Box.com vs Dropbox review

Dropbox.com and box.com are online file sharing solutions and both offer free accounts for personal, non-commercial use. The free version of box.com offers 5GB of storage while dropbox.com only offers 2GB of space. But you can get 250 MB of additional space for each friend that you refer to Dropbox (up to a limit of 8 GB).

It just takes a minute to register for the services. Dropbox requires your name and email to register, box.com additionally asks for your phone number.

Dropbox claims to be the easiest way to share and store your files online and installation is indeed easy. Next to Windows and OS X, Dropbox offers packages for Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian and it is even possible to compile the software from source. Mobile clients are available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry. After installation Dropbox is downloading an additional piece of software on your computer and opens a setup screen where you have to enter your user details and select the folder that Dropbox should sync. Dropbox will then automatically upload any file you put in the folder to dropbox.com and every other of your computers with Dropbox installed. The desktop client is proprietary but you don’t have to install it and can choose to only use the website to upload and download files.

Box.com claims that “82% of Fortune 500s manage critical content simply and securely with Box”. It looks very similar to dropbox.com and has the same basic features but unfortunately lacks a desktop client in the free version. The mobile client is simple; it shows you a list of files and folders and a history of changes to see which files have recently been added or removed. You can upload photos and videos that you made on your cell phone directly to box.com and share the files via Email or Skype. While the app works fine it is very basic; the dropbox.com mobile app is just much more fun to use with its more modern look and fancy graphics.

The main advantage of box.com would be that it offers more space in the free version but they limit uploads to 25MB per file. Dropbox lets you upload 300MB via the website and has no limit if you use the desktop sync software. Box has further feature limits in the personal edition; document version management and their desktop client software (Box Sync) are only offered in the business and enterprise editions; Just uploading a file by moving it to a folder is something I really miss. If you like to password protect links or create links that expire at a certain date you also need to upgrade. So my vote for the personal edition clearly goes to Dropbox.

This short review only compared the free versions of dropbox.com and box.com. The business packages offer way more possibilities and in the case of box.com also features like the integration with Google Apps or Salesforce. But if you are only interested in quickly exchanging a few files just go with Dropbox (by registering via this referral link both you and I will receive 250 MB of bonus space).

 

2 thoughts on “Box.com vs Dropbox review

  1. Update (9 Feb 2013): box.com’s free offering is now 50GB, with a desktop client. Registration is similar to the early days of Gmail, i.e.you get to “invite a friend” (two, actually) and each of them will get 50GB free, and two referrals of their own as well. The whole thing is remarkably hassle-free… they are promoting collaborative workspaces, but I put mine to use as a 50GB offsite backup.

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