Many companies and individuals use Google Drive and Dropbox to bring better organization to their work and make things run more efficiently. Dropbox is basically a file storage service with many great features such as instant file sharing, apps and the ability to sync with computers, phones and other devices. Google Drive can be used as file storage but has many attractive features such as the ability to create and edit spreadsheets and other documents online, collaborate with coworkers or clients on important documents online and much more.
As they both have their own unique, useful features, many people and organizations use both of these services together. Fred Wilson from Union Square Venture is one such person but he ran into a problem recently and had this to say about it:
A number of companies send me documents in Dropbox. I am happy to get them that way. Most of these documents are .doc, .xls, and .ppt files. Since I don’t use word, excel, and PowerPoint anymore as part of my commitment to move my entire computing experience to the cloud, I end up doing a hack which involves downloading the files to my desktop, then emailing them to myself in Gmail, then opening them as Google docs in Google drive.
This convoluted process has the added benefit of then being able to share these documents freely with the USV team in our shared Google drive. Many of the documents that are shared with me on Dropbox are shared in folders that I don’t control and the rest of the USV team doesn’t have access to.”
The solution to Fred’s problem would be to sync the two services but this is not easily attainable by only using these two services.
For example, one way to fix this problem is to install both Google Drive and Dropbox on the same computer and attempt to sync them using soft links. This can lead to potential errors as the two services attempt to sync independently which can lead to duplicated files in Google Drive (http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/drive/Yjmkd4nbhw4/C_ns26Fn2gQJ) and much confusion. Two services operating on the same folder is not a cautious approach to syncing and securing your data and you should take a more cautious and secure approach if this is about your data. Also, in this case, the sync will not happen if your computer is not running and files are updated on some other computer (or somebody shares a new file).
The best solution to achieve a secure and reliable sync between these is cloudHQ. Our service automatically syncs data in Dropbox with Google Drive. It updates in real-time for easy collaboration with other team members working in the same area. One of the best features is that you control which parts of the accounts you wish to sync. Some data can be kept out of the sync which is more useful for private data you do not wish to share with other coworkers or clients.
cloudHQ will upload your Google Docs documents to Dropbox in Microsoft Office format for easy editing from your Dropbox using MS Office. And optionally cloudHQ can upload your documents in Google Docs format for easy editing in Google Drive.
There is also a special option which enables you to sync these two services without replicating deletion. So if your files accidentally (or maliciously) get deleted, Google Drive essentially becomes your backup of Dropbox and vice-versa. As sensitive as data can be these days, it is very important that there be a secure backup in place to prevent critical data loss.
Also, your computer does not have to be running for the sync to happen. Files can be edited from your smartphone or iPad and the files will be instantaneously updated between the Google servers and the Dropbox server. Just set it and forget it: cloudHQ will do the sync all the time.
You can sync between multiple Dropbox and Google Drive accounts for added flexibility. This is extremely useful in larger companies that may require the use of multiple accounts.
So, now you know WHY you should sync Dropbox and Google Drive. You also know HOW you should sync Dropbox and Google Drive. The rest is up to you.