Launched in 2007, Dropbox offers cloud storage, personal cloud, and file synchronization services. You can access the platform online or via the application which is available for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
You can use Dropbox for free but you can only access all the features with the premium plans. Dropbox is also a proprietary software which means you can’t easily adapt it to meet specific needs.
If you would prefer an open-source platform, here are the 10 best open-source Dropbox alternatives.
The first open-source Dropbox alternative on this list is Nextcloud. Nextcloud is described as the first self-hosted productivity platform but you can host it using external providers. The platform is fully on-premises so it’s very secure and highly collaborative.
Nextcloud is a widely used alternative to Dropbox thanks to its simple interface that makes it easy to use. With Nextcloud, you can send and share documents, emails, calendars, videos, and many other media files.
File sharing is supported on Nextcloud Files. Nextcloud files allow you to access data from external sources via NFS, FTP, Object Storage, Windows Network Drive, etc.
Collaboration is exclusively supported on the Nextcloud Hub. The Hub platform is also open source and everything is encrypted to prevent leaks. Nextcloud supports file locking. This will prevent any unauthorized colleague from editing some files.
You can set specific limits for different colleagues. In addition, you can send password-protected public links to others via which they can upload files for you to access.
An interesting feature of this Dropbox alternative is Nextcloud Text. Nextcloud Text is for note taking and it comes with several document templates that you can apply.
Nextcloud was built in compliance with business and legal requirements which make it ideal for companies. It enables you to monitor corporate data across different system servers.
Managing workflow with Nextcloud is easy. You can control data flow from servers to end-users using rule-based file tagging and triggers. Some of the featured triggers include user groups, file properties, physical location, and more.
On a desktop, you can use Nextcloud via the web. On mobile, you can simply install the Nextcloud iOS or Android app.
Notably, Nextcloud is free, but it offers enterprise plans for large-scale needs.
Here are the pricing plans for Nextcloud Enterprise:
- Basic – €36 per user when billed annually
- Standard – €65 per user when billed annually
- Premium – €95.50 per user when billed annually
Note: Each Nextcloud Enterprise pricing plan starts at 100 users.
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OwnCloud is used by more than 100 million people globally which makes it a popular Dropbox alternative. The platform gives you the option to self-host your data or host using the native data center. OwnCloud is not just open source, it also supports an open ecosystem and is optimized for enterprises.
If you self-host with ownCloud, there are many features available to keep your data secure and regulated. Some of these include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and file lifecycle management.
In addition, ownCloud comes GDPR-ready, LGPD-ready, CCRF-ready, CCPA-ready, and HIPAA-ready which shows it’s a very secure open-source Dropbox alternative.
To protect your computer from infection, ownCloud has built-in antivirus software. It automatically inspects all files as they upload for not just viruses but any malicious code or Trojans.
For collaboration, ownCloud makes file sharing flexible; you can share files with anyone. Not to mention, ownCloud enables you to create and share secure public links. The links can be secured with expiration dates and passwords.
OwnCloud features desktop applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. The platform also features mobile applications for Android and iOS smartphones.
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Despite being open-source, ownCloud is freemium. The platform features pricing plans mostly for hosting on the native data center. The pricing plans include:
- Community Plan: €0 per month
- Enterprise Plan: Starting at €12 per user per month for 25 users
- Standard Plan: Starting at €5 per user per month for 25 users
- ownCloud Online For Teams: €13 per month
- ownCloud Online For Single Users: €15 per month
The pricing plans for the self-hosting are based on the number of users. You can try each pricing plan for about 14 days for free before you pay.
This is an enterprise file sharing and synchronization platform. It enables you to build your own personalized cloud storage. Pydio isn’t a recommended open-source Dropbox alternative if you use Windows. It works best on Linux and Mac systems.
Pydio is one of the best open-source Dropbox alternatives if you’re particular about integrations. You can connect with other storage systems including Local FS, Google Cloud Storage, Azure Blob, Network Mount, and Object Storage – S3-Compatible.
Deploying and maintaining cloud storage with Pydio is easy as the platform is based on a micro-service architecture. It was developed using GoLang, one of the newest programming languages. Notably, Pydio can handle large files up to 5 TB.
With Pydio, security is guaranteed. You have full control of your data with powerful administration tools. Likewise, the platform is compliant with the latest GDPR amongst others.
Pydio was built for business teams and allows file sharing and collaboration internally and externally. Some of the featured collaboration tools include an online chat and online office suite.
As the administrator, you can monitor all the file-sharing activities via the analytics dashboard. From the dashboard, you can view daily connections, file downloads, uploads, and shares. You can also monitor your server status – services and DataSources.
Pydio diagnostic tools make it easy for you to identify bottlenecks and other errors in your data files.
