Rakuten Drive: Secure, but Private File Transfer and Cloud Storage?

Rakuten Drive

Are you looking to try a new service to transfer large files of up to 50GB? Then there’s a new player in the file-sharing market that may interest you — Rakuten Drive.

In February 2024, Rakuten announced the commercial launch of Rakuten Drive, a file storage cloud service based in Japan. Rakuten Drive allows individuals and enterprises to send large files with customized access controls, store, and edit Microsoft documents.

Rakuten Drive launched as Sendy in 2019 and has since grown its user base in Japan and worldwide.

With so many competitors in the cloud storage and file transfer market, including Internxt Drive and Send, we will examine Rakuten Drive's key features to help you understand more about it and how it works.

We will also examine Rakuten’s privacy policy, the data it collects on you, and how it uses it, which may lead you to consider a more private solution to Rakuten Drive.

Table of contents

What is Rakuten Drive?

Rakuten Drive allows you to transfer large files up to 50GB and store these files in the cloud. It is part of Rakuten Symphony, a subsidiary of Rakuten Symphony.

Rakuten Symphony also offers CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service), allowing businesses to integrate communication features like voice calls, SMS, Rakuten TV, and video conferencing into their existing applications for greater flexibility and customization.

The CEO of Rakuten Symphony Korea, Ryan Son, released the following statement when announcing Rakuten Drive:

“I am thrilled to officially introduce Rakuten Drive to consumers and businesses across Japan. Our file storage cloud service enables users to safely and efficiently manage their valuable personal and business files and data. From freelancers and small business owners to large companies, our promise is to continue to develop Rakuten Drive as a trusted and secure cloud service of choice."

So, while Rakuten Drive has big plans for the future, what relevance does it have in today’s competitive market?

Plus, how well does Rakuten Drive secure your files in the cloud and protect your privacy? We will answer these questions below, so continue reading to learn more.

Rakuten Drive Transfer

Rakuten Drive Transfer
Source: Rakuten

Rakuten Drive Transfer lets you send large files via email or a secure link and customize the access controls to give you more control over who can access your files. File sizes you can transfer are 10GB for the free plan, or 50GB for the paid version.

All files you send and share are stored in Rakuten Drive, so you can easily resend or manage these files via the “Transfer” section in your account.

The Rakuten Drive user interface is easy to navigate and understand. You can easily switch between sending files and managing your cloud storage.

You can quickly start sharing your files for free by creating a Rakuten Drive account with your Rakuten ID, email, Google, Facebook, or Apple ID.

To send files, you can upload the file or documents you want to Send by uploading them to your device or via Rakuten Drive.

Rakuten Drive Transfer
Source: Rakuten

Once your files are selected, you can choose from any of the following features to send your files with the security requirements you want, such as:

  • Send your file via email or by creating a link.
  • Set expiration date: set a deadline for when to stop accessing the shared file.
  • Password: limit access to the file with password protection.
    Comment: allow the recipient to leave comments on the shared file.
  • Editing and transfer: powerful convenience for editing videos or shared works with large-capacity and high-speed file transfers.
Internxt Send is a tool to send files securely.

You also streamline the process of storing shared files directly in Rakuten Drive before you send them, so you don’t have to repeat the re-uploading process. This is a decent feature to have and will save you time if you have a lot of files to share and store in the cloud.

Another valuable integration with Rakuten Drive Transfer is you can send your files via your Slack workspace or Chatwork.

As Slack is one of the most popular workspaces for businesses, it allows you to quickly and easily share files within the necessary departments making it a valuable addition to Rakuten Drive Transfer.

Rakuten Drive Cloud

Rakuten Drive Cloud
Source: Rakuten

Rakuten Drive Cloud works with Rakuten’s file transfer service, so you can store the files you need and share them when needed.

You can access the Rakuten Drive app on iOS and Android mobile devices or via Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.

