Cloud Storage Showdown: Dropbox vs. Google Drive

Between your individual pc, your paintings laptop, your telephone, and some other tool you may use, maintaining your information so as is usually a doozy. Cloud garage tool gives a handy method to get right of entry to all of your information from anyplace—and make certain they are all up-to-the-minute. Among the highest cloud garage apps are Dropbox and Google Drive, so let’s examine how they stack up.

Common Features and What We Looked For

Here’s the fundamental gist of what Dropbox and Google Drive be offering:

  • They again up your information to the cloud. Dropbox and Google Drive assist you to create a folder for your tool. Any information that cross in that folder will instantly be uploaded to the corporate’s servers, supplying you with a backup in case the rest occurs in your system. Keep in thoughts, despite the fact that, that your will have to at all times have a separate backup supply as smartly, whether or not it is an exterior arduous force or a devoted backup provider like Backblaze. If you unintentionally delete a document or folder out of your laptop, it is going to be deleted from Dropbox and Google Drive as smartly.
  • They sync information throughout your gadgets. If you’ve more than one gadgets, Dropbox and Google Drive just be sure you have copies of all of your information on each and every of them.
  • They help you percentage your information with folks. Both products and services have tough gear to provide folks get right of entry to to information and folders so you’ll be able to collaborate for your paintings. If you run a company, additionally they come up with gear to regulate or revoke that get right of entry to, so everybody has get right of entry to to the information they want, and handiest the information they want, at any given time.

Dropbox and Google come on the similar downside from other angles. Dropbox makes a speciality of syncing your information throughout gadgets and backing them as much as the cloud. Once you put in the app, Dropbox can reside within the background of your on-line lifestyles. Google Drive, alternatively, begins with a collection of place of work tool that lets you create and retailer information on the net. You then must obtain a separate app with a purpose to sync information throughout gadgets and add information out of your laptop to the cloud. The two products and services overlap, however their focal point is massively other.

Here, we’re going to read about a couple of key spaces that relate to syncing, backing up, organizing, and sharing your information. Click at the segment that is maximum essential to you and your corporation, or soar to the tip to look our entire comparability desk.


Google provides you with extra space in your cash

Both Google and Dropbox give you a small quantity of loose document garage, however Google is way more beneficiant. Dropbox’s loose plan comprises 2GB of garage, whilst Google Drive’s comes with 15GB. Of direction, there is a catch: That 15GB is shared throughout your whole Google account and comprises such things as e-mail attachments and picture backups, so it is more uncomplicated to burn via that house.

Note: With Google Photos, you’ll be able to retailer limitless pictures as much as 16MP and limitless movies as much as 1080p. Only higher pictures and movies will depend in opposition to your garage restrict, which makes that 15GB of loose garage really feel so much roomier.

If you need extra space, Dropbox supplies quite a few techniques to get extra with out paying for it. For instance, you get an additional 500MB for each and every new consumer you enroll. This is tougher to do now than when Dropbox first got here out, since many of us have already got Dropbox accounts, however each and every bit is helping. You too can undergo Dropbox’s Getting Started information for some other 250MB. Google Drive does not be offering a an identical referral program, however in case you occur to make use of Google telephones, you’ll be able to get further garage for such things as original-quality pictures and movies.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to pay for additonal garage. Dropbox’s plans get started at $10 per thirty days—or $100 consistent with 12 months, in case you pay every year—for 1TB of garage. With Google Drive, you join a separate provider referred to as Google One, which provides cupboard space in your Google account. Using Google One, you’ll be able to get 2TB of garage for a similar worth as Dropbox’s 1TB plan. Google additionally gives smaller, less expensive plans: You can get 100GB for $2 per thirty days (or $20 consistent with 12 months), or 200GB for $3 per thirty days (or $30 consistent with 12 months).

No topic the way you slice it, Google provides you with extra choices to get extra garage for much less cash. Sharing garage with your whole Google account is a bit of inconvenient, but when e-mail attachments and picture backups push you over your restrict, Google no less than supplies discount bin plans to get extra space.

For entire main points, see Dropbox‘s and Google One‘s pricing pages.


Dropbox syncs quicker and helps native sync

Part of what made Dropbox so widespread within the first position was once the leading edge method it makes use of for document sync: block-level document copying. To put it merely, when Dropbox syncs a document, it handiest copies the bits that experience modified. The first time you sync a document will take the longest, however each and every time you exchange it after that, the up to date model will have to be to be had on all of your gadgets nearly instantly. Google does not use block-level document copying, but it surely does run one of the vital quickest cloud servers on the earth, so the rate distinction is probably not noticeable except you might be coping with very massive information.

