© rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Key Points

  • Dropbox and Google have developed cloud storage platforms.
  • Smart sync allows users to choose which files are saved locally, on the cloud, or strictly online.
  • Google drive is integrated with the Google Suite, including Gmail, Calendar, and Docs.

Dropbox vs Google: Full Comparison

With the majority of the modern world going digital, companies are looking for storage solutions for their data. Historic practices of storing information on a hard drive slow down production, making cloud computing more important than ever. But is this a technology exclusive to large conglomerates, and will it keep your information safe from those with malicious intent?

Some companies have risen to meet these challenges. Companies such as Dropbox and Google have developed cloud storage platforms that not only protect your data but can be used by any size business and even individuals. Continue reading this comparison of Dropbox vs Google to learn about which one is better for you.

Dropbox vs Google: Side by Side Comparison

DropboxGoogle Drive
Available Free Storage2 GB15 GB
Price RangeFree – $24/month per userFree – $30/month per user*
Encryption256-bit, (two-factor authentication required)128-bit, 256-bit
Supported OSDesktop: Windows, Mac, Linux
Mobile: Android, iOS, Blackberry
Desktop: Windows, Mac
Mobile: Android, iOS
Size Upload Limit300 MB via website. Unlimited via desktop app.10GB via website and desktop app.
Synchronizationsmart sync, block-level syncselective sync
IntegrationsThird-party Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, Adobe, Zoom, Autodesk, Canva, AWSGoogle Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, Adobe, Zoom, Autodesk, Canva, AWS
*Google does not advertise its Enterprise pricing. However, its users have claimed this to be the price of the plan.

Dropbox vs Google: Must-Know Facts

Before we go into detail, let’s go over the important information you need to know about Dropbox vs Google Drive.


  • Smart sync allows users to choose which files are saved locally, on the cloud, or strictly online.
  • Uses block-level sync to reduce upload times and file storage requirements.
  • Uses AES 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication to protect your documents.
  • The platform was hacked in 2012, leaking the addresses and passwords of 68 million users.
  • 2 GB of free storage.
  • Unlimited storage at 30$/month per user (3 user minimum).

Google Drive

  • Integrated with the Google Suite, including Gmail, Calendar, and Docs.
  • Selective storage is not as flexible as Dropbox’s smart sync.
  • Uses 256-bit and 128-bit encryption for security.
  • Known for selling user files to third-party agencies such as the NSA.
  • 15 GB of free storage.
  • Unlimited storage claimed to be $30/month per user.
Dropbox vs Google Drive
Dropbox is a very flexible solution that integrates well with many third-party tools.

©Nopparat Khokthong/Shutterstock.com

Dropbox vs Google: What’s the Difference?

Dropbox Features

When it comes to syncing your files across devices, Dropbox tries to give you the most flexibility. Using a feature called Smart Sync, the cloud storage platform allows you to choose which files are stored locally and which are stored online. They want to make it easy to delegate where your storage space is used. 

The program also integrates well with many third-party tools. Dropbox allows its users to create documents with Google and Microsoft and coordinate with team members using Zoom and Slack. You can also use editing software for photos uploaded to the storage platform.

Dropbox has an intuitive mobile app that is accessible on both Android and iOS devices. The app allows users to make files available offline, and the program even backs up automatically.

Dropbox Performance

One of Dropbox’s competitive advantages is its upload performance. The platform offers block-level syncing, which only updates edited sections of files instead of reuploading the entire file. This saves massive time for large files, allowing for nearly instantaneous uploads.

The program also has an exclusive LAN sync that allows files to start copying over local internet connections before they’re fully uploaded to the cloud. In essence, files that are uploaded on one device are already becoming available on other devices, so long as they’re connected to a local network.

Dropbox Security

In 2012, Dropbox experienced a major hacking accident, where 68 million users had their accounts and passwords leaked. As a result, the company updated its encryption to a higher standard, while also implementing two-factor authentication.

Even with its updated security features, Dropbox is still lacking in this area. In regards to encryption, the company keeps a copy of your key, allowing it to share your files with other agencies. Those looking for the best possible safety features in a cloud storage provider should consider signing up with one using zero-knowledge encryption.

Dropbox Pricing

largest tech companies
Dropbox is a file hosting service.

©Ian Lamont, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons – License

Where Dropbox excels in performance and usability, it falls behind in storage and value. The platform only offers 2GB worth of free storage (or about 15 minutes of video at 4K), those beyond the casual user are already looking at paid plans. Here’s what you can expect to pay for Dropbox’s premium services:

Free (2 GB)
Plus (2 TB)$11.99$9.99
Family (2 TB)$19.99$16.99
Professional (3 TB)$19.99$16.58
Standard (5 TB)$18/user (3 minimum)$15/user (3 minimum)
Advanced (unlimited)$30/user (3 minimum)$24/user (3 minimum)

While this platform might not offer the best value for individuals or small teams, it does redeem itself for business in regards to unlimited storage. Large companies can expect to pay $30 per user for the platform’s most versatile plan.

