Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Cloud services have plateaued. Dropbox and Google Drive store documents online instead of locally. Apart from price drops and privacy concerns, there have been no significant developments. Now that cloud storage is popular, it’s hard to determine the best service among many. Google Drive, Dropbox, and SpiderOak are similar. They provide storage, iOS and Android apps, and web access. They offer free and paid options for extra storage and are reliable.

In this article, I’ll focus on the differences rather than the similarities, specifically the cost, ecosystem, and privacy. Let’s dive in.

Cost To Space Ratio

Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Google Drive provides 15 GB of free storage. However, this is shared across all Google services, including Gmail and Google+ photos (excluding high-res ones that aren’t eligible for unlimited free storage). Therefore, if you have large attachment files in Gmail, you need to clean them up.

Dropbox and SpiderOak both offer 2 GB of free storage. Upgrades are expensive, with Drive offering 100 GB for $1.99 a month, while Dropbox and SpiderOak charge $9.99 for the same amount. However, Dropbox is generous with giving away space, as you can earn extra storage by sharing links or using referral codes, or by purchasing a phone with bundled cloud storage like the Galaxy S5 (which offers 50 GB storage for 2 years for free; Drive does this for phones like the Moto G as well). In contrast, SpiderOak is not as generous with their storage space.

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Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Ecosystem And Services

Dropbox is your solution to the ecosystem issue. When purchasing hardware or software, you are essentially investing in the ecosystem. Whether you like it or not, that is the reality. Therefore, if you opt for the privacy-focused SpiderOak instead of Dropbox, but encounter difficulties connecting with your preferred Markdown editor on iOS, you will encounter a problem.

Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Business users on the web will appreciate Google Drive’s productivity suite and the wide range of extensions and apps available. If you prefer something personal, you can create it quickly with a script.

Dropbox is truly cross-platform and has the best integration with cloud services that I’ve seen. When iOS 8’s integration arrives, both Dropbox and Google Drive will be there from day one. However, Drive is still lagging behind in terms of third-party app integration. Therefore, before choosing a cloud service, make sure to check the compatibility with your apps.


Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

Ever since the NSA story broke, privacy has been a concern. The cloud, in particular, has come under scrutiny because many users are not familiar with how it works. To most, it’s a mystery.

Dropbox vs Google Drive vs SpiderOak: Which to Choose?

SpiderOak is the only service in the list with a “zero knowledge” policy. This means that the company doesn’t have access to or knowledge of the contents of your files. While Google and Dropbox also encrypt your files, SpiderOak takes an extra step by allowing the user to have control over the encryption key. So, if the authorities request your files, SpiderOak will hand them over, but they will need a warrant or permission from the government to access the files, as you have the encryption key.

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Google Drive and Dropbox don’t mind giving complete access to your data to the authorities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that SpiderOak is completely private and inaccessible. However, it’s secure enough for Edward Snowden, whose privacy advice is worth following.

SpiderOak’s main issue is the lack of integration with major services. While it can be used as a substitute for Dropbox in desktop applications with a file picker, it’s not suitable for mobile apps with tight cloud integration.

SpiderOak has structured their system similarly to Dropbox, allowing you to store all your information on their platform. However, unlike Dropbox, they have no access to your content. So although they can be forced to disclose your data, law enforcement agencies would still need a warrant to obtain your encryption key. – Edward Snowden

Dropbox is available for all ecosystems, Drive offers free storage and an integrated productivity suite, and SpiderOak is known for its privacy but not much else.

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