Updated: September 14, 2020
Today there are dozens of cloud storage options out there—so how can you tell which one is right for you? It’s a critical decision since you’re trusting a service with keeping your most important documents safe and secure. And, having a cloud storage app for your business is an essential component of any tech stack.
Like most software products, the decision for which cloud-based storage app to use comes down to three key categories:
☑ Personal preference
☑ Ease of use
Two of the most popular choices for professionals and businesses are Google Drive and Dropbox. Both cloud-based storage solutions offer free plans as well as paid tiers with more available storage and additional features. Trying out the free version is a great way to see if you’ll like the app before committing, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to fully test out all of the features this way and will be limited in storage capability.
Both Google Drive and Dropbox excel in their own way, which might make deciding which to use a little bit harder.
That means there’s only one thing left to do... take a look at their perks and put them head to head in a few critical categories.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox
Dropbox currently has 500 million active users, 11 million of whom pay for the service. Google Drive, on the other hand, has about 1 billion users. While Google Drive may currently have more users, Dropbox, on the other hand, has history on its side. Dropbox was launched in 2007, and Dropbox paper was released in 2015. Google Drive came out in 2012, five years after Dropbox was originally released.
If those stats tell you anything, it’s that these two cloud storage providers are definitely the best of the best. Overall, they’re neck in neck when it comes to the title of the best cloud-based storage app.
But which of these two apps is best for you and your team?
BASIC COST: Free
BASIC STORAGE: 15GB
If you need more than 15GB of storage space, then there are many different pricing tiers available with Google One:
- 100GB costs $1.99 per month
- 200GB costs $2.99 per month
- 2TB costs $9.99 per month
Google One is great if you’re using Google Apps for personal use. You can also share storage with family members and collaborate in a Google Drive together (think vacation planning!)
If you’re a business user with a G Suite account, then the pricing tiers available are:
- G Suite Basic – 30GB of Google Drive storage for $6 per user per month or $72 per year
- G Suite Business – Unlimited Google Drive storage for $12 per user per month or $144 per year
- G Suite Enterprise – Unlimited Google Drive storage for $25 per user per month or $300 per year
There is also the option to use G Suite Essentials, which provides all of the standard G Suite apps except for Gmail and Calendar. G Suite Essentials is useful if your company already has an email service provider, but you need a few extras like Drive, Meet, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. There are two different pricing tiers available for G Suite Essentials:
- G Suite Essentials – 100 GB Google Drive storage per user with 2 TB pooled cloud storage for $10 per user per month.
- G Suite Enterprise Essentials – 1 TB Google Drive storage per user with 25 TB pooled cloud storage for $20 per user per month.
Google Drive offers up a collaborative workspace, meaning you and your teammates can work seamlessly within shared folders. Shared Drives also ensure that everyone can access all of your team’s documents—anytime, anywhere. It’s critical that information doesn’t end up “siloed” when working on a remote or asynchronous team. If people on your team are working in different time zones and locations, and not always available by email whenever you need, then information that’s locked away only creates roadblocks that no team needs to encounter when working on a project.
Additionally, if you’re a Google Docs or Gmail user and are used to the Google interface, Google Drive is really easy to master and the natural choice if you’re already a Google power user.
Offering seamless syncing and search functionality, Google Drive will give you a bigger bang for a lesser buck.
See how to get Google Drive on Mac, Windows or Linux here.
BASIC COST: Free
BASIC STORAGE: 2GB
If you need more than 2GB of storage space, then there are other paid tiers available:
- Plus – 1TB of Dropbox storage for $9.99 per month when billed per year
- Professional – 2TB of Dropbox storage for $19.99 per month when billed per year
- Standard – 5TB storage of Dropbox storage for $21 per month or $17.50 per month when billed per year
- Advanced – Unlimited Dropbox storage $33 per month or $27.50 per month when billed per year
- Enterprise – Unlimited Dropbox storage with customized pricing for your team
Overall, the Dropbox interface is beautifully designed and offers a visually-pleasing experience during your workday.
Dropbox also offers phone support and video tutorials, which can be the difference between having a bad day at work and a good one.
Lastly, it has over 500 integrations including apps such as Gmail, Slack, Trello, and even Zapier.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox Personal Preference
We can’t decide which cloud-based storage app will just work for you, you’ll have to decide that for yourself. But, we can help you figure out whether Google Drive or Dropbox is easier to use, and which one has better pricing options. We put them head to head in these two categories to streamline the decision-making process for you.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox Ease of Use
It’s just about impossible to choose a winner for ease of use. Both Google Drive and Dropbox are very easy to learn to use. Dropbox has a slight edge due to the simplicity of its design. It’s simply very easy to find everything you need within Dropbox, whenever you need it. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong choosing either option, and both are simple enough that they can be mastered in no time at all.
Google Drive vs. Dropbox Price
While both Google Drive and Dropbox offer free basic accounts, the free Google Drive account offers more storage, at 15 GB per user, than the free Dropbox account, at just 2 GB per user. If you’re looking for a more robust amount of storage, Google Drive still comes out on top. Google Drive prices 2 TB of storage at $9.99 per month. But, with Dropbox, just 1 TB of storage costs $9.99 per month. So, when it comes down to price, Google Drive is the winner, but it’s a pretty tight race.
Making the Choice
When it comes to it, Dropbox may be slightly easier to use, and Google Drive may be a slightly better deal. But, the most important category when choosing a cloud-based storage app is really personal preference. It’s really up to you to decide which app is right for you and your team. So, try out both Google Drive and Dropbox to compare and contrast them today.
Google Drive and Dropbox in Workspaces
Shift offers sharable, collaborative Workspaces that are ideal if you’re working on an asynchronous, remote team. You can add Dropbox and Google Drive to your Workspace to store all of your essential documents along with all of your other mission-critical apps, tabs, and bookmarks that you and your team need to get work done.
Google Drive and Dropbox in Shift
Whether you want to experiment with Dropbox or are curious about Google Drive, there’s also another option.
With Shift, you can sign into more than one Dropbox account and/or Google Drive account simultaneously.
Shift makes it easy to experiment with different cloud-based storage apps in order to figure out which solution is right for you and your team. Then, once you’ve figured out which tool is the right choice, it’s easier than ever to stay signed in and to manage multiple accounts at once within Shift.
Plus, if you’re a Gmail user but also want to use Dropbox, then you can seamlessly switch between the two within Shift.
If you’re looking for even more storage options within Shift, you could also try out Box, which is a fantastic choice if security is your number one priority.
You can also use Dropbox Paper if you want a collaborative Dropbox experience for your team. Once you’ve logged into your Google Drive and Dropbox accounts in Shift, you won’t have to worry about always logging in or out of those accounts anymore. This feature is especially helpful if you’re a Google user with more than one account, and don’t want to worry about signing in and out of different Google accounts in order to access different Drive accounts.