This document serves as a comparison between DriveHQ and Dropbox by the leading experts in the cloud service industry. The insight gained from the perspective offered by these experts will allow potential clients the opportunity to understand the strengths and weakness of the two services, as well as the business cloud service requirements and solutions.
2.1 How did Dropbox become so popular?
• The single, simplistic drag-and-drop “Dropbox” folder that is synced across multiple devices in real time.
• The referral plan that gives 500MB of storage for each referral.
After analyzing Dropbox's features, we believe the minimalist approach that allowed Dropbox to rapidly gain popularity is also its fundamental weakness as it pertains to business cloud services
2.2 Dropbox’s weaknesses for business
2.2.1 Dropbox’s Folder Sync is not scalable for business/enterprise use.
Dropbox works perfectly for small amounts of data, however:
• Dropbox is not scalable for businesses that require over 100GB or 1TB of data.
• Dropbox's performance rapidly regresses when you need to sync large amounts of data. Dropbox will use more RAM and CPU as the number of files increase, and the time it takes to sync will be much longer, especially as more devices are introduced. Ultimately, you will waste disk space and bandwidth, which means wasted time and productivity.
• Dropbox does not scale well beyond a few employees.
For businesses looking to expand, and hire more employees, Dropbox serves as a technical roadblock. Synchronizing across multiple devices can become highly inefficient, as each device will waste disk space for the same data. Also, this prevents central management of data, potentially compromising security and manageability. In addition, Dropbox lacks a good user management tool, which makes organizing user accounts and data problematic.
Dropbox lacks business security features.
• Dropbox lacks fine-granular access control.
• The fundamental flaw of Dropbox is that when you share a folder to other users, the folder is added to all users accounts, and is then synced to all users devices. Any user will have full access to the shared folder.
• Dropbox lacks client-side encryption, which means that Dropbox employees have easy access to sensitive information. Hackers also will have an easier path to accessing sensitive information because of this lack of privacy.
2.2.2 Dropbox's service price is unreasonable for business
At $125/user/year, Dropbox charges an unreasonably high service price. Dropbox mitigates its price by offering potentially low storage prices, however:
• Dropbox does not have a clearly defined storage limit; it uses Amazon's S3 storage service. S3 itself is not an inexpensive service–for 1TB storage space + 1TB download bytes, Amazon charges $???/month + additional charges for server requests. Certainly, you cannot get unlimited storage space from Dropbox.
• Most small business need less than 100GB of storage space; larger businesses need more storage space, however, on a per-user basis, larger companies actually tend to need less storage space. Spending $125/user/year is wasteful, as most users will require less than 5GB of storage space.
• Dropbox does not offer volume discounts, even if you need more than 100 user licenses. The costs add up quickly as your business expands.
2.3 DriveHQ service is a better model for both clients and businesses.
For potential clients, not only can DriveHQ help to reduce expenses, but we also offer more features than Dropbox, including drive mapping, FileManager, and Online Backup. If you are a client in need of less than 5GB of storage, why pay for 100GB? If you are a business that needs 100GB of data, why waste time and energy with an inefficient Folder Sync that lacks the automatic data backup service DriveHQ Cloud IT service offers?
DriveHQ's Cloud IT Service is designed for businesses, whereas Dropbox is merely a consumer-class service.
3. Detailed Reviews and Comparisons
3.1 Dropbox's Folder Sync is not scalable for businesses:
Dropbox is best suited for those who need less than 1GB of data. As your data needs increase, Dropbox becomes less efficient.
Because of this, Dropbox will slow a business that requires more than 100 GB or 1TB of data down. Not only will the individual devices be slowed down, as the increasing data will only use more and more CPU and RAM to sync the files, but the entire network's efficiency will be greatly reduced, as each device syncing will take up bandwidth, further reducing the speed of your network connection.
Simply having multiple users and devices connected exposes the security issues with Dropbox. How do you limit each user to a specific folder? When an employee leaves your company, they may take your business data with their account; a security nightmare all business should take precautions to avoid.
DriveHQ offers an easy, all-in-one solution; with a more powerful folder sync feature, as well as many advanced Enterprise features that easily scales to businesses of any size.
3.2 Businesses need a credible cloud server solution; Dropbox does not have it
Enterprise users do not sync files on the file server to each computer, as that would waste too much storage space on each computer, create file version conflicts, and prevent central file management capabilities.
