Cloud storage is becoming the preferred mode of storage option over conventional physical drives. In fact, cloud storage offers a variety of advantages compared to physical drives we use. When it comes to cloud storage, there are numerous options to consider. However, Google Drive and Dropbox are the most popular options among those who prefer cloud storage. You may read this comparison of Dropbox vs. Google Drive to get a better idea about both options. In this Google Drive vs. Dropbox comparison, we intend to cover all the essential aspects of those options.
Dropbox was launched well before Google Drive. However, Google Drive did catch up because they started to offer larger space even with their free account. Also, Google Drive offered file creation tools, as well. More importantly, Google Drive offered better options and more flexibility when it comes to getting additional storage. On the other hand, Dropbox offers the block-syncing option, so it helps you saving files faster. Such an approach also ensures better reliability. Nevertheless, when you make an unbiased comparison between Dropbox vs. Google Drive, the latter has the edge.
Dropbox vs. Google Drive – Pricing options
When it comes to the pricing factor, there are some differences between Google Drive vs. Dropbox. If you use a free account on Dropbox, you are entitled to a storage space of 2 GB. However, when it comes to Google Drive, they offer 15 GB under every free account. This 15 GB quota includes your email inbox in addition to the files saved in the Drive. Compared to 2 GB, 15 GB is a massive capacity, even if it is shared with your email inbox. When it comes to the storage capacity under the free account, Google Drive wins by a clear, big margin.
Both Google Drive and Dropbox allow you to upgrade free accounts to premium plans. Dropbox Plus and paid Google One are the paid versions, FYI. If you go for the Dropbox Plus option (which is their paid version), you can get it 2 TB. That is for one year at a price of $120. The same amount of space is offered by Google Drive for a price of $100 (annual subscription). In addition to that, Google Drive has some other plans as well. For instance, they offer packages between 15 GB and 2 TB for intermediate users. If you go for Dropbox’s Professional package, you will be given 3TB for an annual price of $200. On the other hand, Google Drive offers the storage of 30TB at a price of $300 per month. That’s their highest plan.
When it comes to Dropbox, they promote a referral program as well. Through this referral program, a user can ‘earn‘ additional storage space. To earn that, you have to go to their referral page and send invitations through emails to your friends. For each sign up happens through your referrals, you will be given 500MB for free. Each free account can acquire up to 16GB storage space through this referral program. That means up to 32 friends can sign up for Dropbox accounts through your referrals. Dropbox Plus account uses such a referral program. However, the number of referrals is still limited to 32. But for each sign-up, they offer 1 GB of free space.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox – Synchronization
Synchronization is a very important aspect when it comes to cloud storage. When you compare Google Drive vs. Dropbox on the synchronization aspect, there are significant differences between the two. As per this process, files are saved automatically whenever the changes are done by the user. Then, the files will be synchronized within the program, and you can access those files from any location. Also, you can access synchronized files from any device as long as it has an internet connection.
With Google Drive, it downloads and uploads the whole file during the synchronization process. So, in certain cases, you may experience a delay when accessing a document from a different device. Let’s take a look at an example to make it clearer. Suppose that you have made a change to a document on your PC. You access the same document from your mobile device. The changes will not be shown on the mobile device immediately. To see the changes, you will have to exit the app and relaunch it. Then, the respective file will be refreshed, and you will see the changes in the document. Although it doesn’t take too long, the duration it takes can vary depending on the type of the connection. The performance of the device is another influential aspect of this case. If you have a poor internet connection and a slow-performing device, things can be pretty frustrating. In addition to that, suppose that you lose the connection before the synchronization process. Such instance may lose some of the data (your work) on the respective file.
With Dropbox, however, things are very different in terms of synchronization. They use a special technology called bloc-syncing. As per this technology, the entire file is not downloaded or uploaded. Instead, the algorithm saves and synchronizes only the changes that are don’t on the document. Obviously, synchronizing a fraction of the document is faster compared to synchronizing a whole document. You can make the process even faster simply by using collaboration features on Dropbox. In addition to that, it makes the changes available to yourself as well when you access the same document.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox -Additional features of Dropbox and Google Drive
In a nutshell, Google Drive and Dropbox are cloud storage services. However, they have more options to offer as opposed to basic file storage service. They come with extra tools and features to provide a more comprehensive service for users. For instance, both Google Drive and Dropbox come with word processing tools and project creation options. However, there are significant differences between these features.
