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Cloud-storage services make it easy to access, share, and work collaboratively on all your files. Of the multiple cloud-storage services currently on the market, Smith is supporting Google Drive and Box:

  • Box accounts from provide 25 GB of secure cloud storage and are available to all Smith students, faculty, and staff. To learn more, click here.

  • Google Drive is available to all Smith users via the Google Apps toolbar. You can store almost any type of file on Drive and access your files from any computer or mobile device.

    If you want to synch files on your computer with files on Google Drive, you must install the Drive client software.

    After you install Drive, all your Google Docs will appear in Drive, but Google Docs won’t count against your 5 GB storage limit. For more information, see:

The table below is intended to help users interested in cloud storage decide whether to choose Box or Drive to store a particular project or group of files.

Feature Google Drive Box
Total storage 5 GB per account (default) 20 TB shared for all of Smith
25 GB per account by default,
more available on request
Max file size Technically 10 GB, but obviously can’t exceed account allocation 5 GB
Security Password-protected Password-protected and encrypted
Access to files off-campus Web accessible, so you can get to your files anywhere where you have an internet connection Web accessible, so you can get to your files anywhere where you have an internet connection
Access to files from mobile devices Yes, if user has Internet connection and mobile app installed Yes, if user has Internet connection and mobile app installed
Direct editing of files off-campus Yes Yes
Number of versions saved 30 days or 100 versions before oldest files deleted; all saved versions count against total storage space. Saves 11 versions, then new versions start to displace oldest one.
Revision options Allows user to stop auto-delete and upload revisions, but no easy way to make a revision the current one. Must download older version, then re-upload it as a revision. Allows user to download, make current, upload, delete.
Has more file versioning options than Drive.
Sharing: visibility options Public on the web, anyone with link, domain only, people at domain with link,  private (owner or people given access). Access levels listed below.

Drive: "private, not shared" is essentially disabled.
Open (anyone with link), domain only, collaborators only, or disabled. Collaborators have the levels listed below
Sharing: levels Owner, editor, viewer, commenter (for Google docs only); can choose if editors can further share docs. Editors can't delete docs. Viewer-only can export to google doc in a folder and becomes the owner, and the folder owner can't see it.

Lets you know if someone's permission levels "Vary", when there is a mixture.

Can prevent viewers from downloading

Drive does not have a "dropbox" functionality, but does allow control of who can share and delete files.
Owner, co-owner, editor (can do everything co-owner can do, including re-share), viewer-uploader (can re-share, but not edit or delete), previewer uploader (upload and preview only), viewer (download, preview, and re-share), previewer (preview only), uploader (upload only.)

Box has no category that allows editing but not re-sharing.

Note that for security reasons the Box admin has disabled the ability of collaborators to re-share files.

Sharing: granularity

Can give permissions to individual files or whole folders. Lower level files/folders inside folders can have different permissions from parent access.

Lets you know if someone's permission levels "Vary", when there is a mixture.
Access to folder gives access to all files and folders inside parent folder. Individual file access through link only.
Sharing: links, email, etc. Sharing a file sends email with link to person Can invite collaborators within Box or send email link. If person doesn't have Box account, it will create one when they access link.



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 |  Last updated May 13, 2013

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