I was disappointed when Drop.io was recently taken over by Facebook and shut down. It was a great secure (password protected) file sharing service which I was only just starting to really appreciate when, for example, files are too large to send as email attachments. So I had a look around for an alternative on, where else, but AlternativeTo. The awesome Dropbox comes out well in front of course, as does SugarSync, but 8th down the list was Box.net. Wait a minute – I have an account with them already. Another of those services I signed up for a couple of years ago, used it and it was fine, but more free alternatives like Drop.io appeared and I moved to them and forgot Box.net.
Thankfully, LastPass still had my log in details safely stored away so I signed in and lo and behold, the files I shared a couple of years ago were all still there. That’s nice. So I deleted them and decided to start using the service again. Here’s a graphic comparison of SugarSync, Dropbox and Box.net among others.
There’s 5GB of free storage so that’s nice too and the maximum file size you can share with the free option is 25MB, which is large enough for me. You can upgrade to $9.99/month to upload and share files up to 1GB in size with 25GB of storage. What I liked about Drop.io was that the free version provided password protected shared links. To get this in Box.net you have to upgrade despite what the graphic above shows.
Sharing your files and folders is easy. Once you have a folder with files uploaded, just change its status to shared and a dropdown box gives you the link to share. You can also add collaborators who can access files in this folder.
Box.net also has iPhone, iPad and Android apps so you can view and share files on-the-go and upload files on your phone to Box.
You can also integrate Box.net into Microsoft Office through DocsInOffice.com. Once you’ve created a free account at DocsinOffice, you can view the contents of your Box account within the Open and Save As dialogues in MS Office, so you can load and save files as though they were on your hard drive.
If you are a Dropbox user, don’t discount Box.net. I found a good comparison of Dropbox and Box.net here which you might look at. What do you use for online file sharing? Is password protected sharing important to you? Drop a comment below.