Use of cloud storage has exploded in the last year. Almost every file hosting site we researched has multiplied their users either doubling or adding as much as millions of users to its base. This indicates that more and more people are utilizing online storage to host, share, and backup their files.
There have also been some really great new niche additions into the file hosting scene. These newish or newly popular sites are not for everyone, but for those whom the services benefit, they are really cool and original additions that admits being added to this year’s top file hosting sites list.
Innovativeness & mobile usability
This year instead of focusing mainly on specs and price, we also included innovativeness and mobile usability as internal metrics for gauging the value of the sites. For that reason, some better-known sites like OneDrive which lacked innovativeness, and DepositFiles which lacked mobile usability and a modern interface, did not make it to the list this year.
Many sites which did not make it this year either failed to innovate, failed to have a responsive website that works well on mobile devices (a critical factor in today’s ever-increasing base of mobile users), failed to improve their user experience considerably where it lacked from previous years, or decreased their overall value to users in our fast-moving digital world.
Data privacy concerns
Privacy is another critical factor in today’s data security crisis, so Google Drive of course did not make it due to extreme privacy concerns. Likewise, OneDrive by Microsoft also did not make it largely due to extreme privacy concerns; as well as some other sites which were not particularly secure.
As a result of these privacy concerns, data security and file encryption were major ranking factors for this year’s list. Fortunately there are some safe choices, because sites like SaberCatHost and iDrive were found to have high data security, and utilized secure SSL along with client-side and server-side data and file encryption.
Additional file hosting metrics
Regarding the three metrics of affordability and unlimited, if this is your first time viewing our annual top file hosting sites list, we determine it as follows: “Free account available” means that you can register and use the site without paying. If it says “Free Trial available” then you can try it but you have to pay to continue using at all. If there is no free account or free trial then we did not include it in this year’s ranking. With so many options to choose from, users need to see what they get before taking a gamble at paying.
Affordable/Expensive Premium account is measured based on $8 or less per month for a quality Premium plan. If it is under $8 per month but the storage is low (like 500GB, which is very low), or if the monthly cost is over $8 per month for unlimited, then it is called “Expensive Premium”. “Unlimited Premium Account” means that there are no limits on storage or bandwidth. The icons next to these metrics should make it easy for you to view it at a glance.
User experience issues
A couple entries did not make it this year because they did not offer any unlimited account, or their prices were too high, or they did not offer any free account and made any free trial either nonexistent or too difficult to register. For example, Mozy (formerly owned by Dell) was purchased by Carbonite in this past year. After 24 hours they still have not activated any free trial, just sent an email saying “someone would get back with me soon” to activate it.
So this difficulty and poor user experience of Mozy dropped them off the list, combined with their exorbitant pricing. Contrast this with SugarSync, which although it only has a free trial and no free account (and expensive upgrade), it is immediately activated so at least users can try out the service. This good user experience offsets their cost some.
The newness factor and site longevity
Like last year, we also included newness as a factor which added a couple entries into the list which otherwise might not have made it. The reason is because for the security of your data, it is important to use a site which is probably going to be in business for a long time. This is why ShareFile again made it into the list even though it has a small user base and is very expensive, because Citrix is a well-known brand so it’s probably not going anywhere.
On the other hand, there were some newer sites which looked promising, but due to the volatility of the file hosting industry, we did not include them, and they won’t make it to the annual list until we can be sure they are going to stick around long enough to keep your data safe. It’s better to keep your data with reliable sites that aren’t going to disappear in a year or two taking your data with them.
The new Website Speed metric
Additionally, we added a new statistic, “Website Speed”, which we did not factor into the rankings but displayed in an easy-to-see purple bar to see which sites are faster or slower. We did not use this as a ranking factor because it is the speed of the website, but not the upload or download speed. We may add in upload and download speed metrics some time later once we finish our testing matrix for reliably determining upload and download speed.
