6 Best File Upload API Solutions in 2023 [File Uploader]

Here, you will understand the features, pros, cons, pricing, and other necessary details about the top File Upload API Solutions to compare and select the best File Uploader of your choice:

A file upload API or plugin is a utility or tool that can be integrated into your application for uploading files to a remote server.

Think of it as a mobile application or web application that requires you to upload your KYC documents and allows you to perform operations like compress, for images – apply filters like blur, sharpen, etc.

A file upload utility is a tool that is easy to use and provides the highest level of safety and security to handle data in files belonging to application users.

There are multiple tools available like Filestack, Cloudinary, and Transload that provide multiple integrations across different platforms and help you use the file upload functionality out of the box with ready-to-use rich features as well as easy integration with existing cloud-based platforms like AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

File Upload API – A Complete Review

Top File Upload API Solutions

Features of a File Uploader

These include:

  • Easy to use – Any upload API or plugin you have chosen to integrate should be easy and intuitive for your application users to adapt to.
  • Supports multiple platforms.
  • Integrates different data sources like Instagram, Dropbox, and Google Drive with the user’s device, taking pictures from the camera and then uploading, etc.
  • Secure.

Market Trends: Having an effortless and efficient file upload solution is a must-have tool for many web-based applications; as with Web2.0, most applications have 2-way communication. There is a multitude of scenarios that would need file upload capability.

Additionally, depending upon the application being built, you would require qualifications to process/apply transformations to files like video and image files and optimize the upload and content delivery using CDN.

These days, most businesses try to stick to tools offering these multiple features and have a lot of configuration options that could support their current infrastructure or cloud providers.


Expert Advice: To select an appropriate tool, depending on your business needs and your budget, select a tool that can meet your current and future needs.

Some of the points that you should keep in mind are:

  • Language/Application framework that the client application is built on. For example, file upload API tools like Filestack would support a lot of different language integrations, including major JavaScript frameworks like Angular and React as well as PHP.
  • The selected tool should be configurable, and you should be able to hook up your existing technology stack and vendors. For example, some tools like Shubox would be suitable for just Amazon S3-based backends. In contrast, many tools provide configurable options and could integrate with multiple cloud vendors.
  • And finally, it should be secure. Since it deals with your application users’ data, having it secure is one of the crucial requirements. For example, ask the vendor if the upload API encrypts the file, if their backend servers are secure or not, if their APIs are hackproof, etc.

FAQs About Upload API

Q #1) Can you transfer files via API?

Answer: A file transfer or upload is one of the essential aspects for applications in the Web2 world where users can share or upload files to backend servers. We can usually achieve this using API-based tools available in the market, which can then be integrated with the applications on different platforms like web-based applications, mobile apps, etc.

Q #2) How do I upload a large file to REST API?

Answer: Uploading substantial-sized files can be challenging, especially with other factors like inconsistent bandwidth and network connection. It could lead to multiple upload failures.

Fortunately, many tools like Filestack and Transloadit can adapt to the network conditions and split up a larger file into smaller chunks to efficiently upload the file to a server, minimizing upload failures.

Q #3) What is the best file uploader?

Answer: There are multiple tools available in the market with their pros and cons.

Some of these utilities come as a complete package that can be used as a file upload API or plugin along with other use cases, like applying transformations to files and delivering them to users via a CDN.

Tools like Filestack are available as a complete bundle. They can be a one-stop place with easy integration options and support for multiple language bindings and data sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Instagram.

Additionally, it supports multiple cloud providers as the backend for file storage. Hence, you can freely choose and configure what could work for your application or business.

Q #4) What is a file upload tool?

Answer: A file upload tool is nothing but an API or a widget that can be integrated within your front-end application and enables your application users to upload images, videos, and text files and allow some fundamental transformations, filter effects, etc.

Q #5) Is Filestack secure?

Answer: Filestack is a trusted and widely adopted tool for over 100,000+ applications. It stores user data and files using robust AES-256 encryption, one of the best security standards.

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List of the Top File Upload API Solutions

Popularly known File Uploader tools list:

  1. Filestack (Recommended)
  2. Smash API
  3. Cloudinary
  4. Transloadit
  5. Uppy
  6. Shubox
  7. Uploadcare

Comparison Table of the Best File Uploaders

In this section, let’s compare the top tools that are widely used for file upload API needs.

