Google Drive vs Box: Which cloud storage is best for you?


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The UMD Division of Information Technology offers an array of data storage options for current students, faculty, and staff. The following comparison of Google Drive and Box will help you decide which service will best meet your data storage needs.

What are Drive and Box?

Google Drive is an online storage service that allows you to store, share, and collaborate on your files. Drive is also integrated with Google apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides, enabling you to create, store, and share documents in a variety of file formats.

Google Shared Drives are also available. Shared Drives are not tied to individual user accounts and allow you to manage large collections of files and folders separately from individual Drives. To learn more about Drive, visit the Google Drive. To learn more about Shared Drives, view the Google Shared Drives Overview. 

Box is a cloud-based storage and collaboration system that offers a Web interface for uploading, downloading, sharing, and discussing files. Box is designed to work on desktop and mobile devices, giving you access to your files from just about anywhere. To learn more about Box, visit UMD Box Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

What features do Box and Drive offer?

Both services offer:

However, each offers unique features that may be valuable for different data storage purposes. The following feature breakdown can be helpful when deciding which storage service to use:

Feature breakdown 


Box

Drive

Storage capacity

Subject to change in 2022

Subject to change in 2022

Accepted File Types

Accepted File Types in Box

Accepted File Types in Google Drive

Group Accounts

Available upon Request

Available via Shared Drives or Google Shared Accounts

Integrated Applications

  • Sync (Windows, Macintosh)
  • Box for Outlook
  • Box for Office
  • Box for Android Devices
  • Box for Android Tablet
  • Box for iPad
  • Box for iPhone
  • Box for TouchPad
  • Box for SimpleShare
  • Box for E-mail
  • Box for Webdocs
  • Box for XML Viewer

Google Apps, including:

  • Gmail (email)
  • Calendar (meetings, appointments, and reminders)
  • Groups (mailing lists and collaborative email)
  • Docs (word processing)
  • Sheets (spreadsheets)
  • Forms (web-based forms)
  • Slides (presentations)
  • Hangouts (chat and video)

Microsoft Office Suite Integration

Export and Import

Microsoft Office Online compatible

Export and Import

Mobile Device Access

Apps available for:

  • Android
  • iOS

Apps available for:

  • Android
  • iOS 

Allowed Data Types

  • Low (Level 1) data includes:
    - Data made freely available by public sources
    - Published data
    - Educational data
    - Initial and intermediate Research Data 
  • Moderate (Level 2) data includes:
    - Non-PII student records
    - Personnel records
  • High (Level 3) data includes:
    - Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as defined in Maryland Code, Commercial Law § 14-3501
    - Identifiable data elements that contain sensitive health information that are not otherwise subject to HIPAA
  • Low (Level 1) data includes:
    - Data made freely available by public sources
    - Published data
    - Educational data
    - Initial and intermediate Research Data 
  • Moderate (Level 2) data includes:
    - Non-PII student records
    - Personnel records






Prohibited Data Types

  • Credit Card or Payment Card Industry (PCI)
  • Protected health information governed by HIPAA
  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Data
  • Federal Tax Information
  • Student Loan Application Information (GLBA)
  • Credit Card or Payment Card Industry (PCI)
  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Data
  • Federal Tax Information
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act(GLBA)
  • Social Security Numbers
  • US Export Controlled Data
  • Protected health information governed by HIPAA




Will my data be safe?

Both Google Drive and Box have adequate security controls in place to properly secure the approved data types. Each application provides additional administrative controls that maybe utilized to further secure data and limit its sharing.

Online storage of data is subject to the UMD Data Classification Standard. Review these standards to learn what data types (Low (Level 1) , Moderate (Level 2) , or High (Level 3) applies to your data.

Google Drive can be used to store Low (Level 1) and Moderate (Level 2) data types.

Box can be used to store Low (Level 1), Moderate (Level 2) and High (Level 3) data types.

Where should I store my data?

BOX


DRIVE

For a storage amount of a high amount of High (Level 3) risk data with a need for limited communication and collaboration. 


For storage of a high amount of Low (Level 1) and Moderate (Level 2) risk data with a need for extensive, flexible collaboration.  

Have additional questions?

Contact IT Compliance at it-compliance@umd.edu for additional information about storing UMD data.