Dropbox vs Google Drive vs Box
Cloud storage, a computing model which has been on the rise with physical storage size becoming increasingly expensive and the internet becoming readily available at lightning speeds. In this article, as the title hints, we’ll be looking at three(3) Titans in the cloud storage industry; Dropbox-owned by Dropbox, Google drive owned by Google and Box drive owned by Box. Discussing with respect to the following headlines:
- File sharing
As opposed to local storage, file sharing in the cloud is somewhat different. In this section, we’ll take a look at how these Titans fair under the file sharing benchmark.
Google drive Google drive lets users share their files in three ways which are;
- On the web: Anyone can google your file and get access it
- Anyone with a link: Only users signed with a link to the shared file or folder will be able to have access to the file.
- Specific people: Only selected or assigned users will have access to your shared file
All of these ways except the last allows users have access to your file without signing onto their google account. On google drive, users can also assign permissions to shared files such as:
- View: Individuals or groups shared this file can only view but can’t share the file with others
- Comment: With this permission, users can only drop off comments but can edit or change the actual content of the file
- Edit: When this permission is assigned to a file, people can make changes, accept or reject suggestions and also share the file with others.
How many people can be shared a file at once? Google allows up to 200 people to be shared a file at once. Can you share to more than 200? Yes! you can, you can add these people to a Google group and share the file with at once. How many people can have access to a file at a time? Google allows up to 100 people to view, edit and comment on a file at the same time.
Dropbox Dropbox offers a lot of what Google drive has to offer and more in the sense that security in was taken a level higher. Dropbox makes it possible to share a folder or a file with a link like all other cloud storage providers, but also makes it possible to password links such that only people with the set file password will have access to that file. Cool features projected by Dropbox are:
- Real-time updates: Dropbox sends real-time updates to users who have been shared a file when a comment or an edit has been made via email notifications
- Subfolder permissions: Dropbox makes it possible to add give permissions to subfolders, thereby making subfolders accessible and the parent folder not accessible.
Box Box, like other cloud storage providers, makes it possible for users to password shared file links, and also set file permissions as well as delete the shared links to revoke access to certain files or links. Reasons for its unpopularity amongst individuals is because it’s tailored towards businesses and enterprises although it has a free storage plan for individuals. We’ll into these features in depth in the pricing section.
File synchronization is one of the awesome features of using cloud storage. Though cloud storage does not completely abstract local storage, they interface and synchronize with local storage such that you can have the same version of files both on your local storage and your cloud storage. In this section of this article, we’ll talk about file synchronization as regards these cloud storage Titans.
Dropbox Dropbox makes it possible to have access to all synced files and folders on all devices and platforms including; iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, and Android. Dropbox also provides offline access to your files and synchronizes changed files when internet access is available across all devices and platforms. Worried about updates made to a file too soon and would like to revert to an older version? Dropbox provides an earlier version of the file for as long as 30 day and 120 days for business users. With Dropbox and smart sync, you can also free up space on your local storage by uploading your files on Dropbox and never worry about never having access to your files.
Google drive as do other cloud storage providers preaches the “Carry your files” everywhere you go message. Google drive as anticipated was built to work with Google, which means you can automatically add attachments to your drive, search your drive for words like “Thanos” and get search results of documents containing that word as well as a picture of the actual Thanos taking a stroll in the park. Google drive also supports multiple platforms including; Mac, PC, iOS and Android. One of the cool features of google drive is its ability to scan documents and automatically convert to PDF by taking a picture. With this feature, you don’t have to worry about carrying a scanner everywhere you go or downloading a third-party scanner mobile app. Google drive also provides file versioning for up to 30 days. This means, just like Dropbox, you can backdate the version of your file to the last 30 days. Google drive, like Dropbox, also makes it possible to have access to your files offline, the only difference is you’ll have to specify which files or folders to have access to offline.
Box Box offers file synchronization quite differently compared to Dropbox and Google Drive in the sense that it has a productivity tool called Box Sync. Box sync makes it possible for end users to select files or folders they want to sync between their box and desktop. This would provide enable users to have access to selected files or folders on any desktop application which has Box Sync installed. Box also makes it possible to take photos, videos, recordings as well as snap document scans like Google drive, and, have them saved directly onto your box drive without having to use your camera roll using a mobile (iOS) app called Box Capture. Box has other applications that perform different functions that leverage on Box, these applications will be discussed further in the enterprise section.
As free as it seems, cloud storage comes at a price for large-scale use. In this section, we’ll look at the different pricing plans provided by our cloud storage Titans.
Dropbox In the table below are pricing plans for Dropbox.
|Storage||2 GB||1 TB||2 TB|
|Full text search||❎||❎||✅|
|Mobile offline folders||❎||✅||✅|
|Camera upload||(with desktop client installed) ✅||✅||✅|
****More information about Dropbox’s pricing plans can be found here
Box Box offers three sections of pricing which includes; Individuals, Business and Enterprise. Individual plans include a free plan with perks of 10 GB storage, 250 MB file upload limit and a paid plan with perks of $11.50/mo, 5 GB file upload limit. In the table below are pricing plans for Box Business users excluding enterprise plans. To know more about enterprise plans you can reach out their support center
$5.80 per user/per month
$17.30 per user/per month
$28.70 per user/per month
|100 GB secure storage||Unlimited storage||Unlimited storage|
|2 GB file upload limit||5 GB file upload limit||5 GB file upload limit|
|Minimum 3 users; max 10 users||Minimum 3 uses; no maximum||Minimum 3 uses; no maximum|
Box has a lot to offer outsides the above-listed options. You can view other available options for the starter, business, and business plus plans on the Box pricing page.
