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Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Box vs. SkyDrive vs. SkyDrive Pro

  
  
  

**UPDATED on 8/28/13** - Microsoft announced an increase in storage for SkyDrive Pro on 8/26/13. See below for more information.

Over the last decade, internet connections have gotten significantly faster, an order of magnitude faster in many cases. This has made remote storage and retrieval of even relatively large files and directories possible. In the last few years, use of remote file storage solutions has taken off. You are more than likely using one yourself. There is money to be made in cloud storage, and today there are a host of cloud storage solutions available that allow you to back up and share files with others, as well as between your own machines. Most of these services offer some level of storage for free and allow you to add more storage for a price.

But just a few are capturing the majority of the marketplace, among them Dropbox, Google Drive, box, and SkyDrive. Below is a survey of what they have to offer and what you may not know about them.

Dropbox

 Offering:

  • Cloud-based file storage with the ability to share
  • Soon will allow integrated authentication with Active Directory

Best Qualities:

  • 2 GB free personal storage
  • Simplicity of interface
  • Ease of sign-up and installation
  • The name Dropbox has become nearly synonymous with cloud file storage and sharing

 Limitations:

  • Designed as a consumer/personal solution
  • Not a collaboration solution
  • No corporate control of document sharing or retention in personal accounts
  • No auditing, legal discovery in personal accounts
  • No ability to host sensitive files on premise--US Government can blind subpoena your data at any time
  • No full text search

Cautions:

  • Dropbox has gone viral giving users extra storage for signing up their friends. With so many people using Dropbox with their friends today, your corporate files are most likely up here without any controls unless you have implemented another solution for your users.

Google Drive

Offering:

  • Cloud-based file storage built into the Google universe
  • Integrated with Google Apps

Best Qualities:

  • Free 5 GB personal storage
  • Online readers for rendering many types of files in your browser
  • Online Editors for Office documents
  • Integration with other Google offerings like Gmail

Limitations:

  • Designed as a consumer/personal solution
  • Online editing is not full fidelity and documents may not look the way you expect on the desktop after editing
  • No corporate control of document sharing or retention in personal accounts
  • No auditing, legal discovery in personal accounts
  • No ability to host sensitive files on premise--US Government can blind subpoena your data at any time

Cautions:

  • Google's user agreement states that they have the right to scan all your content and sell information about you to anyone. They also reserve the right to create derivative works based on files or documents you put in Google Drive

Box

Offering:

  • Cloud-based collaboration suite

Best Qualities:

  • Designed for business
  • Good set of collaboration tools
  • Similar in many ways to SharePoint

Limitations:

  • Expensive
  • Separate set of collaboration tools to learn and manage if your people are used to Office and SharePoint
  • No ability to host sensitive files on premise--US Government can blind subpoena your data at any time

Cautions:

  • Box is an all-or-nothing solution. If you have sensitive data, you cannot host it on premise and integrate it into your corporate Box environment
  • When implementing any corporate collaboration solution, you should plan before you deploy

SkyDrive

Offering:

  • Cloud-based file storage built into the Microsoft universe
  • Integrated with Outlook.com

Best Qualities:

  • Free 7 GB personal storage
  • Online readers for rendering many types of files in your browser
  • Full fidelity of online editors for Office documents
  • Integration with other Microsoft offerings
  • Microsoft user privacy agreement gives you full ownership of your files and documents; Microsoft does not scan them or sell data about you

Limitations:

  • Designed as a consumer/personal solution
  • No corporate control of document sharing or retention in personal accounts
  • No auditing, legal discovery in personal accounts
  • No ability to host sensitive files on premise--US Government can blind subpoena your data at any time
  • No full text search

Cautions:

  • Even though Microsoft is not reading your documents, the US Government legally can

SkyDrive Pro

Offering:

  • Corporate file management solution
  • Integrated with SharePoint 2013

Best Qualities:

  • Low cost, SkyDrive Pro comes as part of the complete SharePoint Online subscription which is $3.00 user/month
  • 25 GB per person as part of SharePoint Online, up to 100 GB each available (as of 8/26/13)
  • Ability to host Online, On-Premises or Hybrid with seamless user experience
  • Online readers for rendering many types of files in your browser
  • Full text search of your content with refinements
  • Online editors for Office documents
  • Full integration with Office and Windows
  • Granular control and monitoring of documents
      • No sharing, corporate sharing or external sharing
      • Full auditing of read, edit, search, etc.
      • Legal hold and discovery
      • Retention policies
  • No ability for US Government to blind subpoena your sensitive documents from on premise or hybrid environments

Limitations:

  • No free option

Cautions:

  • When implementing any corporate collaboration solution, you should plan before you deploy

The table below gives you an idea of the range of the services available:

cloud storage options


  SkyDrive Reloaded \u002D February 2014 Webinar

 

