I mainly use Google Drive Desktop for backing up pictures, and files on Windows, but I have yet to find a good alternative to use on Linux/Ubuntu. I know about Dropbox, however they don't have a large amount of free space and their prices for upgrading are, well, pricey. I am mainly looking for a tool that can sync files so I don't lose my work in case my computer has a meltdown.

I am not just looking for a free service. I am looking for something that has cheaper upgrade rates than dropbox, and also has more default, free space.

Is there an alternative to Google Drive that isn't Dropbox?

I need about 15GB.

  • 3
    Which features do you need? Just file syncing? Or also file sharing/publishing/editing?
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 0:21
  • @Olli Mainly just syncing so I don't lose my work.
    – aman207
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 0:26
  • For just syncing, see softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/129/…
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 0:27
  • Syncing with what? Do you want to synchronize between two (or more) computers that you own, or do you want to rent storage on the cloud? Given that there are already three answers about cloud-based storage, if that isn't what you meant after all, ask a different question (unless softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/129/… suits you). Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 0:43
  • @aman207, Why not use the web interface Google Drive provides?
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 10:26

9 Answers 9



Mega is an excellent service I've been using since its initial launch. I'd highly recommend it if not just for its usability and the 50gb free storage you get. One thing I love about Mega is the file manager. It's easy to use, understand, and works in browser.

Mega File Manager

Most importantly, Mega functions in most modern web browsers. A Mega client with file syncing is also available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Mobile apps are available on Android, IOS, and Blackberry.


  • 50gb free storage
  • Accessible from any modern browser (mobile and desktop clients are also available)
  • File Sync client available on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Plans starting from 9.99 € a month for 500gb storage and 1tb bandwidth
  • End-to-end file encryption
  • Easy file sharing and contact management


One interesting thing to note about Mega is that, to quote Wikipedia:

Dotcom has said that data on the Mega service will be encrypted client-side using an advanced AES algorithm. Since Mega does not know the encryption keys to uploaded files, they cannot decrypt and view the content. Therefore, they cannot be responsible for the contents of uploaded files.

However, I would not trust that Mega, if compelled by, say, a subpoena, could not obtain a user's master key and decrypt their files in their entirety. See also MEGApwn.

When uploading to any file storage platform you should always expect that your data will be immediately accessible to others without your consent, and that it may, at any point in the future, become unavailable to you without warning.

  • 2
    Works through browser means... "manually syncing files"
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 2:11
  • 1
    @Olli That would be what the Sync client is for. Unfortunately, it is only available on Windows currently, but will be available on Linux and Mac in the near future. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 2:14
  • Oh, cool, I have missed that.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 2:15
  • @DanteTheEgregore Really nice suggestion. I will keep an eye on it for when the Linux and Android clients show up. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 12:18
  • 1
    Using a service run by Kim Dotcom for backup purposes is... unwise to say the very least. Ask those who used Megaupload how well that worked out.
    – chx
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:08

Copy is no longer an option since Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued on May 1, 2016

Since you want 15GB space and Dropbox like functionality in Linux, I would say Copy is your best option right now. With a free account, you get to receive 15GB and access from Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.

Upgrade policy

The upgrade costs work like this:

  • 250GB - $10/month or $99/year
  • 500GB - $15/month or $149/year

If you want to start with 20GB you can use this link to sign up. It is an invite from me.

Besides, every time you invite someone to copy, you get an extra 5GB.


I installed Copy in December 2013 and am using it for non essential files that do not get changed often. I have two Linux boxes to sync. I report no problems what so ever but I am not giving it a heavy usage yet.

  • 1
    Since installing copy I have found that roughly every other time I boot my machine it opens two dolphin windows to the copy folder without any instruction from me to do so. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 11:37
  • @SteveBarnes Do you want to add your take in the answer? Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 10:30
  • 1
    Here's a link that talks about installing Copy with a PPA for Ubuntu or Linux Mint: www.webupd8.org/2014/06/install-copycom-client-in-ubuntu-or.html. Not sure if you want to add this to the answer but thought I would share just in case.
    – Kenny
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 16:16
  • Hello @Kenny. I can add it but, feel free to do it without asking if it makes sense. Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 22:59
  • 1
    Copy is down now, it's ending, So might as well add that to the answer @AlexandreMartins Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 6:32

Amazon S3


  • Reliable company, won't disappear overnight, not associated with piracy or on anyone's sh*t list.
  • Works great on Linux, Windows, Mac, in a browser plugin, on the command line, and other odd places.
  • Well known service, used in thousands of businesses
  • Pay for what you use means not having to choose an account size
  • Virtually unlimited capacity
  • Access to files via web browser, command line tools and various libraries
  • Option to publish a directory as its own web site
  • Small accounts are OK and can be free to very inexpensive (~$10/yr for storing 10-15Gb).


  • You will need to copy/paste security keys out of the web interface into configuration files for the other tools you might want to use.
  • You will need to write a cron job to sync automatically.
  • No spending limit, so don't let bad guys get your keys.
  • Charged for outbound transfer after free 1GB ~ around $0.12/GB.
  • You need to know what you are doing, although there is documentation.

