Dropbox Vs Google Drive In 2017

There are several cloud storage companies and services you could look at, but in terms of reliability Dropbox and Google Drive are miles ahead of competition. When you are relying on a cloud service to store professional or personal files, you need to be certain of their reliability and accessibility at all times.

Dropbox was founded in 2007 based on the idea that emailing different documents to others from different computers made sharing slow and tedious. Hence, it started as a file sharing system that would allow users access files via internet in shared folders that was securely placed on a server. Now there are over 300 million users of this service. Google started to work on the idea of developing an online storage system as early as 2006. However, they took additional six years to get their ideas out there. Google Drive was launched officially in April 2012 and today it has about 240 million users worldwide.

In this post we have laid out the pros and cons of both of the services to help you subscribe to the right solution for your business.

Plug: TeamWave – CRM, Project Management & HR Software for Small Business

Ease of use

Google Drive vs Dropbox

This is the first aspect that makes a difference for anyone who is new to using cloud services. So which service is simpler to figure out, Google Drive or Dropbox? With Dropbox one needs to understand how the syncing procedure works. It is possible to add folders and files through a web browser as well as a desktop or mobile app. Although large files can also be shared with one-click link generation feature, users often face issue when they try to sync very large amount of data. With Google Drive the options are similar. You need to have an account with Google and create different folders on Google Drive in order to segregate the files you upload. It also allows direct upload through a web browser, desktop or mobile app. But, Google Drive for Business is better when it comes to syncing and accessibility. All of your data get stored in the cloud and updated in real time across all the shared users and devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Reliability

This is the primary aspect of any storage solution. If a service becomes inaccessible or takes a lot of time to open files, that is what would prevent one from using the service further. Dropbox in this context has decent reliability as it had an average record of less than seven hours of downtime over six months (Source: Pingdom). Comparatively Google Drive has an average of a minute of downtime in a period of 30 days. Most users are happy with the availability of Google Drive. However, in context of finding files, some users have found some files missing in their Google Drive account which could have arisen due to a memory problem. In case of Dropbox the loss of files was mostly accounted to syncing errors.

Storage Space

Dropbox Business begins with 2TB of storage space, but Advanced and Enterprise plans offer unlimited storage. It is also quite easy to change plans among personal, business, and enterprise-level by transferring account to the new plan without making any changes to file configurations.

Google Drive for Business starts at 30GB space per user and advanced plans (Business and Enterprise) offer  unlimited storage with some additional features. As Google Drive comes with G Suite apps, users also get to use GMail, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Hangouts features.

Speed of services

As most people are now looking at cloud services in terms of reaching their files and folders as and when required instead of storing them on local computers or servers, they need to know how fast both services are. Indeed, most cloud services advertise the possibilities of opening, sharing as well as editing documents on their platform. For that speed and responsiveness is important. In case of Dropbox, a folder with files, accounting to 42 MB takes about three minutes to get synced or transferred. This is an aspect that Google Drive loses out as they are a bit slower in this aspect.

Security

Dropbox employs 256-bit encryption at rest and a 128-bit tunnel while syncing data between local storage and the cloud. Apart from that, Dropbox uses blocks to store data and metadata is stored separately. If you lose access to a connected device, the remote wipe feature can be used to erase the data saved on the device someone else tries to access it.

Google Drive uses encryption at rest and during transfers for all accounts. Google also claims that they deploy the same security measures for their products as they use for their own purpose. Google also allows 2-factor authentication for all accounts to provide additional security. Business accounts have privilege to control user accounts and apps, including remote wipe of connected mobile device apps.

Collaboration

Although Dropbox claims to have automatic syncing, it is not powerful enough for real-time shared collaboration you enjoy with Google Drive. Dropbox informs you when a team member opens or edits a document, and both of you get the option sync and work on the latest version on your computer. The problem arises with real-time collaboration as you are only allowed to work on the latest saved version.

Google Drive, on the contrary, lets you and your team members collaborate at the same time, and you can even see the changes as your teammate types them. This feature is highly useful for distributed and remote teams that rely on collaborating and document sharing for project work.

Integrations

Dropbox integrates with many of the popular business apps, such as Slack and Docusign, enabling well-thought-out workflows and sharing capabilities. As the product is mostly popular with business users, project management tools like TeamWave also connect. An additional layer of security offered by Symantec and CipherCloud also adds much value.

Google Drive also offers plethora of integrations for businesses, including CRM, project management, accounting, and customer service. TeamWave also offers strong integration with Google Drive and other associated Google services.

Conclusion

As far as business users are concerned, both of the apps are highly competitive. While Google Drive is more intuitive, we can only use the browser to work on the files. Syncing large amount of data on Dropbox can be difficult, but Dropbox offers the convenience of working offline with the data synced with your computer. While comparing these two services we should consider usability vs. access trade-off.


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G Suite Tips and Tricks

G Suite (previously called Google Apps for Work) has many nifty features that you may not have discovered yet. Features that can significantly improve your productivity. Here are some tips & tricks:

Templates

G Suite has introduced custom templates in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms for the files that are frequently used by your team. Just submit files to the shared template galleries in the DocsSheetsSlides, and Forms home pages for your team members to use and customize as per the requirement. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving collaboration and sharing. You can configure categories and enable/disable template gallery by accessing the following path: Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Templates.

submit a template

In addition to this, there is also an option to restrict new employees from submitting new templates or move the submission via approval process. There are altogether three options for template submission: Open, Moderated and Restricted.