Both DriveHQ FileManager and WebDAV Drive Mapping service are just like Windows Explorer and are extremely easy to use.
3.3 Businesses need ACL-based fine granular access control; Dropbox does not have it
With Dropbox, if you share a folder, the folder will be added to the other user's account. In other words, it is entirely theirs. This is because Dropbox only supports full-access right. You cannot set folder access permission to read-only, and once it has been shared, you cannot remove the folder from their account. Most businesses need to share different folders to different users/sub-groups with different permissions. You cannot do this with Dropbox–in fact, Dropbox does not even support sub-groups.
DriveHQ supports ACL-based fine granular access control. You can share different folders to different users (or sub-groups or contact groups) with different permissions. You can share the same folder to different users (sub-groups/contact groups) with different permissions.
3.4 With Dropbox, you cannot share a folder with non-Dropbox users
Dropbox only allows file sharing between Dropbox accounts. If a business wants to share a file with a client through Dropbox, the client must also purchase Dropbox in order to access that file. There is a catch with Dropbox however; not only must the client purchase Dropbox, but if the client purchased 10GB, and the file was 10GB, then the client would already have all 10GB taken up. If you were planning to send a series of files, another 10GB file for instance, your client would have to purchase an additional 10GB in order to access that file.
With DriveHQ, a file can be shared and accessed so long as the client has a valid email address. Additionally, because DriveHQ shares files, that 10GB file would only take up the storage space of the business, allowing the client to access the file without even having a DriveHQ account.
3.5 Dropbox lacks a scalable user management tool.
If you have Dropbox, you cannot directly create sub-accounts. You must invite each user, and then each user must sign up independently. If you have 100 users, it not only creates a lot of work for the admin user, but also creates a lot of work for the 100 new users, many of who may not know how to sign up.
Dropbox does not have a batch user creation tool as each user is created through invitation. It also does not support sub-groups or contact groups. These features are critical for a large-scale business, and the lack of them renders Dropbox unfit for such an enterprise. If your business has over 1,000 users, sub-groups, contact groups, batch user creation, and management are all absolutely necessary. Otherwise, managing all those user accounts would be a nearly impossible task.
DriveHQ offers all the features Dropbox offers, and many more that Dropbox does not. The DriveHQ user admin tool allows admin users to create user accounts with different roles: group admin, sub-group admin, regular users, and guest users. You can batch create or manage over 1,000 sub-users at once.
3.6 Dropbox lacks client-side encryption.
The lack of client-side encryption means that Dropbox employees can freely access your sensitive information. This lack of privacy means hackers can easily access sensitive information. Dropbox may support some server-side encryption technology. However, server-side encryption is typically meaningless; your data arrives at the Dropbox server un-encrypted. Dropbox then uses its own encryption method, meaning that the safety of your data is in their hands. When you need access to the data, the Dropbox server un-encrypts your data in order to transfer it back to you, exposing your data.
With DriveHQ's encrypted folder feature, your data can be encrypted by the method of your choosing, using your own encryption key before it leaves your device. The data remains encrypted on the secure DriveHQ server. The DriveHQ server does not have your encryption key and cannot decrypt your files. This offers the ultimate security and privacy.
3.7 DriveHQ has more than 5 times as many features as Dropbox.
DriveHQ offers a one-stop shop for all necessary IT services. We could add many more comparisons about how Dropbox does not support Online Backup, Explorer-like File Manager, FTP, Email and Web Hosting Service and “True” Drop Box folder features. Since Dropbox has very limited features, we will skip these comparisons here. For more detailed features offered by DriveHQ, please visit DriveHQ.com
3.8 DriveHQ’s synchronization vs. Dropbox‘s synchronization
Dropbox's main selling point is folder synchronization. A comparison of DriveHQ and Dropbox's folder synchronization reveals that DriveHQ provides the superior service.
3.8.1 Dropbox only syncs a special "Dropbox" folder on your computer.
You do not have the ability to choose a folder on your computer to sync with the cloud. You must move all your files and folders to the special "Dropbox" folder in order for them to be synced to the cloud. This means your employees will have to adjust their work habits; many employees will need to be retrained. DriveHQ can sync any folder on your computer to any folders in the cloud. That means you can keep all your files organized on your computer without having to move them all into the same folder.
