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Jody SappingtonAug 26, 2022 2:51:56 PM5 min read

What's the Difference Between Dropbox and Google Drive?


If you're looking for a way to share files with your team or back up your photos, Google Drive and Dropbox are both popular options. But which one is the right choice for you? Let's take a look at some of the key differences between these two services and how they might affect your business. 


The main difference between Dropbox and Google Drive is that the former is a paid service, whereas the latter is free. However, there are many cloud storage services out there that offer both free and paid tiers—some of which can be cheaper than Dropbox. We talk more about Google Drive in our article Google Drive Backup and Sync: Everything You Need to Know.

One example of an alternative to Google Drive and Dropbox is Microsoft OneDrive, which offers 5GB of free space (enough for about 1,000 photos) but also has an Office 365 subscription option that includes 1TB of storage. Another notable competitor is Box (formerly, which provides 50GB for $9/month or $99/year with no commitment required. You can also find some other solid alternatives like SugarSync or SpiderOak if you're willing to pay through the nose! 

How to upload files 

There are several ways to upload files to your cloud storage. If you're using a Google Drive account, the desktop app is an easy way to upload your files. And if you're using Dropbox, there's also an app for that. 

Both of these services offer mobile apps that allow users to access important documents on the go and make changes (or add new ones) while they are away from their computers. 

If you need access to those same documents on any computer or device with an Internet connection, both Google Drive and Dropbox offer web apps as well as Chrome extensions.*In addition*, both services offer desktop apps that can be downloaded onto computers running Windows or Mac operating systems.*However*... 

File syncing and storage 

The two services have a lot in common, but they also differ in how they function as file syncers and storages. 

Storage space limitations 

If you’re not a power user and don’t plan on storing a ton of data, either of these services will probably be sufficient for your needs. However, if you want more space than what the free services offer, both Dropbox and Google Drive have paid plans that give you more room. 

Google Drive offers 15GB free storage space—an increase over its previous 5GB limit—and 100GB for $2/month. Dropbox does not offer such large amounts at this time; it starts out with 2GB free and goes up to 50GB for $9.99/month (or $99/year), with 1TB available for business plans starting at $15 per user per month ($150 per year). 

Free options 

Once you've created your account, the next step is to determine how much storage you'll need. If you're just using one of these cloud storage services for a few files, 2GB should suffice. However, if you plan on storing lots of photos and videos or want access to both apps and documents from anywhere in the world (on multiple devices), 15GB will likely be too small. 

If you're planning on uploading more than what's available in your free tier, there are ways around the limitations: 

  • Google Drive offers 15GB of additional storage for each person who refers another customer to their service—so if your mom signs up through yours, she gets her own free account with 15GB while also giving another 15GB to yours! That's double-dipping at its best. 
  • Dropbox offers 100GB of additional space when someone signs up through yours; any new customers who sign up through yours will get an extra 100GB each month for one year! 


Security is an important factor when choosing a file storage solution. Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer two-step verification, which requires you to enter a code sent to your phone or email address before logging in. However, this doesn't mean they're equally secure. In addition to the basic method of verifying your account with security codes, Google Drive also has File Activity Monitoring—a feature that allows users to see which files have been accessed or changed on their account by other people, even if those users aren't authorized for one reason or another. 

Both Google Drive and Dropbox have a lot of overlap in functionality, but slight differences that could mean the difference between what you love, or what you love to hate. 

Both Google Drive and Dropbox are cloud storage solutions, which means you can access your files from any device or location as long as you have an internet connection. They both also offer additional features such as video editing software and collaborative tools. However, there are quite a few differences between the two, so let's take a look: 

  • Price: Google Drive is a little more expensive than Dropbox at $9.99 per month for 100GB of storage (the entry-level tier) versus $7.99 per month for 100GB on Dropbox. However, if you want to pay annually instead of monthly it's only $8.33 per month with Google Drive versus 7$.66 per month with Dropbox—a difference of just under 5%. 
  • Interface: While these two apps have similar icons and use similar layouts when browsing content within your library (i.e., when looking at photos), the navigation menu in Google Drive is admittedly more intuitive than that in Dropbox where it feels like there are too many options crammed into one menu bar across different applications within its app ecosystem (e-mail client vs photo editor vs spreadsheets). 
  • Features: Both services offer collaboration tools allowing multiple users access to shared folders; however Google offers more advanced functionality than Dropbox does with things like versioning control over documents containing multiple people working on them simultaneously from different devices at once without having any issues arise due to system updates being out of sync while editing simultaneously together as well as being able to collaborate remotely not just by sending someone else access via email link but also using screen sharing technology built right into their own server infrastructure itself! This makes it easier for companies who need remote workers because they don't always have good internet connections available locally." 


Choosing between Dropbox and Google Drive is a personal decision. You might prefer the simplicity of Dropbox with its native apps, or you could go for the free storage offered by Google Drive. Frankly, if it were up to us, we’d probably use both! The best thing about these two services is that they work together seamlessly so you can choose whichever one suits your needs at any given moment.