Google drive Google drive offers free 15 GB storage for individual users with an option to upgrade your storage depending on your storage size wants or needs. These storage plans for individuals are not available in all countries. The storage prices differ across several locations. You can check for storage prices in your location on the Google drive storage page. For business plans, Google drive offers G Suite. Below is a table containing G suite pricing plans.
|Price||$3 per user/per month||$10 per user/per month||$25 per user/per month|
|Feature||Professional suite with 30 GB storage||Enhanced office suite unlimited storage and archiving||Premium office suite with advanced controls and capabilities|
|More||Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|
In this section, we’ll take a look at the Titans from a different perspective. Not as storage provides but as companies and also look at other products provided by these Titans.
Box Box’s true prowess lies in its enterprise products. Here we’ll take a look at some of the products (enterprise and Individuals) offered by Box.
- Box Skills: Box skills adds artificial intelligence to already existing business processes. With box skills, you have access to AI/ML technologies such as; image recognition, natural language processing, and speech-to-text transcription. You can leverage these technologies to tag objects that appear in photos as well as transcribe audio files to text.
- Box Shuttle: The Box Shuttle helps organizations migrate large amounts of data from hundreds of terabytes to hundreds of petabytes.
For individuals, Box offers Box capture which was discussed in the synchronization section of this article, Box Notes which as an application for taking real-time notes for teams. To know more about other products not listed here, you can check out the Individual/teams and enterprise products pages respectively.
Dropbox Dropbox like Box also have products for enterprise/businesses and individuals. In this section, we’ll take a look at the products offered by Dropbox.
- Dropbox Plus: This like its name hints, provides the same features as Dropbox but with a plus size such as;
- Storage: Dropbox plus comes with 1 TB storage space
- Remote data wipe: Wipe data from lost or stolen devices with data stored safely on Dropbox
- Mobile offline access: Have access to files stored on Dropbox anytime even without an internet connection
- File versioning: Safely recover deleted files within 30 days as well as recover files and view older versions.
- Dropbox Business: This offers centralized storage platforms for companies and also makes it possible to set access level permissions on files and folders in the organization. To know more about Dropbox Business you visit its business page.
- Dropbox Paper: Paper is a product that provides a platform where teams and individuals can brainstorm, share ideas and collaborate on documents together in real-time
Google Google asides Google drive provides other features that leverage on cloud storage, machine learning/artificial intelligence solutions, office suite as well as many other platforms. In this section, we’ll take a look at a few products provided by Google.
- Google Suite: Google suite provides office solutions for businesses such as professional email addresses, docs (word documents, slides, forms, and sheets), drive and other services.
- Cloud AI: Google cloud AI provides cloud AI solutions such as;
Other products provided by Google are Chrome (cross-platform web browser), Pixel (Android-powered smartphone), Chromebook ( Chrome OS-powered laptop) and many more.
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We use Nextcloud for company-file-management, personal work-documents and for collaborative work (through collabora), organize our #TODOs, that are not covered by the Bugtracker. Existing solutions either were very expensive ( Google Drive ), missed a lot of features ( Trello ) or were pretty much overloaded with features ( Wekan within Sandstorm ).
That made Nextcloud ud our natural fit for our company management and we're convinced of its integrations and flexibility.
Dropbox is great and I use it all the time for personal use to share static files with friends like pictures, videos, or documents... however I will never use it for anything serious to do with my work because of two really big problems.
1 - Doesn't use static address' by default. With other services like Google Drive each file is given an ID and when that file is share is uses that ID to share it. This means that wherever I put that file, whoever I transfer it to, even if I change the title the URL to that file stays the same. Not true for dropbox. I don't know if there is an option for this but it's not worth the hassel to find out.
2 - Editing a document almost always causes a problem. With Google Docs or Microsoft One drive the docs that you collaborate on are updated in real time and are never in conflict with one another. The problem with a 3rd party solution like dropbox is that it can't update in realtime which means that if 2 people are working on separate computer there are 2 docs created. Then the other machines have to try to integrate the docs themselves. With 2-3 people this usually works alright but when 5 people are working simultaneously on the same doc someone's work usually goes missing.
Also for personal accounts 100GB = 99$ a year vs Google Drive 100GB = 24$ a year...
I have 23gb for free though so I don't complain ;)
Google Drive would be worthwhile as a service on its own, yet its ability to connect with so many other web applications is simply brilliant. First, connecting additional applications to Google Drive makes it more of an immediate destination when I jump onto the web. Second and even more importantly, it increases the very potential and collaborative uses of these additional applications. Many applications have only been able to realize their true power because of it. Go to the Chrome Web Store on click on the tab dedicated to Google Drive applications. You will be blown away.
I use many online storage services, but Google Drive is the one I'm currently using the most. Especially since their recently announced price decreases, a TB of storage is not very cheap. They also have the best integration across services...if you are a Google services user, which I am. Had some issues recently with large files crashing the desktop app on the Mac, but it seems to have been fixed as I'm not experiencing it anymore.
I use many online storage services. While Dropbox is not my main one I use, it is reliable and easy to use. I mainly use it because several companies integrate automatically with Dropbox for automatic delivery of products, like eBooks. (e.g. O'Reilly, and Pragmatic Programmers). But, they charge a premium for extra storage so I just use the free service.
I use Dropbox both as a user and as a developer. Their products are awesome, fast, and super-great all around. The same go for their APIs — the Datastore API gives you real-time sync, for free, in a few minutes. I haven't found anyone to beat them on either side so far.