So let’s get started! We hope you enjoy our top file hosting sites list for 2018-2019. We did a lot of research to find the greatest sites, and poured a lot of work into finding the latest metrics to make your decision easier and to rank them accordingly. While some sites made it back into the list from last year, some of the new intriguing entries this year (like SimFileShare) are really cool. Enjoy the list!
10,289,977 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors
Free account available Affordable Premium Account Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 95 | Very Fast
SaberCatHost is the winner of the Best File Hosting Sites for 2018-2019. It is very easy to use, fast page speed, dfast uploads and downloads, affordable Premium upgrade prices, and unlimited storage for their Premium and Business accounts. Both the Premium and Business plans also allow you to have unlimted bandwidth - this means that unlimited people can upload or download your files without any restrictions.
The files size is at the top of all the sites, with the Premium allowing up to 10GB files and the Business plan allowing up to 30GB, which is the highest of all the sites we could find. You can create folders for sorting your files, there are statistics pages to track your files upload and downloads, and you can even earn money by uploading and sharing your files.
Creating an account is very simple, you can either use email or you can use Facebook or Twitter to sign up and sign in with 1 click. Support is also very good, we sent in some support requests and questions and got back quick answers that were very friendly and helpful. Contrast this to some other file hosting sites where we couldn't even get a response at all (i.e. ShareFile).
Moreover, the site works on both desktop and mobile devices seamlessly. With a beautiful design, fast speeds, user-friendly interface, and excellent support, as well as end-to-end encryption and SSL for security, SaberCatHost is the best file hosting site for 2018-2019 and we highly recommend it - especially for Premium or Business plans.
SaberCatHost Home Page
SaberCatHost File Hosting Admin Panel
122500 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 29,470 Alexa Rank | 44,931 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account Unlimited Business Only Website Speed: 68 | Medium
A relative newcomer, this unique niche-based document-hosting site allows users to upload their documentation without fear. This is a great and interesting niche, as documentation is something that is very needed, and this site will only let you upload documentation and nothing else. Very clever! It has a business upgrade plan but it is rather expensive.
Read the Docs Home Page
Read the Docs File Hosting Admin Panel
1,754,200 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 3,280 Alexa Rank | 3,881 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available No Premium Account No Unlimited Account Website Speed: 69 | Medium
VIVO is a cool new addition to the file hosting scene. A niche video site, it even allows you to earn money from uploading and sharing your videos, based on video views, presumably through advertising. It pays close to what YouTube pays.
The benefit is that unlike YouTube which requires you to have 10,000 hours of watch time and other requirements before you could earn a penny, VIVO on the other hand could have earned you some money immediately. The downside is there isn't a search function, so you can't browse other user's videos like on youtube, and you'll need to do all your own marketing.
You can't use this site for general file hosting and you also can't upload copyrighted videos to profit off them, but this is a great niche video hosting site that is worth a look, even though there is no Premium or upgrade ability.
VIVO Home Page
VIVO File Hosting Admin Panel
17,088,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 131 Alexa Rank | 252 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available No Premium Account No Unlimited Account Website Speed: 43 | Medium Slow
Openload is a neat new addition to the list. Your files are not permanent and there is no ability to upgrade for larger filesizes or to keep your files for longer, but, it is still a cool new site. While the website design looks pretty, there are clearly a few bugs and layout issues, but it may be worth a look for some temporary file storage.
openload Home Page
openload File Hosting Admin Panel
571,200 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 5,600 Alexa Rank | 5,684 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available No Premium Account No Unlimited Account Website Speed: 82 | Fast
SimFileShare is super awesome! It is definitely not a site for everyone, since you can only upload files for The Sims. I don't play the sims so we had nothing to upload to test it, but we did create an account it is looks very clean and user friendly.
