Cloud storage services are booming, and everyone is trying to grab hold of it. Even big players like Google, Apple and Microsoft have jumped in the game to get their share of pie. Dropbox, that started all this is still leading, but other alternatives are catching up quite fast as well, especially, Google with its Google Drive cloud storage.
From all the cloud storage services choosing the right one for your precious files can be a hectic decision. You can’t just give away all your life’s data to a service that can’t handle it well or isn’t affordable for you. Security is one of the biggest concerns of cloud storage, you need to make sure your files are safe from any breaches and can be accessed anytime.
In most cases, the decision always hangs up on two top services, Google Drive and Dropbox. So today, we have compared these two cloud storage services head-to-head to understand which service is good in which particular area. With this review, you should be able understand what your needs are and how both of these services handle it.
Detailed Comparison – Google Drive Vs. Dropbox
1. Uploading Data
Let us start with how you can upload data to these services and how they manage your data. Dropbox and Google Drive’s uploading process is actually quite similar, you can drag and drop files to the syncing folder or use the upload button in your browser to choose files to upload. The difference comes at uploading speed options and maximum file size limit.
If you are going to use the Dropbox Web client, then you are only allowed to upload files as big as 10 GB. However, there is no restriction on the file size when uploading from Desktop or Mobile clients. So if you have a bigger file than 10 GB, you will have to move from the web client and get Dropbox on one of your devices to upload the file.
While uploading files, Dropbox uses 75% of your total upload speed to ensure you don’t get any slowdowns. This might slow down things a bit, but this option is completely customizable and can be customized to use all of the upload speed.
On the other hand, Google Drive adds a fixed limit of 5 TB over all its Web and Device clients. This is quite a big limit, enough for most people to not opt for a different client, but still it is there and can get in way in very rare situations.
Google Drive also now comes with bandwidth limiter feature which will let you control how much of the available upload bandwidth you would like to use. However, Google Drive is known for limiting bandwidth even if it is set to maximum limit. It might not always hog things down, but in the event of multiple files, you might find it quite teasing.
Winner: Dropbox for its unlimited upload file size and reliable upload speed.
2. Key Features
Key Features are one of the most important factors while deciding which software/service is better than other.
Dropbox is actually a simple cloud storage service with quite limited features. It might be a really good option for people who just want something simple that fulfills all their needs, but still, it lacks some extra touches besides storage that some people may like.
Some of its features include, sharing download links easily, adding comments to files, previous revisions, favorite files and Microsoft Office integration.
Google Drive offers similar features to Dropbox, but its integration with Google services makes it a good choice for advanced users. It stores all the data from other Google services that we use on daily basis. This include Google office tools, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Plus, Google Maps and to some extent YouTube as well. If you use any of these services, you are already depending on Google Drive.
You can also search files by name and open different types of files right from Google Drive with over 30 formats supported.
Winner: Google Drive for its integration with other useful Google services.
3. Third Party Application Support
Many third-party apps offer storage support to your favorite cloud storage service, however, the options offered can be limited. So you need know how many apps (that you may also use) offer support for your choice of cloud storage service.
Dropbox is the oldest in this field so you can expect many developers opting for this option quite early. Dropbox might not have support for powerful Google tools, but it has huge support for third-party apps and services. As claimed by Dropbox official website, it is integrated into over 300,000 apps and services, and some of them include, Microsoft Office Online, Trello, IBM, Vimeo, Okta, inVision and Slack.
Google Drive also has quite good support, but it is mostly related to apps and services that are somehow connected to Google. Apart from Google’s own services, it has support for tons of Google Chrome third-party extensions and most of the popular apps and services that depend on Cloud Storage.
However, its support is still not over 300,000 apps/services, make it less supportive in sheer numbers.
Winner: Dropbox for support over 300,000 apps and services.
You need to ensure that your cloud storage is able to sync your data over all your devices for maximum reach. Let’s see which will work best for you.
Dropbox supports the most OSs with a separate app for each device/OS. You can sync data between Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, and BlackBerry. This pretty much includes all the major OSes and devices.
Google Drive is actually quite limited, even worse support than many other less popular cloud storage services. It only supports the big players in the market, that is Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. If you have other devices, you are quite dependent on the web client.
Winner: Obviously, Dropbox.
While looking for the right cloud service, you also need to look at your pocket to make sure it fits your budget.
