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Alternatives To Dropbox: The Conclusion

by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

Over the past three months, I've been reviewing several alternatives to Dropbox that can be used in PCLinuxOS.

The alternatives to Dropbox reviewed were:

  • Mediafire
  • pCloud
  • PCLOS Cloud
  • Yandex Disk
  • Telegram
  • Seafile
  • Mega
  • Spider Oak

Now, I will recap the biggest advantages and disadvantages of each one of the services, in order to analyze all the options and make a comparative table, to assist in choosing if you want to change from Dropbox to some other cloud storage service.

Being primarily a file-sharing and web-service, a cyberlocker, Mediafire may be a file-sharing solution, but as an alternative to Dropbox, it does not have the flexibility of Dropbox, although it offers more free storage space on free accounts. It has good options, both to send files to your account and to share them with others, outside the Mediafire service. So for file sharing, it's a great choice, while as cloud storage service, it leaves a bit to be desired.

pCloud is a relatively new service, but it has many features that set it apart from the rest. Primarily its offer for free accounts is up to 20GB of storage space (after doing some tasks).

This service is versatile enough to exchange files with all your devices, be it cell phones, tablets or computers. It has native application for all major operating systems, both desktop and mobile. You can swap files even between machines with different operating systems.

Because its client program comes in Appimage format, it works naturally on PCLinuxOS, as if it were native to the platform.

It is a great option to replace Dropbox, and it is recommended.
It is a service with ambitious intentions, to differentiate itself from others. But if you do not live near the area of this company activities, you will not be able to fully enjoy the benefits that the company offers.

Regarding the free space offered, it is one of the smallest of the bunch, 5GB, and it is not very recommended if you do not live in one of the European Union countries, where the company has its headquarters and its trading partners. It can be used without fear in PCLinuxOS, because its client application comes in Appimage format.

As a service offered to a community, it's a great choice. The service maintainer, Mr. David Moore, does a job of love here. And for a service offered so generously, even buying more space and signing up for the paid service of PCLOS Cloud is worth it, as this helps to strengthen the international PCLOS community more.

With an attractive offer of 15 GB free, native client program in PCLOS repositories (which makes it very easy to install), it is a highly recommended service. The downside would be that the infrastructure is not gigantic, with multiple servers and data centers around the world, but if you do not need mission-critical services, with 100% availability, 24/7, 365, it may be a very attractive option.

Yandex Disk
The service that tries to rival Google Drive, Yandex Disk has in its favor the ease to install and operate in PCLinuxOS, an attractive 10 GB free quota to start, protection against snoops from the American security agencies, and, all the infrastructure of Yandex, trying to gain space from Google (and other cloud storage providers).

As a minus, the location of servers in Russia can lead to frustrating speeds, depending on where you live.

Nor can we forget that issues of political and legal nature (definitions of user rights in Russia, which today have no clear legislation on the subject), and a possible fragility of cyber attacks may be factors that detract from the experience, and can frighten away potential users.

Telegram is a messaging service that is very close to perfection, thanks to its creator, Internet millionaire Pavel Durov. Telegram's excellence can be credited to Pavel's personality. Telegram is a great messaging service, much better than WhatsApp, since idealism is a powerful drive force for Pavel. He finds ways to monetize his Telegram service without compromising the privacy or personal data of its users. Telegram features an unique feature when it comes to file sharing and storage. You can share files with up to 100 people at the same time, just as you can transfer files between various devices and operating systems that Telegram supports. Without limiting the size of files, it can be an option to save files, such as a cyberlock and broadcast them, but it is not very flexible and is contained only to the internal Telegram network.

As the Telegram client is open source, it works great in PCLinuxOS, having clients in the repositories.

Seafile, out of China, can be a great choice for storing and exchanging files between work teams, but for an ordinary user, it does not offer the ease necessary in a daily basis. It's an infrastructure, like Nextcloud, to create a private cloud storage. It does not provide free space, but server software and clients, and the individual will have to install and run on his/her infrastructure. Not recommended for personal use, it may be an option for small businesses and workgroups.

Mega had its glory days in the time when Kim Dotcom ran the company. After he was arrested, and his servers confiscated, the whole thing was never the same.

Kim tried to rebuild his company, but to no avail. Today's Mega no longer has Kim's participation, and when he can, he always speaks badly about the company now. Controlled by a Chinese investor, which is sought after by Chinese authorities, Mega today is a mere shadow of the company that it was in its heydays. Add to this a Linux client that does not work on PCLinuxOS, a web client that has download quotas and you have a beautiful turkey.

Not recommended, in no way.

SpiderOak is one of the best-qualified cloud storage services in existence today. Being recommended by Edward Snowden is not for everyone, and the company's commitment to its users is something it takes very seriously.

Although it does not have free plans, the service allows a free trial time, so that the user can try out if SpiderOak meets their needs.

With native client for PCLinuxOS, it is also a good option if you value the privacy and availability of your data.

To keep things in perspective, Dropbox IS in the PCLinuxOS repository. Recent changes with Dropbox make it ONLY available to those who use the ext4 file system on Linux systems. Users of other file systems are ... well ... out of luck. Nearly every other service that offers free storage space offers significantly more storage space than Dropbox's paltry 2GB, which hasn't been expanded since Dropbox came about. Dropbox does offer the ability to purchase more storage, but the price can be a bit steep.

So, as we come to the end of this series of articles. I hope you enjoyed it, and you find it useful, especially if you want to subscribe to another service and leave Dropbox. Or, even if you do not leave Dropbox, you now can have an alternative backup service.

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