Still if you play The Sims like millions of other people around the world, this is an amazing new site that will help you store your unique files. Unlike many file hosting sites which don't like people uploading such a kind of file like game modules, smilies, mods, and other hosted files, etc, Sim File Share allows you to upload any Sims files, although nothing else.
Other problems for Simmers (people who play the Sims) that are problems with other file hosting sites for this type of file include you can host your files forever without touching them again, old files are never deleted, and end of life guarantee that the site has plans to remain up forever.
You see, in gaming especially on online multiplayer RPG games like The Sims and such, users can create modded content, but they also post these links to the content into the online world. This means to keep the content up forever for everyone, often content which is many years old, then you've got to have a very special web host for this.
User generated content is coveted by many members and for serious gamers they never want to lose the ability to access in-game user-generated content. The Sims game does not have a way to upload to their servers, so you have to host elsewhere. This is why this SimFileShare site is so cool and also it is free, which is really needed for many gamers, especially many who are children without money or skills to host files.
Pretty cool this site capitalized on a niche. Best of all it is free! There is also no Premium plan. I don't know how they make their money to run the site. My guess is that they are also Simmers who are using their own site to host sims files and that is how they make their money from in-game purchases. Just a guess though. It may even be run by owners of the Sims themselves, or big fans of the game.
Be sure to type in .net not .com! there is no such site as simfileshare.com, only simfileshare.net.
Sim File Share Home Page
Sim File Share File Hosting Admin Panel
8,450,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 320 Alexa Rank | 463 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available No Premium Account No Unlimited Account Website Speed: 6 | Very Slow
Zippyshare made the list again! This year they got rid of that bad flash unlike last year. But they haven't improved mobile usability, so it still looks really bad on your cell phone or tablet. Better open your browser to full screen.
There is no way to upgrade your account, so there is a hard limit of filesizes of 50mb. If you have larger files, look elsewhere. You can upload for up to 30 days, but if the file goes inactive for more than 30 days it is automatically deleted.
Still, for small files which you only need to upload and share temporarily, ZippyShare is one of the best for small temporary files. It is not good for backing up because you'll lose all your backups very quickly, and you can only upload very small files.
The site is best for quick sharing of a small file over the internet, but that's it. For this limited usage, however, it is good. If you want to upload bigger files or keep them longer, then this won't be a good site for you.
Zippyshare Home Page
Zippyshare File Hosting Admin Panel
2,517,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 732 Alexa Rank | 930 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 23 | Slow
4Shared is another dinosaur who's been around for a long time. Occasionally I go there just to find a random PDF or something. Anyone can upload anything, but copyrighted files are removed of course if they get complaints.
The user interface is a bit clunky, but at least it works on mobile. You can't download without an account though - although, a limited account is free. This means it could be a tad bit of a hassle to share this file, since everyone who downloads also needs an account.
4Shared is unique in that it is willing to take a risk that most other aren't, because most others that have taken this risk have been shut down by the government. This risk is the ability to search the site for any files. This is a huge risk for file hosting sites which could offer that capability, but choose not to out of fear of attracting unwanted attention - not to mention making it extremely hard to get approved for any payment processor for upgrades.
4Shared probably gets away with this by promptly responding to DMCA requests - but they also have the same problem with being approved for any credit card processors which is why they have to use third parties to upgrade and it is so expensive to do so.
For example, to upgrade, you either have to buy a gift card from the Dollar General or Subway, in person, and then it is still challenging to get the upgrade done. It's not something you can do in 5 minutes from home over the internet. And you also can't do it if you're overseas or far from a subway or dollar general. It sounds ridiculous, but it's because no banks will approve a payment processor for a file sharing site - only a file hosting site. On the other hand, you also have the option to go through a 3rd party reseller.
The difference is that a file sharing site means that it is intended not just for storage but also for sharing. The problem is that the ability to search the site for files attracts pirates, and that is why banks are unwilling to take the risk - because banks, too, have to worry about the long arm of the government. Banks actually have very strict rules, so this is why 4Shared is unable to accept credit cards and has a somewhat ridiculous upgrade process. It is also why the upgrade membership is so expensive.
