Box-to-Dropbox Feature/Functionality Comparison

The following chart provides you with a comparison of frequently used features and functionalities in U-M Box with those of U-M Dropbox to assist with the transition.

Tool Comparison Chart

  Box Dropbox
Account creation You were automatically provisioned an account when you join the University of Michigan. (Pre-March 22, 2021.) You must opt-in to create an account via dropbox.umich.edu when you join the University of Michigan. For steps on how to create your account, refer to the U-M Dropbox Getting Started page.
Protected Health Information (PHI/HIPAA)

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Box at U-M was with some types of sensitive university data, including Protected Health Information (PHI), according to the U-M Sensitive Data Guide.

Green checkmark

Dropbox at U-M may be used with some types of sensitive university data, including Protected Health Information (PHI), according to the U-M Sensitive Data Guide.

Device/browser compatibility

The Box web app supports Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 11.

The Box desktop and mobile apps support macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.

The Dropbox web app supports Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari browsers.

The Dropbox desktop and mobile apps support macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on system requirements.

Shared document repository

No longer available. Previously, Box Shared Accounts were used.

 

Dropbox Team Folders.

For more information on Team Folders, refer to Team Folders in U-M Dropbox.

Storage quotas There are no storage quotas on individual or Shared Accounts. There is a 5 TB storage limit for individual accounts. There is no storage limit for Team Folders.
Permission levels

Co-owner, Editor, Viewer-Uploader, Previewer-Uploader, Viewer, Previewer, and Uploader.

Refer to Box: Folder Settings and Permissions for more information on Box sharing permissions.

Owner, Can edit (editor), and Can view (viewer).

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on Dropbox sharing permissions.

Real-time collaboration

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You can collaborate in real-time with Box Notes.

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You can collaborate in real-time with Dropbox Paper.

MCommunity group sharing

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You can share files and folders in Box with MCommunity groups.

MCommunity groups sync at all levels. Subgroups and external email addresses must be added separately because they do not sync.

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You can share files and folders in Dropbox with MCommunity groups.

MCommunity groups sync at all levels. Subgroups and external email addresses must be added separately because they do not sync.

External sharing

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You can share files and folders with collaborators outside the University of Michigan.

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You can share files and folders with collaborators outside the University of Michigan.

Shared links

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You can create shared links to content stored in Box to share with collaborators. The shared link permissions default to “Invited people only,” but you can change it to “People in your company” or “People with the link.”

Green checkmark

You can create shared links to content stored in Dropbox to share with collaborators. The shared link permissions default to “Team members,” but you can change it to “Anyone with this link” (or “People with password,” depending on the file type). Note that "team members" in this context refers to anyone at the University of Michigan with a U-M Dropbox account.

Shared links: Disable downloads

Green checkmark

You can disable downloads for a shared link of a Box file or folder. Disabling downloads for a shared link prevents collaborators from downloading the contents of a link through Box.

Note: You will need to change the shared link permissions to either “People with the link” or “People in your company” (i.e., University of Michigan) to be able to disable downloads of a file/folder.

Green checkmark

You can disable downloads for a shared link of a Dropbox file or folder. Disabling downloads for a shared link prevents collaborators from downloading the contents of a link through Dropbox.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on disabling downloads for shared links.

Shared links: Expiration dates

You can add an expiration date for shared links on Box files and folders. Collaborators will only be able to access the shared link until the expiration date. After its expiration date, the link will be turned off.

You can add an expiration date for shared links on Dropbox files and folders. Collaborators will only be able to access the shared link until the expiration date. After its expiration date, the link will be turned off.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on setting expiration dates for shared links.

Shared links: Add password protection

You can add a password to a shared link of a Box file or folder. When a collaborator opens the link, they’ll be prompted to enter the password to see its contents.

Note: You will need to change the shared link permissions to “People with the link” to be able to add a password to the file.

You can add a password to a shared link of a Dropbox file or folder. When a collaborator opens the link, they'll be prompted to enter the password to see its contents.

