AeroFS, Accellion, Egnyte queue up IT friendly alternatives to Dropbox, while Boxcryptor, nCrypted Cloud camp seeks to make it more it more secure and palatable to the C-suite.

photo: Gigaom Illustration

Sometimes it seems like there are more vendors trying to upend Dropbox than there are customers willing to try them. Some apply additional security, encryption, or what-have-you to make your cloud storage (usually Dropbox) more palatable to IT. Others just want to cut to the chase and replace Dropbox altogether. Given people’s love of that product, that’s going to be a tough row to hoe.

Let’s recap who’s doing what. On Tuesday, Boxcryptor, which encrypts user files for storage elsewhere, said it plans to add support for Windows Phone, Windows RT and Blackberry 10 — it already supports Windows, Mac OSX, Android, iOS and Google Chrome clients.

In theory that means users with those devices can securely send data to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive (aka SkyDrive)  and other repositories. BoxCryptor competitors include nCrypted Cloud and others.

Cloud computing / in the cloud / cloud storage

Also on Tuesday, AeroFS which falls into another camp in this same battle — companies that offer Dropbox-like services without actually using Dropbox — announced new features. First, it unveiled auditing that will let companies track all usage within the AeroFS Private Cloud for regulatory purposes. Second, it launched an API that will let third-parties build collaborative services that hook into that cloud.

AeroFS pitches its product users who want to avoid those backend clouds altogether and instead use a network of their own servers to store important data.

Accellion, another player in the IT-friendly file-sync space which differentiated itself from others by actually charging for its services, last month announced Kiteworks. The new product aims to lets users share file securely via mobile devices with corporate repositories like SharePoint Online and EMC Documentum. No Dropbox in sight.

And, OxygenDrive is pitching a do-it-yourself cloud option using its Odrive with Microsoft Windows Azure or file servers, or “even an old laptop.” Another contender, Egnyte, pushes its hybrid cloud solution as a business-friendly alternative to Dropbox, just expanded its global operations.

You’re going to need a scorecard

Clearly there’s a lot of action here. Upstarts are rushing to combine Dropbox-like ease of use in a package that’s palatable to IT departments and regulators. Box is the giant here, with its $2 billion valuation and IPO plans. But Dropbox, with its reported $10 billion valuation, remains the target — and it’s not standing still. It’s adding more enterprise friendly features like Active Directory integration and other perks to Dropbox for Business which as of November claimed 4 million users (out of a total of 200 million Dropbox users overall.)

Some say it has a long way to go, however. Security vendor Skyhigh Networks is working with the Cloud Security Alliance to certify cloud services as to their enterprise worthiness — a sort of Good Housekeeping seal of approval. And Dropbox, said Skyhigh CEO Rajiv Gupta, does not make the cut.

Note: this story was updated at 11:39 a.m. PST to add the OxygenCloud option

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  1. Point.io just released a new product called APIdoc that connects all of the cloud and enterprise file storage systems together. Why choose one? If you are properly integrated, then you can let the market decide for you.

  2. Tonido FileCloud (http://www.getfilecloud.com) is missing in the list. It is probably the best self-hosted Enterprise File Share and Sync product in the market. It also offers mobile device management. We can definitely give a product tour if GigaOm is interested

  3. I recently ordered Pixeom X1 cloud device which gives me a personal encrypted cloud that not only offers me more control over the content I put there (any file – size or type) but prevents the NSA or any other government agency from going behind my back (without my knowledge) and arm twisting dropbox et al into giving up my data encrypted or not. The only way to fix the security problem with public clouds is going private and not band-aiding it with a layer of encryption, etc.

    Surprised Gigaom has not covered this new class of personal cloud devices instead of focusing on dropbox, box and their dime a dozen clones – not surprised though because a lot of the storage companies have been mislabeling NAS boxes as cloud, which the X1 is not. It is your own private dropbox, box….with 100% control (over privacy and security) and that is the refreshing new approach to this problem.

  4. Guy Up In The Clouds Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Really, this is what cloud “news” has come to?

    Dropbox copycats were newsworthy back in 2009, the battle for giving away free stuff to consumers was over a long time ago. (Which, considering Dropbox is moving its focus to business, has proven time and time again to be a horrible business model)

    The latest trend is towards decentralization of the cloud (aka private cloud), where are the articles about that? Or is Gigaom just not as in touch with the market anymore?

  5. Sander Olislagers Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Let’s add Owncloud and BTsync to the list. I use them both parallel to dropbox and they work nicely.

  6. use zettabox.com instead!

  7. I Have just been through this evaluation process and a product called Objective Connect came out above all else in terms ease of use and licensing model.S

  8. Check out camlistore.org as an open source self hosted alternative. It’s still too immature for userland, but starting to be an alternative in hackerland.

    Giving all the privacy hype around, going back to self-hosted services starts to sound sexy again :-)

  9. Seafile is worth looking at, too. Also open source, with a web interface, sync clients for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, and the ability to encrypt files on the server.

  10. For the enterprise; Hightail is the perfect solution giving ease of use to the end user (stand alone for file sharing or integrating into Outlook, SalesForce, SharePoint) while providing high security, full audit trail of all content and access to the Admin – worth a look http://www.hightail.com

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