3.8.2 Dropbox does not support multiple sync tasks with different schedules.
The entire "Dropbox" folder serves as a platform for a single syncing. You cannot create multiple sync tasks in order to sync different files with different files using different sync schedules.
With DriveHQ, you can sync multiple folders using different sync schedules.
3.8.3 Dropbox does not support one-way synchronization tasks.
In some instances, you will want to sync your data to the cloud, and never have to worry about your local files being overwritten or deleted. In other instances, you will want to sync data from the cloud. With Dropbox, you cannot, as it only supports two-way sync. Any changes made from one side will affect the file in both accounts.
DriveHQ supports one-way folder sync, so you can save files to the cloud, and have users access the file without affecting the original.
3.8.4 Dropbox's synchronization cannot exclude files/folders using wildcard characters.
Many programs create temporary files or backup files, e.g. MS Word creates a temporary file with a file name like “~$test.docx”. Many programs create intermediate files or activity log files such as *.bak, *.obj, *.log, *.tmp, etc. There is no need to sync those files. However, with Dropbox, you cannot filter those useless files. Not only do they end up wasting your storage space, but they also slow down the network.
With DriveHQ FileManager, you can filter certain files/folders using wildcard characters.
3.8.5 Dropbox cannot free up your local disk space.
Dropbox keeps a copy of all its files on the local drives, meaning clients/businesses who want to offload some files from their hard drives to the cloud and free up disk space cannot do so.
Because DriveHQ offers a highly advanced clout IT service, and you can free up local disk storage space by storing your files to the DriveHQ cloud file server.
3.8.6 Dropbox does not have upload/download task list; you cannot control upload/download tasks.
With Dropbox, you cannot:
• Manually control the upload/download tasks.
• Manually start/stop uploading/downloading a file.
• Monitor the upload/download progress of each file.
• Interrupt/resume an upload/download task.
• Arrange the order which files should be uploaded/downloaded. This feature can be very useful if you have a many files to upload at a time that are different sizes. Say for instance you need to upload 101 files with a total size of 1GB, and one file is 900MB, while the remaining files are only 1MB each. If it uploads the 900MB file first, then it may take many hours just to upload this file. If you upload the 1MB files first, then you can upload 100 files in a much shorter time and then you just have 1 file remaining to be uploaded. With Dropbox, you do not have control of this and can unknowingly waste valuable time.
3.8.7 Dropbox cannot sync network drives and external drives.
Dropbox can only sync with a special "Dropbox" folder; it cannot sync with network devices and external drives. See the screenshot below:
With DriveHQ FileManager, you can sync network folders or external drives.
3.8.8 Dropbox cannot sync open (locked) files.
Dropbox does not support syncing open files.
Many users will work on a file for days without closing it, and Dropbox will not sync the file until it is saved and closed. What if one user forgot to close the file on their device? You will not be able to access the latest version of the file remotely, even if that user wasn't even actively working on the file; and if you accidentally delete the file before you close it, you may lose the entire file.
DriveHQ FileManager can sync locked files when you turn on the VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) feature.
4. Other Expert Reviews
4.1 Jacob Buckley-Fortin, CEO of eHana says that Dropbox is not enterprise ready
Jacob Buckley-Fortin, CEO of eHana, responds to the question, "Why isn't Dropbox enterprise-ready?" You can find the review below. A screenshot is included below. http://www.quora.com/Why-isnt-Dropbox-enterprise-ready
4.2 Matt Smollinger’s review on SmallNetBuilder.com about Dropbox’s dirty little secrets
Check out the dirty little secrets of Dropbox revealed by other Matt Smollinger on SmallNetBuilder.com:
The summary information is quoted below:
• File revisions are hard to access
• Deletions Propagate Across Shares (people who you share files with can delete your files)
• Changes Propagate Across Shares (People who you share files with modify your files)
• Single Folder Synchronization
• Files Shared To You Count Against Your Quota.
