Google Drive vs Dropbox – A Head To Head Comparison

When it comes to storing and sharing information online, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive are some of the most popular services. They store and share large files online quickly and conveniently.  Let us discuss in detail, Google Drive vs Dropbox.

If you are struggling to choose either of them, you have indeed found a sweet spot. Each of these platforms has a lot in common. Such as syncing files across devices, backing up files to the cloud, and allowing you to share files with your peers.

On a macroscopic level, you may consider that both of the services are identical, with the only difference being their parent company. However, they both differ in terms of various aspects. To highlight the fine line of difference that separates these platforms, you need to dive deeper. 

With that said, let us take a look at head to head comparison between Google Drive and Dropbox to help you make an informative decision.

Google Drive vs Dropbox – A Head To Head Comparison

To get an idea of which cloud storage is better, we can take up multiple aspects of each of these and learn about them. Before that, here is a short understanding of both Google Drive and Dropbox for those who may not have a basic idea about it. Let us look here.

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a file storage service that allows you to sync and save your files on the cloud. Any user can access it from a smartphone, PC, tablet, etc., by downloading a simple app on any of these platforms.

You can sync or upload files here and share them with other people using a shareable link. You can even choose to save your media files such as videos, docs, music, etc.

To get this service, you must create a Google Account and get 15GB of free space on every account. If you need more space, there are multiple packages you can subscribe to and increase your limit.

The best part of this particular service is that you can sync all the other Google services. Some of them being Google Docs, Photos, Sheets, Calendar, and others directly synced with Google Drive.

Read Google Drive Randomly Deleting Files

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is a cloud storage service that serves as one of the most popular platforms where you can save and synchronize all your files. It is free to use for a specific storage limit, and you may opt for an upgrade based on your needs.

This tool acts as a perfect alternative for One Drive, Google Drive, and other storage services available on the web.

You can download the iOS and Android versions for your smartphones for easy access. The same goes for your Mac and PC versions if you need to save your computer data on the cloud.

There are multiple features where you can create a group of people and use the application together for work purposes.

Read: How to make a graph on Google Drive

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Edit History and File Recovery

If your stored files are required to be accessed, edited, copied, or transferred by multiple people, you must look out for a way to keep track of the changes.

With both Google Drive and Dropbox, you can restore your files to an earlier version. But the former also offers you a broad spectrum of services that may prove to be more reliable.

What feature does Dropbox have to offer?

Dropbox features a deleted file section that helps you restore your accidentally or intentionally deleted files with a single click.

Moreover, you can also sort deleted files through their parent folder location, deletion date, or the people who deleted them.

Which is better Google Drive or Dropbox

However, the files will be kept in the deleted files section for only 30 days. It can be extended to 120 days by subscribing to the enterprise version of the platform. Also, 180 days by purchasing Dropbox professional.

What feature does Google Drive have to offer?

On the other hand, Google Drive places all the deleted files in a specific folder known as trash. The files will remain there until you choose to delete them permanently; that too can be restored by the account administrator within the timeframe of 25 days.

This feature can prove to be extremely handy for preventing unwanted loss of data. In case you want to restore an older version of your file, you can go back to 30 days older versions of the file through both platforms.

Google provides a slight advantage for this feature. It helps you to restore specific versions of your files and informing you about the authority responsible for the edits, even when someone is making changes to the file in real-time. 

It is also integrated with a wide range of apps that offers various features. Such as automatically saving the documents in regular intervals and renaming their earlier versions. Talking about Dropbox, it allows you to create documents in Microsoft Word online.

You can restore older versions of your documents. However, you cannot track the changes in the version history as it is a paid feature of Microsoft office.

Read How to enable Google Drive Dark Mode on your smartphones

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Security Features 

The security features of Google Drive and Dropbox are very competitive and hard to differentiate. With Google Drive, you can enjoy security features like two-factor authentication.

It helps to secure your account by your preferred choice of preventive measures. For example, one-tap sign-in, SMS, authenticator app, or a physical key.

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Two Step Verification
google drive vs dropbox security

Dropbox also provides all the aforementioned security features in addition to password-less login through its standards.

Additionally, while both the platforms encrypt your data before storing them in the servers, Google still manages to take the lead by providing an extra rotating master key. 

In simple terms, if an attacker gains access to your data, they would require two separate keys to translate it into a readable format. While Dropbox requires only a single key to decrypt your precious data.

google drive vs dropbox for business
google drive vs dropbox security

It’s also worth knowing that a data breach during 2012 caused Dropbox to compromise the login information of more than 68 million accounts. Ever since this incident, they have introduced several new security measures.

Still, if you are storing highly confidential information on the cloud, it’s highly suggested to place your bets on Google.

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Plans and Pricing 

The free version of both of these competitors provides you with limited storage. However, Google appears to be more generous than Dropbox.

With the free plan of Dropbox, you get only 2 GB of free storage that can be extended to 19 GB by referring friends.

Dropbox vs Google Drive
google drive vs dropbox for business

Google Drive offers you straight away 15GB worth of storage that’s security above shared throughout your Google account.

