As two of the most popular cloud storage systems, Google Drive and Dropbox give you everything you need to store your documents, photos, videos, and more. Both have their merits, and either can do the job, depending on what you’re looking for in your storage.
If you’re looking for speed and ease of use, Dropbox has you covered. Meanwhile, Google Drive gives you more for free and lots of features. We compared the most important parts of both of them to help you choose.
Dropbox Compared to Google Drive
Dropbox’s user-friendly navigation and quick upload speed make it shine among cloud storage systems. It has some of the best security for protecting your files, and its syncing feature lets you choose where you store your files. However, it has high pricing for what it offers, and you’ll pay a lot more than you would for Google Drive. Find the right Dropbox plan for you.
Google Drive’s affordable plans, seamless integration, and free features put it among the best in cloud storage. It’s easy to share your plan with a team of any size. At the same time, its security isn’t quite as tight as Dropbox’s, and its customer service could improve. Explore Google Drive’s plans for your business.
You should also check out our list and reviews for the top five cloud storage providers and compare these two companies to the ones on our list.
Where Dropbox Shines
Dropbox has had many years to create a successful cloud storage system, and its platform, features, and support reflect that. Here’s where you can expect Dropbox to excel for your business.
Easy Navigation: With Dropbox, you can create folders and subfolders that you can easily find no matter what device you’re using. Its platform has a desktop look, making it familiar to most people and PC-friendly in particular. The system has a slight learning curve when it comes to how and where to store your files. Still, it’s easy enough to pick up, and you don’t have to figure out new information or navigation details.
Fast Performance: Dropbox gives you speedy uploads with files of all sizes. Its LAN sync system makes it even quicker to send local files, and it instantly adds your files to a Dropbox folder on all shared devices. This solution makes everything easy to access, so you don’t have to wait for everything to show up right where you need it.
Smart Sync: Dropbox’s sync feature lets you choose which files you want to store locally and which you store online. It gives you more space where you need it while leaving room for others where you need them. It also uses block-level sync, which makes your sync speeds even faster.
Accessible Customer Support: Customer support will answer you in as little as a few seconds, depending on how you contact them. Dropbox gives you 24-hour access to support by email and chat. When you have an urgent problem, you can rest assured their knowledgeable representatives will help you solve it quickly.
Strong Security: Dropbox uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit. This high-level encryption is the same strength that protects top-secret information, according to the U.S. National Security Agency. Dropbox also uses two-factor authentication to ensure that only you and your team have access to your stored files.
Where Dropbox Falls Short
No cloud storage system is perfect, and Dropbox, despite its many years of experience, is no exception. Here’s what to look out for before you jump in.
High Pricing and Fewer Options: Dropbox’s free version only comes with 2GB of storage. After that, you have to pay at least $12 per month for a single person or $20 per month for six people and 2TB storage. It has plans with even more storage, but they’re also more expensive. If you have a small team or just don’t need that much more storage than the free 2GB, Dropbox may not be worth it for your business.
Device Limit: You can only use Dropbox on three devices before you have to pay to include more. The small device limit makes it inconvenient for larger teams, and it’s not as expansive as Google Drive’s unlimited access plans. Instead, Dropbox requires you to designate which devices you’ll use to access your files.
Too Many Premium Tools: Dropbox doesn’t offer as many free tools as some other cloud storage software. Some basic tools, like text search, file locking, history, and even phone support, are only available with paid packages—and not all of them. It makes the platform less accessible, especially with its free or cheaper plans.
Where Google Drive Shines
Google Suite is one of the most widely used platforms, making Google Drive a popular cloud storage system. It offers a range of features and tools to make storage convenient for you and your team. Here’s what sets it apart.
Convenient Plans and Affordable Pricing: Google Drive’s free plan has 15GB of storage right out the gate, and you can get the next plan with 200GB for just a few dollars. It doesn’t have an unlimited plan, but you can get up to 30TB, and overall it has several cheaper options than Dropbox. Its free and low-cost plans make it more accessible for more businesses and individuals.
Seamless Integration: Google Drive is built into most Android devices already, and it’s available on all browsers and operating systems. It has no device limit, and it integrates with other Google tools, as well as Slack, Microsoft Office, Salesforce, Atlassian, Adobe, and more.
Shared Storage: It only costs $2 to share storage between six people using Google Drive. Dropbox and Google Drive both make it easy to share files using their platforms, but Google Drive’s plans let you include more people with more options. It also lets you purchase plans according to your needs so that you have the right amount of storage for everyone involved.