Plug: TeamWave – Simple CRM, Project Management & HR Software for G Suite

Explore in Sheets

Explore option in sheets lets you ask questions in words without using any formula and answers your questions. For example, you can ask questions like how many products were sold on Cyber Monday or what are the top five products sold in the last quarter. Apart from charts and analysis, you also get suggestions on formatting. Once you’ve opened the sheet, click on ‘’Explore” present in the bottom right area.

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Explore in Slides

Explore option in Slides automatically suggests some of the optimum design ideas depending on the elements present in your slide. All you have to do is pick up the design suggestion and apply that to your slide with a single click – there is no need for formatting, cropping or resizing. Access “Explore” option in Slides by clicking on the button present in the bottom right.

Explore in Docs

This option in Docs helps you in research activities while writing reports or any other document. Depending on the content you’d get suggestions to insert images, cite additional content by going through related topics. Apart from that it helps you write summary, proposals, etc. by showing related documents from Drive. Just like Slides and Sheets, this can be accessed in Docs by clicking on the “Explore” option present at the bottom right.

Drawing Attention

Whenever you log in to Drive or Slides/Docs/Sheets, you will see certain documents with a badge that shows the number of action items along with unresolved suggestions. This is a great way to point out the priorities, especially when there are plenty of documents in the Drive to get us bogged down and make action items go unnoticed.

Quick Forms

Google Forms was launched in 2008 and till now billions of questions have been answered with these forms. Considering the sheer volume of data Google has, it makes sense that they would introduce features to help us quickly create forms by predicting some of common questions and the type of potential answers. For example, if you are planning an outing and need input from the team members to finalize the day of the week, then it will automatically suggest that checkbox is the suitable question type. Apart from this, the recent update includes a question type which would allow respondents upload files.

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Voice Commands

Last year Google had launched voice typing capability that allowed users to write content with voice instead of manually typing. In the last update, they have added new capabilities to customize and format content with voice commands – delete words, select text, change color, edit table, move to different sections within a document and more. Access voice typing from “Tools” present in the menu and use the commands specified in the support page to explore more options.

Slack Integration

You can integrate G Suite and Slack to avoid switching between apps. In order to mention files from Drive and create docs/slides/sheets while conversing in Slack, you just need to press ‘+’.  Slack will also automatically index every Google Drive file shared in Slack and make them searchable, helping your team members quickly search the collective knowledge. Check out the app directory to get started with the integration.

Linking Documents

G Suite apps let you easily create links between documents by placing hyperlinks. So apart of linking external websites, you can use the add link option to search existing documents in Drive and link them.

Adding Images in Sheets

You can add images in spreadsheet cell by using the following formula:  =image(“URL”).

There are number of formatting options as well. Just use the following:

=image(“URL”, 1)) image will be scaled

=image(“URL”, 2)) image will be stretched

=image(“URL”, 3)) image will be in original size

=image(“URL”, 4,1024,800)) image will be in custom size

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Rolling Back to Older Version

When undo doesn’t save you from the mistake, you can roll back to previous version in any kind of document. Access revision history entry in the File menu and select the one that suits. At the bottom of the revision list there is option to hide or show changes and details of the edit logs.

Extracting Data from Web Pages

You can easily extract data from web pages by simply using the following formula: =ImportHTML(“URL”, “query”, index)

Example: =ImportHTML(“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_India”,”table”,4)

This command will fetch data from the webpage and populate the spreadsheet. There are similar formulas like ImportXML, ImportRange, ImportFeed and ImportData.

Listing Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are crucial for productivity. G Suite gives you a keyboard short cut to list out all the keyboard shortcuts! Command + “forward slash” (Mac) or “Control” + “forward slash” (Windows) will bring up the list of keyboard shortcuts within a moment.

Bulk Edit Slides

Slide Master can be very useful while working with template and multiple slides. Access Slide Master by clicking Slide and Edit Master. You will be shown a new screen where you’ll be able to edit every slide in the presentation.

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Duplicating Objects

You can easily duplicate any object present in Slides. Just select the object you want to duplicate, and hit Alt on a Mac or CTRL on Windows. Now hold that key and drag the object; a duplicate object will be generated from the original object.

Smart Scheduling

There is a smart scheduling option in Google Calendar, which lets you ask the app to “Find a time” for you and your team member. The app will intelligently arrange the times and additionally suggest available room as per the previous bookings. Whenever the list of participants becomes too long and no suitable times are available, it will automatically suggest times which are easiest to resolve. Note that this feature is currently available only on Android.

Embedding Slides on Web Page

There are many cases in which we need to showcase presentations on web pages. If you have a nifty Slide that you want to add on a web page, just access “File” in the menu and click on “Publish to the web” and click on Embed. After clicking publish, iframe code will be generated for you to embed on the web.

Embed on web

Setting Access Expiry Date

In many cases presentations, docs and files are shared with people outside of the organisation, such as clients and vendors. Once the projects are complete, accessibility should be restricted to those documents. To set the access expiry date open up the file, click Share >> Advanced >> hover over the person’s name. Click Set expiration,  set the date and save changes.


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