Jan 01, 2020

14 min read

The Best Dropbox Alternatives: Seafile vs NextCloud vs Syncthing

Written by

Vippy The VPS

Dropbox is an extremely popular file-sharing platform that comes with a free plan but its functionality is fairly limited and might not suit everyone's requirements. So, in this post, we'll be taking a look at the very best Dropbox alternatives out there and help you find the best option...

One great way to get incredible value out of your cloud server is by self-hosting your own Dropbox alternative for cloud storage and file-syncing. But with the number of open-source solutions out there, choosing the right one for you can be time-consuming so, in this article, we compare Seafile vs. NextCloud vs Syncthing.

Finding The Best Open-Source Dropbox Alternatives

While there are a lot of alternatives to Dropbox out there, each of them generally fits a specific use case best. In this post, I’m going to compare three of the self-hosted Dropbox alternatives that you can install on your VPS or cloud server– let’s take a look at NextCloud vs Seafile vs Syncthing.

All three of these Dropbox alternatives are open source or have an open source option. They all allow you to access, sync, and share data across various devices. And each provides services like Audio/Video/Text chat or calendar/contact/mail integration and much more.

Let’s check out a few crucial features offered by NextCloud, Seafile, and Syncthing to which one is best suited for your needs.

Seafile vs. NextCloud vs. Syncthing

All of these file-syncing Dropbox alternatives have features to access, sync, and share data across various devices. On top of that, each of them provides services like audio/video/text chat, or the calendar/contact/mail integration, and much more.

But before we dive deep into the features, it’s important to note that Syncthing is a lightweight peer-to-peer synchronization solution. that means that there’s no central third-party server holding a copy of all your data. Syncthing synchronizes files direction between all the machines which need access to those files.

On the contrary, both NextCloud and Seafile need a centralized server (your VPS) to sync data with all your connected machines and devices.

In a nutshell, Syncthing is a decentralized file synchronization solution. Meanwhile, the comparison of Seafile vs NextCloud is more direct, as both combine file synchronization with file management, calendar, contacts, and more.

That alone might be enough to swing you in one direction or another, but let’s get on with the features grid!

LicenseOpen sourceOpen source/Enterprise LicenseOpen source 
Large file supportYesYesYes 
Server OSLinux/Windows/MacOSLinux/Windows 
Docker SupportYesYesYes 
LanguagePHPC, PythonGO 
Mobile ClientsiPhone/Android/WindowsiPhone/AndroidAndroid 
Desktop ClientsMac/Windows/LinuxMac/Windows/LinuxMac/Windows/Linux 
Single Sign-OnYesNoNo 
Sync local folderYesYesYes 
LAN SynchronizationNoYesYes 
File VersioningYes
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