Dropbox additionally has a novel merit with LAN sync. If you’ve more than one computer systems hooked up to a unmarried community, Dropbox will sync information immediately between them. It will nonetheless again up information to the cloud, however moving massive information to computer systems at the similar community will occur so much quicker. With Google Drive, a document on Computer A must add to the internet, then obtain to Computer B, which is able to take longer for higher information.

LAN sync option on Dropbox

That little LAN sync checkbox can imply an enormous efficiency distinction for small companies on an area community.

The loss of block-level document sync and LAN sync makes Google Drive slower (despite the fact that you may no longer even understand for small information), but it surely additionally signifies that Google Drive makes use of extra knowledge. If you’ve an information cap for your web, as many house web suppliers do, and you might be moving massive information, Google has a better likelihood of the usage of up your per 30 days knowledge.


Google is rather extra safe, however Dropbox may be protected

The handiest surefire method to stay your information protected from attackers is to steer clear of storing them within the cloud to start with. But the information you do add to the cloud nonetheless want coverage. In this house, Google has the brink.

Google has been an trade chief in two-factor authentication reinforce, permitting you to safe your account by means of requiring your selection of SMS, an authenticator app, one-tap sign-in for your telephone, a telephone name with a code, or perhaps a bodily key just like the one Google calls for all of its staff to make use of. Dropbox, in the meantime, handiest helps SMS- and app-based authentication tokens. These are higher than not anything, however Google provides you with extra choices to offer protection to your account from unauthorized logins.

Google security measures

Google may be a little bit higher at securing your knowledge whilst it is on their servers. Both Google and Dropbox encrypt your knowledge whilst it is touring out of your laptop to their servers. Once it is within the cloud, each generate a key that is used to decrypt it when you want to get right of entry to it. Google takes an additional step by means of encrypting that key the usage of a 2d, rotating grasp key. This necessarily approach somebody who may thieve knowledge from Google’s servers would want two keys to learn your knowledge, no longer simply the one they would want in the event that they sought after knowledge from Dropbox’s servers. Google additionally encrypts knowledge when it is in transit between its personal servers. This was once an additional step the corporate began taking to offer protection to knowledge from NSA snooping.

In 2016, it was once found out that Dropbox didn’t reveal the level of an previous breach in 2012, wherein Dropbox misplaced login data on over 68 million accounts. Dropbox carried out many new safety features because the breach (together with however no longer restricted to those discussed above), so it is undoubtedly more secure nowadays than it was once years in the past. Still, in case you are storing very delicate data, you might be most certainly rather at an advantage with Google.

File Browsing and Search

Browsing is straightforward on each, however Google’s seek is leagues smarter

Dropbox and Google Drive each have a desktop app that creates a folder for your laptop to sync between your gadgets. You can browse this folder the usage of Windows Explorer or Finder on a Mac—similar to you might some other folder—or you’ll be able to browse on the net, sorting by means of document kind, who owns the information, or when the information had been ultimate changed.

Google’s app is named Backup and Sync, and you’ve got to obtain it one after the other, so it is not required with a purpose to use Google Drive.

In the internet model, Google Drive presentations a Quick Access bar alongside the highest of the web page with tips of information you may want, e.g., contemporary information or information which might be related in your conferences in Google Calendar. You too can celebrity pieces as essential, however the ones finally end up tucked away in a separate tab. Dropbox, alternatively, presentations you the information you’ve got uploaded maximum not too long ago, in addition to a row of things you’ve got starred. In this manner, Dropbox provides you with extra keep watch over over which information you spot first, whilst Google Drive is predicated extra on algorithms to bet your wishes. Depending on what you like, one may well be higher, however they each get the process accomplished.

Where Google excels is in looking out your information. In Dropbox, you’ll be able to seek for a particular time period or restrict your seek to subfolders—however that is about it. If you pay for Dropbox Professional or Business, you’ll be able to additionally seek for textual content in photographs. Google Drive, alternatively, helps seek parameters very similar to those you spot in Gmail: You can seek by means of the kind of document, who owns the information, who they are shared with, or once they had been ultimate changed.

When it involves looking out pictures, Google’s lead will get much more dramatic. If you utilize Google Photos to again up photos along with your Google garage, then the corporate’s tough AI can hit upon faces of other folks and animals and routinely type them into albums.

Google photo search

Google can establish faces in pictures, together with the ones of explicit animals.

If you’re taking photos of receipts or trade playing cards, Google Lens will learn and replica textual content, telephone numbers, or e-mail addresses appropriate out of your pictures and assist you to seek on that data. Better but, in case you seek for such things as “receipt” or “trade card,” Google Photos can establish photos of the ones pieces. Some of those options (like Lens) are handiest to be had on cell, however they are vastly handy.

The Dropbox and Google Drive apps sync your information every time you’ve web get right of entry to, however all of the information are saved in the neighborhood, so you’ll be able to stay the usage of and enhancing them if you find yourself on a aircraft or in case your web is going out. Note: You will wish to use Chrome to edit Google Docs offline.

