VPNs have become commonplace in China, but there are still many stuck behind the Great Firewall, and that can make it tough for users on different sides of the barrier to share files.
Dropbox and Google Drive, the two most popular cloud storage services in the West, both have restricted accessibility. With that in mind, here are some easy-to-use, China-accessible file-sharing options so that you too can take full advantage of the cloud.
Nowadays, it’s somewhat surprising when Microsoft releases anything close to a “killer app,” but its Skydrive is very much worth trying. It gives users a beastly 25GB of free storage accessible through your web browser (get 20GB more for US$10 a year; 50GB for US$25 or 100GB for US$50) and it has Mac, PC and iOS apps ready as well.
It’s fully compatible with the full suite of MS Office products, meaning that you’ll easily be able to share Word and Excel documents with colleagues, work on them online in real-time (as Google Docs allows you to do) and track different versions of the same file. Available in English and easy to use, it’s our top pick.
Box claims that it’s used by “80 percent of Fortune 500s” and is geared toward business users. The personal account offerings are limited (5GB free, up to 50GB in storage for US$19.99 a month) but business accounts give you access to a whole host of useful features. You’ll get 1,000GB total storage, full-text search on your files, Google Apps integration, password protection options and a bunch of usage data that will help you run your business. It's pricey though: every user you add costs US$15.
The Chinese Options
Unsurprisingly, you’ll have a wealth of options if you can read a bit of Chinese. The most popular options here are Yun.io, Baidu Wangpan, Everbox and Kanbox. Yun.io and Kanbox give you 5GB for free, while Everbox gets you 7GB, and all have Mac, PC, Android and iOS apps.
These three are the most like Dropbox—to use them, just download the appropirate app and drag and drop files into the designated sharing folder. Right clicking on the files will allow you to change their sharing options and grab the internet links to those files. Baidu Wangpan gives you 15GB free and is also relatively straightforward to use, though it’s very new and only works through your web browser for now. Kanbox, Baidu and Everbox all offer extra storage space for free if you refer friends and jump through other hoops.
Have a favorite file-sharing source that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below.