With a Dropbox account, you get a free space of 2 GB which can be increased up to 18 GB by referring other people to Dropbox. If you want more space, then you will have to pay $9.99/month for 1 TB space. There is also an enterprise package for companies that offer more collaboration tools and security, costing $15/month with 1 TB space per user.
Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage without any kind of catches. It cannot be increased further for free, but 15 GB is enough to satisfy many. If you want more space, then you can get 100 GB/month for a price of $1.99 and you can get as much as 1 TB/month for $9.99. Although both services have similar price, but Google Drive’s price is more flexible.
Winner: Google Drive, simple due to its flexibility and free 15 GB storage that everyone will love.
6. For Businesses
Both Cloud Storage service have separate business packages and features. Let’s see which one will work best for your business.
Dropbox aims for a simple cloud storage service, so its enterprise service is also quite simple. It provides all management and collaboration tools in a single area causing least confusions. They have amazing security features and have achieved ISO 27018 certification proving its strong security and privacy.
The pricing plans comes for at least 5 users with all the control and security features. The price is $15/month for a single user that is $75 minimum payment.
Google Drive’s package for businesses offer amazing collaboration tools and reliable security. It supports FERPA, FISMA and HIPAA and adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles to ensure maximum security and privacy of data. They have manage to achieve ISO 27001 certification and all the data transfer is encrypted.
Google Drive combined with other collaboration tools offered by Google, provides amazing collaboration that no other service can offer. There is no limit on minimum number of users, you can get business package for a price of $10/month for a single user that includes all the extra features and 1 TB space. If there are more than 5 users, then there is no limit on the space for files, folders and documents.
Winner: Google Drive for its cheap pricing and flexible package that adds least limits
Security is a big concern when it comes to cloud storage, which is why people prefer to save sensitive data to a physical drive. However, both cloud storage services in our comparison offer good security of data with minor differences.
All you data while being uploaded/downloaded is processed via SSL/TLS tunnels and while staying in the Dropbox servers, it is encrypted with AES-256 bit encryption, ensuring maximum security. The deleted data is saved for 30 days in Dropbox servers to restore later if needed, could be a good or a bad thing depending on your situation.
You can also use two-step verification to add further security from your side. Furthermore, you have full control over your account security and you can easily see your account activity, connected devices and apps connected to Dropbox from the dashboard. You are also notified if any other unknown device tries to access your account.
Google Drive also offers all the security features like, AES-256 bit encryption, 30 days deleted data storage, two-step verification, notifications and control over security features. However, it can be a little risky as the login details of Google Drive is same for other Google services. This means, if your account gets hacked while using any other service, your Google Drive data will be in risk as well.
So yes, from user side, Google Drive is a little risky. However, adding two-step verification may be able to solve this problem. Furthermore, Google is also known for peaking into data and working with NSA in the past, so keep this in mind while opting for Google Drive.
Winner: Dropbox for keeping things simple and well… not being backed by “Google”.
SEE ALSO: 60 Google Search Tips and Tricks
Google Drive Vs. Dropbox Comparison Table
|Uploading Data||Maximum Limit 10 GB on Web client and offers reliable upload speed||Maximum limit of 5 TB over all clients, but may offer slow upload speed in certain situations|
|Features||Simple UI, easy sharing, integrates with third-party apps||Integrates with many Google services, many supported formats|
|Application Support||Supports over 300,000 apps and services||Google apps/services support and some other Google related services support|
|Compatibility||Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, and BlackBerry||Supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS|
|Pricing||Free 2 GB space that can be increased to 18 GB or pay $9.99/month for 1 TB space||15 GB Free space and can be increased to 100 GB for $1.99/month or 1 TB for $9.99/month|
|For Businesses||Added security and collaboration features for $15/month for 1 TB space.||Added security features for a price of $10/ month with 1 TB space or unlimited space if there are more than 5 users|
|Security||Encryption, 30 day file recovery, notifications and Two-step verification||Encryption, 30 day file recovery, Two-step verification, secure data exchange. Although, same login for multiple services can be risky|
Both Google Drive and Dropbox have good and bad side, so you will have to decide which one works best for your needs. For example, if you are looking for free storage and additional features, then Google Drive is the way to go. If you are a little privacy concerned, then Dropbox should work best for you.