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Dropbox Business cloud storage review 2021

Expensive but feature-rich cloud storage for businesses

Dropbox logo
(Image: © Dropbox)

Our Verdict

Dropbox is a pricey but excellent cloud storage provider that will improve workplace productivity for most businesses. It offers a suite of third-party apps to integrate with its service without any compromise on security.

Pros

  • Business-specific features
  • Third-party integrations
  • File sharing and collaboration

Cons

  • No private encryption keys
  • Not enough built-in file editing features

With an offering that’s focused on small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), Dropbox Business is one element of Dropbox, one of the oldest and best cloud storage platforms out there today. Read our Dropbox review to learn more about the consumer-focused element of the service.

Dropbox Business review: Snapshot

Dropbox is excellent for file sharing and collaboration, packed with third-party integrations like Gmail, Slack, Adobe, Microsoft, and Trello. You also get administrator tools and user management if you sign up for a business account, which is great for managing your employees and team members.

Since a massive data breach in 2012, Dropbox has taken significant steps to ramp up its security. It now uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data at rest and SSL/TLS layer security to protect files in transit. It does not support private encryption keys, although it does impose strong restrictions on when and how its staff can access your data. 

In our Dropbox review, we found that the platform offers an innovative and intuitive environment for business data management. The platform is pricey, however, and two things really holding it back are the lack of private key management and file editing tools. Despite this, it's one of our picks for the best cloud storage for business.

Score: 4.5/5

Read on for the full review.


Dropbox Business's competitors

How does Dropbox Business compare to its main competitors?
Dropbox BusinessIDriveGoogle Drive
Score4.5/54.5/54.5/5
ProsBusiness-specific application - Third-party integrations - File sharing and collaborationFile versioning and recovery - NAS and server backups - Unlimited devices per user15GB of forever free storage - Excellent file-editing tools - File sharing and collaboration
ConsNo private encryption keys - Reduced file-editing featuresSlow upload and download speeds - Dated applicationsNo end-to-end data encryption - No password-protected file sharing
VerdictDropbox is a robust cloud storage platform with a host of third-party integrations, but it can be quite pricey for small businesses.IDrive is the best cloud storage platform for those who want complete control over how their data is stored. It’s also very affordable.Google Drive isn’t the best platform for security or advanced use, but its file-editing and collaboration features are truly unbeatable.
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Key features

Dropbox is a highly intuitive and flexible environment for storing and managing your business data. It comes with amazing security, lots of third-party integrations, and ample collaboration features. Let’s take a look at the platform’s top features to see if it’s the right cloud storage provider for your business.

Dropbox users can share files and folders by sending across a simple link, with no individual file size restrictions to worry about. Moreover, the shared folders feature lets you create entire workspaces for your team members where they can easily upload content, share files, and assign tasks.

Of course, as an administrator or file owner, you have complete control over who can see your files and make changes to them. Administrators can control permissions across all levels, from entire drives to single files. Meanwhile, file owners can choose whether they want other recipients to be able to simply view or edit their files.

After Dropbox acquired a document-editing tool called Hackpad in 2014, it launched Dropbox Paper. Paper is a new document editor that focuses on letting users collaborate in real time, using everything from calendars to task management tools. 

Think of it as an intuitive whiteboard that everyone in your office can access, letting them post their thoughts and feedback on the fly as they go about their day-to-day tasks. Paper may not be as advanced as Microsoft Word, but it’s still one of the best collaborative document editing tools out there.

Dropbox Business: Key features and highlights

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Dropbox's user interface in use

Dropbox users can share files and folders via a simple link (Image credit: Dropbox)
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Dropbox Paper in use

Dropbox Paper is a document editor born out of Hackpad in 2014 (Image credit: Dropbox)
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Dropbox's app center

With the App Center, Dropbox opens up to new ways to collaborate (Image credit: Dropbox)
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Dropbox's webpage discussing its security features

Dropbox uses end-to-end data encryption for all files and folders (Image credit: Dropbox)

With the App Center, Dropbox opens businesses up to entirely new ways to share and collaborate. You can quickly hop into a video call on Zoom, share a file as an attachment in Gmail, or perform advanced edits on documents with Microsoft 365—all from one place. 

