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Box has been providing personal and business cloud storage for several years – and their reputation speaks for itself. As a highly reliable cloud storage provider and full-featured service, they are a great option for home users that want to protect their files, photos and more.
A reliable cloud storage provider that offers high storage capacity at an affordable monthly rate.
- Fast and responsive
- Collaborative ready
- 10GB of storage for free
- File syncing capable
- Can handle large files with ease
- Limited features with free plan
- Does not support Linux
- Cannot throttle bandwidth
- No mobile backup
Access: (Rating: 10/10)
Box offers a clean, sophisticated web portal that allows you to access your account, schedule backups and access your data. You can also download the desktop app for faster backups and file syncing. You can drag and drop into your Box account and you can easily tell if a backup is still working or if you are ready to use a file.
Backup: (Rating: 8/10)
Backup is simple with Box. You can drag and drop folders or files straight into your desktop client, or create a backup using the online tool. You are limited to a maximum upload file size of 2GB though – which may be a problem if you have large files or want to backup a lot at once. Box uses a continuous backup, so there's no scheduling. It does not support NAS or external hard drives – unless you manually plug in your external and backup the files. It will not sync those files. You are limited to 10GB with the free plan and 100GB with the paid plan.
Restore: (Rating: 8/10)
Because backups are continuous, you never have to worry about losing your files. Also, you can view your files from any device that has the Box app installed – which means all you have to do is download the files to restore them. There is no restore to your door feature, so you are at the mercy of the download. Box does keep up to 25 versions of a file and you can restore deleted files.
Share: (Rating: 10/10)
Box got it right with sharing. Unlike other cloud backups, Box lets you share and collaborate on files in your account. You can setup file permissions – controlling just how much access people have to your files and you can take away permissions at any time. With the free account you cannot add users. On their collaboration section, you can import contacts from Outlook and Gmail – so it makes it even easier to share your files.
Sync: (Rating: 10/10)
Files are continuously backed up with Box and then synced across your account. That means you can pick up on that document from your mobile phone and then come home and continue working via your computer. Box is one of the better file syncing services. You can easily sync any folder or file you wish without worrying about the structure. And, you can see the progress of a sync just by looking at the icon next to the file – similar to Dropbox. Everything you put into your Box account is accessible from every device automatically.
Security: (Rating: 8/10)
The free plan may be lacking in some security, but if you opt for the paid account you get additional security features like the user-owned encryption key and access to the remote wipe feature. All plans have access to encrypted file transfers and storage, geo-redundant data centers, and servers that are well-maintained.
Help & Support: (Rating: 7/10)
Box offers plenty of help and support – even to their free users. With Box you get an online tutorial, FAQs section and a forum full of knowledgeable users. You can also access email and phone support for those times you need someone to answer your questions. Support is not 24 hours per day though.
Free: For one user, get up to 10GB of free, secure storage space. Max file upload size is 250MB.
Starter: For up to 10 users and offers up to 100GB of storage space. Max file upload size is 2GB. Starts at $5 per month or $0.05 per GB.
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Version History: 0
What We Like About Box
Free Account: Who doesn't like free? Box offers a high 10GB of free storage. Even if you run out of space, you only have to pay $5 per month for 100GB total.
Mobile, Sync and Share Capable: It's always nice to have a cloud backup that lets you access your files anywhere you go. Box works just like Dropbox and similar providers by always automatically backing up and syncing the files you put in the Box.
Version History: You get up to 25 versions stored in your Box account, which is good if you are sharing and collaborating on a file – and you need to reverse the clock.
Commenting: One feature Box has that others do not is their commenting capabilities. You can actually comment on a document or file via the online web app. This is great if you're sharing a file or folder with another person and need feedback.
Rich Features: Box has rich features that let you work with your files right from the web app. You can create a new Google Doc or Spreadsheet or create a Box Note – which is a web-based text editor. You even see options for creating new PowerPoints, Word documents, and more (but these do require a plug-in).
Integrates with Outlook: Box's web app integrates with Outlook and Gmail to download your contacts – making file sharing a breeze.
Remote Wipe: This is a great feature – especially if your phone or computer are lost or stolen. You can remotely remove files and keep thieves from accessing your personal data.
What we Don't Like about Box
Tries to be Full-Scale, but Just Isn't: We truly appreciate the effort Box puts forth, but while they try to be a full-scale web-based collaborative suite, they just aren't. Instead, they are a full-featured cloud storage provider with a lot of perks.
Not as Much Storage: Compared to other cloud storage providers, the paid account with Box doesn't provide you with a lot of storage – and then you are still limited as to how many or how much files you can upload at once. For the same price, users can find higher storage capacities. But, they may not find the same features.
It's Only Saved If It's in the Box: Files are only continually backed up and synced if you put them in the box. So, that document you were working on that is saved to your desktop, but not your Box account, won't be saved when your computer crashes.
How to Backup with Box
You have three ways to upload your files to Box: drag and drop, through the web app or via a keyboard shortcut.
Backing Up Using Drag-and-Drop:
1. Download the Box software to the device and log in to your account. You can also use the drag-and-drop method via the mobile app.
2. Select the file or folder from your computer's hard drive that you need to backup (zipped folders must be unzipped for transfer). Then drag and drop them into the folder on your Box account. Files will be automatically uploaded and synced.
Backing Up via the Web Apps File Browser:
1. Click Upload.
2. Click Upload Files or Upload Folders (depending on what you need to upload).
3. Select the files or folders you wish to upload. You can select more than one by holding down the CTRL key.
4. Click Open or select Upload.
Using the Keyboard Shortcuts:
1. Find the folder or file in your desktop files.
2. Type “u” to activate the Box upload pop-up.
3. Select which files you want to upload, then click Upload.
How to Restore with Box
With Box, you have two options: restoring deleted files and folders or recovering your missing files.
To Recover Missing Files:
1. Log in to your Box account via the web app or by downloading the desktop app.
2. Locate the file you wish to download or restore. Drag and drop it back to your desktop or follow the instructions for downloading it.
To Restore Files Placed in the Trash:
1. Log in to your account and find the Trash menu that shows up on the header of your mobile app.
2. Sort items in the trash by the name, date deleted or file size to find the folders and files you need to restore.
3. Check the box of the files you want to restore. Then, select Restore All.
Box offers a generous amount of free storage with impressive sharing and syncing capabilities - making them a contender in the cloud storage market.