ToolFeaturesBest ForPricing
FilestackHuge feature set, secure, embedded file viewer, and accelerated performance.
Support for all major data sources
Easy to integrate API for file upload as well as file transformation and deliver contentFree trial, paid plans start at $59 monthly
Smash APIMany upload features for files up to 5TB, high-speed upload and download network, reliable and secure uploads, tracked downloads.Easily integrate large file upload solutions via applications, SaaS, or any customized workflows.Free trial, paid plans start at $10 monthly
CloudinaryFeatures for bulk upload and can be used for both client and server-side uploads.Enterprises need bulk upload files from both client and server-side.Free trial, paid plans start at $89 monthly
TransloaditEasy to use workflow integrations in the form of robots or preconfigured workflows, good set of image and video transformations on the fly.Enterprises have applications requiring complex transformations for video and images in a simplified approach.Free trial, paid plans start at $49 monthly
ShuboxEasy to integrate file upload API with Amazon S3Businesses already on AWS and looking for integration with AWS S3-based backend for file upload solution.Free trial, paid plans start at $29 monthly

Detailed review:

#1) Filestack (Recommended)

Best for application developers looking for an easy-to-integrate upload API to upload, transform and deliver files within the application.


Filestack is one of the most widely used and accepted file upload solutions with SDKs for different languages and integrations with multiple data sources like Google Photos, Dropbox, and Instagram, besides users’ device file systems.

There are 100,000+ applications already using Filestack, like SendGrid, Ted, Coca-Cola, and Monster.

A few significant components of the Filestack tool are its Processing Engine for transformations and artificial intelligence features like image tagging, phishing detection, sentiment analysis, etc.

Let’s learn about some of these:

Processing Engine:

Filestack’s Processing Engine is used to apply transformations to different types of files, like images and videos.

The transformation can happen on the server by providing options to the API request and a Transformation UI that’s a component of the Filestack ecosystem that could apply these effects/transformations for the uploaded files.

For example, let’s say you want to resize an image that’s being uploaded. You can specify a resize option with its param values. At the same time, it’s uploaded via API.
Example: https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/resize=width:150/{{API-KEY}}

Intelligence System:

The Filestack utility provides intelligent ingestion while the files are being uploaded to the backend server. You can do various things with the files being uploaded.

Two include:

a) Image Tagging: It helps detect general information about your uploaded file. We can query these through API requests for the given file.

b) Image Sentiment: This is another great utility that helps detect or analyze the sentiment within the photo. For instance, if the image uploaded is of a person who is laughing, you will get a HAPPY image sentiment value much higher than other emotions, something like:

   "emotions": {
      "HAPPY": 99.512312313111111,
      "FEAR": 0.0111111,
      "SAD": 0.0055555,
      "ANGRY": 0.039630014449357986,
      "CALM": 0.012453563511371613


  • Provides an embeddable file viewer which can help users preview and edit their content before uploading.
  • You can integrate a simple file uploader as a widget across your web-based application and iOS and Android-based mobile applications.
  • Offers accelerated performance, making uploads over 3x faster and 100x more reliable, with very few failures.
  • It has a worldwide presence since it leverages CDN (Content Delivery Network) for uploads. It also helps users upload near their location, making it easy to upload and retrieve.
  • Intelligent ingestion for files can adapt to a user’s network bandwidth and adjust the packet size uploaded to the server.
  • The image picker has an easy and beautiful UI with integration across major platforms like Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

image picker

  • Offers a JavaScript-based file uploader available as a NodeJS module. It can be easily integrated with front-end web applications.
  • Since it also offers REST API, you can integrate it with any client application. It could be used as a PHP or Python file uploader, among many other uses.
  • If you already use an existing cloud solution like GCP or AWS, it’s possible to configure the same service within the Filestack configuration settings in your account.


  • Can optimize and transform large files like video content before they’re delivered to the application.
  • High success rate of uploads. Failed uploads within applications deter users and reduce the credibility of your application, possibly resulting in a negative financial impact on your business.
  • Success rates are better than other solutions like Google Drive or jQuery uploader.
  • Supports drag and drop for file uploading.
  • Supports the uploading of real-time photos and videos through the device camera.
  • Has to support a multi-part uploader, which splits a large file into smaller chunks for more optimized uploads.


  • Offers flexible, trial plans but can be slightly more daunting for smaller businesses and individuals because of its $59 per month starting plan.


  • Offers a free plan with a limit of 500 uploads, 1000 transformations, and 1GB of Filestack storage.
  • Paid plans start from $59 to $359 monthly and have varying features depending on the client’s use cases. These plans also offer a limited free trial.

