When it comes to file sharing or storing, there are hundreds of tools that help individuals and businesses store and back up documents, photos and videos in one place. Dropbox and Google Drive are two of the top contenders that stand out for their user friendliness, but do they stack against one another?
While Google Drive’s fan base felt very strongly about the platform, Dropbox came out on top with a few extra votes. With the results still so close and our office divided, we decided to run through each platform and the different benefits. Keep reading for the features of both and to work out which one suits your needs best.
Dropbox – 2GB of free storage with a Dropbox Basic account. You can earn more free storage (up to 16GB) by referring friends, sharing your Dropbox link with others and watching tutorial videos.
Google Drive – 15GB of free storage with a Google account (Gmail storage is included within the 15GB total) – no need to refer friends to get extra storage! Google Photos also allows unlimited photo storage of photos under HD quality.
Dropbox – Signing up to Dropbox is free and you can access it by logging in online anytime. Alternatively, you can download the app to your Desktop or mobile device to access your files quickly without constantly having to log in.
Google Drive – To access Google Drive you need to have an account with Google. You can then create different files to easily sort your files on a computer or mobile device.
Dropbox – Sharing via Dropbox is easy and can be done by sharing the chosen file link. The person you want to share the folder with must also have a Dropbox account to be able to receive the files. You can make a file available to someone to “view” or “edit”. If you have given someone access to “view” your file only, they are still able to make comments however don’t have full access. If you are the original owner, you can also change the share settings on a document whenever you like to remove someone from viewing or a file or to add someone to contribute. Dropbox Plus also allows you to add extra security to your documents by password-protecting files, so even if someone has the link they need the password to actually view it.
Google Drive – Files in Google Drive can be shared via an email invitation or also by providing someone with the file link. People with the link can still view the file even if they don’t have a Google Drive account.
Dropbox – While Dropbox has automatic syncing, when it comes to working on the same document as someone else it becomes a little tricky. If you’re connected to the internet Dropbox will inform you when someone else opens or edits a document. You can both work on the document however the changes will not be synced with the other if you’re on it at the same time, so each person must take it in turns when you want to collaborate on the same document. You’re both also going to need Microsoft Word installed to make changes or if you’re on your phone you will need the Microsoft Office app.
Google Drive – Google Drive lets anyone have the same document open and work on it at the same time. It even lets you see the changes your teammates are making, view the revision history to see who made which changes when and restore older versions of the document. With Google Drive, you can also make files with the suite of apps in Google such as Google Docs and Presentation.
Accessing your folders:
Dropbox – Your Dropbox can be opened in several ways. You can open a page on the internet and log in or download the Dropbox application to your computer to access files straight from your desktop. Dropbox’s desktop app integrates with your current computer’s file system effortlessly, making it easy to access and means you are already familiar with the file setup. The Dropbox app is compatible on all smartphone too for instant access at your fingertips.
Google Drive – Google Drive can be accessed through your internet browser or on your desktop as a Google Drive-linked folder. Google Drive can also be accessed through your phone’s mobile app and similarly requires the Google Docs app also to make changes.
If you want to step it up a notch, you can also upgrade your software to a business plan.
Dropbox – While it comes at a cost, if you have a larger team Dropbox for Business might be worth investing in. Starting at 2048 GB of space, advanced security features, file recovery and dedicated live support, Dropbox for Business helps teams store more files in one simple space.
Google Drive – Google Drive’ G Suite packages have even more cloud storage, data loss prevention and help keep teams organised professionally.
Where Dropbox stands out:
- Simple cloud storage
- Familiar file set up and easy use through your Desktop
- View and edit documents offline (although edited documents won’t be saved until you’re online)
- Password protect integration for important files
Where Google Drive stands out:
- Plenty of free storage
- Emails and documents are in one place
- Real time collaboration and sharing of documents
- Best for people who use Google Docs and other Google apps regularly
While Dropbox’s ease of use and familiar filing system is hard to beat, Google Drive does have a number of features that Dropbox lacks. On paper Google Drive is the clear winner, but when it comes to use we still can’t agree on just one. It just depends how you’re going to be using it and what you’re willing to compromise on. Por que no los dos?