Amazon S3 is more of an industrial B2B solution but is usable. Many of the consumer services are built on top of S3. As such, it is a bit more involved to set up and works more like a secure file transfer than as a virtual drive. You get charged monthly for traffic and storage. I think inbound traffic is free but outgoing could be expensive if you have lots of traffic for restores.

One thing that makes it different from a consumer service is that there are no plans or usage limits, at least not any you can see. For storage, there is virtually infinite capacity. Instead, you are charged for usage. This means there is a risk of being charged lots of money for someone stealing your account. In practice, I've never heard of this happening, though surely it must. It has never happened to me. Some people, though, don't recommend S3 as a web-hosting platform because popularity or evildoers might run up a bill. As a storage, only platform that is less of a problem provided that you keep your keys safe.

Currently, 5Gb of storage is free for new users for a year. The additional 10GB, if you are really going to use it, is currently $0.085/GB-month in Feb 2014. So that's US$0.85/month or about $10 for the first year, for storage. For traffic, incoming is free, and outgoing is 1GB/month free then currently $0.12/GB in Feb 2014. I think they also give away a free micro-VPS for a year if you want a server, too, but that is a separate service (EC2).

Full details, see: S3 storage pricing

Go to aws.amazon.com to sign up.

In ubuntu, install s3cmd to have a command line interface to upload/download files. s3cmd includes a sync option.

From the s3tools man page, you get all of this:

COMMANDS s3cmd can do several actions specified by the following commands.

   s3cmd mb s3://BUCKET
          Make bucket

   s3cmd rb s3://BUCKET
          Remove bucket

   s3cmd ls [s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]]
          List objects or buckets

   s3cmd la
          List all object in all buckets

   s3cmd put FILE [FILE...] s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]
          Put file into bucket

   s3cmd get s3://BUCKET/OBJECT LOCAL_FILE
          Get file from bucket

   s3cmd del s3://BUCKET/OBJECT
          Delete file from bucket

   s3cmd  sync  LOCAL_DIR  s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]  or   s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]
          Synchronize a directory tree to S3

   s3cmd du [s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]]
          Disk usage by buckets

   s3cmd info s3://BUCKET[/OBJECT]
          Get various information about Buckets or Files

   s3cmd cp s3://BUCKET1/OBJECT1 s3://BUCKET2[/OBJECT2]
          Copy object

   s3cmd mv s3://BUCKET1/OBJECT1 s3://BUCKET2[/OBJECT2]
          Move object

   s3cmd setacl s3://BUCKET[/OBJECT]
          Modify Access control list for Bucket or Files

   s3cmd accesslog s3://BUCKET
          Enable/disable bucket access logging

   s3cmd sign STRING-TO-SIGN
          Sign arbitrary string using the secret key

   s3cmd fixbucket s3://BUCKET[/PREFIX]
          Fix invalid file names in a bucket

Plus, you get another page of commands to manage publishing s3 files to the web, if you want to make a website out of your files.

Configuration will require an S3 access key from your S3 account... and this isn't something you should leave lying around in an insecure environment such as a shared PC at work, a virtual server that might get hacked, a laptop you carry that is subject to theft etc., or else some scammer could use your s3 key and be deleting your files or perhaps using your credit card to finance his illegal download site until he gets you banned. One solution is to use gpg --symmetric to encrypt your dotfile with a passphrase and delete the dotfile when not in use. I had posted some short 2-3 line scripts for this to the s3tools blog, but that site is not responding at the time I write this.

When s3cmd is not handy, you can use the aws web tool to upload/download files.

The only problem I have encountered with this service involved Verizon Mifi, and is probably a Verizon network limitation. The Verizon portable broadband would drop the connection after transferring several hundred megabytes. You can access Amazon S3 from virtually any location on the internet. I have never seen a timeout or disconnect problem on a wired network.

  • Can you actually recommend using S3 for this? Have you used it? Any problems? Any idea how to automate syncing, instead of manually running s3cmd? Please read this meta post too.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 13:35
  • 1. I just did; 2. Yes; 3. No.; 4. cron job? find -newer; 5. Would you like fries with that?
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 17:18
  • If you investigate Amazon, I suggest you pay close attention to Amazon Glacier. It's in that price list and at aws.amazon.com/glacier It's for data archiving, you pay very little for uploading, and more for downloading.
    – user416
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 12:03
  • Glacier can be $0.01/Gb to store but it can be insanely expensive to restore from glacier. Think archiving emails and file backups across a large Fortune 500 company in case of a lawsuit. Maybe you never need them, but when you do.... The restore cost for glacier currently depends on how soon you want the data. The traffic charge is based on the peak traffic multiplied by a window of time. S3 is reasonable but be careful with glacier. Maybe AWS will revise their glacier pricing someday.
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 1:56
  • I'm currently using S3 to store my backups, but I'm less than comfortable with it. Amazon has a very bad record of falling victim to social engineering attacks, and it seems likely that a clever, targeted attack could close my account and destroy my backups, or at least make access to them difficult.
    – Tom Zych
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 22:34

I use CrashPlan and it works well. At $60 a year you get unlimited storage -- it's more likely that your upload speed will limit you. I am at 200GB and growing.