#2) Smash API

Best for developers looking for the easiest way to integrate a large file-uploading solution for any business cases and any workflows, without worrying about size limits.

Smash API

Smash API can be integrated into websites, applications, and SaaS solutions, through Node.js and HTML Javascript SDKs.


  • Add a file uploading capability to your website, app, Saas, etc.
  • Upload files of any type and up to 5 TB in size.
  • Upload multiple files or folders in one go.
  • Add password protection to your uploads.
  • List and manage your uploads
  • Store your uploads from 1 to 30 days.
  • High-speed upload network consisting of 300+ servers, powered by AWS in 9 regions around the world.
  • Download files from an URL
  • Preview images, videos, and audios
  • Customize the download page with a logo and a background.
  • Track downloads
  • High speed download network with Cloudfront CDN.
  • Automatic detection of infected or malicious files.
  • 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption of in-flight and at-rest data.


  • Powerful SDK that allows you to easily integrate to websites, applications, SaaS solutions, or any custom business cases and workflows. Only 10min are necessary to start uploading large files.
  • Offers very high upload and download performances, thanks to a worldwide infrastructure.
  • Time saver for all developers who can dedicate time and energy to much more valuable developments for companies.
  • Robust and scalable API that sends petabytes of files every month.
  • Reliability of uploads thanks to multipart upload process and error management.


  • Smash SDK helps you integrate Smash API only in Node.js and HTML Javascript languages for now. Python, PHP, .NET, Android and iOS languages will be available in the future.
  • Plugins integrations are still in development.


  • Offers a 100 GB and 14-day free trial plan, with no credit card required.
  • Paid plans start from $10 per month with 50GB.
  • Flexible paid plans pricing to meet all file transfer needs: up to 50TB per month.

#3) Cloudinary

Best for developers or businesses looking for a file uploading platform and content delivery for their applications can try out this product.


Cloudinary offers a Media API that can be used as a file upload API, and it supports multiple customizations and transformations on the fly for an optimized customer experience.


  • Offers bulk upload for media assets.
  • Offers SDK integration with multiple platforms and support for multiple languages.
  • Can be used for server-side as well as client-side uploads.
  • Dynamic URL transformations can help programmatically and instantly edit images. You can apply transformations like image rounding, special effects like brightness increase, cartoony or rotate the image, and so on.
  • Apply transformations to video files on the fly. Some things that can be done are video background blurring, progress bar effects, text layer over video files, and much more.


  • Used by a large population of businesses and developers.
  • Can be used directly via the REST API or SDKs to call these APIs.
  • Can be used for both server-side and client-side uploads.


  • Plans are offered in terms of credits – 1 Credit is equivalent to 1000 transformations or using 1GB of managed storage, so depending on your expected credit usage, you can choose the plan that suits you.
  • Offers a free plan with 25 credits and supports only a single user.
  • Other paid plans start from $89 per month with 225 credits and features like file backups, auto-tagging, and bandwidth boost.

Website: Cloudinary

#4) Transloadit

Best for teams developing client-facing applications that have a greater need for image and video transformations can consider choosing Transloadit.


Transloadit’s easy-to-use workflow integrations in the form of robots can be helpful if you are looking for a particular integration for your app. For example, if your application has a use case to import an entire directory from Dropbox – you can use the custom workflows available and integrate them easily.


  • Great set of video and image transformations like resize, merge, concatenation, and face detection (can also be used as an OCR, SDK, or API to detect text within images and retrieve it in a readable format)
  • Compress files to optimize upload and download.
  • Offers SDKs for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, HTML5, Java, NodeJS, etc.
  • Can check the files for malware and viruses before uploading.
  • Integrate with your own S3 from the business-owned AWS account.


  • Offers useful utilities for video encoding like concatenating video files together, superimposing audio files over videos, and adding subtitles to videos.
  • Offers some cool features, like resuming a file upload in case of a bad or lagging network.
  • Transformation features within the browser/app, such as crop/resize, etc.
  • Great customer support team.


  • Offers free community trial with 5GB/month.
  • Paid plans start from $49/month to $249/ month and can be selected depending on the bandwidth usage (1GB represents the sum of input and output file size)

Website: Transloadit

#5) Uppy

Best for a JavaScript file uploader that can integrate with multiple data sources and can be easily integrated into your client applications as a JavaScript code snippet.

uppy - File Upload API

Uppy is available as a NodeJS module, which makes it one of the best choices for front-end applications designed with React or NodeJS. It offers integration with all significant JavaScript-based frameworks and can be used as Angular and React upload tools.

