Whether you are a growing business or an established one, managing digital files is arguably one of the most cumbersome tasks for your team. Without the right tool, they end up juggling documents, folders, spreadsheets, and PDFs, all of which can turn chaotic and take a toll on their productivity.

Now, if you are reading this blog, in all likelihood, you have considered Google Drive and Box for managing your digital assets. We are not surprised as they are two of the world’s leading cloud storage providers and offer an array of features for efficient file management. But before you make a decision, let us understand how they compete against each other and if there is a solution that’s even better than them for managing digital assets.

Google Drive vs. Box: An overview

Here is a brief overview of both the platforms and what do they offer:

Google Drive Box
Overview A cloud storage and collaboration platform known for its seamless integration with Google Workspace suite. A cloud-based storage known for its unlimited storage and advanced security features.
Best for Users who heavily rely on collaboration and document sharing. Businesses with huge storage requirements and strict regulatory requirements
Storage Offers limited storage even in paid plans. One of the few platforms to offer unlimited storage in all the paid plans.
Pricing The basic premium plan starts at $2 per month for 100 GB. The basic premium plan starts at $20 per month.
Security Employs dual-key system and client-side encryption. Offers zero-trust architecture, SSO, MFA, and vector-based watermarking.

Storage and pricing comparison

Google Drive Pricing Plans Box Pricing Plans
15 GB free storage plan

$2/month for 100 GB

$3/month for 200 GB

$10/month for 2 TB
10 GB free plan

All the other paid plans, starting from $20 per month, offer unlimited storage.

Google Drive offers a 15 GB free plan along with a range of affordable subscription plans for those wanting more storage. However, this 15 GB has to be shared by all the other Google Services under a single Google account, including Photos, Gmail, and Docs.

On the other hand, even though Box offers a smaller (10 GB) free plan, it offers unlimited storage in all its paid plans. In fact, Box is one of the few cloud storage platforms that provides this.

Winner: Clearly Box, due to its unlimited storage.

File sharing capabilities

Google Drive allows users to share content via email invites or shareable links. However, it lacks password protection and link expiry date options, potentially leaving shared links vulnerable to unauthorized access. Box, on the other hand, provides advanced settings, including password protection, automatic link expiration, and the ability to prevent content downloading.

Access permissions are more advanced in Box than Google Drive. While Google Drive offers only three user roles (View only, Comment, and Edit), Box offers seven user roles (Co-owner, Editor, Viewer Uploader, Previewer Uploader, Viewer, Previewer, and Uploader)

Winner: Box, due to more advanced link-sharing features and robust access controls.

App Integration

Google Drive is known for its seamless integration with the Google Workspace Suite(G Suite), which facilitates collaborative document creation in tools like Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets. The platform also connects with other Google Services, such as Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Calendar, enhancing overall user productivity. Additionally, Google Drive extends its integration capabilities to third-party applications like Trello, Slack, DocuSign, and Salesforce.

Box, on the other hand, claims to connect with over 1500 applications. It even natively integrates with ecosystems like Salesforce and Oracle NetSuite. Box lets you stay on top of all your documents irrespective of where they were created; this eliminates version issues and provides your team with a single source of truth for all your data.

Winner - Box as it provides a large number of native integration support.

File synchronization

File sync is one of the few areas where Box lags behind Google Drive. Even the highest premium plan of Box places an upload limit of 150 GB, which means Box is unsuitable for those businesses managing an extensive volume of media assets on a regular basis. On the other hand, Google Drive has a more expansive limit of 15 TB when it comes to videos and audio files. However, a 100 MB limit exists in regular file uploads.

Winner: Google Drive has a slight edge for file synchronization mainly due to its higher limit while uploading video and audio files.

Security features

Google Drive employs a dual-key system. It utilizes an extra rotating master key for user data encryption. This means an attacker must acquire both keys to gain access to data, hence improving the security. Additionally, Google Drive offers client-side encryption, allowing users to encrypt files in their web browser before uploading. It ensures that even Google cannot access the data.

Box is equally capable in this area thanks to its zero-trust architecture approach and features like Single Sign-On (SSO), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and vector-based watermarking. Apart from this, every file in Box is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption, both at rest and in transit. Box also allows you to maintain complete and independent control over your encryption keys, adding an extra layer of security to your data.

Winner: Both Google Drive and Box prioritize user data security through innovative encryption methods and comprehensive access controls.

