an employee. Scale ShareFile to include thousands of company employees and unlimited client users.

Online file storage with mobile access

"You can use ShareFile on your iOS, Android, Windows or Blackberry device to access, share, request and even edit files from anywhere, with the security you expect from ShareFile."

Online file storage for all industries

The features and integrations that ShareFile provides work for any business in any industry. ShareFile also provides customized solutions for the specific needs and document workflows of these industries:

  • Legal
  • Accounting
  • Financial
  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Manufacturing

Think about the needs of your company and consider how ShareFile can help. At the enterprise level of business, you need:

Mass storage. Avoid having to pick and choose what you want to store. Upload and store an unlimited amount of data.

Large file-sharing capability. Stop letting email size limits dictate what you can share. Exchange files of up to 100 GB in size including photos or videos.

Companywide reach. Scale to fit as many employees as you need, so any colleague of your choosing can access stored files.

Anywhere access. Upload, transfer or access stored files from any device, at any time and from any location.

High security. Enjoy AES 256-bit encryption, transfer with TLS/SSL protocols, customized settings, regular backups, multiple power sources and remote wipe capabilities. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping your data safe.

Accountability. Use real-time activity tracking, file history and file versioning to see every action during the lifespan of a file.

Enterprise cloud storage from ShareFile comes with 24/7 customer support, branding for your organization and a custom-pricing plan. Learn more about how our enterprise cloud storage service can to take your cloud storage needs to the next level.

Compare cloud storage services

With so many free and paid online file-storage options available, how do you know you are getting the best cloud storage for your money? We've broken down a few of the leading cloud storage service providers and note how the services they offer may not work best for you.

Dropbox — Dropbox offers a free 14-day trial, but is that really long enough to determine if it will work for your business? A longer trial period would allow you to see a project all the way from its beginning to completion.

Google Drive — With Google Drive, only upgraded account holders can speak to a technical support representative 24/7. The best cloud storage provider should provide 24/7 support for all customers.

OneDrive — OneDrive’s highest level plan is capped at 1 TB of storage space. OneDrive offers ways of earning extra storage for your files, but you shouldn’t have to work for extra storage when you are paying for a service. Storage should be unlimited.

Box — Box offers unlimited storage for upgraded plans, but business professionals also need to send that data to clients, colleagues and co-workers. Although they offer unlimited storage, Box’s file-sharing size is capped at 5 GB.

SugarSync — SugarSync limits the number of original or old file versions you can access. This can cause important data to be lost or erased, and you won't be able to compare original files with newer versions.

Don't settle, choose ShareFile

ShareFile has quickly become one of the best cloud storage providers on the market. ShareFile offers up to 100 GB of sharing capabilities. And storage with ShareFile is unlimited as opposed to the maximums given by other storage providers. With ShareFile, you can access every version of your file within the last 30 days. You’ll also enjoy a 30-day free trial and 24/7 customer care.

Learn more about what ShareFile can do for you, and don’t settle for anything but the best.


It's no secret that ShareFile is the best option for any company that wants simple, safe and affordable file storage. Read what our happy customers have to say about how ShareFile has helped their businesses.

“What ShareFile allows us to do is liberate our data. As we’re building projects, there’s a certain amount of data we want private, such as billing documents and contracts. The data we do need to share, — specs, plans, modeling — is managed using ShareFile. With ShareFile, we know that jobsites, architects and subcontractors always have the most current data.”

— Dustin Hartsuiker, regional support manager, Swinerton

“ShareFile gave us security that met client requirements. User experience is everything. Integrating with ShareFile has made things very simple for the end user.”

— Tim Luke, founder and CEO, Basepin, Inc.

“In an audit process, we request and receive hundreds of documents. One client may have documents that would fill up notebooks and notebooks of paper. With ShareFile, we have none of that."

— R. Brooks Malone III, CPA and partner, Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP

"We wanted a solution that would cover four objectives and fit within our economic means: (1) be easy to use; (2) be easy to administrate; (3) offer security and maintenance (a business-level solution, not based on the individual); and (4) have mobility offerings. ShareFile was the best solution.”

Chris Beacom, director of information services, Poblocki Sign Company LLC

Start sharing today for free

Store your first document with ShareFile today. Sign up for your free 30-day, no-obligation trial and enjoy all of these great features:

Choose one of four levels of cloud-based plans and select from data storage options from 100 GB to unlimited for Enterprise.

Ready to try ShareFile? It's free for 30 days. No credit card required.

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