Tags: ,

Comments

Great comparison! It's nice to see the features and caveats listed in language we can all understand!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 12:09 PM by Wayne Smith
Excellent summary of a very hot topic in todays "cloud" world. nice article.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 12:22 PM by John
Thanks Wayne and John! Glad the information was useful for you!
Posted @ Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:55 PM by Aaron Eisberg
You might want to know about <a>www.egnyte.com. It provides local,office and enterprise cloud solutions with AD integration and permissions. So if you are an IT administrator, then you can control files that you'd like a particular user to have RWD permissions on.
Posted @ Thursday, July 04, 2013 2:51 PM by Harsh
Nice summary. I might suggest that Search be more prominent in the comparison.
Posted @ Friday, July 05, 2013 4:07 AM by Kevin Neal
Help me help U http://db.tt/uby7x5sk it's a great way to free up space on your iPhone or iPad
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 3:43 AM by Stor
Great topic and comparison.  
 
Question: When comparing Google Drive (or DropBox Pro), are you only comparing the free personal service? 
 
Including a comparison to their corporate solutions, as you did with SkyDive Pro, would be even more helpful.
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:09 AM by Craig Crook
Is there a reason you didn't mention Zoolz? I haven't used it much, but it seems pretty good. I'd like to know how it stacks up against these with regards to privacy, etc.
Posted @ Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:45 AM by Wally
Guys, Copy is excellent and cheaper than Dropbox. Copy is the new Dropbox now. I use both currently, but Copy offers you more space for free than Dropbox. Both are good and both come with the desktop client to sync your files to their cloud servers. 
 
Check it out and use this link to sign up for Copy to get 20GB free instead of the regular 15GB 
 
https://copy.com?r=DFygGq
Posted @ Saturday, August 17, 2013 1:30 PM by Henry Ng
@Wally - I'll ask Mark to discuss Zoolz. Thanks for the feedback.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:49 PM by Aaron Eisberg
@Craig - I'll have Mark address your question as well, but I do believe he was comparing both the free personal versions and the corporate versions that have a price to them. I'll clarify that with Mark though. Thanks!
Posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:52 PM by Aaron Eisberg
im with Henry Ng 
 
Copy is a great dropbox replacement although i dont know much about the security and legal rights involved. looks like I have something to look up now!
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 10:41 AM by Albert S
Google Drive i snot GB. Google gives you 20 GB free shared across Gmail, Drive and Plus.
Posted @ Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:48 PM by Atish
I was using Dropbox (not enough free space for me), Sugarsync (same like Dropbox, and for me slow). 
 
Now I am using new service - Copy. They will give you 15GB for free. 
 
If you register on Copy by this link, and install their application to backup / sync your data, you will get 20GB for free! 
Here is the link: https://copy.com?r=zPku0e 
 
Bonus for you is, that if you will find some referral, you will get next 5GB for free per each! Like this, you can get unlimited space for free!
Posted @ Monday, August 26, 2013 3:13 PM by ttkk
Google Drive increased its free space to 15GB back in May. That was before this article was even first posted. Did you just write some of this from memory rather than actually looking it up?
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:30 AM by Bob
What about sharefile. My company uses sharefile and has it integrated into our share point site. Once the company provided sharefile everyone stopped using Dropbox and box.
Posted @ Monday, September 02, 2013 8:34 AM by Hurley
xmark vs skydrive ?
Posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:31 PM by star
Great comparison. Would love you to include an analysis of Infrascale's Filelocker, which compared highly to many of the competitors listed here in the latest Info-Tech report:http://www.infotech.com/research/ss/it-vendor-landscape-cloud-file-sharing
Posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:04 PM by Megan Tobin
Guys, check out the cloud service Copy. It is excellent and cheaper than Dropbox. Copy is the new Dropbox now. I use both currently, but Copy offers you more space for free than Dropbox. Both are good and both come with the desktop client to sync your files to their cloud servers. 
 
Check it out and use this link to sign up for Copy to get 20GB free instead of the regular 15GB 
 
https://copy.com?r=DFygGq
Posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 4:47 PM by Henry
So the terms of service and privacy guides are not compared but only some caveats are noted for Google's offering? Seems one-sided. 
 
let's look at these caveats: 
Google will scan your content: Yes, if you want to search for a word in one of your 1000 documents, all their content will be scanned and indexed to enable that. 
 
Google will sell information about you to others: Really? I do not see anything like that in the Terms of Service NOR the Privacy Policy. Best guess: you're thinking about aggregated non-specific information used for ad targeting, which isn't actually sent on to the advertiser. Also I don't see any ads in Drive. 
 
