SharePoint vs Dropbox – Which one should you choose?

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Dropbox is a consumer-grade cloud storage service that anyone can use in several subscription forms.
  • SharePoint is a document management and collaboration tool developed primarily with organizations in mind.
  • Out dedicated Dropbox hub contains many more articles like the one below, so make sure to check it out as well.
  • For more guides on this topic, check out our Storage page.
Dropbox vs SharePoint

SharePoint and Dropbox are two of the popular cloud storage solution and collaboration platforms. While the Dropbox is geared towards the non-tech savvy casual business users, SharePoint, on the other hand, is preferred by the IT corporates for security and integration with Microsoft Office.

Now if you had to choose between the two for your company, what would you choose? The answer lies in knowing your requirements. While both of them are greats products but are designed to serve different purposes.

In this article, we pitch SharePoint against Dropbox and explore the advantage and disadvantages of these services to help you make your decision easier.


SharePoint vs. Dropbox 

Let’s begin by exploring what two of these programs have on offer, along with their pros and cons. Later, we will explore in detail which platform fulfills the most collaborative requirements depending on the consumer requirement.


Dropbox

Dropbox vs SharePoint

Dropbox is a modern workspace designed to reduce busywork so you can focus on the things that matter. The service offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software.

The Dropbox Basic account is free to use and offers 2GB of space. Additional storage can be added with the premium plan starting at $9.99 months, which provides an additional 100GB of storage.

The app is available for your Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, including mobile platforms such as Android and iOS.

Dropbox allows users to create individual folders on their computers. Dropbox then synchronizes with the account and across device irrespective of the device in use. The user can import and export files to these folders using the web application interface or the smartphone app.

Pros:

  • Ease of use.
  • Universally accessible
  • Works as a cloud file server

Cons:

  •  Not the most cost-effective solution
  • Being a consumer-grade file-sharing collaborative platform, data security can be a concern for corporates.

SharePoint

Dropbox vs SharePoint

SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that is sold as a document management and storage system.

That said, the product is highly configurable, making it the ideal solution for large enterprises due to its flexible nature. SharePoint, being a Microsoft product, offers seamless integration with Microsoft Office.

While SharePoint can be used to perform simple tasks like document sharing, it can also be used as an internet portal, internet site, business intelligence, collaboration tool for project management, synchronizing calendars with Outlook, etc.

The popularity and versatility of the platform can be judged by the fact that 78% of Fortune 500 companies rely on SharePoint to get their job done.

The sheer number of possibilities means the platform is generally more expensive if used just as online data storage and file sharing platform, which is where the Dropbox makes its case.

Pros:

  • Excellent integration with Microsoft products.
  • Robust, cloud, hybrid, and on-premise deployment.
  • It offers the most value for large as well as small businesses.

Cons:

  • Generally, for more expensive if used as a file-sharing platform.
  • Implementation is a complex task and takes time, depending on the size of the business.

Things to consider before selecting the service

Dropbox vs SharePoint

No single service fulfills all the document sharing and collaboration requirements. However, while choosing a service, consider what’s right for your organization by analyzing the following factors and if they apply to your business.

1. Deployment and Ease of use 

Getting started with Dropbox is as easy as creating an account and downloading and installing the app. The user can start sharing files in less than a few minutes. However, setting up and deploying SharePoint is a complex task and requires IT support.

It may take from anywhere to a day to weeks to set up the platform, depending on the requirement.

2. Integration 

SharePoint, being a Microsoft product, offers excellent integration with Microsoft products like Office 365.

The fact that many organizations already use Microsoft Office, SharePoint usually looks like a natural choice due to seamless integration that the service offers. Dropbox, on the other hand, can use third-party extensions to integrate with Microsft Office.

3. Security 

SharePoint comes with advanced features like password protection, encryption, document access control tracking, and reporting out of the box. Services like Dropbox do not offer these features. While you may still be able to add these functionalities using an extra layer of third-party services, it will take away the simplicity factor from Dropbox.


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Who should use Dropbox?

  • Dropbox is an excellent choice for freelancers and other independent workers who offer online service-based business and looking for an easy way to share files with the client and teammates.
  • Dropbox is also an excellent choice if you are looking for a file storage solution to store your personal and work-related documents on the cloud.
    • Cross-platform support means you can access your document on the go on any device.

Who should use SharePoint?

  • SharePoint is better suited for medium and large organizations looking for a tailormade solution to handle storage, file sharing, and collaborative challenges.
    • It also offers excessive security features such as encryption, password protection, and remote wipe along with an on-premise cloud storage facility to keep the company’s data secure.
  • SharePoint is a go-to choice if your organization is using other Microsoft products like Microsoft Office.
    • The seamless integration with Microsoft products offers enhanced collaboration for your teams.

Microsoft SharePoint and Dropbox are excellent products that cater to the needs of the different user bases.

While Dropbox offers ease of use with file sharing and collaboration services, SharePoint is more than just file storage and sharing platform with a flexible structure and scalability designed to meet the needs of small to large scale businesses.


FAQ: Learn more about Dropbox and SharePoint

  • What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is a user-grade cloud storage service that anyone can use to keep files safe in a secure cloud environment. Not only that, but it is also considered one of the best cloud storage services in the world.

  • What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a document management and collaboration tool developed by Microsoft, and it is mostly aimed at companies. It is so good that many users choose to migrate from other similar services to SharePoint.

  • Is Dropbox free?

Dropbox does offer a free subscription model, although the premium ones do have plenty of benefits, such as extra storage. However, the same result can also be achieved by getting an external hard drive.

  • Is SharePoint free?

In theory, SharePoint itself is free, but you do need an Office 365 subscription to access it.