Dropbox vs. Box (Which is Better?)

Dropbox and Box are comparable cloud storage providers, and they have almost identical features and similar functionality when trying to use them. The primary difference between them is the price, amount of storage available, and which third-party apps are available to them by default.

Both products provide a free option, so it’s possible to try them out before paying, or even just stay with the free account if that fits your needs. You won’t ever be required to pay unless you want more storage.

Keep reading to learn more about the features and slight differences between the two products to see which you should use.

Dropbox vs. Box Comparison

Free storage2 GB (up to 16 GB via recommendations)10 GB
Premium storage1 – 2 TB (unlimited amount for business subscriptions)100 GB for personal plans. Unlimited for business plans
Premium ratesstarting at $9.99 per monthstarting at $5 per month
File size limitsUnlimited file size when uploaded via Dropbox app.2 GB – 150 GB file size limits.
File RecoveryLimited based on plan from 30 – 180 daysCustom settings based on your requirements.
EncryptionAES (256 bit for idle files/128 bit for files in transmission)AES (256 bit for idle files/256 bit for files in transmission)
Two-factor authenticationYesYes
Direct collaborationDropbox PaperBox Notes
API for external software applicationsYesYes
Desktop software applicationWindows, macOS, LinuxWindows, macOS
Mobile appAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS

Dropbox Pros and Cons

Dropbox Pros
  • Free version offering 2 GB of storage that never expires.
  • Automatic backup of files with incremental backup to improve speed.
  • Quickly restore deleted files or old versions of files.
  • A massive number of integrations with other SaaS products to extend your usage.
Dropbox Cons
  • Many high-profile security issues with unauthorized access to customers’ data.
  • Searching for files is difficult, especially with a large number of files and directories.
  • Tools for viewing and editing files are limited or non-existent.
  • Higher prices than other cloud storage providers

Box Pros and Cons

Box Pros
  • Free version offering 10 GB of storage that never expires.
  • Automated project management options to set tasks and approve versions of files.
  • Some plans offer unlimited storage.
  • Integration with both Office 365 and Google Workspace, plus many other integrations.
Box Cons
  • Max file size limits are pretty small, especially in personal plans
  • Searching capabilities are not intuitive, so it can be done but not quickly.
  • Tools for viewing and editing files are limited. You need third-party software.
  • No selective syncing of files; it’s all or nothing.

Who is Dropbox Best Suited For?

Dropbox is best suited for people that are looking to share large files across multiple devices and with other people. You get excellent sharing permissions to ensure nobody that shouldn’t have access can access your shared files.

Dropbox would be fantastic where you’re having to upload, edit and share extremely large files often. The incremental syncing and no limit on uploads or file sizes is a great benefit that not all storage providers offer.

You have a 50 GB limit if you upload through a web browser and a 350 GB limit if you upload via the API. However, syncing via Dropbox apps has no limit aside from what your full storage size is. 

Who is Box Best Suited For?

Box is a fantastic option where you need to store a huge amount of data, where the files are not extremely large. It also comes with integrations into Office 365 and Google Workspace, so it is a fantastic option if you or your business use those.

Because you can get unlimited storage with reasonable limits and have the ability to integrate with things like Office 365 and Google Workspace, you can use Box instead of the native storage and get a cheaper option and unlimited storage.

Dropbox vs. Box: Features

Dropbox and Box have very comparable features. Neither stands out as having something wildly different that sets them apart from each other. So it will be the minor differences in how they provide each feature that will help you decide.

  • Each service offers a massive number of third-party integrations, which gives your other SaaS products access to more storage. The critical difference is that Box offers integrations with Office 365 and Google Workspace, which is a significant benefit if you use either of those.
  • Native applications are limited with both services, and you really need third-party products to use your files. One key difference is that Box offers project management features that allow you to set tasks; once completed, you can approve the files created for those tasks.
  • Syncing and sharing files is a core component of both services. Dropbox offers incremental syncing, which makes things much faster. The sharing permissions are more advanced and secure with Dropbox as well.
  • Storage space and transfers are different between the two products. You can get unlimited storage with Box but have limits on filesizes. Whereas Dropbox allows high limits on storage and no limits on file sizes, you can store or upload via the Dropbox apps.