Google will make derivate works of your content: Yes, thumbnails, previews, translations; whatever you need when you're using Drive. YET there's a specific assurance given that you overlooked: You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in your content. And its derivatives. (though you do have to allow Google to serve it up back to you or the whole service plain wouldn't work, would it?
Posted @ Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:20 PM by robert tremain
Guys, check out the cloud storage Copy. It is excellent and cheaper than Dropbox. Copy is the new Dropbox now. I use both currently, but Copy offers you more space for free than Dropbox. Both are good and both come with the desktop client to sync your files to their cloud servers. Check it out and use this link to sign up for Copy to get 20GB free instead of the regular 15GB  
 
https://copy.com?r=DFygGq
Posted @ Friday, September 20, 2013 12:35 PM by Henry
https://copy.com?r=YK3Jvy 
 
1. Register. 
2. Confirm e-mail 
3. Install the application. 
 
20 Gig "in the pocket"
Posted @ Monday, September 23, 2013 2:29 PM by raMZES
Dropbox will soon lose its current status if it does not change its price. I have moved to Copy.com offered by Barracuda Network . It works the same way as dropbox but much more generous than dropbox and google drive. It offers 15 GB free space. And you can earn 5GB free space for each referral, WITH NO LIMIT. So you can work your way to earn 100G free space or more.  
 
If you use my link to sign up for Copy, you will get extra 5GB. Yes, you get 5GB free space using any referral link. You will only get 15 GB if you go directory to the site and sign. 
 
<a href=”https://next-d.copy.com?r=0aPSaf”>https://next-d.copy.com?r=0aPSaf 
Posted @ Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:55 AM by Tanaka
Dropbox will soon lose its current status if it does not change its price. I have moved to Copy.com offered by Barracuda Network . It works the same way as dropbox but much more generous than dropbox and google drive. It offers 15 GB free space. And you can earn 5GB free space for each referral, WITH NO LIMIT. So you can work your way to earn 100G free space or more.  
 
If you use my link to sign up for Copy, you will get extra 5GB. Yes, you get 5GB free space using any referral link. You will only get 15 GB if you go directory to the site and sign. 
 
https://next-d.copy.com?r=0aPSaf 
Posted @ Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:03 AM by Tanaka
Talking about free service, Skydrive wins hands down. Seamless sync on win7/8... 7gb with free upgrade to 25gb for early adopters. Automatic picture backup From winphone
Posted @ Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:56 PM by andrea
20 GB free right from the start. Click it and use it. 
 
https://copy.com?r=YHNbfK
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 2:21 PM by PD
Really Nice work! 'Any reason you didn't include "iCloud?" (or maybe I missed something.) 
 
Roy
Posted @ Saturday, October 26, 2013 11:57 AM by Roy Flanders
Free 20GB Copy https://copy.com?r=mV0QDB
Posted @ Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:52 PM by Man
I notice none of the comparisons include the operation of these services across multiple devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, etc.) and multiple Operating Systems. SkyDrive is extremely limited on both of those fronts.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:37 PM by Chet
We like using The DocSafe www.thedocsafe.com) to store our personal documents. It's organized by category so we don't have not configure our files.
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 7:17 AM by Marlene
Copy wins hands down. 
I left Dropbox for it. 
 
If you click https://copy.com?r=adX6uJ you instantly get 20Gb free. 
 
LIMITED TIME free bonus! 
 
Click  
<a> https://copy.com?r=adX6uJ 
<a> 
 
Posted @ Saturday, November 16, 2013 5:43 AM by Marc
This is a very good comparison about cloud storage for consumers.  
 
The author did not talk about business service. It is important to note that many service providers have much higher prices for businesses than for consumers. For example, Dropbox, Box and Google Drive have different pricing for business services. Dropbox for Business starts at $795/user/year + $125/user/year for each additional user licenses. Google Drive charges $50-$100/user/year (incl 30GB storage space), additional storage space for business service is twice as much as for consumer services. Box charges $180/user/year for business services. 
 
I have worked for DriveHQ since 2006. Founded in 2003, DriveHQ is the first cloud IT solution provider with over 2 million registered users. For business service, you might find DriveHQ service a lot better and cheaper at only $6/user/year. You can find more detailed comparisons and reviews on www.drivehq.com.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 04, 2013 12:31 AM by Jacky Neo
I was a paying Sugarsync customer because I loved the service, but it's just too pricey now and there is no free option any more. I tried using Google Drive, but it's slow. I did my research and switched to Copy. They offer 15 free gigs of space and they are owned by the anti-spam folks at Barracuda Networks, and the speed is great. If you use this link you and I get an extra 5 gigs of space ( a total of 20 gigs free for you!): https://copy.com?r=lJ3zo0
Posted @ Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:33 AM by Charles
Check out Box, if you use it on an iOS device version 6 or later, you get 50 GB limited offer until Feb 15 2014! This beats Copy and is as much as Mega offers. 
 
