Which Free Online Proofing Software is Actually Free?


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Automated, online proofing software is increasingly becoming an indispensable tool for creatives. Whether you are a marketer, developer, designer or printer, you’ve likely realized the value in scaling your manual approval processes.

When our team at Brandcave began looking for a tool to automate and scale our client proofing efforts, our search revealed a myriad of options. Most of them claimed to be free, and included a list of impressive features. Most of them also came with little catches, like limited storage space or forcing your customers to also sign up. We tried a few solutions and discovered that most proofing companies use bait and switch tactics to gain users.

Is free online proofing really free?

In short, yes. It can be. But, most proofing software companies aren’t as transparent as they claim. In this blog, we’ll specifically compare GoProof to Ashore, and determine which company really operates the way it advertises.

GoProof vs. Ashore

You’ve likely already discovered GoProof. It’s one of our industry’s biggest fish, and it has most of the features you’d expect in online proofing. Like Ashore, it includes automated approval workflows, support for popular file types, and easy online access to proofs for free. But, these free features do not account for GoProof’s very, very limited storage space.

Most servers charge less than a penny for a gigabyte, but GoProof still only provides free users with 10 megabytes of storage space. Once you’ve set up your free account in GoProof, you might not even have enough storage to send a single proof. 10 megabytes wouldn’t even be enough for one minute of video. This is crucial; most creatives use 10 megabytes before they’re finished with their morning coffee.

We created Ashore because we believe in deep, authentic transparency. We offer a free version of our platform, and it includes all of the same features in our enterprise account. Our pricing model is based on the number of files sent per month, and our free account gives you 10 free proofs every month. It includes unlimited storage space, because the quality of your proofs should always be highest. We’ll store your files up to two years before they’re automatically deleted.

Ashore allows you to automate your approval process with modifiable workflows and automated reminders. Your approvers do not need to create an account to proof a file either. They’ll simply receive a review link. Your approver’s proofing screen allows them to comment with various proofing tools directly on the media — and it’s all available on the free version.

When it comes to choosing a free approval software, there are always tradeoffs. However, these tradeoffs shouldn’t waste your time, and transparency is key to building strong relations. Ashore is the best proofing software in the world, and we’re happy to share it with you for free.