CrashPlan runs on Linux cos it's written in Java. Java sometimes has performance issues but you can schedule your backups so your machine only gets loaded when you are asleep. As far as I am aware you can only do backups/restores with the supplied software (or the web site), they claim using a proprietary binary protocol.

  • could you add some details on what it can, maybe a screenshot of its file manager if it has any? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 16:27
  • What are the limitations of CrashPlan? How stable is it? What technical means (protocols) does it offer to synchronize files? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 18:15
  • 1
    @Gilles well, actually this is a bit tricky question, as it asks for online service, and uses Google Drive and Dropbox as examples, but in fact asks for online backup service. For that, protocols used for syncing files are not important, as there's client program available.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 13:37

If it's just for syncing, and you don't need space on the cloud, bitorrent sync works brilliantly

  • No information is stored on their servers

  • unlimited sync - quite literally, the only limit is your internet connection and your hard drive

  • Data transfer is encrypted

  • No login required

  • selective per folder sync - each share can be added to a new system by copying over a unique shared secret

  • works with windows, linux( x86, arm and ppc), IOS and android

  • webui for headless systems

Pair that up with a cheap VPS, or just any nas, or spare system(I use a raspberry pi with an external HDD) and you have a low-cost private synchronization system that works anywhere you have network access.

  • Asker explicitly asked for an online storage service though...
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:35
  • @NicolasRaoul: The way I have it set up, I have 30gb on a cheap VPS I can use to store stuff. I was also slightly more focused on "I am mainly looking for a tool that can sync files so I don't lose my work in case my computer has a melt down." Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:41

I use Jolicloud, which is not one single cloud service, but a tool to 'merge' all these accounts to make one big space to keep all your stuff. Therefore, you can add almost every single one of the other answers to your Jolicloud account and have a big super-account.

The web-interface looks like this:

Jolicloud UI

  • That's really cool. I've never checked out Jolicloud before, but Joli OS did seem like a nice, crisp alternative to Chromium OS when last I heard about it. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 21:19
  • Does it work well for this case? Is there Linux client? Does it actually work well on Linux, based on your experiences?
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 18:07
  • 1
    @Olli I'd assume it works well on Linux as there's an entire Linux distro built around it provided by the same company. That being said, there is no client from what I know. It's all in browser. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 21:45

Box.com gives a flat 10GB storage for a free account, but you are limited to 250MB files unless you pay for an upgrade, and size upgrades are also more expensive than Ubuntu One, costing $10 per month. As far as I can tell Box.com does not have an official Linux app, but there are ways to access their service using WebDAV, and there may be third-party applications to support it.

  • 1
    Do you have any experience with either of these? Can you actually recommend these? Please read this meta post
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 13:34
  • 2
    Ubuntu One, alas, is dead. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 7:40

May I recommend OneDrive? It meets your requirements of,

  • Comes with 15 GB free
  • Cheap rates with upgrade plans starting at 50 GB for just $1.99 a month.
  • Works with Linux using this software, onedrive-d

OneDrive (free)

OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) delivers a satisfactory online file storage and sharing solution in a free and easy to use service. It has a design that is both attractive and functional. OneDrive lets you edit your Microsoft Office documents online, it offers a lite version of three of the major softwares of the suite Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so if you don't have the suite installed on your PC or Mac you can simply edit them online. OneDrive space starts at 7Gb (and for a short period it is able to extend this space up to 25Gb for free). It also has the cheapest online storage services. So you have full access to your documents on all your computers, wherever you are.

OneDrive with onedrive-d


ownCloud is open source and free to download, however, you host it yourself so it doesn't include the service, free or otherwise. You need to buy hosting space elsewhere >= 15gb. Or host it at home if you are up for that.

It has many of the features of dropbox or google drive but you are in control of everything.

Here is the demo.

  • 2
    OP specifically asked for Online Storage. ownCloud is an amazing sync tool but not cloud storage at all. However it can be set up to sync with Google Drive quite easily.
    – danijelc
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 19:51
  • 3
    @danijelc You can host it on a cloud server if you really want to. The main feature he is asking for is Syncing.
    – Enjabain
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:04
  • That's the point OP is asking for Cloud storage not a client. ownCloud with some online/cloud storage.
    – danijelc
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:25
  • 2
    @danijelc So you pay for some hosting, install ownCloud serverside software on it for free and install the desktop client and now you have your cloud storage. It may not be his exact question, but he may not have known this sort of option existed. It provides all of the features he is asking for.
    – Enjabain
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:38
  • I suppose I could've recommended Arvixe which is a server provider, providing owncloud specific servers. This is the storage, but I know for a fact that answer would have been shot down, because there are hundreds of options when it comes to who hosts your owncloud.
    – Enjabain
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 22:42

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