Another service I highly recommend is Tresorit. The data resides on servers in Europe rather than the US and is client-side encrypted, that means your data is secured by your passcode BEFORE it gets sent to the cloud. Needless to say, if you lose your password, not even Tresorit can get your data back to you (I consider this a good thing). 
It starts at 5 GB, 1 extra GB for using an app, and 500 MB per referral for both. 
Feel free to use my referral code FofrPn or follow the link 
https://register.tresorit.com/download?mode=1&ref=FofrPn 
 
 
DriveHQ was mentioned, also very nice, although limited in free space, BUT you can host a website and it offers a true drop-box feature, where anyone can upload a file using a simple link.
Posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:26 PM by Derek
I have used most of them, dorpbox is nice, but stopped at the time, box works fine and now 50 gb free (for iphone n ipad), google drive is like something u have, but u prefer to use other, skydrive is the best for online editing documents, and the best on space available and up/downloading speed is copy https://next-d.copy.com?r=27ZJ9n with free starting 20 gb and extra 5 gb for each reference, with no limit.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:11 AM by Henrique
Many of the capabilities, capacities, and pricings listed in this article and table have changed since July 2013 when originally posted - can you update this article with current info?
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:23 PM by Jack Davis
Dropbox just hiked its business service price by about 50% from $125/user/year to $180/user/year with a minimum 5-user license requirement. Box is also charging $180/user/year. Neither Dropbox nor Box has enterprise features like cloud file server, online backup, drive mapping, FTP hosting and email backup. Why would any business pay $180/user/year when DriveHQ.com offers more enterprise features at only $6/user/year plus storage charge?
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:34 PM by Emily Kulish
Copy offers businesses and small teams 5 free accounts: https://copy.com?r=lJ3zo0
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:56 PM by Frank
@Jack - We are working on an update, especially since SkyDrive changed their name recently to OneDrive. Also, we will be hosting a webinar at the end of February with more up-to-date information.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:03 PM by Aaron Eisberg
I tried a lot of services. Copy is one of the best service, fast and reliable. You get 20gb free space (and more). For that u just have to: 1-Register 2-Answer email confirmation 3-install app. Follow this link: https://copy.com?r=mE8shp
Posted @ Sunday, February 09, 2014 9:59 AM by Slack
Reminder: just 5 more days and the generous offer from Box is over to get 50 GB instead of 10 GB. Only requirement is to download an app to an iOS device and to log in. No referrals required. 
 
Also, if you want to setup your friends with 50 GB even if they don't have an iOS device, they just need to temporarily log in and log off on your device and its done. Quick and easy.  
 
I will use Box for my pics and tresorit for anything else or personal stuff, as it is the most secure service out there, I believe. 
 
Start off with a little extra storage with reference to FofrPn when you sign up, this is my ID for referrals.
Posted @ Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:07 AM by Derek
>>> "Reminder: just 5 more days and the generous offer from Box is over to get 50 GB instead of 10 GB." 
 
SugarSync offered free cloud storage service before, but has just ended its free service. There are far too many such companies offering free service to lure users, then charge users later on. You don't have to fall into this kind of trap again.  
What's more, Box for Business is extremely expensive at $180 - 420/user/year. If it is for business, you definitely want to check outwww.DriveHQ.com, which offers more advanced Cloud IT Solution for only $6/user/year: 
 
http://www.drivehq.com/help/solution/Cloud_Storage_Service_Price_Comparison.aspx 
 
Posted @ Sunday, February 09, 2014 12:15 PM by Emily Kulish
I conclude I haven't understood such particular incomparable contents anywhere added online.
Posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:05 AM by moving boxes washington dc
Can you provide Comparison on Sharefile vs 0365 SharePoint file/site Share features?
Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 11:56 PM by NS
SkyDrive (OneDrive) rules them all. The integration with Office Online or Office Web Apps is incredible! Also, the new integration with the Windows OS (Windows 8.1/Windows Phone) makes it the best.
Posted @ Monday, March 24, 2014 5:11 PM by Adam Loughran
Good rundown! We did a comparison focusing just on Box and Dropbox - http://goo.gl/l6yq0N
Posted @ Friday, May 09, 2014 1:15 PM by Anica
Guys, I have been trying out Copy for the past year. It is quite good and give you plenty of storage to you for free. Copy is the new Dropbox now. 
Use this link to sign up for an additional 5GB of free space for a total of 20GB:  
 
https://copy.com?r=DFygGq
Posted @ Sunday, May 25, 2014 7:15 PM by Henry
I liked the comparison. I was wondering if anyone had an thoughts on tresorit, 115.com, and weiyun?
Posted @ Tuesday, August 05, 2014 1:27 AM by Alexander
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