It's a nice service to have, and it's good someone has it, but sadly, our world isn't a good one for allowing the freedom of sharing information. Information sharing is strictly regulated in most of the developed world by governments. Many people have gotten in big trouble over this.
Just look at KimDotCom who the government is still trying to arrest for Megaupload which was notorious for pirates and pirated movie streaming. He now lives in exile on an island in New Zealand just out of reach of the authorities trying to lock him up. He is banned from entering the U.S. or several other major countries and he still has millions in assets which was seized by the government.
Recently, the KimDotCom appealed again to the New Zealand courts to prevent being extradited to the U.S. to face charges for copyright infringement and fraud. What will happen to him? Who knows, it's up in the air at this point. I for one am hopeful that he will win and successfully sue the governments for the 6.8 billion in damages that he is seeking. His lawyer Ira Rothken seems hopeful as he told Reuters on July 4, 2018, “We think that ultimately Kim Dotcom will prevail.”
Anyway, long story short, file sharing is a big concern in today's day and age - especially in the file hosting world. Most companies are, rightly, too fearful to attract unwanted attention to risk posting a search function, even though, by my research, I learned that several of these sites have a search ability developed but decided not to activate it for the above reasons.
4shared Home Page
4shared File Hosting Admin Panel
237,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 9,693 Alexa Rank | 21,736 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 65 | Medium
Hightail is a neat file hosting site. It does have a limited free account this year, not just a free trial. They have done some improvements in their business model, but the site is still more geared toward internal businesses than the public-facing general internet users.
It won't be easy to use this site simply to share a file with a friend, for example, but it could be used to share files across a larger corporation internally. The price to do so, however, is quite expensive, one of the more expensive of the group.
It is a bit unique, and unlike other sites. This could be both good and bad. Good because it's neat to have something niche and unique, but bad because it could make it more difficult to use, since it doesn't follow the traditional format. For example, their Spaces function is unusual. Their dark theme is cool though.
HighTail Home Page
HighTail File Hosting Admin Panel
209,167 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 10,013 Alexa Rank | 18,973 SimilarWeb Rank
Free Trial available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 72 | Medium
Egnyte seems to have a similar business model to hightail, and appears to be a close competitor. Like hightail, it seems more geared to internal business usage than general internet users. There is no free account, but there is a free trial. But, the price for an account is quite hefty. Only serious people are going to want to upgrade to use this service.
Moreover, there is no unlimited ability, only limited file sizes and limited storage space. Still, it is neat to have a generally good-looking and business-oriented professional file hosting site. Very few users will want to use this, but those business users who do might like it.
More users have visited since last year, surprisingly due to the lack of a free account and expensive plans. Maybe less actually converted to an account than visited. It probably has a lower conversion rate without a free plan to try it.
Egnyte Home Page
Egnyte File Hosting Admin Panel
16,613 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 116,634 Alexa Rank | 230,986 SimilarWeb Rank
Free Trial available Affordable Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 33 | Medium Slow
Dropsend is one of the more generic choices. The free version allows you to share a file only 5 times per month, although they can be larger than most free accounts. So, if you have a one-off file you need to share only once or twice, Dropsend might be a good choice.
Their user interface is rather generic, and hasn't changed at all in the 4 years that we have been reviewing file hosting sites. It seems they are simply running on autopilot at this point, with no plans for innovation or adapting to our ever-changing world. This might be fine for a limited userbase, but it will exclude many future users.
The Premium plan is either 5 or 9 per month but there is no unlimited plan. It is really very expensive, because this gives you only 15 or 75 "sends" per month - that is, even with the Premium plan, you are restricted to only a handful of file shares per month. This is not going to be sufficient for most uses, except very limited person-to-person shares, which is not the common use for file hosting sites.
