Document management software includes features like admin consoles, cloud storage, file management, collaboration, and workflow automation. In today’s digital world, small businesses without a technology-enabled approach to document management are falling behind.
This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: Dropbox Business and Google Workspace. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.
All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing document management tools. More details regarding our research process can be found on our document management category page.
Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Comparison Summary
Dropbox Business was rated lower because it is less affordable and does not offer the document creation capabilities that Google Workspace does. Google Workspace received a higher rating because it offers workflow automation, a document creation suite, and powerful team management tools. Dropbox Business does not workflow automation, but still offers a feature rich admin console and permissions.
Here’s a breakdown of our review criteria and how Dropbox Business and Google Workspace performed in each category:
|Criteria||Analyst Rating||Features||Usability||Pricing||Customer Support|
In terms of pricing, Dropbox Business begins at $15 per month per user. Google Workspace’s pricing starts at $6 per month per user. Both Dropbox Business and Google Workspace offer more storage and features the more you pay.
Both solutions offer the standard features found across document management tools. These include admin consoles, cloud storage, file management, and collaboration. Dropbox Business does not have workflow automations like Google Workspace does. Dropbox Business’s strongest features are its admin console and collaboration tools.
Overall, Google Workspace is best for businesses interested in an entire suite of business tools rather than simple document storage features. Although we recommend Dropbox Business for businesses only interested in storing and sharing documents, Google Workspace still offers more powerful cloud storage features at a more affordable rate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You only need a document management system for storing and sharing documents
- You do not need automations to streamline your workflows
- You want to be able to recover files up to 180 days after deletion
- You want to extensively automate complex team workflows
- You need a system to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- You require advanced communications features to facilitate collaboration
Table of Contents
- Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Comparison Summary
- Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Price Comparison
- Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Top Feature Comparison
- Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Integrations
- Bottom Line
Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Price Comparison
Overall, Dropbox Business is less affordable than Google Workspace. Both solutions offer more features and storage with their more expensive plans.
Dropbox Business Pricing Details
Dropbox Business pricing starts at $15 per month per user. Its Starter plan comes with 5 TB of overall storage. Annual plans are about 20% more affordable than monthly plans.
|Plan||Price per User||Storage|
Google Workspace Pricing Details
Google Workspace pricing starts at $6 per month per user. Its Business Starter plan comes with 30 GB of storage per user.
|Plan||Price per User||Storage per User|
|Business Starter||$6||30 GB|
|Business Standard||$12||2 TB|
|Business Plus||$18||5 TB|
Dropbox Business & Google Workspace Feature Comparison
Overall, Dropbox Business has a less powerful breadth of features than Google Workspace. Dropbox Business features are more focused on document management. Google Workspace, however, offers both document management and team management tools.
|Feature||Dropbox Business||Google Workspace|
|Version Control||Yes||Yes (stronger)|
Both Dropbox Business and Google Workspace offer feature rich admin consoles. The admin console in Dropbox Business, however, is more user-friendly for beginners in the document management space.
Customizing settings in both applications is similar. Below is an example of the team member dashboard in Dropbox Business.
In both applications, you can sort through your members using various filters, manage their individual licenses, and import as well as export members using CSV files.
One advantage of Dropbox Business over Google Workspace is the easy access to outside connections. As you can see below, Workspace only shows your team members and additional information such as email, status, and drive usage.
Setting up permissions In Dropbox Business is user-friendly for businesses new to document management. You can set individual permissions for any of your team members. These include:
Setting up permissions is very different in Google Workspace. Users are assigned to various roles that all come with respective permissions. These roles can also be scoped down to specific groups or applied to your entire Google Workspace team.
Security in both applications is easy to set up and powerful. You can set up two-step verification, sign sign-on, and password requirements in both solutions to protect your teammates’ accounts.
Google Workspace’s advantage over Dropbox Business when it comes to security is its rules. Rules are essentially alerts that are automatically sent when certain conditions are met. For example users will be alerted if their password has changed or if there has been suspicious activity in their Drive account.
Cloud storage options in Google Workspace are slightly more powerful than Dropbox Business. This is because you can enable offline access through its web app. Additionally, its file version control is much more detailed. However, Dropbox Business allows you to recover files up to 180 days after deletion while Workspace only supports up to 25 days.
Google Workspace has the best version control we’ve analyzed in any other document management software. This is because you can see and sort through each change that was made through every version.