However, your photo backups and email attachments will also occupy the space that may burn up your storage quicker than Dropbox.

You can still store unlimited photos up to 16 megapixels, and only larger media files will occupy your storage limit. If you need more storage without spending a penny, Dropbox keeps you covered in numerous ways.

google drive vs dropbox pricing
google drive vs dropbox pricing

Similarly, If you use, platform Google phones, you can enjoy extra storage space for your photos and videos. The premium plans for Dropbox start from $11.99 per month for 2TB of storage.

Google Drive requires you to sign up for a separate service known as Google one. It adds the same storage space at the same price.

But you can also choose from several cheaper and smaller plans. Because it can cost you as low as $2 per month for 100 GB of storage and $3 per month for 200 GB of storage.

Although sharing your storage space throughout your Google account may sound inconvenient, the range of plans offered is undoubtedly better as compared to Dropbox. 

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Backup Options

Both Dropbox and Google allow you to backup your photos and videos automatically to the cloud. 

Dropbox takes a complete backup of the storage volumes attached to your computer. However, you still have to choose a Plus plan for backing up automatically from your smartphone.

Moreover, these media files also consume a large chunk of space that may require you to choose a high-tier plan anyways.

Google Drive vs Dropbox

There is a subset of Google Drive known as Google photos that backs up your videos and photos from your smartphone for absolutely free of cost.

Furthermore, any photos smaller than 16 megapixels and videos below 1080P will not be counted against your storage limit. In fact, you also get the option to reduce your media quality to save space.

With that said, email attachments and other Google services share the same storage limit. The flexibility and generosity of Google Drive make it more affordable than Dropbox, and it also excels in terms of sharing and editing media.

More Backup Options

Dropbox also has a camera uploads folder that can add comments to your media files and share multiple photos at once; you can create a folder and share it with your peers.

Meanwhile, Google Drive allows you to create live albums. It utilizes facial recognition technology and automatically sorts the pictures in their respective albums. 

If you make a photo album of your wife and tag her in the picture, every newly captured photo will automatically show up in the same album. It also contains a photo editor with intrinsic features like cropping and rotating images, applying filters, and adjusting colors. 

Dropbox also features a photo editor in their mobile app. However, the same cannot be done through their desktop or web interface.

Google Drive vs Dropbox-Sync Speed

The reason why Dropbox is popular among users is their innovative synchronization technology known as block-level file copying.

When it syncs a file, it reciprocates the bits that have been modified, which means only the first synchronization process will take time. After that, every modified version will be synced almost instantly on all your devices. 

On the other hand, Google does not use the block-level file copying feature. It is known to have one of the fastest cloud services in the market. Therefore unless you are trying to sync a considerable file, there should be no difference at all. 

Dropbox takes the lead here by allowing you to backup files on the local area network, which is not yet introduced to Google drive. It means Dropbox will sync files automatically between computers connected to a single network with a high-speed transfer speed. 

With both Google Drive and Dropbox, you get a desktop application that allows you to sync between multiple devices. This folder can be accessed through file explorer in Windows OS and finder on Mac OS. The application creates a separate folder that allows you to sort files by their type, know when they are modified, and who owns them.

Search Comparison

Google’s application is known as backup and sync. It can be downloaded separately for free, and it’s not mandatory to use Google Drive. There’s a quick access toolbar in the web version of Google Drive. It is available at the top section of your screen.

The toolbar offers navigational suggestions for required files, i.e., documents relevant to your added dates in the Google calendar or files accessed recently. It also allows you to start essential items that are categorized in a separate tab for easy access. 

Talking about Dropbox, it shows your recently uploaded files along with a row of items you have starred. Dropbox offers you better control over the files that you access recently. While Google Drive utilizes algorithms to determine your navigational needs.

To determine which platform provides better navigation features, you have to assess your preferences, but both cloud storage platforms get the job done. Google has the edge over Dropbox in terms of searching for specific files.

The latter enables you to search for a particular time but keeps it limited to only subfolders. However, if you purchase a professional or business plan, you can also search for text on images. 

Google Drive vs Dropbox- Search

On the other hand, Google Drive provides you several search parameters. Similar to Gmail it allows you to refine your query by enabling you to search for file type, who they’re shared with, who owns the file, or when they were modified.

Additionally, while searching for photos, you can enjoy several advanced features. It is powered by Google’s powerful AI that recognizes faces of animals and people and automatically categorizes them in different albums. 

In case you capture photos of receipts or business cards, Google lens will copy the text on the images through OCR technology. Furthermore, it allows you to search for that specific information on Google search.

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Final Verdict

To store files in the cloud and save your local storage both Google Drive and Dropbox work exceptionally well. Moreover, each of these platforms also provides companion mobile apps. It allows you to access your files directly from your smartphone. 

While you can always choose from various premium plans for both platforms, Google offers you more space even with their free account. On a side note, Dropbox has better synchronization features that back up your file faster than Google Drive.

Talking about the better one, Google Drive surely wins this comparison. It provides you a higher amount of storage and features. There are several additional apps that include office utilities like dogs and sheets, which certainly makes it fit the bill for both personal and corporate use. It also covers:

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