Photo and Video Backup

Google Photos is a formidable add-on that Dropbox cannot fit

Dropbox and Google can each routinely again up all of your pictures and movies to the cloud. Dropbox will entire the again up out of your laptop, and in case you pay for the Dropbox Plus plan or increased, you’ll be able to add them immediately out of your telephone. Photos and movies absorb large chunks of house, so in case you are making plans to make use of Dropbox for both one, you can most certainly wish to pay for a better tier plan anyway.

Google Photos, alternatively, backs up pictures and movies immediately out of your telephone at no cost. Better but, any pictures smaller than 16MP or movies at 1080p or smaller may not depend in opposition to your garage restrict, and you’ll be able to routinely scale down your media if you do not need to make use of up your house. So although movies and e-mail attachments percentage the similar garage restrict, Google’s versatile and extra beneficiant plans are nonetheless extra inexpensive than Dropbox.

Google Photos settings

Google additionally beats Dropbox for enhancing and sharing media. Dropbox has a Camera Uploads folder: You can upload feedback to photographs or movies, and that’s the reason about it. To percentage a gaggle of pictures, you create a folder and percentage it, however there is now not a method to create and percentage a photograph album. Meanwhile, along with common picture albums, Google Photos permits you to create Live Albums that routinely fill themselves with photos of other folks you tag, the usage of Google’s uncanny facial reputation tool. For instance, you should create a Live Album of your partner and kids; then, each and every picture you’re taking of them will very easily display up in the similar album.

Google Photos additionally features a fundamental picture editor that allows you to tweak gentle and colour, practice Instagram-style filters, or crop and rotate photographs. The latter is most beneficial for companies, permitting you to rotate pictures of receipts or trade playing cards to a readable orientation. The Dropbox cell app can do that, however it is lately no longer conceivable on the net. But for photographers or media execs who already use apps like Lightroom to regulate their media, Dropbox works nice for garage.

File Sharing

Dropbox edges out Google Drive with some complex options

Dropbox and Google each be offering tough choices to regulate who for your crew can get right of entry to your information. Both apps help you percentage person information or whole folders by means of sending an e-mail or by means of sharing a hyperlink. If you select the previous, you’ll be able to specify who will have to have get right of entry to and revoke or alternate the ones permissions afterward. If you percentage a hyperlink, you’ll be able to let somebody with the hyperlink view or edit information, however in case you ever wish to revoke get right of entry to, you can wish to disable hyperlink sharing solely.

For probably the most phase, Dropbox and Google Drive are an identical in this entrance, however Dropbox has a pair benefits. On Dropbox, whilst you create a shareable hyperlink, you’ll be able to additionally upload a password, so handiest individuals who know the password can get right of entry to the information. You too can set an expiration date, and then the hyperlink in your information will prevent running. The expiration date can handiest be set to a undeniable day—so, as an example, you’ll be able to’t create a hyperlink that expires after an hour—however it is greater than Google gives.

Dropbox file sharing

If you utilize G Suite for Business or Education, Google does supply a method to set expiration dates on document get right of entry to. You may even give explicit customers restricted time get right of entry to whilst you invite them by means of e-mail.

You too can percentage information immediately from Explorer or Finder with each apps, however it is rather more uncomplicated with Dropbox. If you right-click a document or folder for your laptop, each products and services upload a shortcut within the context menu to the Share conversation, the place you’ll be able to invite anyone to get right of entry to a document with an e-mail. But Dropbox additionally provides an choice that reads “Copy Dropbox hyperlink.” This will instantly create a shareable hyperlink to the document or folder and replica it in your clipboard. It handiest saves you a few clicks, however in case you are sharing information so much, the ones clicks can upload up.

What about when anyone leaves your crew? Dropbox handles this a lot better than Google. The proprietor of a document or folder in each apps can advertise somebody to proprietor standing, permitting them to take over keep watch over. The new proprietor can then take away the former proprietor solely. However, Google cannot advertise anyone outdoor your company to proprietor standing. So, as an example, in case you create a document for your private Gmail account, you’ll be able to’t make anyone who makes use of an organization Gmail account the landlord, or vice versa.

Also, not like Dropbox, Google Drive does not have a way to switch possession of all information in an account to anyone else. You could make anyone else for your area the brand new proprietor of a number of folders directly, however any information inside of the ones folders will retain their customary possession. You have to enter each and every folder point and make a choice the whole lot, which will also be somewhat tedious. Additionally, Dropbox provides you with the approach to permit customers to make a copy of the information you might be revoking get right of entry to to, whilst Google Drive does not. Overall, Dropbox and Google are each just right at sharing information, however Dropbox handles the transition extra easily when anyone leaves your crew.

