2019 – Filesharing Trends
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.
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 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. We Hope you will be useful for our list of actual filehosts and you will find a suitable filehost!