How does Box compare to other enterprise and commercial storage solutions?

The following is 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 institutional data classified as Public, University-internal, or Restricted, as well as with personal files. Box is not appropriate for storing or sharing institutional data classified as Critical, including data that contain protected health information (PHI) regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). For more, see What types of data are appropriate for my enterprise Box account?

On this page:


Comparing Box to other online storage services

Service Granular permissions Native mobile app integration Cross-platform Default allotment Maximum file size Inline preview Permanent storage Offline sync
Box Yes Yes Yes Unlimited 15 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 5 TB Yes  (4) Yes Yes

Endnotes: The following notes are referenced above:

1  You should only upload one file larger than 5 GB at a time. To upload files larger than 5 GB, you will need a business-class Internet connection with connection speeds of at least 50 mbps. Currently, IE 10 has a file size limit of 4 GB per file, and IE 9, 8, and 7 have a limitation of 2 GB if the Flash plug-in is installed. These limitations do not apply if the Java uploader is used instead.

2  Mac users may have performance and compatibility issues; see Known issues and changes for the implementation of SharePoint 2010 at IU.

3  Files you upload using the desktop application or mobile apps have no maximum size limit. The maximum size limit when uploading from the website is 10 GB. No upload may exceed the size of your account's storage quota.

4  You can view any file you upload or sync to Google Drive as long as it's no larger than 25 MB.

Back to top

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:

Attribute Box Dropbox
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
Full-text search x  
Download stats tracking and real-time update notifications
x  
Microsoft Office and Outlook plug-ins (Windows)
x  
Email-to-folder functionality x  

Additional considerations:

  • 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.

Back to top

This is document bbrs in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-03-12.

  • Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
  • Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
  • All fields are required.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.

  • Fill out this form to submit your comment to the IU Knowledge Base.
  • If you are affiliated with Indiana University and need help with a computing problem, please use the I need help with a computing problem section above, or contact your campus Support Center.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.