Dropbox versus Box

dropbox vs boxIf you are like the many people who have purchased or received a USB drive over the past several years then you have probably made the mistake of misplacing or forgetting it like previous MIT student Drew Houston.

Drew, like many of us, wished there was an easier way to access your files when you needed them and combining his skills as a computer scientist as well as having the understanding of how storage as a cloud-based service could possibly work decided that it was time for him to found a company to help solve the problem of being able to access your files anywhere you can find a computer with an internet connection – Dropbox was born.


Although Dropbox wasn’t the first online storage as a cloud based service to grace the internet (one of its competitors, Box.net – now Box – got its start two years earlier in 2005), it has taken a giant leap forward in internet presence compared to its competitors and has thereby established itself as a market leader for the online storage industry. Comparing Dropbox and Box.net’s top keywords in Google Trends (before the company dropped its .net into simply Box in late 2011,) a search traffic comparison tool, reveals that despite Dropbox’s short existence it currently beating out Box.net in search queries:

dropbox box search volume index

It is no doubt that based on these preliminary numbers that Box needs to do some very competitive maneuvering in order to stand a chance against Dropbox’s continuing growth in online storage market saturation.


Both Dropbox and Box use what is known as a freemium business model, which is offering a product for free, but in order to get more advanced features you would have to upgrade to some sort of subscription package. The actual prices and storage space vary between both services:

dropbox box pricing

Even though Box offers more than double the free gigabyte space that Dropbox does to start out the discrepancy in pricing between both services is more greatly shown as the amount of storage space you need increases. For the same price, Dropbox is able to offer twice as much storage space as Box at both the $9.99 and $19.99 per month tiers. Pricing has much to do with people looking and selecting Dropbox over Box, especially when it is comparing two commodities. If you had to fly from New York to Los Angeles and were examining the prices of a list of flights that left at a particular time – You would most likely select any one particular flight over another based on which airline offered you what you wanted for the lowest price.

Based on this brief examination it is no doubt that Dropbox is the current, and will most likely be the future, leader of the online storage market battle between itself and Box. It is only a short matter of time before Box realizes that they need to change up their strategic approach in conquering the online storage market before Dropbox has saturated too far and can flex the powerful economies of scale muscle. Economies of scale exist at high levels of offering a commodity of the sort that online file storage has become, and will ultimately decide which player will win the battle for the number one spot in online storage.

About the Author: Eric Greenwood is a technophile whose interests have lead him to study all things cloud from software as a service to online storage. Get more tips and advice on the blog Online Storage!

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  • Greg

    You do get more with Dropbox if you pay for it, but I don’t and 5 GB from Box is more than enough for me. Love Box!

    • Ivan

      Thanks for sharing your thought, Greg! I personally a Box user and I agree that it rocks :)