This post discusses why it’s too early to move from Dropbox to the recently updated OneDrive and introduced Google Drive services. The point where I am concentrating is “Why It’s early to move if you are already a very active user of Dropbox” and not why Drive or OneDrive is not good. They are providing more space than anybody else, but then it’s just not about the spaces and the pricing!!!
My simple baseline is “Do not just move because one asks you to move, but only when a new service is fulfilling all your needs that you had always enjoyed from the old service and is providing more than that.
Pure File Sync Solution :
Yes, I know that all big guns are saying that we should look beyond files, and people are looking beyond just syncing, but to be honest, most users just want to drop their files on the cloud and forget about it. Dropbox has mastered that aspect with tons of features it provides with that.
Version & Restore
While Google Drive Client app only provides access to a list of documents or files which changed recently and are missing in OneDrive. Dropbox, on the other hand :
- Notifies instantly when a file is changed.
- Shared Folder Notifications.
- Please view all the edited versions of the files and restore them.
Dropbox has the best client for cloud storage for every computer. It not only notifies about file changes instantly, but for a single file change notification, it opens it up when you click on it. You can also view a list of files changed right from the client.
Even though it’s a client feature, it needs a separate mention. This feature is a life savior when you share files with your team over the same network or with your computers at your home, connected over Wi-Fi. Instead of re-downloading from the web account, it copies it from your computer to the destination folders over WiFi.
For smaller files, you don’t need to email or use a USB, and for larger files, if you are not in a hurry, it seamlessly syncs.
Even though Dropbox does not have an Online Document Editor, the files stored on them are pure and can be edited by supported office suites installed on your computer.
Now, most people who will jump guns because of the Online editor and excellent storage space should know that the files created using editors of OneDrive or Google Drive are purely online files, even though you can view them as a file list on your computer. Still, it only opens up in the respective service’s online editor.
Sharing Folders & Permission: The place where they differ from each other
Google Drive: There are two parts of Google Drive, One is Collaboration, Document Sharing, etc., and the Second is Drive which takes care of file sync with your computer, i.e., Anything which is not on My Drive does not sync with your computer.
So the documents shared from or by you can be synced with your folders on your computer if you manually go and add them to your drive using the Web UI.
The advantage here is that when a shared file is deleted from your computer, it only gets deleted from your Drive, not from any other computer.
Dropbox: Keeping in find this is a pure file sync program; when you share a folder with somebody, the other person gets complete control over the folder and its file, including the option to delete files. However, if somebody deletes the files, you can still restore them, remove the person from the folder list, and even remotely delete them if required.
Dropbox also allows you to collaborate with your team with a feature they call Dropbox Teams. This feature brings in User Management, Space Allocation, Unlimited Version History, etc., but it’s not open to everybody and is a paid service.
OneDrive: You can share folders and files, but it never reaches the desktop. It stays on the cloud, but you have the option of File Editing, Option to use Web office.
The summary of this post is if you are seriously looking for a Collaboration Solution without paying Anything for Office Solutions, OneDrive and Google Drive is a great option, but if you are looking for a File sync solution that is simple enough for very novice users, has great version support, option to recover Files, Dropbox is an excellent solution.
So, Coming back to the point where I started, Is it too early to Jump to Google Drive or OneDrive just because the storage space is more? I would say Yes because they are in their first version and still miss many features compared to Dropbox.
The best option for you is to wait for at least one update from each service and see what improvements they bring compared to the competition. I am sure all services will start bringing in more features, reducing the gap with their competition.
PS: I have kept Box.com out of this discussion because I am not an avid user of that service and am not in a position to make the correct comparisons. In case you are, please leave your comments.
And Thanks to everybody who helped me with their comments on Twitter or personally tested it.