The features of Rakuten Drive Cloud are pretty limited, as it is primarily a platform for storing files you want to share online.

Once you upload your files, you have limited options for what you can do with them. You can create, move, rename, delete, or copy your folders, but you do not have the option to backup your files to prevent data loss.

Rakuten Drive Cloud
Source: Rakuten

A Rakuten Drive free account also only comes with 1GB of free storage, but there is a chance to get up to 10GB of storage by completing challenges, which are:

  • Verifying your email account (+4GB)
  • Complete your account (+2GB)
  • Share folders with friends (+1GB)
  • Send files using Transfer (+2GB)

Although the initial free storage space may be too small for the businesses Rakuten Drive aims to provide, upgrading to Rakuten Drive Pro is possible.

Rakuten Drive Pro

If you’re interested in Rakuten Drive Pro, you can test it for 30 days before committing to a subscription. With Rakuten Drive Pro, you get access to the following features:

  • Max file upload size per link: 50GB
  • Customizable link expiration: 30 days
  • Cloud storage: 1TB
  • Chrome extension: unlimited

Rakuten Drive offers the following subscription plans:

  • $7.99 per month
  • $7.79 every 3 months
  • $7.49 every 6 months
  • $6.79 every 12 months

Note: to upgrade your plan, you must verify your email address (which also gives you an extra 4GB of storage).

Internxt is a cloud storage service based on encryption and privacy.

Rakuten Drive Business

Rakuten Drive also offers plans for businesses. These plans have more features designed with businesses in mind to increase productivity and collaboration.

  • Plans for 5 or more users
  • 3TB of storage per member
  • Set up a team profile
  • Admin tools for your team
  • Monitor members’ activities

Rakuten Drive for Business will cost your team $11.99 monthly per user. Although 3TB of storage is a decent amount for businesses, other cloud storage providers offer up to 10TB of storage, plus monthly, annual, or lifetime plans if you need more flexibility. We will look at an alternative to Rakuten Drive later in this article.

Rakuten security and encryption

Rakuten Drive is built using open-source software and uses AES 256 Encryption (Advanced Encryption Standard).

This encryption method secures your files when sent via the internet and protects data from being intercepted and stolen by hackers during transmission.

Using AES-256 encryption, Rakuten Drive ensures the file's contents cannot be viewed even if the administrator hacked or leaked the server.

Rakuten Drive encryption
Source: Rakuten

Although Rakuten Drive's encryption protocols follow industry standards and will protect your files, there are some issues with its privacy policy, which may cause you to reconsider your options if you value your privacy.

Rakuten Drive privacy policy

Rakuten Drive collects a lot of data on you if you sign up for its services, which you can check via its website under its privacy policy.

Here is a general overview of the personal information Rakuten Drive uses, taken from its privacy policy.

Personal information Rakuten Drive uses

The categories of personal information that Rakuten Drive collects directly from you are:

  • Your personal details (e.g. name, date of birth, country, gender, age)
  • Your contact details (e.g. email address, phone number or mobile number)
  • Your account login details, such as your username and the password (encrypted) that you have chosen.
  • Device identifiers, such as identifiers for devices that you use to access our websites and applications, including the IP address, type of device, device unique ID, advertising related identifiers.
  • Settings and configurations, we keep your configuration and settings, including resource identifiers such as URLs. This includes service and security settings for data and other resources.
  • Visual and phone book information, such as pictures, list of contacts and other information, obtained with your prior consent, from your device’s camera and phone book.
  • Geolocation data, such as precise location, with your prior consent, while you are using the Services.
  • Internet or other electronic network activity information, such as information about your usage of the Services, operational status, online behaviour while you use our Services, and other technical details necessary to operate and maintain the Services.

These personal details, like your name, date of birth, and even contact information like email addresses and phone numbers, create a profile that can be used for various purposes, not all of which benefit you.

One of the biggest concerns is the increased risk of identity theft and data breaches. With personal details readily available, criminals can impersonate you and potentially steal your financial information or commit other fraudulent activities.