Its best advantage is that it’s open-source, which means it’s free to use and you are free to hook up any backend technology that you wish to.


  • Extremely lightweight and modular design.
  • Support for resumable file uploads, which ensures that uploads can be paused and continued in events such as low or bad network availability.
  • Integrates well with major data sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Instagram.
  • Another good feature is that it has a companion mode that automatically removes the source image file after a configured interval to free up the storage/bandwidth.


  • Integrates well with other backend engines like Transloadit.
  • Available as an open-source utility, meaning no fees/cost for the uploader. However, you would need to hook it with an appropriate backend.
  • Available for 18 different language locales.
  • Can be set up to run as a standalone server.


  • Configuring the backend is an extra overhead.
  • Other advantages offered by those backends like on-the-fly editing and transformation might not be completely possible with Uppy.


  • It’s an open-source tool.
  • Being open-source, Uppy would require you to define your storage and CDNs while configuring it as an image upload API within your application.

Website: Uppy

#6) Shubox

Best for teams that are heavily reliant on AWS infrastructure. It currently supports integration with just Amazon S3.

shubox - File Upload API

Shubox is a simple file upload API widget that could be integrated within your application and can be used with out-of-the-box workflows that it provides for performing image transformations and optimizations to the files being uploaded.

It lets you focus on your business-critical workflows and handles file uploads to S3 with an easy-to-use integration as a JavaScript code within your application.


  • Can be integrated into your app as a JavaScript file uploader script, allowing the customized JavaScript API to perform different operations.
  • Supports multiple JavaScript-based frameworks, which means you can use this for an angular file upload or react file upload tool.
  • Support webhook endpoints that relay all the necessary information after completing a file upload.
  • Supports multiple image transformations for further optimization.
  • Can Strip EXIF data from the image files to reduce the overall size and increase the upload performance.


  • Multiple image transformations like resizing and converting JPG and PNG to WebP and JPEG formats.
  • Extracting frames from animated GIF.
  • Support for auto-orient rotation to autocorrect the pictures.


  • Tightly coupled with Amazon S3 (doesn’t offer support for other cloud platforms yet).


  • Offers free version with 500 event credits per month (upper limit of 3MB max file size)
  • The paid version starts from $29 to $49 per month, with additional available credits and file size limitations.

Website: Shubox

#7) Uploadcare

Best for combined utility for storage, image processing, and delivering the content to the applications via CDNs.

Overall, it offers a complete file handling infrastructure to upload files, process them by applying transformations, and deliver them to the application users.

Uploadcare - File Upload API

Uploadcare is a lightweight widget that can easily integrate with existing client applications. It can be used as a single solution for storage, image processing, and content delivery.


  • Clean lightweight upload widget that can easily integrate with any JavaScript API.
  • Supports binding with all major frameworks and languages. To name a few, you can use Uploadcare with PHP, Angular, React, Java, and GO, as well as on Android and iOS-based applications.
  • Supports integration with all major external data sources like Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
  • Excellent support for Document conversion. Convert files from one format to another compatible format.
  • Quality settings can adapt to individual images with an intelligent AI system.
  • Support for webhook to notify app about file upload completion.


  • Support for object recognition/detection for uploaded images.
  • Apply image transformations on the fly.
  • Generate or stretch the background for the resized images with their backgrounds distorted.
  • Distributed multi-vendor CDM.
  • Support for integrating custom CDNs


  • Offers a generous free plan with 3000 uploads and 3GB storage.
  • Paid plans start at $20 monthly and can be customized depending upon the business needs.

Website: Upload Care


In this article, we discussed some of the top file upload API solutions that could enhance your customer’s experience on your web applications or mobile applications for sending / uploading files to the backend servers.

Most of these utilities can be integrated as a JavaScript file upload API or plugin within your app. They can be used as a widget to upload the file and apply transformations on the files automatically or as desired by the user.

One of the widely used file upload API solutions is Filestack, a comprehensive and highly secure solution with integration for most data sources for file upload, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Instagram, and Facebook. It also supports multiple language libraries for Java, Angular, React, PHP, Android, and iOS platforms.

It also provides support for major cloud platforms, which could allow developers to do a lot of configurations on the backend per the business needs.

Research Process:

  • Time Taken To Research And Write This Article: 10 hours
  • Total Tools Researched Online: 9
  • Top Tools Shortlisted For Review: 6
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