Dropbox and Google Drive are two major cloud storage services that I’m sure everyone has already heard about and while they’re both very reliable and trustworthy, they have certain advantages and disadvantages that separate them and therefore one will work better for some people than the other. In this article I will briefly go over the pros and cons of both services and let you decide which one is a better solution for your needs.
Difference between Dropbox and Google Drive
One of the most overlooked features that set Dropbox apart from Google Drive is the revision history. Dropbox gives you 30 days of revision history per file for free and you can expand that time to up to one year with upgrades while Google Drive‘s revision history is limited only to the last 200 versions of your file.
This limitation becomes apparent when working together with a lot of people and someone accidentally deletes your file or edits it wrongfully. When your entire team is working on a single file and you find out that someone made a mistake a few days ago, it can already be too late when using Google Drive because of the 200 limit, but since Dropbox doesn’t have this limit, you can essentially go back in time up to one year and recover much more.
Another small snag in Google Drive has to do with the selective sync feature in which it lets you only choose between parent folders whereas in Dropbox, you can choose between both parent folders and sub folders to exclude from syncing between your devices.
Google Drive has photos better organized
Since Google is a master of online search, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that compared to Dropbox, Google Drive has managed to organize your photos a lot better by using their sophisticated image recognition algorithms in order to detect objects and faces on your photos. Thanks to this you can simply search for a photo located somewhere in your albums directly from Google’s search page and get incredibly accurate results.
More free cloud storage space
Additionally Google Drive gives you 15GB of hard drive space compared to Dropbox which only has 2GB of space at first. It’s true that you can increase your free storage space on Dropbox by referring new users, but that gets maxed out pretty soon at 16GB which is essentially the maximum amount of space you can get for free. And since a lot of people don’t want to bother their friends with referral links, it might be a better choice to simply choose Google Drive due to its increased HD space as well as the ability to better organize your pictures.
What about privacy?
Before you rush to uninstall Dropbox from your system (here’s a great guide on how to uninstall Dropbox from mac) you should consider the privacy aspect.
When I mentioned Google’s superior search algorithm earlier, I forgot to mention how it actually works. Basically each new photo that gets uploaded to Google’s servers gets scanned through by a machine learning software in order to make Google’s image recognition better and better.
But how does the machine know if it has made a mistake? Well, it doesn’t unless a human is there to say “hey, that’s not right!” thus meaning there’s a chance that sooner or later someone (human) will take a peek at your photo in order to make sure the machine has correctly recognized objects on your photo. This is something you have to be comfortable with if you go with Google Drive.
Don’t worry, I’m sure that they care deeply about your anonymity and the engineers over at Google aren’t allowed to associate your images with any of your personal data, but still it can be something that makes the average folks a little bit uneasy.
Not so private after all
Finally I’d like to go over one of the things that make both Dropbox and Google Drive a cloud hosting service certain people might want to avoid altogether. For instance, if you’re Edward Snowden and have a lot of confidential material, both Dropbox and Google are supposed to just serve all of your files to the NSA on a silver plate whenever requested. That’s because even though they do encrypt your files, they get to keep the security keys needed in order to decrypt them.
If you’re really paranoid about security, you might want to check out Storj which offers a new approach on cloud hosting that unlike traditional services, uses the infamous Blockchain technology.