4.3 Ramil & Gina Marie Morla’s comparison of Dropbox and DriveHQ on EmpowerNetwork
Ramil & Gina Marie Morla offered a detailed review about Dropbox and DriveHQ on EmpowerNetwork.com. Their verdict is quoted below: “The Verdict and Final Thoughts However, DriveHQ has been the leader, being one of the first in the industry. This experience helps in providing the most dependable service possible and the subscription packages are designed in a way that there’s one for every level of backup needs. As you might have noticed in the explanation above, DriveHQ has a lot of features that are far superior and efficient than the services like Dropbox. This makes it the best online file storage solution in the market and the most suitable option for all kinds of small businesses.” You can read the full review at this link.
4.4 Howard Wen of Computer World/PCAdvisor rated DriveHQ FileManager as one of the best 5 free online storage services.
While Dropbox has gained notoriety for being a free and simple online storage service, DriveHQ offers a similar free online storage service. Dropbox "has a bare-bones set of features" and takes a minimalist approach to its software. Using a fast and easy FTP setup, DriveHQ offers the same storage with more control. DriveHQ is designed for business, but as a free online storage service, it compares favorably with Dropbox.
5. Appendices and More References
5.1 Dropbox does not support FTP, email and web hosting.
The FTP, email, and web hosting services are very popular on DriveHQ, but Dropbox does not offer these features.
5.2 Dropbox website limits max file upload size to 300MB
The max file size that can be uploaded through the website is 300MB. Dropbox claims to have no max file size limit when uploading from a computer or mobile device.
5.3 Dropbox does not support Active Directory itself.
Dropbox does not support Active Directory SSO integration independently. The only way this can be supported is through a 3rd party, which typically charges $5/user/month. Dropbox already uses Amazon's S3 service for its backend storage, a 3rd party service that makes Dropbox less secure and reliable. System problems or security breaches affecting the 3rd party may also compromise the service and security of Dropbox.
5.4 Dropbox does not offer SLA (service level agreement).
Dropbox does not offer SLA, which is commonly required by enterprises. For large-scale business clients, DriveHQ offers SLA that is better than Amazon or Google's.
5.5 Dropbox does not have HIPAA certification.
Dropbox does not have HIPAA certification. This does not mean you cannot use it for HIPAA complaint; you just need to carefully evaluate it and take care of the security by yourself. The lack of fine granular access control and client-side data encryption means you must take extra precautions to meet HIPAA compliance requirements.
5.6 Dropbox Pro Service only keeps old version files for 30 days.
To prevent old versions of your files from expiring, you will have to pay an additional $39/year for the packrat feature.
5.7 Dropbox cannot share a folder with read-only permission (Reference)
According to Dropbox, when you share a folder, "all members of a shared folder have full read and write privileges. Setting read-only permissions isn't currently possible." In fact, if you wanted to share a folder to 10 people, each person must have a Dropbox account. The shared folder will be included in each users account, but the folder will take up storage space in each users account. Moreover, the shared folder will be synced to each person's local device, taking up disk space on each device. There simply is no way to control access permissions.
5.8 Using Dropbox to backup Outlook .pst files seems to break Dropbox
Some users will find creative ways to utilize Dropbox in order to make it a more versatile service. Often, such efforts will fail, as they may end up creating a strange, complicated solution that is not supported by Dropbox or another 3rd party company, thus defeating the one advantage Dropbox has, that it is simple and easy. The reality is, if Dropbox does not support a feature, you are better off looking elsewhere–and that will happen a lot if you use Dropbox.
The screenshot below shows a user attempting to backup Outlook PST files. Dropbox does not have its own online backup service, nor can it backup open files. Backing up large Outlook PST files is highly ineffective with Dropbox.
5.9 Dropbox does not support client-side encryption (reference)
Dropbox does not support client-side encryption. Dropbox claims advanced users have access to their own encryption tool. However, anyone can use their own encryption tool with any service, thus, doing so with Dropbox would defeat the one advantage Dropbox has, that it is simple and easy.
5.10 Dropbox Phone Support is not available to free and pro users
Dropbox phone support is not available to Dropbox free and pro users. This service is only offered to Dropbox Business users, starting at $795/year for 5 user licenses.
DriveHQ uses its best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, objective and up-to-date. We will periodically revisit the document and update it. If you find any information inaccurate, out-of-date or incorrect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will respond promptly. If you do not agree with any parts of the review, please feel free to write your own review. You can also take our “Drop the Dropbox Challenge”. If you can write some good points to support your review, DriveHQ may give you $50.