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Dropbox vs. Box: Which offers the best cloud storage?

We take a look at which cloud storage service is the best for your business

A hand holding up a tablet computer that is projecting a cloud hologram.

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services available but can it challenge Box when it comes to enterprise usage? We put the two head-to-head to see which is more suitable for your needs...

Usability and enterprise features

Both services are easy to use. Dropbox is accessible via the web site as well as the desktop app. For the latter, it's just a matter of dragging and dropping files you want to sync across all devices. It's also easy enough to control who does and doesn't have access to particular files and folders, and to keep personal files separate from work data.

Dropbox for Business, adds advanced features including unlimited file recovery, encryption at rest and during transit, as well as remote wiping, audit logging and two-step verification. 

Box is similar when it comes to usage - working across Mac or Windows. It's geared towards enterprise users from the start, offering business friendly controls like the ability to control sharing, track usage and encrypt files during transit. Users can comment on files, assign tasks and even set due dates, which can be integrated into calendars.

The ability to build custom apps is a feature that that is aimed at attracting large enterprises.

Apps

Dropbox for Business works alongside popular apps including Word, Excel, Photoshop and WebEx. In total, 300,000 third-party apps are supported, so you won't have any issues with compatibility.

Box has support for 1,200 apps via the 'OneCloud ecosystem' (e.g. Salesforce; NetSuite) - those aimed at productivity and security for business users. 

Email integration is useful, as the Box plugin for Outlook allows users to bypass size restrictions on attachments. A lot of similar mail plugins for Dropbox are available only for premium customers.

Both Dropbox and Box can be used across Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire, as well as Windows and Mac.

Pricing

Both services offer free tiers (10GB free for Box; 2GB for Dropbox), but the ways in which users can pay to upgrade vary between the two.

Dropbox Pro is offered for £7.99/month, which provides users 1TB of storage, remote wipe capabilities and more sharing controls.

The next step is Dropbox for Business priced at £11/month for each user. This includes unlimited storage and file recovery, management controls and priority support.

Box is a little more complicated, with a simple 'Starter' package giving basic options, 100GB storage and security for £3.50/month - for up to 10 users. 

Box's Business package is designed for mid-sized businesses with unlimited storage, complete control over admin options such as tracking and access to third party app integration for £11/per month. Large enterprises need to contact Box directly for a quote.

Verdict

Deployment depends on how big your business is and the type of integration you want. 

Dropbox for Business is the cheaper option when it comes to unlimited storage, and the packages appear best suited to small and midsized businesses.

Box is geared towards larger enterprises who may want more freedom to customise the service and use it in conjunction with other business tools from the likes of Salesforce and Netsuite.

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