Box vs Dropbox – Overview
The main selling point of Box is that it’s a “secure file sharing” option. This feature is surely meant to set themselves apart from Dropbox, which came along a bit later but took off in popularity faster than Box could have imagined. In addition, Box offers mobile apps and a web app with simple drag-and-drop functionality to store and retrieve files. It’s very accessible and can be used by users of almost any computer skill level. The app also includes a unique “capture” function that allows you to shoot pictures and upload direct to the cloud, bypassing your device storage. That’s really handy for those who take a lot of snaps.
There’s great interoperability with other apps like Google Apps, Office 365, slack, Salesforce, and much more. This is great since it allows you to integrate this as a real part of your workflow instead of just another standalone app that takes some fiddling to use with your other stuff.
There are some great file sharing features available, which are great for small businesses using Box to store and share files that are being worked on. File versioning will allow users to edit files but will maintain previous versions on the server so that even if someone screws up your file, you can revert to a previous version. You can read more about Box in our in-depth Box Cloud Storage review.
Dropbox came along after Box, but they had an amazing viral burst of users after they did a campaign offering additional free storage to its users in their early days. Now, it’s still a great competitor.
Dropbox offers web and mobile apps, much like Box. You can upload files from your mobile device or even access your files on the go through their convenient viewer. And of course, you can download files as well.
Dropbox’s free plans are what made it popular, and they may be enough for a lot of users, but they have some great premium plans as well. Premium plans come with tons of great features and optional security measures that can be implemented. We discussed this more at length in our Dropbox review.
Dropbox has some great collaborative features, with the ability to collab in real time using Dropbox Paper or even Microsoft Office. Dropbox’s deal with Microsoft also enables opening Microsoft Office docs in Office Online straight from the Dropbox web app.
Box vs Dropbox – Prices & Features
Below is a basic overview of the pricing plans offerd by Box and Dropbox, respectively.
Box Pricing Plans
|Personal Pro||$10/month||100 GB|
|Business Starter||$5/user/month||100 GB|
Dropbox Pricing Plans
Dropbox is the clear winner. You get much more space per dollar with their plans. Also, Box has a 5 GB max file size, while Dropbox offers 10 GB. This could be a big difference for those working with video files. In addition, it may look like Box’s plans aren’t too terrible, but their business plans also require a minimum of three registered users which means you can multiply that number by 3 right off the bat.
With Dropbox, you can also earn additional storage with free plans, whereas with Box you’re just stuck with what they offer unless you upgrade.
Box vs Dropbox – Security
Box touts its security as its main selling point these days. So what do they offer? They clearly show their commitment to privacy by having no US servers. Instead, they opt for Canadian, Asian, European, and Australian servers. Customer-managed encryption keys are also an option for those who want their keys out of the hands of the Box staff.
Both Box and Dropbox offer 256-bit AES encryption and SSL file transfer security. Dropbox’s higher-tiered plans offer HIPAA compliance and more granular permission controls.
There’s no doubt that the security of Box is stronger and more developed than that of Dropbox, but that’s not to say Dropbox is insecure. They comply with standards and use a high level of encryption that would be more than sufficient for most.
Box vs Dropbox Additional Features
Box’s capture mode on their mobile app allows uploading pictures straight to the cloud from mobile devices. They have collaboration features sure to satisfy most business users.
Dropbox offers much of the same, but their collaboration is much more defined and works better with a variety of apps. Their business model has expanded to include many of the features Box offers, and they’ve been able to do a decent job of undercutting the price.
Box vs Dropbox Pros & Cons
Box Pros and Cons
- Extreme focus on security
- Good collaboration
- Great for businesses
- Less space per dollar
- 5 GB max file size
Dropbox Pros and Cons
- Integration with many other services
- Price per GB
- Good file versioning
- 10 GB file size limit
Overall, for the vast majority of people, Dropbox is more than enough bang for the buck. The storage per GB is much higher than Box, and you can even buy your way into better security if you’re dealing with highly confidential files, such as medical files requiring HIPAA compliance.
For those that require utmost peace of mind with their data, Box is a fine option, but for the rest you might as well futureproof yourself by going with Dropbox and getting all the storage you need at a lower cost.