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When Dropbox was introduced in 2007, I was one of the first people to sign up.  It was revolutionary to have a way to store and share your files in one location on the web.  Gone were the days of having to email yourself a file from one computer to another.  Now you, and any people you share files with, could access a single copy of a file live to make all your changes.

For ten years, Dropbox has been my go-to application for cloud storage, but lately I have been looking for another program that better meets my needs.  While I love Dropbox, I found that I quickly outgrew it’s 2 GB of free storage.  Even though their refer-a-friend program netted me an additional 3 GB of free storage, 5 GB just isn’t enough space for all my documents.

In addition, one of the worst features of Dropbox is that when you collaborate with other Dropbox users and share folders and files, that “shared storage” is subtracted from both your accounts.  As of this writing, my partner and I, are currently using 3 GB of shared space in Dropbox, which leaves me with only 2 GB for any of my personal files.

Now most people might be fine with only 2 GB of cloud storage for their files.  However, I recently made the switch from a Windows HP laptop to a MacBook Pro laptop computer.  While I love my new Mac, the hard-drive it comes with is about ¼ of the size of my Windows computer.  To make the transition from my old laptop to my new laptop required finding a place to store the majority of my files.  Since my Dropbox storage was maxed out, I needed to find an alternative place to store my files.

Enter, another key player in the cloud storage industry.  Box’s personal plan comes with 10GB of free storage, which is 5 times greater than Dropbox.  It allows me to share files with users and doesn’t even require they have a Box account.  Better even still, if other Box users share folders or files with me, the shared space does not effect your storage space.  Bottom-line, you free 10GB is all yours!

There are a few things that Box does that makes it even more attractive.  First of all you have the option of synching your files to your computer with Box Synch or just keeping all your files in the cloud with Box Drive.  Since I rarely work off-line and my Mac has modest hard drive space, I am choosing to store all my files in the cloud.  This allows me to access my files from any of my digital devices (laptop, tablet, phone) and share them with others.

What is especially nice about Box is that the free personal plan comes with all sorts of great features including:  online editing, SSL encryption, mobile and desktop apps.  The only limitation I have found is that file uploads cannot exceed 250 MB in size.  This would only effect me if I was trying to upload a really really large file… like a 4 hour video.

While I still plan to continue using Dropbox with my business partner, I have now moved all my personal files into Box.  To access any of my files, that are securely stored in the cloud, all I have to do is click the Box folder that sits patiently on my Mac’s desktop.  If I am doing work on my old Windows computer, I can access my files.  If I am using my iPad or my iPhone, I can access my files.  Right now I am only using 3.5GB of my 10GB of free storage, so I can relax knowing that I have plenty of space to spare.

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant