Box and Dropbox are both file storage and sharing platforms that allow users to access their files from any device with an internet connection. They both offer a variety of features, including the ability to share files with others, create folders, and upload files.
Dropbox is much better for everyday users thanks to its outstanding UX. Box is better for versatile business solutions and integrations as well as its unlimited storage options.
Check out our comprehensive comparison below.
Dropbox and Box Compared to the Best Cloud Storage Services
Neither Dropbox nor Box made our list of the best overall services in this category, so if you are in the market for cloud storage, we’d point you toward one of our top picks:
- Sync – Best cloud storage service for most
- pCloud – Best long-term storage solution
- Icedrive – Best for personal cloud storage
- IDrive – Best for personal backups
- Zoolz – Best for automated backups from any device
Check out full length reviews of all our recommendations for the best cloud storage services. If you are weighing Dropbox vs Box, it’s a good idea to explore your full range of options.
Dropbox is a cloud-based storage and file sharing service that allows users to sync files across multiple devices. Founded in 2007, Dropbox has over 500 million registered users and employs more than 2,500 people worldwide. Dropbox offers a variety of features, including the ability to create shared folders, collaborate on documents in real-time, and version control.
Like Dropbox, Box is a cloud-based storage and collaboration service that provides users with a convenient way to store, share, and access files. Although it is similar to other services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, Box offers some unique features that make it an attractive option for businesses and individual users. For example, Box offers enterprise-grade security features, including granular permissions and data loss prevention.
Where Dropbox Shines
Easily Navigable: One of the first things you’ll notice about Dropbox is how easy it is to navigate. The interface is designed with the user in mind, and all of the features are easily accessible from the main dashboard. In addition, Dropbox makes it easy to find the files you’re looking for with its search function. Because of its ease of setup and use, Dropbox is a very useful tool for just about anyone (particularly PC users).
Fast and Responsive: Thanks to its LAN sync system, Dropbox is one of the fastest cloud storage services on the market. With LAN sync enabled, files will be synced between your shared devices as soon as they’re saved to your Dropbox folder. This is a great feature for users who need to access their files quickly and don’t want to wait for them to upload or download from the cloud.
Excellent Value: Starting at $9.99 for the Dropbox Plus plan, which gives you up to two terabytes of storage, Dropbox is one of the more reasonably priced cloud storage services on the market. If you need more storage, Dropbox also offers a business plan that gives you five terabytes of storage for $12.50 per month.
Incredibly Secure: At Dropbox, security is of utmost priority. The company uses a variety of security measures to protect your data, including two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES encryption. In addition, Dropbox employs a team of in-house security experts who are constantly working to improve the security of the service.
Versatile Integrations: Although integrations are fewer than many other cloud storage solutions, Dropbox offers a unique set of integrations geared toward both consumer, personal, and business applications. Most cloud storage software has a primary focus, but Dropbox casts a wide net.
World-Class Customer Service: Dropbox offers some of the most accessible customer service there is. The company employs a team of experts who are available 24/7 to help you with any issues you may have. In addition, Dropbox has an extensive knowledge base that can be very helpful if you’re having trouble using the service.
Where Dropbox Falls Short
Limited Options: The free version of Dropbox only offers two gigabytes of storage, which is significantly less than what other free cloud storage services offer. If you need more storage, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan, which includes two terabytes. Not everyone requires a storage plan with that much, so the lack of a mid-tier option is inconvenient.
Pricier than Competitors: Although Dropbox’s pricing is reasonable, it is still more expensive than some of its competitors. For example, Google Drive and iCloud both offer cheaper plans for individual users. Unless you are moving massive amounts of data at all times, Dropbox may not be the best option for your personal or business file storage.
Premium Tools: Even though its premium tools are fantastic, Dropbox offers limited free tools for its users who don’t want to upgrade to a paid plan. This can be frustrating for users who need more than the basics but don’t want to pay for a premium account.
Device Limit: Since you can only use your Dropbox account on three devices, it is not as expansive as other cloud storage options. In many cases, an individual has more than three devices from which they would like to access their account. Designating which three to use is an extra step that users don’t want to take, nor should they have to.
Where Box Shines
More Storage for Free: One of the biggest selling points of Box is that it offers ten gigabytes of free storage to all users. This is significantly more than what Dropbox offers and likely covers the storage needs of most individuals.
Seamless Integrations: With over 1,500 integrations including Salesforce, Google, and Microsoft, Box is one of the most versatile cloud storage services on the market. Your content can seamlessly flow between your top software platforms using these integrations. Across each platform, Box also offers an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to find the content and tools you need.
Extensive File Sharing: If you need to share large files of any kind, Box is your best bet. Whether it’s a zipped folder or a raw video, you can create a link and make sure you share it on the right platform––from anywhere. You can even preview 120 different file types. Best of all, the recipient doesn’t need a Box account to view, comment, or download the file.
Additional Plans and Packages: Box offers a variety of plans and packages to fit the needs of any individual or business. If you need more storage, you can upgrade to a Personal Pro plan for $10 per month. With this plan, you will have access to one hundred gigabytes of storage and a host of other features, such as real-time editing and watermarking.
Unlimited Storage: A few terabytes should be enough, but in case it isn’t, Box offers several plans with unlimited storage. For businesses, this is a great option because it means you will never have to worry about running out of space.
Where Box Falls Short
Limited to Desktop Users: Box Sync is impressive, but it is limited to desktop users. This means that if you want to access your Box account from your mobile device, you will have to use the Box app or the mobile website.
No Free Version for Businesses: While there is a free version for individuals, businesses have to sign up for one of Box’s paid plans. The least expensive option starts at $5 per month per person. If you need more than three users, you will have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Limited File Versioning: Unlike Dropbox, Box does not offer unlimited file versioning. This means that if you accidentally delete a file or make changes to a file that you later regret, there is no way to go back and undo those changes. Although many plans allow for 25 versions or more, a collaborative team may quickly exhaust this limit.
The Final Verdict on Dropbox vs. Box
Dropbox is the clear winner when it comes to space offerings, especially for the price. Each user gets two gigabytes for free and can earn up to eighteen gigabytes more by completing certain tasks, such as referring friends. For individuals and small businesses who don’t need unlimited storage, Dropbox is a great option.
If you are looking for a single-user plan, it is $9.99 and comes with two terabytes of storage, Dropbox Vault, unlimited management, and 30-day history access. For individual users, this is one of the most comprehensive plans available and comes with more storage than you will likely ever need.
For customers who need a little more, for $16.99 per month, families can share data and information on the cloud with unlimited API access to Dropbox partners.
When it comes to business plans, however, Dropbox falls a bit short. Some businesses may be better off with Box‘s $5 per user per month Business Starter plan, which includes unlimited storage and Box’s massive repository of integrations. Larger businesses will need to sign up for a more expensive enterprise plan, which also offers the same integrations and storage options.
Dropbox really knows its users. The Dropbox UX is considerably better than that of Box. It is easy to use for just about anyone, regardless of their level of tech-savviness. Even if you are not familiar with how the cloud works, you will be able to figure it out quickly with Dropbox.
Box’s interface is a little more complicated and can be difficult to navigate, especially for users who are not familiar with the cloud. This is likely due to the fact that Box offers so many features and integrations. While this is great for businesses, it can be a little overwhelming for individuals.
With Box, you can also transfer files up to 150 GB in size, which is much larger than the maximum file size for Dropbox. This is great if you need to transfer large collections of video files and big data sets. Especially if your business is in the media or entertainment industry or manages thousands of clients in a company database, Box is a great choice.
Additionally, you can share files of any kind with Box. This includes 120 different kinds of files and previews, which is far more than what Dropbox can do.
Dropbox only allows for three devices to be connected to one singular account. With Box, you can have up to an unlimited number of devices connected to your account. This is great for businesses with a lot of employees who need to access the same files from different devices.
The Box Enterprise Custom plan is even greater. It offers highly sophisticated data encryption and protection features, unlimited e-signatures and file shares with Salesforce, and open APIs for custom development.
Box plans to release Box Canvas, which offers unlimited canvases for users to collaborate on in real-time. Each canvas can hold an unlimited number of files, applications, and multimedia content. This is a great feature for businesses that need to collaborate on complex projects with many moving parts.
Both platforms offer file sharing and collaboration tools, making it easy for team members to work on projects together. They also offer ample storage space for most users, so users can access their files from any device with an internet connection.
In addition, both platforms offer security features like password protection and data encryption, so users can rest assured that their files are safe. While they have some similarities, Dropbox and Box also have some key differences.
For instance, Dropbox offers a wider range of features than Box, including the ability to create folders and set permissions. In addition, Dropbox integrates with a variety of third-party apps, while Box does not. As a result, each platform has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
If you are an individual who needs to share files with your family, Dropbox is the clear winner. It is the platform that is most usable and most people are likely to be familiar with. Because of its ease of use, Dropbox is also a good choice for small businesses.
However, it is limited in its options. If you need more features, like the ability to share files with a larger number of people or integrate with Salesforce without limits, then Box is the better choice.
Large businesses that need to share extremely large files or that need unlimited file storage will also find Box to be the better option.
Ultimately, the best platform for you depends on your specific needs. If you need a simple, user-friendly platform for sharing files with family and friends, Dropbox is the way to go.
For businesses that need more features and integrations, Box is the better option.
However, both are clearly excellent options for cloud storage and you are unlikely to go wrong with either one. And, if neither one of those seems to fit you or your company’s storage needs, consider another one of the best cloud storage services.