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Google Drive vs. Dropbox – A comprehensive comparison

by Casey Schmidt  |  March 3, 2020

3 min. read
The Dropbox interface.

Google Drive vs. Dropbox – it’s a comparison at the heart of many different cloud considerations and likely will be for a while. These two systems are at the forefront of most cloud storage discussions due to their popularity. Dropbox is the most widely-used cloud storage system while Google Drive is rapidly growing. Most users want to know how they measure against each other and which one is the better system?

Before you scroll down to the bottom of this article to find out which one is better, we’ll save you some time: Google Drive is the superior selection. But why? What makes it stand out next to Dropbox? Check out this comparison guide.

Security strengths and weaknesses

Security is first up on the list because cloud storage users want a secure system first and foremost. No matter what they’re storing – pictures, data, documents – the number one thing they’re concerned about is whether unwarranted users could steal them. I’ve been impressed with the way Dropbox continues to bolster its file security system. However, Google Drive still gets the nod.

A pass opening a door.
Google Drive is the more secure system.

Google Drive stands out as the more secure system in a number of ways. Historically, Dropbox has a track record of getting hacked and having millions of user data exposed. They can try to correct the issues and boost their security after the fact but the incidents happened and they need to be held against Dropbox. Google Drive hasn’t had the same issues, which is an obvious plus.

For the above reason alone, Google Drive is the more secure option. However, there’s more to it. Google takes all uploaded files and automatically stores them in secure data centers. It also offers strong encryption, securing all files within its servers. Finally, Drive account access is protected by two-factor authentication. This barrage of security features makes Drive the more secure of the cloud systems.

Cost comparison

Next up on the list of comparisons is cost. Users measure cost against all other factors so it’s important to have concrete numbers to compare. Once again, Google Drive comes out ahead. Let’s break down the details. Check out this table below:

Google Drive Dropbox
Free Signup 15GB 2GB
1TB Plan $9.99/month $19.99/month

As you can see, Drive not only has the cheaper prices but they have a greater value attached to those prices. Starting from the free plans, Drive offers more space. It then charges much less when it comes to initial plans and even business plans. Google Drive has found a way to keep its prices down and its value up. Another huge victory for Drive over Dropbox.

Ease of use breakdown

It’s important to note that this category is quite subjective. That being said, we’ll break down each system best we can to help you gauge which one is best for you.

A keyboard with the word 'easy' on it.
Both systems have positives in their interface.

For some, Google Drive is a blessing. It syncs with all their other Google use, making it an easy transition to cloud storage. As important as this is, it doesn’t benefit everyone. Not everyone has a Google account. However, this doesn’t count against Drive because Dropbox requires users to sign up for an account as well. In fact, it’s more likely for new users to already have a Google account anyway.

One neat feature of Dropbox is the ability to upload files directly from your computer desktop. If Dropbox is installed on the system, users need only to sync their files directly into the application. This is a step up from Drive, where users have to navigate to the website.

As you can see, Google Drive grades out higher than Dropbox in all the fundamentally most important categories of storage. That being said, there are some other intangibles which might fit a niche group of user needs. However, the fundamental features are what underlines the ultimate decision: which program should I choose? Google Drive is simply the better option.

Drive and Dropbox are great but they’re not for everyone. If you’re looking for some different cloud storage options that would better fit your specific needs, check out this Dropbox alternatives article.