Version control in Google Workspace is most comparable to Microsoft 365. Still, you cannot sort through individual edits in 365. You also cannot name individual versions.
Contrast this with version control in Dropbox Business, seen below. Although basic information is available, you cannot directly edit nor sort through changes. This means that visualizing edits over time is easier in Workspace than in Dropbox Business.
Offline access in both applications is easy to set up and can be accessed on the following devices:
Dropbox Business offers additional support for Linux and Windows phones.
File management is more feature-rich in Google Workspace than it is in Dropbox Business due to its file creation suite: Google Docs Editors. We highly recommend Workspace if you’re in need of a single, integrated system that allows you to create and organize files. If you’re interested in other solutions that are similar in this regard, look into Microsoft 365 or Zoho WorkDrive.
You can create a wide variety of documents in Google Workspace. Here’s a full list of the content types you can create and collaborate with team members on:
- Web forms
- Web pages
Dropbox Business, like Box, offers native integrations with Workspace and Microsoft 365 to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations and automatically save those files in your account. Still, we believe that most small businesses can operate more efficiently by directly using Workspace or Microsoft 365 for document creation and management.
Dropbox Business’ document organization is more streamlined than in Google Workspace. As you can see above, folders have a hierarchical structure. This makes moving files easier to do in Dropbox Business than in Workspace.
Collaboration in Google Workspace is easier to facilitate than it is in Dropbox Business. Like Microsoft 365, Workspace allows you to collaborate with team members and outside parties to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can also directly communicate with team members through email, chat, and video conferencing.
Dropbox Business’ standout collaboration feature is Dropbox Paper. This is a hub where your team can collaborate and set project deadlines. You have access to a number of features to coordinate on projects, including tables, checklists, and project schedules.
Although Dropbox Paper is a user-friendly way to collaborate on projects, it is not a worthy trade off for the array of file types you can create in Workspace.
Google Workspace also comes with a suite of communication tools. Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Meet are all powerful methods of communication that both your team and outside collaborators can use. This means that coordinating on projects with potential clients is easier to do in Workspace.
Transferring files in Dropbox Business is more flexible. With Dropbox Transfer, you can share packages of files up to 100 GB. Google Workspace allows you to share an unlimited number of files with individual file upload sizes of 5 TB.
Transferring files in Dropbox Business comes with the advantage of a customizable landing page. This is particularly helpful for designers and companies who want to communicate their branding and company style guide to clients.
Finally, both Dropbox Business and Google Workspace offer native integrations with electronic signature software including HelloSign and DocuSign. This means your company can easily attach electronic signatures to your documents. If you want the full capabilities of both integrations, you must purchase their respective paid plans.
Workflow automations are rules you can set to automate repetitive tasks for your team. Some examples in document management software include automatically sending new hires onboarding documents or sending alerts when a user’s password changes. Unlike Dropbox Business, Google Workspace offers workflow automations.
Although Google Workspace has very powerful workflow automations, its learning curve is too steep for beginners. We recommend Microsoft 365 for any small business in need of advanced yet easy to set up workflow automation.
Security rules, seen above, are one of Workspace’s primary workflow automations. They are automated alerts triggered when certain conditions are met. For example, users will be notified when their password is changed or if their Workspace domain has received phishing messages.
More advanced plans of Workspace come with customizable rules. Still, Workspace’s default rules are powerful enough to keep your team on top of their security.
Still, Apps Script comes with a number of templated automations to choose from. Here are some helpful workflow automations your business should consider:
|Agenda maker||Creates an agenda for any Google Calendar event you’ve created|
|Custom sales report||Automatically generates presentations using Google Sheets for customers|
|Student feedback||Drafts email replies to course feedback via Google Forms|
|Mail merge||Creates and executes mail merges using Gmail and Google Sheets|
|Onboarding||Onboards new hires using Google Forms and Sheets|
Dropbox Business and Google Workspace both offer a number of popular integrations found in standard document management software. Here are some of the most popular native integrations both solutions offer:
Overall, Google Workspace is best for businesses interested in an entire suite of business tools beyond simple document storage features. Although we recommend Dropbox Business for businesses only interested in storing and sharing documents, Google Workspace still offers more powerful cloud storage features at a more affordable rate.
Note that businesses interested in Workspace’s document creation capabilities, but in need of more accessible workflow automation will find Microsoft 365 or Zoho WorkDrive more helpful for their needs.