This site isn't really useful for long-term storage or backup. Even with the top plan, you only get a maximum of 10GB of storage per month, which is inadequate. Still, for the very limited usage of one-off sends of large files, DropSend might be useful.
Dropsend Home Page
Dropsend File Hosting Admin Panel
80,308 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 48,410 Alexa Rank | 45,780 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 49 | Medium Slow
iDrive is another site that is rather generic and limited in its usefulness. Their plan offerings are somewhat confusing to the regular user. While up to 2TB are possible for the Personal plan, only 250GB are allowed on the more expensive Business plan. The reason for this is because the Personal plan is very restricted.
While there is no unlimited plan, you can get terabytes of business usage, but you are going to pay insane prices for it - literally thousands of dollars per year. This is way too expensive, and other file hosting sites are much better for a fraction of the cost.
For the free plan, while the user interface is a bit generic and outdated, it does offer 5GB for free. But if you want to upgrade, it would probably be better to chose another, way less expensive file hosting provider.
IDrive Home Page
IDrive File Hosting Admin Panel
10,634,167 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 220 Alexa Rank | 449 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 66 | Medium
WeTransfer has been around for awhile now. It is a limited usage site, and you cannot store or backup any files to this site. It is intended purely for sharing individual files. You can send up to 2GB for free, one at a time, and the files expire automatically.
The Premium service is really quite expensive, considering that the main benefit is a little bit larger file sizes. On the other hand, Premium does allow a little bit of storage space where you can save your files, but not much by modern standards. There are other sites which offer far more or unlimited storage space for the same or better price, so WeTransfer is mainly good just for one-off file shares that expire after a short time frame.
Wetransfer Home Page
Wetransfer File Hosting Admin Panel
22,272 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 121,844 Alexa Rank | 172,872 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 50 | Medium
OpenDrive is a nice looking site. It does offer unlimited uploading and sharing, unlike many file sharing websites. The Free version gets just 5GB of storage space, but the Premium gets unlimited. However, it is expensive, almost twice as much as SaberCatHost while offering a similar service, for example. Also, Openload's Business plan is super-expensive. Their Enterprise plan is so high they won't even list the price and want you to call for it. This usually means it will probably be thousands per month, or very high prices.
If you want to pay the higher price, Openload is pretty good; although, their site and layout are a little bit buggy. It looks nice though. The blue color scheme is attractive. But color alone shouldn't be a factor in whether or not you will use a site. You decide.
Opendrive Home Page
Opendrive File Hosting Admin Panel
44,750 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 50,744 Alexa Rank | 92,766 SimilarWeb Rank
Free Trial available Expensive Premium Account Unlimited Business Only Website Speed: 16 | Slow
ADrive is pretty similar to iDrive. It is pretty basic and generic; however, there is no free version unfortunately. There is a free trial available though. They advertise the lowest pricing. However, it isn't exactly true. All it does is give a cheap plan for limited users, and a higher priced plan for regular users. It may be useful for some basic uploading and file storage, but it's pay-to-play. You can't use this site at all for free.
ADrive Home Page
ADrive File Hosting Admin Panel
44,837 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 72,455 Alexa Rank | 94,684 SimilarWeb Rank
Free Trial available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 25 | Medium Slow
Sugarsync Home Page
Sugarsync File Hosting Admin Panel
633,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 2,630 Alexa Rank | 11,546 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account Unlimited Business Only Website Speed: 91 | Very Fast
Box, Inc., formerly Box.net, has been around forever. However, they aggressively block users with VPN or IP masking, so you're out of luck if you want to use the site securely. Their back end is pretty basic. Strangely, a file we uploaded showed the wrong image - inverted. Very odd. Look in the screenshot below - the orange and black colored image is actually a blue and white image that we uploaded. Odd.
