For years now, many of us in the trading community have relied on Dropbox to make it easy to share files. Dropbox was one of the early pioneers in file sharing, and it’s still popular among the trading community.
Larger trading businesses routinely share lots of data files and screenshots with both internal and external users. But even if you’re just trading out of a home office, there are likely to be times when you want to, say, share your trading analysis spreadsheet with a family member.
If you’ve just been sticking with Dropbox for your file sharing, you might not be aware of some newer solutions that are as good as or better than Dropbox.
Here are some alternative file sharing solutions you may want to try for your trading business. Interestingly, some of these alternatives can be used on the fly. I.e., you don’t even need to sign up for an account.
One of these may be just perfect for your needs.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive lets you store and share files without any extra hassle. You’ll need to have a Google (Gmail) account.
It’s easy to access Google Drive from the browser on your trading computer. Start from drive.google.com, or just log into your Gmail account. Alternatively, you may want to install the Google Drive app.
The biggest benefit of Google Drive is that you get easy integration with Google apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Maps, and others. You can share the links to your files with other users through email or other communication channels.
With Google Drive, the first 15 GB of storage is free.
Box provides up to 100 GB of storage for personal use and unlimited storage for business use. It has all the features you would expect from a great file sharing system: security, automated syncs, in-app file editing, and file preview.
Box also has granular permissions which means you can share sensitive documents with more confidence. It also lets you access version history for better tracking, and offers automation tools for eliminating repetitive tasks.
For an individual plan, the first 10 GB is free.
Microsoft’s OneDrive is another great file sharing app. In addition to running on your trading computer, it also has apps for mobile platforms iOS and Android. So even though it’s a Microsoft product, it pretty much works everywhere.
One nice feature is you can choose to store files both online and locally, or just online. Choosing to store just online frees up space on your trading computer’s hard drive. Choosing to also keep a local copy means you can still access your files from your trading laptop even when you don’t have an Internet connection.
Of course, with OneDrive, you get the benefit of the Microsoft ecosystem. If your business is using Microsoft Office 365, then you already have access to OneDrive.
OneDrive’s Basic (free) plan gives you 5 GB of storage. If you have Office 365, you get 1 TB of storage included with the Personal plan (or 1 TB per user for up to 6 users with their Office 365 Home plan).
If all you need to do is send a file, rather than store or share it, you’ll want to check out WeTransfer.
If you need more, their paid Plus plan lets you send up to 20 GB at a time, store up to 100 GB, and password protect your files.
Snaggy is geared towards sharing screenshots. It allows you to quickly take a screenshot and upload it to the cloud. You’ll get a URL you can send in order to share the screenshot.
Snaggy isn’t a desktop app. It’s online only, so there is nothing to download. Just follow their simple instructions to take and upload a screenshot. Once uploaded, you can crop the image, add text, and draw with your mouse or digital pen.
This is another great last-minute solution. If you don’t have a similar app you use regularly, keep Snaggy in mind. You never know when you might need it unexpectedly.
You don’t need to register for a (free) account, but if you do, you’ll be able to manage and delete your old images. Snaggy saves each image for 6 months from the last viewing.
For traders who want to send screenshots of charts or tables from their trading computers, Snaggy can make the process easier.
Droplr is a screenshot sharing app, but you can use it to send other files, too (like Word documents or Excel spreadsheets). It easily integrates with many popular services including Slack, Trello, Gmail, Skype, and more.
Droplr has quite a broad selection of image editing options, including shapes, arrows, and selectable emojis, in addition to the the usual text and drawing options. These options can be easily accessed through a Chrome extension.
The free version (Droplr Lite) only gives you 4 GB of storage in the cloud, and you can’t send files that are larger than 2 GB. But like WeTransfer and Snaggy, there is a feature to share a file at the last minute, without creating an account.
Slack is not traditionally considered a file sharing app. It’s mainly used for communicating within a team. However, you can easily drag and drop files to Slack. It also gives you options to annotate your files.
File uploads are limited in size to 1 GB. But Slack conveniently works with files shared from Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.
Slack has a free version that’s great for small teams or for family members who like to share information about their trading strategies. It’s a nice alternative to Skype, especially if you need better organization of your communications and shared files.
Try Some Tools Today
There are also tools like Zoho Docs, eFileCabinet, SendTransfer, Ge.tt, Smash, IBM Cloud, and more that can make transferring files from your trading computer a quick and easy task. Most of these tools have apps for mobile devices.
Have a little fun today trying out, bookmarking, or even signing up for some of these solutions. Then you’ll be all set the next time you need to quickly share an important document or image.
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