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Box review

Collaboration is key with this business-focused cloud storage solution

Box review
(Image: © Box.com)

Our Verdict

Box is not the best option for personal use but really impresses as a business-focused cloud storage solution with collaborative features.

Pros

  • Excellent business feature set
  • Advanced security

Cons

  • Above-average consumer pricing
  • Can’t restrict which networks to sync from

Box is a business-focused cloud storage and backup solution with a focus on collaborative tools and cloud content management.

It is used by many leading organizations, such as Coca-Cola and Oxfam, which places it alongside some of the very best cloud storage providers in the business. In this Box review, we’ll discuss whether it is a good choice for you or your business, covering all aspects of the service, including its pricing, features, support, and ease of use.

Box is a cloud storage and backup solution focused on business collaboration (Image credit: Box.com)

Plans and pricing

Box offers both Individual and Business plans. The Individual plan structure is very simple: pay nothing for up to 10 GB of storage with a maximum file size of 250 MB, or $10/month for the Personal Pro plan with up to 100 GB of storage and a maximum file size of 5 GB. That’s pretty expensive when you consider that others offer the same amount of storage for less than $2 month.

Box review

Box has plans for individuals and businesses (Image credit: Box.com)

Businesses have four plans to choose from, with more competitive prices ranging from $5/month with the Starter plan up to $35/month for the Enterprise plan. These prices are for annual subscriptions and are  25% cheaper than paying monthly. 

All business plans come with a 14-day free trial and built-in integrations for Office 365 and G Suite, as well as collaboration features. The Starter plan only allows for collaboration with up to 10 users, while the other plans cover entire organizations and external collaborators. The Starter plan also has a 100 GB storage limit and 2 GB single file upload, while the other plans have unlimited storage and increased file size limits.

Features

Box has a range of features aimed at helping businesses with their security and compliance requirements, and for facilitating collaboration and workflow.

From a web-based admin console, you’ll be able to manage account access and security, and you get complete control of your organization’s encryption keys. Intelligent threat detection and security controls are also in place to prevent data breaches.

With Box, teams inside or outside the organization will have a single place to securely collaborate on content, and all this can happen in real-time from any device. This includes tasks such as note-taking for meetings or the organization of internal company reviews. Users will also be able to work with files stored in Box from their desktops.

In addition, Box facilitates smoother workflows, for example, through the automation of processes like onboarding or contract reviews and approval, and the Skills feature uses AI technologies to create structure and extract insights from your data. Box can also be extended with APIs to connect to various other business apps, and integrations already exist for Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, and Slack.

Box review

Box offers features focused on collaboration and workflow (Image credit: Box.com)

Interface and in use

Getting started with Box is very quick and easy. You sign up for an account, verify your email, and then log in to your dashboard. 

If you want to sync files between your device and your account in the cloud, download the version of the Box Sync app specific to your device. After you install it, you’ll have a Box folder on your device. Anything you drag into the folder will automatically be synced to your online account. Alternatively, you can drag files onto the dashboard page in a web browser, and files will be uploaded and appear in the Box folder.

Box review

Box has a web interface as well as apps for your devices (Image credit: Box.com)

By right-clicking on the file in the dashboard, you can perform various other functions like downloading, deleting, sharing, renaming, locking, moving, or copying the file. You can also add tags or add the file to a collection and see its metadata and history. Meanwhile, if you right-click on a file in the Box folder on your computer, you can copy its link, email it, or lock it.

The Box Sync app’s settings are very basic, and there’s no ability to restrict syncing to only certain networks. For this reason, you’d need to be careful not to add any large files to your Box folder if you’re connecting to the Internet via a data-restricted plan.

Support

Box has a variety of different methods for obtaining support. The most prominent is a knowledge base with a large library of help articles. There is also a community forum, as well as sections for webinars, demos, and resources with reports, datasheets, and whitepapers.

If you need direct support, you can create a support ticket, but you need to be logged in to your account first. A contact page and phone number are listed on the Box website, but they’re only for sales inquiries, and there are no hours of operation listed.

Box review

Box’s knowledge base is just one method of obtaining support (Image credit: Box.com)

Security

Many businesses choose Box primarily for its security and regulatory features. All files are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption, and a strong approach is taken to user authentication. 

Box features simplified governance and compliance procedures so organizations can meet the most demanding compliance and privacy requirements. In addition, you will have full visibility and control, with insights into what’s happening both inside and outside of your organization provided by complete audit trails.

Frictionless controls, from two-factor authentication to watermarking, are designed to prevent data leaks. Box Shield further reduces risk with intelligent threat detection and classification-based policies.

Box review

Box is chosen by many organizations for its security and regulatory features (Image credit: Box.com)

The competition

The cloud storage space is a crowded one, and there are many alternatives to Box. One is Dropbox, which also offers individual and business plans, as well as many similar features, such as team collaboration. Dropbox’s individual plan is $9.99/month (billed annually) for 2 TB of storage, and team plans start at $12.50/user/month with 5 TB of storage up to $20/user/month for unlimited storage.

Google Drive is another similar product that is available for both individuals and businesses. However, if you need it for business, it’s part of a larger suite of apps called G Suite that incorporates many other apps including Gmail. Prices start at $6/user/month and go up to $25/user/month.

Final verdict

Box is very similar to better-known cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive. However, if you’re interested in a consumer-level product, its prices make it less attractive than competitors.

That changes, though, when you consider its business plans, with pricing more comparable and a huge array of extra features that would really make a difference to how organizations collaborate and how efficient they are.

The Verdict
4

out of 5

Box review

Box is not the best option for personal use but really impresses as a business-focused cloud storage solution with collaborative features.