It has hardly gone unnoticed among Dropbox users that the company is now trying to grow their revenue by squeezing more money from their existing user base. In the web-interface, and also the mobile and the desktop clients, there is a torrent of small boxes and dialogs that urges you to upgrade to a more expensive plan. At the same time the subscription prices are going up by more than 20%, at least for the plus plan.
The revenue growth initiatives also includes a major change to the client UI, making it a full fledged (and resource hungry) file manager app, to remind you of all the value you get from Dropbox.
So, what are the alternatives to Dropbox? There are quite a few candidates to choose from depending on your preferences:
- Big players: Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Amazon Drive, etc.
- Self-hosted: NextCloud, OwnCloud, SyncThing, ResilioSync, WebDav/NFS etc.
The big players all provide drop-in replacement clients for Dropbox, and the storage/sync service often comes bundled with another service that you may buy anyway, such as Office365. Dropbox has a really reliable syncing engine, but most competitors comes with syncing quirks, e.g., OneDrive has a long list of file names/types it will not sync. On the other hand, Office365 (and thereby OneDrive) lets you choose the region where your data is stored, which is an expensive premium feature in Dropbox only available to businesses.
The self-hosted alternatives are particular popular among those that value privacy and control of their own data. A downside to self-hosting is the requirement to manage a server, which you fortunately can outsource. Hetzner, for example, has a selection of hosted Nextcloud storage plans, which are really cheap when compared to Dropbox.
I am currently testing Nextcloud File Share and will blog about the results later this month, in time before my Dropbox subscription is up for renewal.