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Pydio is a freemium Dropbox alternative. Check out the available pricing plans:
- Home Plan – Free plan
- Connect Plan – €2980 per year for 100 users
- Enterprise Plan – €4980 per year for 100 users
At number 4, we have Syncthing, a private and secure open-source Dropbox alternative. The platform focuses on file synchronization. You can share and access files between multiple computers in real-time while keeping them protected.
If a file is created, edited, or deleted in one device, the same happens on the other connected devices. Syncthing is private because the platform doesn’t need any third-party storage. Unlike Dropbox, Syncthing doesn’t upload your data to the cloud as there’s no central server available.
All files are locally hosted on client computers so they can’t be compromised. In addition, communication between computers during synchronization is encrypted with TLS.
The platform is very powerful. You can synchronize as many files and folders as you need. It’s web-based which makes it portable as it’ll work with almost any device type. Syncthing will work on Mac OS X, OpenBSD, Windows, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. – you just need a browser.
There’s a macOS application bundle and Windows tray utility that you can install. Syncthing features a mobile app but it’s only available for Android.
Not much configuration is required when setting up Syncthing. It doesn’t use IP addresses but instead lets you assign a unique ID to each computer. You can connect the computers via the internet or with a LAN.
To ensure you’re synchronizing with the right computer, Syncthing authenticates each computer using a strong cryptographic certificate. With this, only devices you allow can connect to your devices.
As an open-source Dropbox alternative, you can access all of Syncthing’s coding on GitHub. The platform follows an open protocol – Block Exchange Protocol – so everything is documented.
There are no subscription plans with Syncthing, the platform is 100% free.
Storj is decentralized cloud storage designed for developers. It’s a very unique and secure open-source Dropbox alternative. As a decentralized platform, your files aren’t stored in any central location.
The files, when shared, are encrypted and distributed in parts on a global cloud network. A file can be split into 80 different parts, while each part is sent to a different node in the global network.
Apart from security purposes, splitting files before sharing ensures that they are deployed a lot faster. Your file won’t get lost if any of the nodes go offline. Storj features an automatic repair process that’ll fix the file. There are more than 13,000 active nodes on the Storj global network.
The files are encrypted using AES-256-GCM symmetric encryption such that even Storj can’t see what you’re sharing. It’s up to you to specify which users should be granted access to your files. You can revoke access at any time since you have complete data control.
With Storj, you can access your data at any time and from anywhere as the cloud network is global. Storj is S3 compatible and you can deploy it in just minutes. Other Storj integrations include Fastly, FileZilla, Filebase, Duplicati, and MongoDB.
This open-source Dropbox alternative features desktop applications for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. The platform works best on Windows. There’s an online Storj community of developers where you can get answers and collaborate.
Storj features both free and premium plans, which include:
- Free Plan – $0 per month
- Standard Plan – $4 per TB for storage per month; $7 per TB for bandwidth per month
6. Cozy Cloud
Hosted in France, Cozy Cloud is an open-source Dropbox alternative designed for privacy. With the Cozy Cloud Drive, you can gather all your data from different locations including cloud storage, social media, emails, and more. It’s ideal if you want to secure, synchronize, backup, or share data.
This open-source Dropbox alternative enables you to synchronize files across different devices for quick access. Cozy Cloud can be accessed on mobile and desktop. There are desktop apps for macOS, Linux/GNU, and Windows. Likewise, it has mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.
Cozy Cloud allows you to extract data from third-party services. This includes data like bank statements, health bills, electricity payments, payslips, etc. This feature makes this Dropbox alternative very unique and there are over 100 third-party services you can pull data from.
Since Cozy pulls data from different sources and operations are automatically categorized in your dashboard. You can also edit the categories as well.
As an open-source platform, Cozy Cloud supports self-hosting and you can access the source code on GitHub. The platform is also GDPR compliant which means your files are safe.
Cozy Cloud is a freemium Dropbox alternative. With the free account, you have up to 5 GB of storage and there’s no limit to what sources you can pull data from.
While you can use Cozy Cloud for free, there’s a limit to the space you can use. There are premium plans for more storage space. The pricing plans include:
- 5 GB Space – €0 per month
- 50 GB Space – €2.99 per month
- 1000 Space – €9.98 per month
Seafile is an open-source platform that supports file sharing and file synchronization. Files you send to Seafile are stored in the cloud and without syncing, you can access them remotely, even without internet access.
Seafile allows you to organize your files into different libraries. You can then sync any of these libraries to other devices. Since the files are organized into libraries, syncing with Seafile is very fast; you can transfer thousands of files in one minute.
The platform is a secure one because it incorporates file encryption functionality. Every file uploaded is encrypted before it’s synchronized and you can lock libraries using passwords.