You can get unlimited storage with Box, but you'll have to pay a lot for it. They literally just changed their home page design, so today it looks a bit different than it does in our screenshot below. It seems they have finally (literally days ago) purchased Box.com, because when you type in Box.net, it now redirects to Box.com. It seems that Box's new focus is geared toward Enterprise users - that is, high-end clients willing to put thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month - not your everyday user.
The standard Business plan, which is best for regular users, is also very expensive at $13.50 per month. It has a bunch of features the regular user isn't going to need, but limited filesize of only 5GB - compare this to 10GB or 20GB for other Business plans on other sites. Even the lowest personal plan is $9 per month, which is rather high for the limit of 100GB storage and 5GB upload size.
I guess when you have one of the best domain names on the internet you can charge high prices, cause it doesn't matter if 99% of people think it's too expensive. You'' still get 1% of people who don't know anything and don't do any research first.
They lost our account with the URL changeover as it was missing, so we tried to signup again. We tried to use Tor since the site would not work on our IP address. It loaded, but after 15 minutes of clicking endless captcha images - we must have clicked over 1,000 captcha images in a row - we eventually gave up trying to create an account, so we will just assume their admin dashboard looks the same. Maybe you'll have better luck, who knows.
Box Home Page
Box File Hosting Admin Panel
525,000 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 4,656 Alexa Rank | 8,271 SimilarWeb Rank
Free Trial available Expensive Premium Account Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 66 | Medium
Citrix Sharefile is on this list because Citrix is a well-known company. They do not have a free account but they do have a free trial. They are geared toward Enterprise-level companies, so it's not really good for the everyday user, especially when considering their prices.
Their traffic rank is pretty low, but that's understandable considering they are not targeting the masses of regular users but instead, corporations. Individuals can use it, they get 100GB but have to pay a whopping $16 per month for this privilege. For 1TB, it's $60 per month. For unlimited, it's a massive $100 per month.
Is it worth it? Well, they have a nice-looking dashboard. Fast file transfers. Folders. But so do some other file hosting sites which cost much less and may even have more features. For enterprise-level users, it might be worth a shot. For everyday users, probably not.
ShareFile Home Page
ShareFile File Hosting Admin Panel
8,267,500 Estimated Total Monthly Visitors | 374 Alexa Rank | 436 SimilarWeb Rank
Free account available Expensive Premium Account No Unlimited Premium Account Website Speed: 87 | Fast
Lastly we have iCloud. Of course, this is owned by Apple. Surprisingly, iCloud has improved since last year. You still can't even do anything without logging in using an Apple ID - but once you are signed in, they have improved the interface - a little. It's still nothing to write home about. Well, that was a very meta comment. Some of you readers understand what I mean.
Anyway, when you log in on a desktop, you still get that iOS look - which the Apple developers still haven't figured out that desktop users don't want to see giant mobile icons but rather a desktop interface. However, at least now when you click on iCloud Drive, it opens up a more traditional desktop-friendly page - albeit still extremely lacking. There is a fine line between "minimalism" and "missing features". Sadly, the tragic passing of Steve Jobs some years ago pretty much killed the heart of Apple (this is evident in all of Apple's products since then).
At least the site is now usable. And at least whoever designed this site has gained a little bit of common sense in the 21st century with their pricing structure. Remember when they only offered 1GB of free storage and wanted $10 per month for 100GB? That as 3 years ago but they still only offer 1GB free, but at least now, you get 2TB for $10 per month. Still high, but not as insane as before.
Unfortunately, even trying to upgrade is like grinding your teeth or scraping your nails on a chalkboard. There is absolutely no link to upgrade, anywhere. The only way to even find out the pricing is to do an internet search for it which takes you to a help page on the main Apple site titled "Buy more iCloud storage". At the top it says you get 5GB free, but my iCloud account we created for this research still shows I only have 1GB of space. But there is no link to actually go to an upgrade page to purchase this. How do you upgrade? Maybe by magic, who knows. Imagine trying to cancel if you can't even find out how to sign up!