Even seemingly harmless data points like your date of birth can be used as puzzle pieces to build a complete picture of your identity and exploit vulnerabilities.

How Rakuten Drive uses your personal information

Rakuten collects, stores, and uses your personal information to:

  • identify you. We use your identifiers to verify your identity when you access your account and log in to our Services, and to ensure the security of your personal information.
  • manage your accounts. We record your configuration and settings, including resource identifiers such as URLs to manage the accounts you hold with us.
  • improve the Services for you. We analyse information about how you use the Services to provide an improved experience for you and all users and improve our services and for business development.
  • [...]we may share your device data and unique IDs, age range, inferred gender, and IP address with third-party advertising partners.
Internxt is a cloud storage service based on encryption and privacy.

Once more, collecting sensitive information such as your IP address and information inferred about your age range and gender can build a comprehensive profile that tracks your activity across different devices and platforms.

This detailed picture of your online behavior and preferences can be very revealing.

Secondly, you cannot control how this data is used or shared. The passage mentions sharing your information with "third-party advertising partners."

These partners can then use your profile to target you with intrusive ads based on your demographics and browsing habits.

Finally, the passage mentions "business development" as a reason for data analysis. This leaves the possibility of your data being used in unforeseen ways without your explicit consent. The lack of clarity about how your data will be used or inferred can be very concerning for anyone who values online privacy.

Consequently, if you value the privacy of your files and want a company that has zero knowledge about your data and the files you store or share, you may want to avoid Rakuten Drive,

Alternative to Rakuten Drive

If Rakuten Drive's data collection practices raise privacy concerns, Internxt Drive offers a compelling alternative that puts you back in control of your digital life.

Here’s why Internxt is a more secure and private alternative to Rakuten Drive.

Security

Internxt utilizes end-to-end encryption to encrypt files directly on your device, meaning information is protected as soon as it leaves it. Plus, Internxt is a zero-knowledge company, so not even Internxt has access to any of your data or personal information.

You, and only you, hold the keys to decrypt your files. This ensures your data's highest level of privacy and security and gives you complete control over who can access it.

Transparency and data protection

Internxt operates strictly in compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), a European regulation emphasizing user privacy and personal data control. Choosing Internxt means your data is protected under these stringent guidelines.

Additionally, Internxt's code is open-source, meaning anyone can scrutinize its security practices. As Internxt successfully passed a security audit by independent security experts, Securitum, we provide further transparency and assurance regarding your data's safety.

Internxt is a cloud storage service based on encryption and privacy.

Internxt file sharing

Similar to Rakuten Drive, Internxt offers secure file sharing with password protection.

Internxt also includes features like expiration dates for shared links or access control options for shared folders, providing greater control over who can access and modify your shared files.

You can also use Internxt Send to encrypt and share files of up to 5GB for free without creating an account.

Scalable storage

Rakuten Drive offers a maximum storage capacity of 3TB. Internxt, on the other hand, offers plans with up to 10TB of storage on monthly, annual, and even lifetime subscriptions.

Plus, you can sign up to Internxt for free with anonymous account creation and start with 2GB of free storage forever, with the chance to get up to 10GB.

Accessibility

Internxt is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It offers WebDAV support and live customer support to help you get the most out of your Internxt Drive account.

Internxt is a cloud storage service based on encryption and privacy.

Share and store your files with complete privacy

While Rakuten Drive emphasizes the power to send 50GB files easily, its cloud storage features are still fairly limited, although these features may develop more in the future.

Even so, Rakuten’s privacy policy shows that storing your files with Rakuten Drive Cloud involves sacrificing a lot of personal data that could put your privacy at risk.

If Rakuten Drive's data collection practices are not for you, you can choose Internxt. We empower users to take back control of their data so you can store and share your files with complete peace of mind. We guarantee your security in an age full of data breaches and hacks.