Cloud storage is an increasingly important part of our lives, and it’s helping free up tons of space on our computers and smartphones. There are, however, plenty of cloud storage options out there. The two most famous and most used are perhaps Google Drive and Dropbox.
But which of these two services is better? Google Drive, from the internet giant, or Dropbox, from the underdog that wasn’t known before Dropbox became a service?
Google Drive is accessible through your web browser, a desktop app and a mobile app. Once you’re logged in, you can upload files as large as 5TB (provided you have the space), as well as organize your files into folders, and create new documents. This is perhaps one of the main thing that sets Google Drive apart from Dropbox — the ability to create Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and so on. And that’s no small feature — whether you’re a student or a businessperson, the ability to create new documents that are automatically stored online and can be edited from anywhere is a big deal.
With both Google Drive and Dropbox, a folder can be installed on your computer, allowing you to automatically sync files from your account to your computer or vice versa. Drop a file into the folder, and it will be uploaded to Drive where it can be accessed from anywhere. This is hugely helpful, but obviously doesn’t give one service an edge over the other.
Dropbox can also be accessed from a web browser or through apps, however it doesn’t have the 5TB file size limit that Google Drive does. Of course, that won’t be a problem for the vast majority of people — I don’t know about you, but I don’t even have anywhere near 5TB of storage on my computer, so the concept of uploading a 5TB file is a little foreign. Unfortunately, if you use the web app you cannot upload folders of files — you have to upload each file individually.
A Note On Integration
If you’re an Android user, I’m going to save you the trouble of having to decide which service to go for and tell you that Google Drive is the best option for you. Nothing beats device integration, and it will be far easier for you to interact with, share, and edit your files on your phone if you use Google Drive. This isn’t necessarily true of the apps themselves — the Google Drive app and the Dropbox app are both great. It is true, however, of other apps. Google Drive just integrates with everything else on a system level, because it was built by Google.
Another form of integration is with Google Photos. If you’re a Photos user, and many people are, then Drive is again the better option, as it allows you to use your Google Drive storage to store your photos, many of which will automatically be uploaded from your Android phone.
Storage Plans And Pricing
Google Drive offers far more storage options than Dropbox. If you’re a Dropbox user, you’re pretty much limited to either the free 2GB of space, or paying $9.99 for 1TB. Anything beyond that, and you’re out of luck, unless you want to move to the Dropbox Business account, which costs $12.50 per user and requires at least five users.
Google Drive, on the other hand, allows for much more individual storage. With Drive, you can use 15GB for free, pay $1.99 for 100GB, $9.99 for 1TB, anywhere up to 30TB for $299.99 per month. At this point in time 30TB really should be enough for individual users.
Google Drive is clearly the better choice here. While Dropbox can have its uses in the business sector, if you’re an individual user and want room to grow, Google Drive is the way to do it, especially if you’re a Google Photos or Android user.
Which of the two do you prefer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by joining us over in the PCMech Forums.