A look at how Google Drive and Dropbox stack up against each other. While its release has been considered imminent, year after year any tangible product failed to materialize. Now a mythical creature no longer, we’ll see how Google Drive stacks up to its closest competitors.
In this article, we’ll compare Google Drive to the most popular of online syncing services, Dropbox, since it seems that everyone and their brother wants to call it a Dropbox killer anyway.
Dropbox has one main selling point. The first is that it’s super simple to use. It’s a tool that allows you to sync files between multiple computers, tablets, smartphones… whatever. That’s it. The files can be any type of file and any size you like as long as you have enough storage to fit them.
Google Drive is Google Docs rebranded with some new features added… namely the ability to upload and sync any file you like between multiple devices, just like Dropbox.
However, unlike Dropbox, Google Drive can open and edit 30 types of documents right from within your browser. That means if you’re trying to open up a PowerPoint presentation on a computer that doesn’t have PowerPoint; you still can using Google Presenter.
Before I talk about premium paid options, I should mention that both Google Drive and Dropbox will give you free storage. You get 2GB of free storage from Dropbox and 5GB of free storage from Google Drive.
If that’s not enough space for you, then you’ll need to upgrade your account.
- 50 GB – $9.99 / month
- 100 GB – $19.99 / month
Google Drive Pricing
- 25 GB – $2.49 / month
- 100 GB – $4.99 / month
Also, Google will bump up your Gmail storage to 25 GB (currently you get 10GB for free) when you upgrade to one of the premium Google Drive options.
For those who need a lot more space and the ability to collaborate with other users, you’ll find some good options here as well.
Let’s start with Dropbox Teams since that’s a lot more straightforward.
With Dropbox Teams, you get 1TB (1 terabyte – that’s 1,000 gigabytes) of space to share between 5 users. Pricing starts at $795 / yr ($66.25/month) and goes up as you add more users – $125/yr for each new user you add. As far as functionality, it’s all pretty simple. You can simply sync files between the members of your team and it makes transferring very large files simple to do.
Let’s look at an example – if you have a large HD video file that needs to be sent to someone in another state (or country) to edit, you can simply upload the file to your Dropbox file and the person you’re sending it to will have it automatically once it’s ready to go on their end.
Google Drive and Google Apps for Business
With Google Drive, this simplicity is lost… it’s about as clear as mud.
First, let’s start with comparable pricing. For 1 TB of space, you’ll pay $49.99 / month. You can go all the way up to 16 TB of space for $799.99 / month if you need massive amounts of storage space. Also, since Google Drive really is still Google Docs, you and people on your team can edit and collaborate on documents in real time – up to 50 people at the same time.
If you want to take that same video file from our Dropbox teams example and send it to a member of your team for editing, then again, you’d upload it to your Google Drive folder but you’d need to explicitly share it with that person. Then the person on the receiving end of the file would need to right click on their Google Drive icon and click the “view items shared with me” button to get the file.
And if you subscribe to Google Apps for Business instead, things get even more confusing. So while Dropbox Teams is the more expensive option, it still wins from a simplicity standpoint though Google Drive and Google Apps for Business is less expensive and more robust, it’s harder to use.
So there you have it, a quick comparison of Dropbox and Google Drive. While Google’s offering may have superior free space, lower pricing on paid plans, and the ability to open and edit documents built in, it still doesn’t have the simplicity that Dropbox offers.
Of course, since both services have free options, you could always use both or at least try them both out to see which suits your purposes better.