Trello, Canva, Slack, Nitro, Vimeo, and Prezi are just a few more apps that you can integrate with your Dropbox. The platform also supports a host of business-specific tools and applications, including Salesforce, Zapier, and Monday. 

Dropbox uses comprehensive end-to-end data encryption technology to secure all your files and communications within the platform. 256-bit AES encryption protects all your files when they are at rest, and SSL/TLS is used to secure files while they are in transit between the app and the servers. 

Each application is regularly updated with security enhancements, and two-step login verification via an authenticator app is available for those who want extra security. In a bold move by Dropbox, even files that are shared for public viewing can only be accessed by those who have the exact link to the file itself.

What’s new?

As of July 2021, Dropbox has introduced a series of new updates and features to enhance experiences for end-users and account administrators. These features include quality-of-life changes to make the environment smoother, as well as powerful administrative tools for team users and business owners.

The first new addition is file conversions, a feature that lets you change the format of your file without ever leaving Dropbox. Moreover, all your previous photographs and videos are now uploaded straight from your camera to Dropbox, continuously and automatically. 

With the new update, users can save their passwords and login credentials from their browsers to Dropbox. Password sharing lets you securely share your credentials with a trusted team member without fear of them being made public. Administrators can also control who has access to which passwords in any given team. 

The new update also comes with a host of UI improvements. The changes focus on making the interface more user friendly and intuitive. The navigation and details panes have been redesigned for maximum convenience, and a quick-access tray lets you easily find important tools and content.

Pricing

Dropbox offers four different subscription tiers for business users. The basic plan is forever free, and offers 2GB of storage space. If you upgrade to a premium subscription, you will gain access to better features and more storage.

Dropbox Business's pricing plans
Plan type/featureBasicProfessionalStandardAdvanced
Cost per monthFree$19.99$15$25
Cost per yearFree$198.96$150$240
Storage2GB3TB5TBUnlimited
Users113+3+
Unlimited devicesX
Dropbox Transfer100MB100GB2GB100GB
File lockingX
Admin consoleXX
Single sign-onXXX

Testing Dropbox Business

To better benchmark Dropbox against its competitors, we analyzed its upload speeds, which are a key factor in terms of cloud storage, and its integrations with third-party platforms.

How fast is Dropbox Business?

Dropbox's upload window

Dropbox took 13 minutes and 25 seconds to upload a 569MB video file (Image credit: Dropbox)

Dropbox claims to be one of the fastest cloud storage services around, with unrestricted download and upload speeds. We put the provider’s claims to the test by trying to upload a 569MB file to its servers using an 80Mbps broadband connection with a 15Mmps upload rate at the time of testing.

It took us exactly 13 minutes and 25 seconds to upload the 569MB video file. Based on our assessment, Dropbox’s upload speeds are slightly lower than those of competitors such as Google Drive, although such variations are known to happen from time to time due to fluctuations in connectivity. 

It took us around three minutes to download the same file to our computer from Dropbox’s servers, which is in line with the download speeds offered by other cloud storage providers.

What integrations does Dropbox Business offer?

demonstration of Dropbox's document creation software

We tried creating a new document in Dropbox Business (Image credit: Dropbox)

To test how smoothly it integrates with the various services included in its App Center, we tried creating a new document in Dropbox using both Google Docs and Microsoft Word. The process is as seamless as technologically possible. All you have to do is click on the "Create" option within the folder of your choosing. 

A dropdown menu opens up with a list of document types you can create, including rich text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. There are, of course, a host of other integrations to choose from. You can quickly hop on a Zoom call to discuss shared files or attach Dropbox files and folders to various cards in Trello. You can even use Canva to create graphic designs using assets uploaded to Dropbox. 