Note: Dropbox has two ways to add a password to a file, depending on the file type:

  • If the file is editable within Dropbox (i.e., Dropbox Paper, Microsoft 365 documents, or Google Drive documents), you will see a link for editing. To enable a password on that link, toggle Require password on in the Link settings.
  • If the file is not editable and/or you only want collaborators to view the file within Dropbox, you will see a link for viewing. To enable a password on that link, select People with password from the drop-down menu beside “Who has access” in the Link settings.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on adding passwords to shared links. (Note that Dropbox only provides a brief overview.)

File request links

Box File Request allows you to request and obtain files, plus associated metadata, from anyone via an auto-generated web form.

Dropbox file requests let you request files from anyone and collect them in a folder in your Dropbox account.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on using a Dropbox file request link.

Save hyperlinks as files

Hyperlink files in Box are called Bookmarks.

Hyperlink files in Dropbox are called Shortcuts.

Email-to-folder file uploads

You can upload files or send attachments to a specific Box folder by email when you enable the Allow uploads to this folder via email option.

Red letter "X"

You cannot email files or attachments to a specific Dropbox folder.

Version history

Version history exists for all types of files in Box, including Box Notes. Version history does not save for folders.

Note: Only the most recent version in U-M Box will be migrated to U-M Dropbox.

Version history exists for all types of files in Dropbox, except Dropbox Paper and other web-based files. Version history does not save for folders and does not use up your storage quota.

Metadata

You can set custom metadata for your files and folders in Box.

 / Red letter "X"

You can add searchable tags to your files and folders in Dropbox. Otherwise, there is no way to set additional, custom metadata for your files and folders in Dropbox as you had in Box.

Collaborator insights/statistics

The Box Access Stats feature is enabled for the U-M domain.

 / Red letter "X"

If you would like to see who viewed a specific file or folder, you can enable Viewer info on each individually. This information will only be visible to Team Folder members and people who can edit the folder.

Otherwise, Dropbox does not have a similar feature to Box Access Stats.

Note: Dropbox removed the Traffic & Insights feature in October 2021.

Video previews

Common video types supported include .avi, .mkv, .mov, .mp4, and .wmv.

Common video types supported include .avi, .mkv, .mov, .mp4, and .wmv.

Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more file types Dropbox preview supports.

Offline access

With the “Make Available Offline” feature, you can mark:

  • Folders for offline access via the Box Drive desktop app.
  • Both files and folders for offline access via the Box mobile app. (This does not include Box Notes.)

With Smart Sync, you can mark files and folders for offline access via the Dropbox desktop app. (This does not include Dropbox Paper.)

With the “Make Available Offline” feature, you can mark files and folders for offline access via the Dropbox mobile app. (This includes Dropbox Paper. You can choose to install the Dropbox Paper mobile app to edit Papers offline, as well.)

Desktop app/access

You can access your Box files and folder from your desktop with Box Drive.

You can access your Dropbox files and folders from your desktop with the Dropbox desktop app.

For more information on installing the Dropbox desktop app, refer to Installing Dropbox on Your Device. Visit the Dropbox Help Center for more information on how to use the Dropbox desktop app.

Integrations
  • Create Microsoft 365 documents/spreadsheets/presentations within Box.
  • Third-party and official Box apps via Box Apps are permitted, but caution is strongly advised.
  • Integrated with U-M Canvas.
  • Create Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace documents/spreadsheets/presentations within Dropbox.
  • Third-party apps and official Dropbox apps are permitted, but caution is strongly advised.
  • Integrated with U-M Microsoft Teams and U-M Zoom.
Device limits There are no device limits in U-M Box. In a U-M Dropbox account, there is a limit of five connected computers (e.g., Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.) and five mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, iOS, Android, etc.) per account. These limits cannot be exceeded. 
Notification customization

You can customize your Box notifications for your individual account or specific folders on the web.

You can customize some Dropbox notifications for your individual account or specific files on the web, desktop app, and mobile apps (push notifications and comment notifications).

Last Updated: 
Monday, November 15, 2021