Hightail vs Dropbox

Hightail provides consumers with an opportunity to send large files that can be retrieved easily. The platform sends users a confirmation and offers a tracker for the files sent. Included are drag-and-drop options for uploading and notifications when someone has accessed the file once it has been sent to them.

Dropbox provides consumers with a very similar service. You can also send large files to another computer or person after uploading it to the platform. Links can be generated so that a file can be shared publicly if desired. The options for uploading are also similar.

Because the Hightail vs Dropbox debate offers numerous similarities, it is even more important to find the points of comparison. Here are how these platforms differ from one another.

1. File Size and Total Storage

Both Hightail and Dropbox offer a “Lite” or “Free” plan. This allows anyone to use the platform to start sharing for free.

Hightail offers users 2GB of storage with a maximum file size of 250MB per upload. Users must upgrade to the Pro plan to share files of larger sizes, receive recipient tracking, and file notifications. The Hightail Pro plan is $8.25 per month, charged annually, and offers unlimited storage and file size limits of 25GB.

Dropbox does not have a file size restriction on their free plan, but do restrict free users to 2GB of storage. Referrals can dramatically increase the available storage space available on the free plan. Dropbox Plus offers 1TB of space, but pricing is dependent on the user location. In the U.S., it is $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

2. Preview Images

Both Hightail and Dropbox support file previews from uploaded files. This includes JPG, MOV, MP3, PNG, PPT, DOCX, AI, and PDF.

Hightail lists these file formats and then states, “we support these file formats and more as preview images.”

Dropbox supports several additional file types that preview as a document, presentation, or image. The most notable difference here is that they permit previews of Excel spreadsheets and older document files with the DOC extension (without the X).

Dropbox also supports Open Office document files.

3. File Sizes for Previews

Hightail has file size limits for supported previews. If the file is above the limit, it will not preview properly. Images have a 30MB maximum size. Documents have a 400MB maximum, as do presentations. Design files, such as PSD, have a 100MB maximum.

Dropbox has similar limitations. Excel files are limited to 40MB. Word files are limited to 160MB. PowerPoint presentations are limited to 288MB. Text and code files have a 4MB maximum. PDFs have a 500MB maximum. Video files have an 18GB limit for a video thumbnail, but the actual video preview does not have a size limit.

4. Security

Both Hightail and Dropbox utilize AES 256-bit encryption with dynamically managed keys and real-time revocation.

Hightail states that “all data in transit is encrypted using strong SSL/TLS encryption, up to 256-bit, and supporting forward secrecy.” They also scramble file names and maintain encryption while the file is at rest.

Dropbox keeps files at rest encrypted using AES 256-bit. They also use 128-bit or higher tunnels through AES for SSL/TLS needs. Dropbox also states that they regularly test their infrastructure for security vulnerabilities and offer two-step verification as part of the login process if it is desired. Those who choose two-step verification can receive time-based one-time passwords via text.

5. Content Management

Hightail offers creative collaboration features that help to eliminate miscommunication or prevent feedback paralysis from occurring. Instead of requiring text-based feedback, high resolution previews and accountable action items are permitted on this platform. Version controls are also in place. This allows for improved client collaboration in the creative industries while maintaining high levels of team communication.

Dropbox allows for collaboration, but only through shared folders and features available within the software being used. For example: two users could work on the same Word file, but the current saved file would be in the shared folder. Previous versions would need to be saved locally. Collaboration could be completed through a feature like comments.

Hightail vs Dropbox: Which Is Better?

Hightail and Dropbox offer a similar set of features, so the key differences between them make it possible to make the correct individualized choice.

Teams in need of collaboration may prefer what Hightail offers. Teams that need large file size sharing, but on a budget, may prefer Dropbox.
For unlimited sharing, the unlimited option with the paid Hightail pro plan may be the best option.

Each has its own strengths to consider, so choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

Have you tried Hightail and Dropbox? What are your thoughts about these two platforms?