Which cloud storage platform should you use?

Both Box and Dropbox provide reliable cloud-based document management services to the global audience. Such platforms allow you to securely store and access files and documents in the cloud for collaboration.

Box and Dropbox are two popular names in the industry, so it can be difficult to choose between the two. Let’s take a look at how these two services stack up against each other in terms of crucial metrics.

1. Sync and share files

An image showing that Box supports advanced file sharing


One of the main goals of cloud-based platforms like Box and Dropbox is to help you collaborate across devices while ensuring security. Therefore, real-time synchronization between devices and seamless file sharing are crucial features.

File Sync

Box uses the sync feature to store and manage users’ cloud files. Box Sync stores a copy of your Box account on your local computer. Therefore, all your Box documents and files can be accessed offline.

Any changes you make to these files are synced with your files stored in the cloud. However, to enable this feature, you need to download an app to your computer. To do this on a Mac, an HFS+ or APFS formatted HDD is required.

Related: What is Dropbox? The unofficial Dropbox user guide

Rather, you need to access your team’s Dropbox account from one device to see the real-time updates of a file created from another device. It also allows you to enable the Available Offline option, which allows you to access the documents without an internet connection.

Share files

With Box, you can share any file, such as raw images, videos, and compressed folders, regardless of device and file size. While sharing files, you can set one of seven different permissions. In addition, you can allow users without a Box account to edit, comment, or download a file.

On the other hand, sharing files with Dropbox is quite easy. Allows you to share a file or folder directly on the Dropbox website.

You can also use the mobile or desktop app for file sharing. While sharing, you can adjust the consent for each person individually. By using link sharing, you can give read-only access to non-Dropbox users.

2. User Interface and Usability

A visualization of the Dropbox user interface (UI)


Box’s simple interface makes it easy to get started with your account. You can easily create a folder and upload your files to it. Then share it with everyone by entering their email address.

Navigating through your account is also not difficult in Box. Thanks to the tree structure, you can find the folder you are looking for in just a few clicks. Apart from this, it offers other functionalities for advanced users.

Dropbox also promotes ease of use by offering a team space when you log in with the business account. Admin has control to restrict access or share the folders with external members.

The general team members can also create shared folders. You can also browse the folder hierarchy to find a file.

3. Prices:

Box offers you a 14-day free trial to try out the platform. To subscribe to the trial version, you need a credit or debit card. After the trial period has expired, you must choose from one of the Box packages. These paid plans start from just $15 per user per month for a minimum of three users.

As for Dropbox, there is no free plan available. It has two personal and three business plans to offer. The personal plan starts at $11.99 per month, while the business plan starts at $19.99 per user per month.

4. Cloud Storage Security and Privacy

A visual showing that Box provides data security and data compliance


With Box, you get many advanced security features, such as customization of data retention policies and file encryption. Administrators can also manage file access and file sharing policies, providing centralized management and full visibility of security.

It also encrypts the data both at rest and in transit to prevent data theft. You can also opt for private manageable encryption keys.

Dropbox provides security features such as advanced encryption, file sharing restrictions, secure data transfer, group management, network configuration, and app-level control. In case of device loss or account compromise, you can also remotely wipe all data of an account.

Admins can add, remove, and track users of the team account. They can also view statistics about team login, sharing, and devices.

5. Productivity Features:

An image using Dropbox as a productivity tool


In addition to the above features, these two cloud storage platforms both provide additional basic productivity tools.

With Box, you get Box Notes, a note-taking app that also works as a simple task manager. While it’s not the best of its kind, it allows you to create, view, and edit from one window. You can also use it to create memos, share ideas, plan projects, and check status updates.

Related: The Best AI-Powered Productivity Apps You Need in 2021

Dropbox comes with a document collaboration tool called Dropbox Paper. It allows your team to assign tasks, search documents, create task lists, chat with teammates, create and edit files, save versions, etc.

6. Third-Party Integration

An image with various integrations for Box


The integration facility allows you to work seamlessly with different apps and devices. In Box, you benefit from integration with more than 1,500 apps. The supported apps are mostly business apps like CRMs, but you can make the most of the integrated apps to align your business.

Some of the best apps to integrate with Box include Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Oracle NetSuite, Okta, Broadcom, IBM, Adobe, Slack, DocuSign, 3D Viewer, Airtable, Cisco CloudLock, Asana, Nightfall DLP, DocFax , Air Parts, etc.

While Dropbox offers integration with only 200 apps, the list includes both consumer and business tools.

In addition to Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, it supports integration with tools such as Salesforce, Zoom, Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Zendesk, Zapier, Wrike, Vimeo, WordPress, Meister, UpWork, Canva, WhatsApp, McAfee, etc.

7. Backup and Restore

An image describing the backup feature on the Box website


When you choose to store your business-critical data in cloud storage, make sure that the storage has a good blueprint for data backup and recovery.

If you choose to use Box, you get 30 days of file history. However, you will have less time to recover deleted files as the Recycle Bin folder is cleared every 14 days. It also does not have a built-in app to help you backup and restore data at a specific time.

A visual representation of Dropbox's backup features


Dropbox also offers a 30-day file history, with no option for data backup and recovery at any point in time. However, some Dropbox Business plans have a history of 180 days of files.

Cloud storage for easy sharing

Both Dropbox and Box are top providers of cloud hosting services with tons of useful features. Depending on your requirements and previous user experience, one of these may be the best choice.

As you pick a team, you can poll your teammates to determine the winner.

An illustration of teamwork and activities
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