Google Drive Features

The search engine giant has an impressive reputation with its Google Suite. In addition to intuitive programs such as its native email, calendar, and word processing, the company ties it all together with Google Drive. Acting as the hub, users can coordinate all files, communications, and events through this one platform.

That’s not to say it only works with Google-native programs; users can connect their cloud drive to Microsoft Office, Slack, and other major business protocols. Whether your company is integrated with Google, or not, this program takes the cake in integration.

The company’s mobile app is streamlined. With the vast majority of its user actively working with their mobile devices, those using Google Drive on Android or iOS will have an enjoyable experience.

Google Drive Performance

While Google strives to cater to its wide market, the company sacrifices maximum performance. The cloud storage platform doesn’t offer block-level sync, meaning it has to re-upload files when they’re edited. For those making frequent changes to massive files (such as photos or videos), this could add a lot of unnecessary upload time to your work.

Still, this doesn’t mean that Google Drive has slow upload speeds. With selective sync, users can choose which files go to the hard drive and which ones go to the cloud. This drastically reduces the amount of upload time and storage usage on your drive.

Dropbox vs Google Drive
Although Google Drive and Dropbox have many similar features, Google Drive seems to be the better solution of the two.


Google Drive Security

In fact, if there was one aspect to be highly critical of Google Drive, its in its security measures. For a company as integrated with the internet as Google, users might expect the highest level of safety with their delicate files. However, this cloud storage platform only uses 256-bit encryption (and 128-bit encryption in some cases).

Now let’s keep things straight: AES 256-bit encryption is the industry standard for cloud storage. However, without zero-knowledge encryption, Google has full access to your files and can share them with other agencies. And in some cases, the company has taken advantage of this.

In 2013, classified documents revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was working with Google on a surveillance program. This program allowed the NSA to use files stored on Google Drive. While claimed to only do this in response to government demands, it’s safe to assume that your files are accessible to others when they want them. 

Google Drive Pricing

Still, the vast majority of users don’t store incriminating documents on the internet and are just looking for a central place to store files. This is where Google Drive succeeds. The company offers 15GB of free storage space (7x the amount of Dropbox). That’s enough for most individuals and even some small teams.

The platform also offers comparable storage solutions for businesses. Signing up with Google Workplace allows several options for integrations, storage, and services. Here’s a breakdown of their price levels:

Free 15 GB
Basic 100 GB$1.99$19.99
Standard 200 GB$2.99$29.99
Premium 2 TB$9.99$99.99
Business Starter (30 GB)$6.00
Business Standard (2 TB)$12.00
Business Plus (5 TB)$18.00
* Google does not advertise its Enterprise pricing. However, its users have claimed this to be the price of the plan.

When it comes to unlimited storage, Google tends to run a little higher. While the company doesn’t directly list its prices for this tier, some user reviews mention prices of as much as $30 a month per user.

Dropbox vs Google: Which One Is Better?

When comparing Dropbox vs Google Drive, it comes down to how the user plans to use cloud storage.

Dropbox maximizes its features and upload speeds for those working with many large documents. However, it sets its free plan low, meaning even small teams will have to pay for the company’s services. Still, this ties in fine for businesses that do a lot of content creation, as the platform’s unlimited plan seems to be more affordable.

Where users find value in Google Drive is in its free plan and native integrations. As one of the world’s largest companies, even the most basic paid plans offer exclusive features. The company also leads the industry in mobile compatibility for businesses that require that extra flexibility.

Overall, Google Drive seems to offer a better cloud storage service in most cases. Dropbox’s performance features only offer marginal benefits unless you frequently work with large files. And with 15GB of free storage, it’s hard to beat Google Drive when it comes to small businesses.

Next Up…

Dropbox Vs Google Drive: Which is Best? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Dropbox or Google Drive better for photos?

Google  Drive offers 15GB of free storage for every account, allowing you to store more photos without paying for premium services. However, Dropbox’s block-level syncing allows for quicker file uploads for those frequently editing photos.

Is Google Drive safer than Dropbox?

Dropbox uses the same level of encryption for its security, but also requires two-factor authentication to log in. This makes Dropbox safer than Google Drive.

Does anyone still use Dropbox?

Dropbox is the largest cloud storage company available, holding 29% of the market share. Google Drive offers the second largest platform with 27.75% of the market share.

What are the disadvantages of Dropbox?

Dropbox offers less free storage than Google Drive and its price plans are more expensive.

Which online storage is best?

For standard online file storage, Google offers the best service. However, those frequently working with large files might find more benefits with Dropbox.

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