Dropbox alternatives to sync folders or provide a cloud network drive letter



Dropbox is a pretty good service for keeping a folder automatically synced between multiple PCs and backed up on the cloud (i.e. online.) Definitely one of the simplest tools to setup, install and use, so it’s unsurprisingly it’s gone viral.

Of course, Dropbox has its limitations:

[li]2GB storage limit on free account.[/li][li]It’s proprietary, e.g. you can’t use your own server or host to store for where everything is synced to.[/li][li]If someone shares a folder with you, their folder size counts towards your storage limit.[/li][/ul]

Two alternatives I know of are Windows Live Mesh and NetDrive.

Windows Live Mesh - Functions like Dropbox

Advantages over Dropbox:

[li]5GB storage space :)[/li][li]Can sync folders directly between PCs (instead of to/from cloud drive)[/li][li]Sync user-selected folders, so no need to copy everything into a single folder to sync.[/li][li]If you use MSN messenger or any Windows live service, you already have an account. [/li][/ul]

Drawbacks over Dropbox:

[li]Incompatible with Windows XP :doh:[/li][/ul]

Microsoft’s SkyDrive (not to be confused with Windows Live Mesh)

This is potentially another alternative which can be mapped as a drive letter using a loophole, but lacks the syncing capability and is very slow when accessed as a network drive. On the plus side, it has a 25GB storage capacity.

NetDrive - Maps an FTP account as a drive letter

Advantages over Dropbox:

[li]Storage space only limited by FTP account[/li][li]Can use own server as host (e.g. NAS running FTP server)[/li][li]Appears as a network drive letter[/li][li]Stored content does not use your computer’s disk space[/li][/ul]

Drawbacks over Dropbox:

[li]Files/folders must be manually copied to HDD to use offline[/li][li]No “Make Available Offline” option, unlike true network drives[/li][li]Software free for personal use only[/li][li]Files not encrypted on FTP server nor during FTP transmission[/li][/ul]

So, I’m curious to see what other free synchronisation tools/services people use apart from Dropbox, which can either automatically sync one or more folders between computers or which maps as a network drive. :slight_smile:


My own server via WebDAV


[li]> 20 GB storage[/li][li]Accessible via WebDAV from almost any machine with any recent OS[/li][li]Encrypted using HTTPS[/li][li]I can add unlimited amount of users and assign my own rights[/li][li]I have access to everything, that anyone stores on my server ;)[/li][/ul]


[li]None for my kind of usage ;)[/li][/ul]


Liggy’s solution is the best for sure.
And US based cloud services are a NoGo for europeans: http://h-online.com/-1270961