Pros and Cons of Google Drive and Box

Advantages Disadvantages
Box Offers unlimited storage on all the paid business plans.

Integrates with over 1500+ 3rd party applications.

Robust security thanks to features like MFA, SSO, and vector-based watermarking.

Provides advanced file-sharing features like password protection and automatic link expiration
Has a learning curve.

If you're already comfortable with Google suite, shifting to Box might seem more cumbersome.

Has a smaller limit on daily file transfer.
Google Drive The free plan makes it accessible to businesses with limited budgets.

Has one of the most user-friendly interfaces out of all the cloud storage platforms.

Offers seamless integration with other Google services.
The storage has to be shared with other Google services.

No unlimited storage.

Comparatively fewer integrations.

Google Drive vs. Box: Which one is better for media-asset-heavy businesses

While Google Drive and Box may be suitable for your basic file storage needs, they are not optimal for managing media assets due to several limitations. Both platforms lack advanced metadata support and search capabilities crucial for efficiently organizing and searching large media volumes. Secondly, none of them offer real-time collaboration features tailored to media assets. They also lack real-time optimization and transformation features that can multiply your team’s productivity.

Here's where a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution like ImageKit differs. It comes loaded with all the features offered by Google Drive and Box, plus a plethora of media-specific features like metadata management, granular access control, advanced search, version control, real-time optimizations, etc.

Here is a quick checklist that determines whether you need a Digital Asset Management solution for your business or not:

  • Meets specific requirements for media storage, organization, and retrieval
  • Handles large volumes of media assets without degradation in performance
  • Handles large files and high-resolution media without degradation in performance
  • Scales up with your media assets
  • Offers granular access control while sharing media assets
  • Integrates with other workflow tools
  • It has built-in image and video optimization
  • It has a browser-based user interface
  • Provides the ability to organize content into shareable groups
  • Allows stakeholders to add comments right inside the media library

If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you need a DAM solution instead of a simple cloud storage solution like Google Drive or  Box.

Benefits of using DAM over cloud storage services like Google Drive or Box

Let us now explore all the benefits you will enjoy by picking a DAM solution like ImageKit instead of Google Drive or Box:

DAM offers better searchability

Most DAM systems offer robust search functionalities that considerably streamline asset retrieval. Take the case of ImageKit, which comes with extensive search capabilities, including keyword-based search with smart tagging for precision. Users can further expedite the search process by leveraging features such as an advanced search that allows setting multiple parameters like format, dimension, and size. ImageKit also supports the generation of complex search queries through filters and image tags.

Built-in video and image optimization

DAM systems offer dynamic media optimization, meaning assets can be transformed and optimized in real-time just before publication. For instance, ImageKit can dynamically alter the format of assets to align with the requirements of specific channels or devices. This capability translates into significant time savings for marketing teams, eliminating the need for manual format adjustments. Moreover, ImageKit also enhances website performance by efficiently reducing file sizes to optimal levels without compromising visual quality.

Highly secure

DAM systems prioritize the security and protection of user data over everything else. For instance, ImageKit holds ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, demonstrating its adherence to global standards in information security management, data privacy, and protection. ImageKit also provides five levels of role-based access, empowering users with control over who can perform specific actions with assets. The platform also offers the option to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all team members, adding an extra layer of security. Additionally, ImageKit supports image watermarking, restrictions on unnamed image transformations, and the implementation of signed URLs to access private marked images.

Offers version control

DAM systems also offer advanced version control to ensure that you take a systematic and organized approach to tracking changes, preserving the history of edits, and facilitating collaboration among multiple contributors.ImageKit’s version control feature saves time for your team by helping them find the most recent and approved asset for use every time. It minimizes the need to duplicate or start work from scratch and tracks the changes made in the asset.

Integrates with existing workflows

DAM systems seamlessly integrate with your existing workflows by providing a centralized hub for organizing, accessing, and distributing digital assets. For instance, ImageKit natively integrates with Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces, Google Cloud Storage, Akeneo, Firebase, Ali storage, Wasabi, and other S3-compatible storages to allow users to access and manage digital assets directly from their preferred ecosystem.

If you are looking for a comprehensive solution that goes beyond storage and emphasizes efficient image management, ImageKit emerges as a compelling alternative to Google Drive and Box.

Sign up for ImageKit's forever-free plan here, and check for yourself!