Google Drive vs Dropbox: Which Cloud Storage Option Is Best for You?

Understand the difference between the two main online file storage solutions

Many people don’t realize that Dropbox has been around for about 5 years longer than Google Drive. However, the power of Google’s resources has made Google Drive Dropbox’s biggest competitor.

Both services offer free storage, with significant differences. Today, everyone is competing for a growing number of users who continue to work in the cloud more than ever.

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of Google Drive vs. Dropbox and help you decide which service is right for you.

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General conclusions

google drive

  • More storage space

  • More internal applications

  • Simplify your experience with Google

  • Fast and intuitive

  • Sync entire documents


  • Referral program for more free storage

  • Integrates with more third parties

  • Extend your cloud experience

  • Clumsy but simple to use

  • Faster synchronization of partial files

Both cloud storage providers offer a lot. They each have their own unique approach to encryption and the apps and services they integrate with. However, the two line up when it comes to collaboration, synchronization between desktop and mobile devices, and the convenience of working remotely.

Google Drive offers much more storage space up front and offers the convenience of integration with almost all Google apps and services. But Dropbox’s more advanced file sync algorithm gives you faster sync times, and its integration with many third-party apps and services makes it an irresistible option for people who don’t use many Google services.

Storage Space: Slam Dunk for Google Drive

google drive

  • More storage levels

  • Up to 30TB available

  • Storage consumed by other services

  • More free storage available


  • Simpler pricing options

  • 3TB storage limit

  • Exclusive cloud storage

  • Free account has very limited storage

When you first sign up for Google Drive, you get 15 GB of free storage. Please note that this storage space is distributed among various Google services.

You can upgrade your Google Drive account to 100GB for just $1.99/month up to 30TB for $149.99/month. There are six levels to choose from. Tiers above 100 GB are marketed as “Google One”.

Dropbox starts with 2 GB for the free basic account. The tier structure is much simpler than Google’s. You can upgrade to 2TB for $9.99/mo or 3TB for $16.58/mo.

Byte for byte, the prices between the two services align. However, you’re limited to 3TB with Dropbox, and Dropbox doesn’t make you eat up any of your storage space with an email service that could eat up a lot.

Built-in apps: Google has more, but Dropbox plays with the rest

google drive

  • More integrated apps

  • Convenient for Google users

  • Largest app library

  • Some apps are of poor quality.


  • Few default app offers

  • Integrates with more services you use

  • The app library is of high quality.

  • Dropbox Paper is very basic

when you select New In Google Drive you will see options to create a new file using Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Drawings, Google Sites, Google My Maps and the ability to connect to over a hundred online applications.

when you select Create a new file in Dropbox, on the other hand, you’ll see fewer built-in apps than Google Drive. These include Dropbox Paper, HelloSign, Transfer, and Showcase (with the highest payout tier). Dropbox provides an App Center where you can choose from 50-60 third-party integrations that work with Dropbox. These include big names like Microsoft Office, Trello, Slack, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.

Although it seems that Dropbox has offered Paper as a counterpart to Google Docs, there is not much comparison. Dropbox Paper is little more than a glorified notepad app.

Timing of changes: both are near real time

google drive

  • File sync is slower

  • Selective file sync to local folder

  • Sync may require more bandwidth


  • Uses fast block-level file sync

  • Smart Sync shows cloud files in local folder

  • Sync is more bandwidth efficient

If you plan to edit files in Google Drive using cloud-based apps like Google Docs or Google Sheets, syncing isn’t a big deal. In fact, you can collaborate on editing documents in real time. However, if you plan on doing a lot of offline work and syncing those changes, Dropbox wins hands down.

This is because while Google Drive transfers the entire file each time it syncs, Dropbox uses an algorithm called “block-level file transfers,” which breaks files into smaller “blocks.” Only the block that has been modified is transferred and synchronized.

Both services now offer the ability to view the content of your cloud storage in your local folder. Dropbox has always provided this in the form of its “Smart Sync” feature. Google recently added it as “selective sync”.

Collaboration: team editing and video conferencing

google drive

  • Integrates with Google Meet

  • Collaborative editing in real time

  • Conversation tools in the document


  • Integrates with Zoom

  • Collaborative editing in real time

  • Conversation tools in the document

Both cloud storage services have an integrated video conferencing service. You can use Google Meet with Google Drive and Zoom with Dropbox.

Multiple Google Drive users can work on the same shared documents in real time. You can see others edit a file, have an instant message conversation, and have a comment dialog on documents.

With Dropbox, you can collaborate on Office documents in real time. That’s thanks to Dropbox’s integration with Office Online. The same real-time feedback features are available.

In terms of collaboration, neither service is in the lead.

Security and privacy: both protect you

google drive

  • Better file transfer encryption

  • More responsive to government data requests

  • Entire files at risk during transit


  • Better file storage encryption

  • Activist against the excesses of the government

  • Only blocks of files at risk during transit

Google incorporates AES 256-bit file storage encryption for all file transfers and AES 128-bit encryption for files in storage (at rest).

Dropbox, on the other hand, uses stronger encryption for files at rest (256-bit AES) and weaker security (128-bit AES encryption) for files in transit. While this helps Dropbox get a faster file sync time than Google Drive, it also comes with a slight compromise in security. That said, since Dropbox only syncs “blocks” of files rather than entire files, this risk is reduced.

Final verdict: Google Drive wins by the nose

Both services are a great option when it comes to cloud-based collaboration. Google Drive wins when it comes to free storage, convenience, deep integration with all Google services, and strong security. Google Drive also has a more intuitive user interface.

On the other hand, Dropbox leads the way in terms of faster advanced file synchronization algorithm, a wide range of popular apps and services it integrates with, and its integration with video conferencing service. most popular online today, Zoom.

Google Drive stands out because for Google users, the convenience of integrating Drive with Google services is a must. Considering that there are nearly 2 billion Google users worldwide, that’s no small feat.

On the other hand, for those who don’t use many Google services or apps, Dropbox might be a better option if you want the flexibility of using your cloud storage with a variety of third-party apps and services. .

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