So there are a few key differences in the features, and it will really depend on how you use your storage on which service would work better for you. 

Dropbox vs. Box: Pricing

Both DropBox and Box offer free options. Box clearly wins with 10 GB of free storage; Dropbox only gives you 2 GB. Box starts out with low prices with limited storage space, whereas Dropbox will provide slightly more expensive lower-end options but with a lot more space.

Dropbox is more expensive overall than Box, but the space provided in the plans is higher with Dropbox. So if you don’t need more than 100 GB, your best value will be Box. If you need a considerable amount of storage, then Dropbox is going to be the better option.

When it comes to unlimited storage, both services provide this, but Box is the clear winner with a cheaper unlimited storage plan. You will need to be aware of their upload limits though, as unlimited storage does not mean unlimited file sizes. 

Dropbox vs. Box: User Experience 

Dropbox and Box have comparable usability, and they’re both very easy to set up and intuitive to store and share files from the web and applications provided. Dropbox was one of the original cloud storage providers, and it appears Box may have taken some of its design options.

The third-party integration setup is easy and quick for both systems, and limited technical knowledge is required to use either service.

There is no clear winner for user experience between Dropbox and Box. You will find both easy to use, navigate, and set up. 

Dropbox vs. Box: Syncing & Sharing

Dropbox has always been a leader in syncing and sharing files. It provides an incremental backup process, making it quick to make changes to large files. The sharing process is excellent and allows setting expiration on sharing and complete control over who has access to the files.

Box provides good syncing and sharing, just not as good as Dropbox. You can provide links and even set passwords on those links. However, the password can be shared, so you do lose control of who could access those files.

Dropbox also provides unlimited file sizes, unlike Box, limiting the size of the files you can upload and store, even if you have unlimited storage space.

It’s clear that Dropbox is the superior product when it comes to syncing files quickly and sharing files.

Dropbox vs. Box: Speed

Dropbox and Box are comparable in speed, and the most significant factor would be the size of files you are uploading and syncing to each system. Dropbox has a substantial advantage with the style of sync that they perform, which is incremental. 

With Dropbox providing incremental backups, it means large files that you are editing and syncing will more quickly be backed up than a service like Box, which needs to upload the entire file each time.

Dropbox is the winner, but only slightly and only if you’re dealing with extremely large files and slow internet connections.

Dropbox vs. Box: Security

Neither Dropbox nor Box pushes their security as a significant factor in their services. Dropbox has had some high-profile security breaches, which may make some customers nervous of future issues. Box has also had security issues due to misconfigurations in customer accounts.

If security is a significant concern for the data you are storing, neither Dropbox nor Box should be your first choice, but they quickly resolve issues, patch, and work towards better security.

Both services provide two-factor authentication and encryption when transmitting and storing data. So general security of your data is reasonable from both services.

Dropbox has a slight advantage with security in its options for sharing files. They make it harder to reshare or accidentally gain access to files not specifically made available to you.

Dropbox vs. Box: Which is Better?

Dropbox and Box are both excellent cloud storage providers, and the factors mentioned above should help you decide which is the best option for your storage requirements. In general terms, Dropbox is a better option for most people, but it’s still dependent on what you need the service for.

You should look at how much space you need because both offer free accounts, which may save you money if you don’t need much space.

Dropbox is more expensive but offers more storage with much better file size limits when syncing files to your drive. You also have more trust in the files you share from Dropbox, that they won’t be viewed by people that weren’t intended to get access to them.

Sign up to Dropbox easily by clicking here.

Box is cheaper but with lower initial storage space, and it has limitations on the file sizes you can store on your drive. You will be able to add Box storage to Office 365 and Google Workspace easily, so this would be a major factor in using Box or not.

Sign up to Box quickly by clicking here.