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Google Drive or Dropbox – which one is better for file storage purposes. Specifically, which one is best for backing up your data?
There are a number of cloud storage services available for free to users, and it’s likely you use one of them already. However, given that there’s no cost to doing so, do you ever wonder if you should switch to another? What if one has clear advantages over the other?
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions to help you decide whether to use Google Drive or Dropbox to back up your files:
Google Drive is a free cloud storage service that allows you to store files in the cloud. This is designed to help users that don’t have enough local space on their hard drive. It’s essentially an expansion of your hard drive.
Like many free services, it offers a limited amount of space for free before users have to pay for more – in this case, 15GB. However, it’s important to note that these 15GB are shared across your Google services, which includes Gmail. As a part of Google’s G-Suite, Google Drive integrates with a number of other programs you may use, like Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.
Dropbox is a free cloud storage service that allows you to store files in the cloud. This is designed to help users that don’t have enough local space on their hard drive. It’s essentially an expansion of your hard drive. Dropbox comes with 2GB of free data.
In both cases, it’s as simple as signing up for a free account, and dragging and dropping your most valuable local files into their cloud storage window on your browser. It’s even easier if you already have Gmail, as Google Drive will be accessible via that account – there’s no need to sign up.
You can take further steps to organize your cloud storage with folders, but at its core, it’s just a matter of putting them in the cloud.
While their core function and design for users is essentially the same, there are a number of key differences between the two cloud storage services:
If you were to upgrade, Google still offers better pricing. For the same price ($100 annually) as Dropxbox’s premium membership that comes with 1TB of storage space, Google One (the upgraded Drive plan) offers 2TB of storage space.
Furthermore, Dropbox also uses LAN sync, which allows users with multiple networked computers to share files directly, and more quickly. With Google Drive, any file sharing has to go through the cloud, instead of directly from device to device, which slows down the process.
They have been a long-time advocate of two-factor authentication, which provides users with an additional layer of security at log-in.
Google also adds an additional layer of encryption. Whereas both services encrypt data while in transit from the user’s device to the cloud and generate a decryption key for access, Google goes a step further than Dropbox by encrypting that key with a second, rotating master key. In layman’s terms, any hacker trying to break into your files on Google Drive needs two keys to do so, instead of the one they would need on Dropbox.
In the event that you accidentally delete or lose a file stored in the cloud, Google Drive offers more robust options for recovery.
Whereas Dropbox only stores deleted items for up to 30 days, Google Drive stores your locally or cloud-based deleted files in the trash, where they will stay forever, until you empty it. Even then, if you accidentally emptied your Trash, a Google admin can restore the file up to 25 days after the fact.
In nearly every way, Google Drive is superior to Dropbox. It offers more space, is better integrated with services like Gmail that you may already use, has better security, offers the same backup capabilities, and more robust recovery redundancies.
In very specific circumstances, Dropbox could be the better option. If you have minor storage needs but need the data sync to be quick and effective between multiple networked computers, it has the upper hand over Google Drive.
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