File Recovery and Change History

Google Drive shops extra deleted information and has extra detailed alternate trackers

When more than one persons are enhancing, copying, and moving information, you want a method to stay observe of who is converting what. Dropbox and Google Drive each come up with gear to revive earlier variations of information, however Google’s broader suite of products and services provides you with extra tough choices.

With Dropbox, if a document is ever deleted, you’ll be able to cross into the Deleted Files segment of the app or website and repair it with the clicking of a button. You may even filter out deleted information wherein folder they had been in, once they had been deleted, or who deleted them. The drawback: Dropbox handiest saves deleted information for as much as 30 days for Basic or Plus customers (that restrict is going as much as 120 days in case you subscribe to Dropbox Professional or Business). Meanwhile, Google places any “deleted” information in a Trash folder. Even in case you’ve completely deleted a document out of your laptop, Google will retailer a model within the Trash on-line. It will keep there perpetually till you empty Drive’s Trash, and then level a G Suite administrator can nonetheless repair it for as much as 25 days. It’s a at hand sequence of fail-safes to forestall undesirable knowledge deletion.

If you want to revive an older model of a document, each Dropbox and Google will help you return via as much as 30 days value of older variations of a document. That approach in case you edit a record, create a brand new model of a video, or overwrite a PDF, Google and Dropbox will save the former model for a month. Once once more, despite the fact that, Dropbox will elevate that cutoff to 120 days for Professional and Business subscribers. With Google, regardless of how a lot garage you purchase with Google One, you can nonetheless be caught with 30 days of model historical past.

Dropbox version history

But Google has one merit on this house. Version historical past in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is best notch. If your crew makes use of Google Docs, you’ll be able to no longer handiest repair earlier variations of information, but additionally see who made which adjustments, repair explicit variations from the center of an enhancing consultation (since Google routinely saves paperwork steadily), or even title older revisions to save lots of them for later, break away the principle model you might be enhancing.

This is technically a function of Google’s place of work tool, no longer Google Drive itself, but it surely illustrates crucial level. Google does not simply be offering a cloud garage folder. Drive is tightly built-in with a broader selection of apps that paintings higher in tandem. Dropbox gives shortcuts to create paperwork in Microsoft Word Online, however after that, you might be by yourself. Version historical past is a paid function of Microsoft Office, and whilst Dropbox can repair older variations of a Word record, it cannot observe adjustments the similar means Word can.

Which Cloud Storage App Should I Use?

If you simply wish to sync information and folders between more than one gadgets, Dropbox is difficult to overcome. It’s rapid, it is dependable, and it really works invisibly within the background. Dropbox does not include a large number of further options, however by means of that specialize in its core product, the corporate nonetheless manages to have one of the most productive merchandise round.

If you might be in search of a complete resolution for your corporation and you might be no longer married to different place of work tool or picture control gear, Google Drive gives a compelling case. Its tight integration with Google Photos and G Suite gives a large number of perks that Dropbox merely cannot fit. And it does not harm that it is a lot less expensive to extend your garage allowance.

Finally, this is an at-a-glance function comparability.

Dropbox Google Drive
Pricing Starts at $10/mo for 1TB Starts at $2/mo for 100GB, $10/mo for 2TB
Speed Block-level sync, LAN sync No block-level/LAN, rapid servers
Security Encrypts knowledge in transit and at leisure, SMS and app-based 2FA handiest Encrypts knowledge in transit, at leisure, and encrypts keys, 2FA by means of SMS, app, telephone name, or bodily key
File Browsing and Search Basic document seek, can manually celebrity pieces for simple get right of entry to “Smart” Quick Access bar routinely pins not unusual information to the highest. Supports complex seek parameters, and system finding out in Photos seek.
Photo and Video Backup Back up pictures and movies from desktop, add from telephone with Plus or increased subscription. Limited by means of garage to be had. Unlimited 16MP or 1080p video uploads, higher-quality restricted by means of garage to be had. Can add from any tool. Google Photos gives complex sharing and enhancing features.
File Sharing Basic permission control. Shareable hyperlinks reinforce password coverage and expiration dates. One-click shareable hyperlinks from desktop. Basic permission and possession control when sharing information. Difficult to offboard crew individuals.
File Recovery and Change History Can recuperate information deleted or modified inside of previous 30 days. Limit raised to 120 days with Professional or Business. Trash folder shops deleted information perpetually till emptied. Recover older variations of information inside of 30 days.

Automate Dropbox and Google Drive

Once you’ve got decided on a cloud garage app, you’ll be able to get started automating your document backups and notifications.

  • Save new e-mail attachments in your cloud garage:
  • Get notified every time positive information are added in your cloud garage:
  • Or, in case you use each apps, you’ll be able to routinely replica information between the two:

Don’t see the workflow you might be in search of? Browse different Dropbox and Google Drive Zaps, or create your personal the usage of the Zap editor.