How does Box compare to other enterprise and commercial storage solutions?
The following information provides a brief comparison of enterprise Box and other commonly used online storage services.
Important: Box at Indiana University is a flexible storage service and collaboration tool that is appropriate for use with personal files and institutional information classified as "Public" or "University-internal". However, Box is not acceptable for storing or sharing any institutional data classified as "Restricted" or "Critical", including electronic protected health information (ePHI) regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). For more, see:
- Classifications of Institutional Data
- Standards for Management of Institutional Data
- Management of Institutional Data (DM-01) policy
- What types of data are appropriate for my enterprise Box account?
- Which IU services are approved for storing ePHI or other types of sensitive institutional data?
On this page:
Comparing Box to other online storage services
Note: Superscript numbers in the following table are hyperlinked to additional information in the endnotes.
|Service||Granular permissions||Native mobile app integration||Cross-platform||Default allotment||Maximum file size||Inline preview||Permanent storage||Offline sync|
|Box||Yes||Yes||Yes||50 GB||10 GB (1)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SharePoint||Yes (with IU accounts)||Yes (third-party on some platforms)||Yes (2)||20 GB||1 GB||Office files||Yes||Windows only (SharePoint Workspace)|
|Oncourse||Yes||Web only||Yes||1 GB||200 MB||No||Yes||No|
|Slashtmp||Yes||Web only||Yes||4 GB||2 GB||No||30 days||No|
|Dropbox||No||Yes||Yes||2 GB||2 GB (3)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google Drive||Yes||Yes||Yes||15 GB||10 GB||Yes (4)||Yes||Yes|
Endnotes: The following notes are referenced in the above information:
Further comparison of Box and Dropbox
In response to questions from the IU community, additional comparisons between the Box and Dropbox services are provided below:
|256-bit encrypted storage and transfer||x||x|
|Approved for university-internal data||x|
|Single sign-on with IU credentials||x|
|Role-based access levels for sharing||x|
|User chooses folders to sync||x||x|
|Custom URLs for shared folders||x|
|Threaded commenting and task assignment||x|
|Quota impact of shared folders||Folder owner||All collaborators|
|Download stats tracking and real-time update notifications||x|
|Microsoft Office and Outlook plug-ins (Windows)||x|
Additional considerations for IU users include:
- IU has contractual protections for the Box service, including a
prohibition on mining of IU data.
- Although Box and Dropbox both have multiple integrated third-party apps, Box provides some apps that are approved for use with university-internal data.
For help considering departmental needs, contact IT Community Partnerships.
The enterprise Box support content available here is a result of a collaborative effort by the Internet2 early adopter institutions.
Last modified on March 07, 2014.