In this article, we will take a look at two of the most popular cloud storage services- Box and Google Drive, as well as the strengths and common issues of both services. As both of these services provide a similar service, they both have several features that are quite similar. Both services use a folder structure; have the ability to view documents online; allow comments and feedback; have the option to limit permissions to certain individuals or allow unrestricted access, can be used to store public or confidential data; can be accessed by mobile devices; and can be synced to PC/MAC desktop computers and laptops, and mobile devices.
Google Drive offers 5GB of free storage to users although upgrade plans of up to 16TB of storage are available
- Online Collaboration: Google Drive tops when it comes to online collaboration on files– up to 50 users can collaborate on, and edit, the same document simultaneously. Box does not have the real-time collaboration and editing features as Google Drive does.
- Editing Documents Online: Google Drive gives users access to Google Docs, which hosts a variety of powerful document editing tools to allow users to easily create, edit, and manage documents from any device- PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. Combined with the collaboration features, this takes editing and sharing to whole different level. Google Drive has just recently implemented file previews to allow users to more easily find the document they need.
- Integration With Other Google Services: Working in Google Drive makes it easy to access any of your other pertinent information such as emails from in Gmail, photos in Picasa, information in Google+, etc. Google Drive makes it easy to access your files in any Google service and implement them into your work. Unlike Box, Google Drive has a powerful array of services and tools to help users create, collaborate on, and share documents in a quick and efficient manner.
Issues: Unfortunately, there are always issues with any service. FixYa produced a cloud storage report on issues with several of the top cloud storage services.
“Cloud-based file storage is becoming the expected method for file sharing these days, both on personal devices and in the workplace,” said FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon. “Such solutions simplify document sharing and collaboration across teams, which is a huge boon for productivity. Still, different users have different needs, and each solution has its strengths and weaknesses. We hope the FixYa Cloud Storage Report shines a light on these differences so consumers can make an educated decision on which will be best suited for their needs.”
The report covers Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and iCloud, and describes the top issues that users experience with these cloud storage services. The top 5 Google Drive issues that were reported are:
- Folders Missing – 30%
- Syncing Files – 20%
- Automatically Converts to Google Doc – 20%
- Unknown Error Occurred – 20%
- Other –10%
The most common problem is missing folders and this generally occurs when a folder has been moved or renamed and then synced to Google Drive. The way to fix this is to launch Google Drive (the app on your computer) and select the “Local Google Drive folder is missing” option. Locate the missing folder by using the search tool and this should take care of the problem. If the folder has been renamed, you may have to get a little more creative with your search. Folders that were accidentally deleted on the local drive and then synced online should still be recoverable from the Google Drive trash.
Like Google Drive, Box offers 5GB of storage space for free users, although they do have promotions at times offering 25GB and 50GB for free to new users that sign up. The limit is 50GB for personal accounts although business accounts can be upgraded to unlimited storage space. Box has many features that Google Drive does not have. Box also recently received the highest rating possible from Gartner for enterprise file synchronization and sharing.
- Preview Formats: Box has great file previews, although Google is currently in the process of implementing file previews in Google Drive. With the integrated file view, users can instantly view files directly from their browser, as well as in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, and Flash video content.
- Sharing: Box has excellent sharing features- such as password protected shares; collaboration; sharing with group; file version tracking; real-time activity feed; project management features; and integration with Google Docs.
- HIPAA Compliant: Box has met all the standards to become HIPAA compliant. Box has strict security guidelines and uses sophisticated data encryption and integrates with many of the leading single sign-on providers. Box has also been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report and is Safe Harbor certified.
- Group Ownership of Files: Unlike Google Drive, Box allows users to have group ownership of files whereas Google Drive only allows ownership of files by the creator of the file. With Box, the owner of the folder is given ownership of the files and that can be individual ownership or group ownership.
- Third-Party Apps: Whereas Google Drive is integrated with the many Google products, Box has to rely on third-party apps; but there are many of them, such as: Gmail, Docusign, FedEx, LinkedIn, Google Apps, and many more. This gives extra flexibility to the already powerful Box features.
Issues: Unlike Google Drive which integrates with the desktop for easy sync, Box does not have great desktop integration (there is one but it is not as good as Google Drive). In the FixYa cloud storage report, the top 5 issues that users reported with Box are:
- Upload Issues – 25%
- Security Concerns – 25%
- Backup Files – 20%
- Laggy Response – 20%
- Other – 10%
The most common issue is trouble uploading files, but this can often be attributed to user settings. FixYa recommends these steps for users experiencing upload issues:
- Restart your computer and clear the browser’s cache.
- If you are having trouble with the bulk upload feature (which has been known to be unstable for some users), try uploading files one at a time.
- Under account settings, disable flash for uploads and make sure the “compatibility” setting is checked instead of the “normal” setting.
- Upgrade Java/Flash software.
- Upgrade your browser.
- Disable (or in worst case, uninstall) browser plug-ins as they could be causing instability with the uploading process.