Having files synced across multiple devices can be pretty frustrating at times. However, thanks to cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive, you can now have an online solution covering almost every storage-related issue. They keep your devices perfectly synced and enable their users to keep a complete backup of each local file on their servers.
Their unique features and valuable collaborative tools have encouraged people worldwide to start employing their services. However, several factors must be considered when choosing a cloud storage service for yourself.
Dropbox vs. Google Drive
In the following article, we have compared Dropbox and Google Drive on six different service aspects. Going through them will enable you to distinguish between these two platforms easily.
1. Distinct Features
The first and foremost factor must be considered in the class of features offered by Google Drive and Dropbox. They provide a backup of your files in the cloud that can be accessed, modified, or shared. Moreover, they also enable you to create a local synced folder on your device’s file management system. That folder behaves as a shortcut to your online drive. Anything and everything you add in it is automatically updated in the cloud.
The second most commonly referred use case is a file syncing across multiple devices. Once you have linked all devices with either Google Drive or Dropbox, they will keep them perfectly in sync. You no longer have to manually transfer each file to all of your phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, and more. Having copies of the same file available everywhere, connectivity among your peripheral devices has never been smoother and more efficient.
Moreover, once you have uploaded a particular file to cloud storage, it can be shared anywhere over the internet. Dropbox and Google Drive allow their users to create shareable links that can direct the recipient to a native program capable of opening that specific file format. Besides, they are also host to various tools that make the end-user’s life relatively comfortable. It must also be noted that these services are beneficial if you run or are part of a group that needs to share files and data frequently.
2. Packages & Pricing
Now, let us discuss the packages and pricing on Google Drive and Dropbox. Both offer free and paid storage for all users. On Google Drive, the free plan gives you 15 GBs. On the other hand, on Dropbox, you only get 2 GBs with the free package. Still, it is pretty standard for Google users to use up those 15 GBs completely. That’s because the storage space on Google Drive is shared between every service linked with your Google account.
Dropbox also has a referral program on its platform. For every new user you invite, an additional 500 MBs is gifted. There is no such referral program on Google Drive.
Let us look at the respective paid packages with the free plans discussed. On Dropbox, these plans start from $11.99/month for 2 TB and go up to unlimited storage at $25/month. Five different packages are split between personal and business use. On Google Drive, paid plans start from as low as $2 per month for 100 GBs. The overall rate of the storage is quite similar. However, Google Drive offers more diverse packages that cater to users who need storage in the magnitude of gigabytes.
3. Speed & Performance
Google Drive and Dropbox are not the same regarding speed and the efficiency of their syncing processes. Both of these platforms have their applications across different operating systems and browsers. Therefore, they need to sync all devices automatically. It has been widely known that Dropbox syncs file faster than Google Drive, thanks to block synchronization. It is a technique in which only those chunks of files are updated that is modified from one of the devices. Due to this, Dropbox sync files surprisingly faster than most other cloud storage platforms.
However, this speed comes at a cost. Dropbox can only sync files in the same account and does not have any support for external services. On the other hand, Google Drive hosts a range of platforms linked permanently with its storage. Moreover, it can update files as they are modified on these respective programs. Thus, even though Google Drive takes slightly more time, the range of options for syncing files across multiple accounts seals the deal. If you have issues with the syncing process, read the following guide on fixing Google Drive not syncing issue.
Google Drive and Dropbox give each other a tough time in the security face-off. Users typically have many genuine concerns regarding their data security on over-the-net solutions. It is one of the reasons why quite a large group of people still prefer local storage.
Google Drive and Dropbox have made sure that there are no loopholes whatsoever that can be exploited. They fully encrypt your files and data whenever it is being uploaded, downloaded, shared, or just stored on the drive. There are some sophisticated protocols and security features that can protect your files. Google Drive supports two different encryption types. When your files are stored on the drive, they are secured through AES 128-bit encryption, and when they are being shared with someone else, SSL/TLS 256-bit encryption is applied.
On the other hand, Dropbox applies AES 256-bit encryption in both cases. Your files on Dropbox are equally protected even when they are not being shared. One feature that allows Google Drive to stand apart is its two-factor authentication. To sum it up, Google Drive provides 2FA but has a slightly simple encryption protocol on stored files. In contrast, Dropbox does not offer 2FA but applies advanced encryption algorithms on both stored and shared files.
5. File Management
The desktop applications of Dropbox and Google Drive make it easier for the end-user to manage, organize, browse, and search files on these platforms. These applications integrate seamlessly with your device’s file management system. Folders created by these services on that system work precisely similar to every other folder on your drive. It improves the user experience and helps in enhanced file management.
Numerous tools are specifically designed to keep its file management top-notch on Google Drive. The user can effortlessly overlook the drive with quick access bars, Google Calendar incorporation, and starred files. Also, file search on Google Drive is AI-assisted. It might raise some privacy concerns, but these improvements can genuinely mark a noticeable difference at the end of the day. Even though there is no such intelligent search tool on Dropbox, increased control over files and folders makes up for it.
Dropbox also gives you the ability to limit the search domain to a particular subfolder. You can even search for terms and names within individual files. There is also an option to search for text inside images; however, that is only offered in professional and business packages. On the other hand, Google Drive uses its artificially intelligent tools. The difference is visible when you observe media management. These tools can automatically sort photos and videos into albums through facial recognition and other advanced techniques. The article on adding photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos details four different methods.
6. File Sharing
When it comes to file sharing and collaborative tools, Google Drive certainly takes the edge over Dropbox. It provides unique features designed for businesses, enterprises, and people who regularly share their files. The option of modifying the link permissions and the ability to assign specific roles to each individual is only available on Google Drive. Dropbox lets you create shareable links, but their settings are not that customizable. Learn how to share Google Drive with non-Gmail users from the linked article.
Still, there are some matters in which Dropbox comes out at the top. When you create the file or folder link on Dropbox, there is an option to add in a password. It only enables those who have the password created by you to access that folder. Even though it is a pretty simple feature, most cloud storage does not provide it, including Google Drive. Moreover, the person creating the link can set an expiration date for the link. With that, you do not have to worry about that link being used to access your files at some point in the future. Please note that the expiration date can only be set after a certain period has passed.
Dropbox and Google Drive are quality service providers who certainly give each other quite a tough time. However, their valued features, syncing processes, pricing structures, and file management systems have been competitive from the very start. To choose one for yourself, you need to go through a list of factors, including the ones we discussed today.