Seafile features a drive client which enables you to store files locally on your computer. The drive client maps storage space from the Seafile server to provide you with more local storage files. Files stored in the drive client aren’t synched with others.
An interesting Seafile feature is the file versioning and snapshot. The platform stores various file and folder versions such that you can easily restore either to an old version if you make an error or they get corrupted.
Like Dropbox, you can use Seafile on major desktop computers including Linux, Windows, and Mac. There are also mobile client apps on Android and iOS. You can access all of Seafile’s desktop features with the mobile application.
Deploying Seafile to your own server is free. You only pay for the Pro edition, which depends on the number of users. The plans include:
- 9 users – $100 per user year
- 10 to 249 users – $48 per user year
- 250 to 499 users – $44 per user year
- 500 to 749 users – $40 per user year
- 750 to 999 users – $35 per user year
- 1000 users and above – custom pricing
It’s one of the latest on this list as it was released in 2020. The platform is for self-hosting and secure file synchronization.
You can also use a third-party hosting solution. Plus, SparkleShare works very well with Git. As an open-source project, SparkleShare is available on GitHub as well.
SparkleShare has its pros and cons but it’s a very easy-to-use Dropbox alternative. You’ll find a simple script for self-hosting from the developers so your work is reduced.
Once you install SparkleShare, the software creates a storage folder on your device. If you want to sync or share any file, simply add it to this folder. When you connect to other devices, the folder and all files and folders it contains will be accessible from them.
SparkleShare is ideal if you want to track and allow multiple people to access and edit specific files. The software keeps track of each edit history and you can revert to a previous file version at any time.
Files you share and sync are protected from spies using encryption. SparkleShare won’t be very reliable if you’re looking for an open-source Dropbox alternative to backup files. This is because SparkleShare can’t handle too many large files. The platform also won’t work for video editing projects and others that involve large binary files.
SparkleShare features installation packages for Mac, Linux, and Windows computers. Unlike Dropbox, you can’t use Sparkleshare on mobile as there are no mobile applications available.
SparkleShare is a 100 percent free Dropbox alternative.
Here is a unique open-source Dropbox alternative because it uses blockchain technology. To use Sia, you don’t have to sign up, connect to a server, or utilize any third-party storage platform.
Sia is widely used with more than one million downloads and 829 TB of used storage. Your files are hosted on a data storage marketplace with nodes all over the globe. There are about 549 of them in total and all combined have a 3.3 PB storage capacity.
The files are divided into 30 parts and shared with different hosts. You don’t have to worry about any host going offline as it won’t affect your file. This is because the parts are created via Reed-Solomon erasure coding which keeps your file intact even if 20 out of the 30 hosts go offline.
Sia is a recommended open-source Dropbox alternative if you have high needs for privacy. All the files are encrypted using the Threefish algorithm; you alone have access to the encryption keys. This means that only you alone and anyone you share the keys with can access your data.
This Dropbox alternative features a simple API for easy deployment. Sia can only be accessed online via a web browser; there are no desktop or mobile applications available.
Sia features a simple pricing plan which is more affordable than what you get from Dropbox and other cloud storage providers. The platform charges less than $5 monthly for storing 1 TB of files.
Formerly known as Nauge, Filestash is a self-hosted data client. With Filestash, you can access and manage your data very easily no matter where it’s stored.
The platform supports different external data storages including S3, SFTP, Gogs, Gitea, FTP, FTPS, GIT, Github, Gitlab, WebDav, Mysql, Google Drive, Minio, Backblaze, and even Dropbox.
As an open-source Dropbox alternative, Filestash highly supports collaboration. It utilizes a flexible sharing mechanism that lets you create shared links that can be used as network drives.
With Filestash, you get an easy-to-use admin dashboard that you can further customize. From your dashboard, you can quickly locate important files. The files you access the most are pinned to the top. Thanks to its advanced search feature, you can easily locate any file you’re looking for.
Filestash features a built-in image viewer for photos and a media player for audio and video. With video transcoding and image optimization support, you can automatically play and view any video and image file respectively.
In addition, you can create and save notes, reports, and more using the built-in Powerful Editor. Filestash supports plugins that allow more functionality. You can easily create your own plugin and all of the software’s code is available on GitHub.
Filestash can be used on any computer as it’s a web-based app. Being web-based also makes the platform very fast and it automatically updates without you doing a thing. Filestash doesn’t feature mobile and desktop applications like Dropbox.
Here are its premium plans:
- Hobby – $6 per month
- Pro – $20 per month
- Enterprise – Custom quote
Most of the 10 best open-source Dropbox alternatives are free to use. As open-source platforms, you have more control over your data and how it is deployed.
While you can go with any of the 10 alternatives that meet your interest, Nextcloud is recommended as the best open-source Dropbox alternative.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.