If you’re still cramming stuff on portable hard drives in order to use in different locations or share with others, you might want to get your head in the clouds. Cloud storage has been a necessary convenience as people amass huge gigabytes of data that they don’t want to keep private but make available to co-workers, relatives and friends. The big decision, of course, is choosing the right and reliable online storage service. DropBox has been a popular choice for years, but now that Google has replaced its online Google Docs program with Google Drive, they are giving DropBox strong competition.
Both services allow users to share and store text documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, images and video. So, which is better?
Google Drive: The Good & the Bad
- Get 5 GB of storage completely free. Pay if you want more. 25GB costs $2.50 per month, while 100 GB costs just $5 monthly.
- More secure than most cloud storage programs.
- Automatically converts files uploaded to a convenient online format
- Users can automatically access Google Drive if they already have accounts with other Google services, such as YouTube, Gmail or Blogger. No need for enrolling. This integration is very convenient for users.
- Comes with an app that can sync online files to your laptop, tablet or phone.
- Individual files can be shared publicly and discovered through search engines.
- Search all files, including images, from a search box on every page of Google Drive.
- Saves deleted files forever.
- Easy and intuitive to use.
- Some users report disappearing folders
- Users experience occasional errors when saving, uploading or downloading files.
- Converts Office files out of the Office format into a Google Docs format, making it impossible to edit the file unless online in Google Drive.
- Limits uploads and syncs to 1 GB per file.
- Privacy concerns: Google scans files looking for keywords to coordinate with advertising.
- Minimal customer support.
DropBox: The Good & the Bad
- Tested and proven since 2007. Google, which started Drive in 2012, has a history of rolling out services and then abandoning them.
- Users get 2GB of free storage before paying. Pay $10 a month if you want 50 GB.
- Has an app that allows online storage to sync with all computers or phones
- Gives users 500 MB in extra free storage for every company referral. Google lacks such promotions.
- Gives users 500 MB in extra free storage for uploading initial photos, up to 3GB.
- Allows users to upload and sync files far exceeding Google’s 1GB limit. This is helpful for those saving movies, eBooks or games.
- Fewer privacy concerns that file topics and keywords will be exploited for advertising.
- Easy menu to email file links to friends.
- Good customer support.
- 30 percent of users report security risks with DropBox, according to an online 2012 survey by Fixya.
- More expensive than Google Drive
- Not as many sharing options as Google Drive.
- Limited search options for finding your files. Search not available on every page, only the homepage.
- Only saves deleted files for one month.
Google wins this fight because of its robust security and its free offerings. From the beginning of cloud storage, security was the number one concern when trusting third-parties to manage valuable information. While DropBox boasts that it uses bank-level protection, Google requires a double-step authentication to access files, which is better.
In the realm of freebies, getting 5GB of storage free is certainly better than just 2GB. Although users can strive to get referrals in order to reap more free storage from DropBox (up to 18GB), not everyone wants to go through that effort. Those who choose to pay for excess storage can get far more for their dollar at Google Drive.
Sync services offer roughly the same quality and speed, although many users who patronize both give a slight syncing edge to Dropbox. The ability to access deleted files forever is a great benefit exclusively available on Google Drive.
Author Bio:- Jordan Carron is an expert in business development. He writes about technology to optimize businesses, including Time Warner Cable Business Class Offers. Jordan spends his free time improving his golf game.