Google Drive vs Dropbox: Features, Software, Storage Plans Comparision

Like SkyDrive, both Google Drive and Dropbox aim to provide you cloud storage service where you can share files. You can store any kind of file on both the services. Both allow you to view and edit certain file types without having to install applications on your local computer – just that the file types compatible with Google Drive are more. The basic thing about both Google Drive and Dropbox is that they allow you to access your files from anywhere in the world. Once you have uploaded the files, you can access them from any computer – just by logging into the website. We have already seen the great deal that SkyDrive offers and seen an unbiased comparison between Google Drive and SkyDrive.

Google Drive vs Dropbox

Here we will carry out a clear, unbiased comparison between Google Drive and Dropbox.

Free Storage Space

When it comes to non-dollars, Google Drive has 5GB to offer against the 2GB offered by Dropbox. In its recent survey, SkyDrive said most users need do not use more than 5GB and reduced its free storage to 7GB. As this article is about Google Drive vs Dropbox, we won’t discuss SkyDrive here. Please read SkyDrive vs Google Drive for a comparison of SkyDrive with Google Drive.

With Dropbox, you also get 250MB free in addition to the 2GB when a person referred by you creates an account with Dropbox. In other words, you recommend Dropbox to someone and if he joins, both of you get 250MB free in addition (up to 18GB) to the free 2GB.

Paid Storage Plans


–          50GB over 2GB at the rate of $9.99 per month

–          100GB over 2GB at the rate of $19.99 per month

–          Custom plans available for storage requirements above 100 GB, up to 1TB

Google Drive

–          25GB over 5GB at the rate of $2.49 per month

–          100GB over 5GB at the rate of $4.99 per month

–          Custom plans available for storage requirements above 100GB, up to 16TB

Clearly, Google Drive is a winner with paid storage plans with more space at lower costs when compared to Dropbox.

File Size Limitations For Upload

If you are uploading via browser, the maximum file size that Dropbox can handle is 300MB. If you are using the Dropbox application for uploading files, there is no size limit.

Google Drive too has no limitations when you upload it via Google Drive for Windows/Mac application. For upload through browser, it is capped at 10GB per file. Some review sites show a cap of 10GB for uploading through Google Drive for Windows/Mac application but I could not see any limitation imposed by Google. Anyway, 10GB is huge so you can consider it no limitation.

Both sites stand shoulder to shoulder here.

Sharing & Collaboration

Both Google Drive and Dropbox allow you to share at file level. Until some time back you had to create a shared folder for sharing files using Dropbox. But then they changed the method and now you can get a link for each file you upload so that you can share individual files easily.

Both Google Drive and Dropbox have the capability to turn the photos you upload, into a photo gallery so that viewing is made easier for people with whom you share the gallery.

Search Features

You won’t be surprised if Google Drive has an upper hand when it comes to search. Google has been a search engine for long and it knows how to search inside files. It can also search within photo images using optical character recognition techniques. This way, if a photo is tagged “Eiffel Tower” and you search for “Paris”, the photo too is returned in the image search.

Dropbox, however, lags behind as using it you can search only for the filenames. With Windows naming conventions, the filenames can be up to 255 characters long so there is ample space to write down a filename that describes the file so that even if you forget the exact filename, you can type something related.

When it comes to search features, Google Drive wins with its capabilities of search within files and OCR search.

Software For Sync And Upload

Both Google Drive and Dropbox offer software for uploading and syncing files that you upload to the cloud. While Google Drive is yet to come up with software for iPad and iPhone, Dropbox already offers software that is compatible with Android.

In the field of software, Dropbox wins as it offers most portable software for use with the cloud storage.

This post has tried to compare some important features of Google Drive with Dropbox. We do not mean to reach any conclusion about a service being good or bad because the needs/wants of different people are different. It is up to the readers to study the features as explained above and select the cloud service provider that suits their needs the most.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. sdfs

    It should also be noted that as of this time, Google Drive’s desktop client is less robust than Dropbox’s, which has been tested and around for quite a while now.

  2. The_Artist_Formly_Known_As_WoW

    I get a half gig per user who I refer. Hasn’t the 250 amount been upped for everyone?

  3. Guest

    Dropbox has changed the 250 MB additional space to 500 MB. For refering a couple of people I now have about 7 GB free space available without paying anything. It’s easy to share with people and it’s very reliable. It’s also worth mentioning that you can restore files for a certain time after deletion, which I have already gladly used in the past. All in all Dropbox is a great piece of software with a good service behind it.

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