Lots of Extra Tools: Aside from Drive’s storage, you can get Google One to expand the features you can use. With Google Drive, you get free access to a Google One VPN using the Android app. You also get 10% back on some Google Store purchases, more storage, backups, and experts on hand to answer your questions.
Where Google Drive Falls Short
Even the best cloud storage systems have their shortcomings, and Google Drive is no exception. Consider these potential issues before you commit to this solution for your team.
Customer Support Options: Using Google Drive’s free version, you don’t get any support beyond the self-service and community forums. With the paid version, you have 24/7 online support, but even with that, you might wait a while to get an answer—we’re talking hours. When you have a problem you need resolved quickly, slow support can make it even more frustrating.
Weaker Security: Google Drive uses 128-bit encryption for security. This level of security is still strong, and it’s considered standard for most present-day technology. However, if you want your files to stay exceptionally secure, it’s not the best option out there.
The Final Verdict on Dropbox vs. Google Drive
Dropbox plans offer a lot of space, but not everyone needs that much. Its free plan only offers 2GB storage, which may be enough if you use it for personal files alone. However, that much storage can run out fast for a business team.
Aside from its free plan, Dropbox offers these packages:
With the free plan, you get 2GB of storage that you can access with up to three devices. It only accommodates one user, but you can buy some extra features, as well as share your files and back up your storage.
The Plus plan makes a big jump to 2TB storage, again, for one user. It gives you integrated cloud content, and you can access it anywhere on multiple devices with secure sharing.
Plus comes with backup, remote device wipe, and file recovery and history for 30 days, in case you accidentally delete something you want to keep. Its two-factor authentication, Passwords, and Vault help keep your files even more secure.
This package gives you Dropbox Paper, including the ability to send up to 2GB files and three documents for e-signing each month. Its file requests and full text search make it convenient for you to find anything you need in your storage. Plus, with priority email and live chat support, you can troubleshoot any issue in no time.
The Family plan bumps you up to six users and 2TB storage with all Plus features included. It’s the only plan with a Family Room, so everyone has access to all your content in the same location. It also features centralized billing to make payments quicker while keeping track of them.
The Professional package is Dropbox’s cheapest business plan. It has the same features as the Family plan, minus the Family Room, for one user.
The Professional tier also includes file recovery and history for 180 days, as well as document watermarking and shared link controls. You can keep your files even more secure with file locking, branded sharing, and viewer history. Plus, you can now transfer files up to 100GB instead of two.
The Standard plan works well for small teams, and you need at least three users to buy it. It comes with 5TB storage and the same features as the Professional package, minus viewer history. It also shrinks you back down to a 2GB max for transferring files.
However, it adds an account transfer tool and HIPAA compliance. When it comes to team management, it brings you more options including its admin console, multi-team admin login, centralized billing, company-managed groups, and unlimited API access to security platform partners. It also comes with phone support during business hours, though you don’t get Dropbox Passwords or Vault.
For large teams, the Advanced plan comes with unlimited space and all the same features as the Standard. It adds device approvals and viewer history, plus up to 100GB for file transferring. With tiered admin roles, audit logs, SSO integrations, and invite enforcement, this package increases security and gives you the ultimate control over your cloud storage.
Google Drive’s pricing and plans are more accessible for people who don’t need so much space. Its free plan offers more storage, and its paid plans offer more choices so that you don’t have to make such a big jump from minimal space to a ton.
In addition to the four in the above image, Google Drive offers even more storage options:
- 5 TB: $24.99 per month
- 10 TB: $49.99 per month
- 20 TB: $99.99 per month
- 30 TB: $149.99 per month
The free version of Google Drive only gives you 15GB of storage with no extra features. However, you can purchase extras if you need them.
With the Basic package, you can share the extra storage with up to five people. It also gives you member benefits and access to Google experts when you need them.
The Standard includes all Basic features, plus 200GB storage and 3% back in the Google Store.
With the Premium package, you get 2TB storage, all Standard features, and 10% back in the Google Store. It also comes with a VPN for Android and iOS.
Once you go beyond Premium, the only extra feature you get is the option to add Family with the 5TB package. After that, the 10TB, 20TB, and 30TB plans only give you additional storage.
It’s a little disappointing that as you go up so much in price for more storage, that additional storage is all you get. At the same time, that means all of Google Drive’s most important features are in its cheaper plans, whereas some Dropbox features are missing even in more costly plans.
Google Drive has better options for plans than Dropbox, and many features you have to pay for with Dropbox are either free or available at a much lower price with Google Drive.
Overall, when it comes down to price, usability, and features, Google Drive puts itself ahead of Dropbox for most users. However, Dropbox is still an excellent option for cloud storage. The right one for you depends on the specific tools and features you need for your business storage solution.