The basic document creation tool of Dropbox is known as ‘Paper.’ This tool allows you to create various types of documents using images, media files, calendars, etc. Also, it allows you to create tables as well. You can create bulleted or numbered lists, and it also allows you to add page breaks. There is a spell checker tool as well though we don’t find it to be so impressive. ‘Paper‘ doesn’t work well in picking up grammatical errors as well. To make things a little bit easier, Dropbox allows you to use some keyboard shortcuts too. For instance, you can use Crtl + B to bold text. There is a popup toolbar to display these options as you highlight the respective text. Nevertheless, you don’t see a taskbar on the Dropbox interface with regularly used text formatting tools.
When you type text on your Dropbox, you will see that it creates a large title by default. This is created at the top of the page. The title, which is automatically generated, then becomes the file name of the document. For some individuals, it can be a slightly annoying default formatting. Generally, we don’t always need to have large titles or to head, especially when we create letters. On the flipside, automatically generated names becomes handy in identifying the files. When you need to find the respective file, later on, such a feature becomes very useful.
There are three templates in Dropbox’s ‘Paper‘ tool. These templates become exceptionally handy when you have to collaborate with others. Namely, these templates are meeting notes, project planning, and brainstorming. They are designed to provide a guide in the form of a walkthrough to create documents. If you need, you can create more templates to ‘Paper.’ However, creating and adding templates to ‘Paper’ is somewhat complex.
One of the main benefits associated with Dropbox is that it allows you to collaborate easily with teammates. Sharing the files inside a particular project has made very simple in Dropbox. You can invite your teammates through an email to join the file and start collaborating. All the files, including documents and projects, will be marked clearly, so everyone knows what happens with the file. If you upgrade your Dropbox account for a Professional plan, you will be given access to the ‘Showcase.’ It is a special tool dedicated to real-time collaboration. The existing documents cannot be dragged and dropped into new folders. Also, you cannot combine multiple folders following this method. Instead, you will have to open the file and choose the option ‘Move‘ it to the desired folder.
With Dropbox, it is possible to synchronize calendars and events. However, the problem is that Dropbox doesn’t have a calendar within the tool. Instead, you have to synchronize it to a calendar that is already created (ex. Office 365 or Google Drive). This can be a drawback.
It also allows you to create files using Google Drive’s office programs or Office 365 tool inside Dropbox. However, again, you have to synchronize the existing accounts with your Dropbox account before proceeding. So, as we believe, it is quite an effort you need to put. Therefore, we believe that it is easier to use the original program to create the files.
When it comes to Google Drive, there is a word processor called ‘Google Docs.’ In fact, Google Docs is a very popular tool as of today because of the convenience it delivers. Google Docs comprises of Sheets, Forms, Slides, and even Drawings so you can create a complete project. Google Drive is perfectly working with links to services such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Translate.
The interface and the functionality of Google Docs are pretty similar to Microsoft Word. It has plenty of formatting options and embedding tools. These options are smartly placed on the interface with top and side taskbars delivering perfect convenience. It also gives you the option of choosing text and font colors, adding backgrounds, etc. when creating documents. Google Docs can recognize spelling errors compared to Dropbox’s Paper. Also, it allows you to recognize grammatical errors as well, and it is not available in Dropbox.
All the projects you create and the updates added to them are saved in Google Drive automatically. You can access those files later on without any trouble. Adding more value to this tool, there is a feature called ‘Quick View,’ and that shows recently edited files. If you want to access those files, you can simply tap on them to open and edit.
Google Docs allows you to invite any other person to view or edit the projects you create. To do that, you have to press the ‘Share‘ button, which is located at the top of your screen. An invitation will be then sent to the person, and you can even share an entire folder. If you share a complete folder, there will be an icon over it. So, you can easily recognize the shared folder.
Conclusion on Dropbox vs. Google Drive
As we have recognized, both Google Drive and Dropbox are excellent options for cloud storage. Each of these tools comes with mobile apps as well, so you can access them any time you wish. Even when you are on the go, Dropbox and Google Drive can be accessed thanks to these handy mobile apps. Compared to Dropbox, however, Google Drive offers you more space through its free account. Both of the options allow you to gain additional storage space by subscribing to a paid package. Google Drive offers you a maximum storage space of 30TB, and Dropbox is limited to 3TB.
There is a significant difference between Dropbox and Google Drive when it comes to synchronization. Dropbox uses block-syncing technology, and it synchronizes the changes only. However, Google Drive downloads and uploads the entire document, which is slightly slower compared to Dropbox.
If we are to pick one over the other, our definite choice is Google Drive. It offers more flexibility in choosing storage capacities. Also, it gives us a substantial space even with a free account. Moreover, Google Drive gives you better document processing tools such as Google Docs for our convenience. So, the battle between Dropbox vs. Google Drive wins by Google Drive. Please let us know your thoughts about this Google Drive vs. Dropbox comparison.