Let’s start with the costs of both cloud sharing giants and what features they include the amount you pay. Dropbox starts at a comfy price of $9.99 per month. The features you include for this are good syncing and great usability, very basic and easy sharing and amazing 3rd party integrations. Although it lacks in features and has a woeful backup solution, $9.99 isn’t a far stretch to pay. Google Drive comes in the tiny amount of $1.99 per month and includes great features like a FREE 15GB plan, an easily navigable interface and amazing sharing and collaboration capabilities. It doesn’t have the feature of local encryption, selective folder sync and syncing only bare bones, but you cannot complain about such a small price to pay.
One of the main reasons you will use one of these clouds sharing services is because of the available storage space, as it is one of the most important factors, if not the most important factor. Most services come with a free fixed storage limit, you can pay to upgrade this of course, but if you are on a budget, it will be better to find a provider which provides a reasonable amount of storage free of charge. Dropbox provides a free limit of 2GB, but users can boost themselves to 16GB of free space by following them on social media and referring Dropbox to their friends. Meanwhile, Google Drive provides you with 15GB of free storage for every user, no conditions attached. Please note if you use Gmail, then your email storage is counted towards the total of your Google Drive limit. While Dropbox provides the extra GB, I give the winner of this round to Google Drive, for providing an easily accessible 15GB and unlimited storage for Docs and Photos.
A lot of the people who will use either storage provider will be using it for a business perspective, whether your business is small or a worldwide large enterprise, a cloud storage provider can work as the primary source for storing company files and helping all team members no matter where they are based come together and collaborate. Both Dropbox and Google Drive provide companies with a big range of business plans which will work for any size business. Dropbox’s plan starts at $8.25 per month for 1TB of storage, which is perfect for an individual. The unlimited plans start at $20 per user, per month, though phone support is only available through the day which can be an issue for companies working night shifts. Google Drive has a whole new separate section for business plans called ‘G Suite’. The monthly plans start at $5 per month, providing you with 30GB of storage, custom domain business emails and access to all the Google tools and all day, all night customer support via email, phone and live chat. For an individual user, Google offers an unlimited plan for only $10. Personally, I think Google Drive won this round for providing more affordable unlimited storage plans and better support for technical issues.
The whole idea of cloud sharing isn’t just about making sharing files with other users, it should also allow you and other users to choose different accessibility levels, so all their data and files are safe even when you are sharing files. For the best collaboration experience, a provider should at least have view only, view and comment only and access to editing the file. Dropbox, unfortunately, can seem to over complicate the process by only providing the two options of edit and view access, but the ‘View’ feature does allow comments. If you are given editing access through a folder, the person in the folder can only edit a document if they are signed into an account, so if you need to collaborate with someone who doesn’t use Dropbox, or have an account, then they will be forced to sign up. Google Drive allows all three of the basic access levels, like Dropbox, Google Drive lets you add users via email or directly sharing a link. Unlike Dropbox, it allows any guest user to edit documents without signing up and there is even an option to prevent shared users from downloading or even sharing that file. Again, Google Drive wins this round by a huge amount, enabling easy file share in an uncomplicated manner.
Dropbox and Google Drive both allow users to view or even share files through their mobile app, but to edit on there you will have to install the Microsoft Office app. Dropbox’s app is neat, tidy and very much resembles their web app. Users can view uploaded files or folders, or even upload a new one, you can even backup mobile photos to Dropbox. You can view documents but editing is only possible if the Microsoft Office app is on your phone. Googles Drive’ app also looks alike to its web app, when you click on the dotted lines located on the side, you will see options to share the file, move it, rename it or even remove it. You can use your phone camera to instantly upload images to create a Google Doc. Again, you can view all the files but need to Microsoft app to edit them. Password lock is also a feature to the app. For this round, I will call it a draw due to them being similar, but Google’s password is a neat little feature.
In the short battle of the best, Google Drive is obviously the clear winner, when it comes down to collaboration and real-time sharing, it is so far ahead of Dropbox. But we still need to bear in mind Dropbox Paper isn’t yet integrated properly. Which cloud storage tool will you be downloading? Do you already have one and which do you prefer? These are all questions which I want your answers from, share your opinions and thoughts in the comment section.