All of these integrations work smoothly and natively through the Dropbox web and desktop applications.

Alternatives to Dropbox Business

Dropbox is a refined and feature-rich cloud storage application, but how well does it hold up in the industry? We compare it to two leading cloud storage providers, IDrive and Google Drive, to see how it stacks up.

IDrive is one of the most affordable cloud storage solutions out there. It offers cloud storage along with external and network drive backups, with support for unlimited devices per user. If compared solely in terms of value, IDrive has the upper hand with a 5TB plan that costs as little as $79.50 a year compared to Dropbox’s $150 a year.

However, when it comes to third-party integrations for business, it doesn’t have anything to offer. IDrive does offer end-to-end encryption, however, giving businesses the ability to set up private encryption keys to protect their data. Read our IDrive review to find out more about the service and its business functions.

Google Drive may not have a robust list of third-party integrations, but thanks to its integration with the Google Workspace productivity suite, it’s definitely the better choice when it comes to seamless collaboration with team members, through real-time editing, and online chat and video conferencing. 

On the other hand, Google Drive isn’t known for its strong security. It doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption or a zero-knowledge guarantee. In fact, Google has previously admitted to monitoring data from its customers, such as emails, to optimize its performance. Learn more about the service in our full Google Drive review.

Dropbox is one of the most secure and flexible cloud storage solutions in the market. With a huge list of third-party apps to choose from, it makes your entire online workflow faster and more efficient. However, Dropbox doesn’t have great built-in file editing capabilities like Google Drive, nor does it let you secure your data using private encryption keys like IDrive.

Dropbox Business's features compared to the competition
Dropbox BusinessIDriveGoogle Drive
End-to-end encryptionYesNoNo
Third-party integrationsYesLimitedNo
SupportKnowledge base, live chat, email, phoneKnowledge base, online form, email, phone, live chatKnowledge bas, online forum
Basic plan$150 a year$79.50 a year$19.99 a year

The verdict

Throughout our Dropbox Business review, we found that this cloud storage platform offers reliable speeds, robust integrations, and strong security. While it may be relatively pricey, Dropbox is the platform you should go for if your office workflow is mostly online, and you don’t want to compromise on your business’ security and productivity.

Dropbox’s App Center is the most versatile we have seen in the cloud storage market. With integrations available for pretty much every popular online tool, it gives you numerous ways to streamline your online workflow.

Dropbox Business offers strong end-to-end encryption, both in transit and at rest. This ensures that no third party can access your files without your explicit permission. Although there’s no support for private encryption keys, there are plenty of ways to secure your account from data theft, including two-factor authentication.

Despite the strong security, Dropbox Business performed reasonably well in our speed tests. It lagged behind Google Drive by only a little, clocking at 13 minutes and 25 seconds on a standard 80Mbps internet connection. Offices with faster broadband service may not notice the difference at all.

Dropbox doesn’t come cheap, with plans starting at 5TB for $15 per user a month for businesses. However, it definitely ranks as one of the best cloud storage providers that we have reviewed. It’s perfect for businesses of all sizes and excellent for real-time office collaboration. Support is top-notch, and there is no compromise on security either. 

If you have money to spend, and don’t want to second-guess your decision, you can’t go wrong with Dropbox.

Further reading on cloud storage

To find out more about Dropbox, it's worth taking a look at our separate Dropbox review, which evaluates the company's cloud storage services for personal use; and our comparison feature pitting Google Drive vs Dropbox.

On cloud storage, we compare cloud storage vs local storage, and help you with reducing cloud storage costs. You can also take a look at our buying guides for the best cloud storage, the best cloud storage for business, the best free cloud storage, and the best cloud storage for photos.

The Verdict
4.5

out of 5

Dropbox Business cloud storage review 2021

Dropbox is a pricey but excellent cloud storage provider that will improve workplace productivity for most businesses. It offers a suite of third-party apps to integrate with its service without any compromise on security.

Ritoban Mukherjee

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.