Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Transitioning from Box: Feature Comparison

Explore the features of Google Drive and Shared drive and Microsoft OneDrive

Google and One Drive logos

Google Drive (My Drive) and Google Shared Drive and Microsoft OneDrive offer most of the popular features of Stanford University Box.  Each has features that make it best suited to certain use cases. The information here provides a detailed comparison to help you determine which is best for your needs.  Before getting started, we encourage you to check with your local IT professional to see whether your school, department or business unit already has a preferred storage solution.

Collaboration and Sharing

Store, share, and collaborate on files and folders from any mobile device, tablet or computer.

Box Feature Description Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive Comments
Internal collaboration Share files with Stanford collaborators who have a SUNet ID Yes Yes Yes Google account needed to access Google Drive or become a member of a Shared drive.
External collaboration Share files with collaborators who work outside of Stanford and do not have a SUNet ID Yes Yes Yes Google account needed to access Google Drive or become a member of a Shared drive. Non-Stanford organizations may impose restrictions on Google accounts.
Sharing link Anyone provided a link can access content in files or folders Yes Yes Yes Link permissions can be restricted.
Customized sharing link
(See Box: Configuring sharing links)
Link can be customized so it's more easily remembered Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported  
Password protected sharing link
(See Box: Configuring sharing links)
Collaborators must first enter a password to access the file or folder. Not Supported Not Supported Yes  
Time limit on sharing link
(See Box: Configuring sharing links)
Link is automatically disabled after a certain time Yes Not Supported Yes OneDrive link must be set to work for "Anyone with the link." 
Real-time collaboration Multiple users can edit online documents (Word/Google docs, Excel/Google sheets, Powerpoint/ Google slides) simultaneously. Yes Yes Yes  

File versioning available
(See Box: Accessing version history)

Overwrites and updates the version each time users edit a file, upload a new version, or upload a new file with the same name. Version history is available. Yes Yes Yes  

File locking
(See Box: Locking and unlocking files)

Prevents other users from making changes to documents (until the file is unlocked) Yes Yes Yes

In Google, edit sharing settings. Available at the File or Drive Level only.

In OneDrive, uncheck "Allow editing" when sharing. Learn more about file sharing in One Drive. (Learn more.)

File commenting
(See Box: Adding comments and tasks)

Add comments within files; tag others and reply to comments Yes Yes Yes  
Add or approve tasks
(See Box: Adding comments and tasks)
Approval (requiring approval of specific collaborators before completion) and general tasks may be assigned Yes Yes Yes  
View access statistics
(See Box: User access stats)
See who has accessed a file and the action they took on it; download access stats Yes Yes Yes  
Block download Share a file as view-only and prevent it from being downloaded Yes Yes Yes  
Work offline Edit a file when not connected to the internet; file will sync and be saved in the cloud when an internet connection is restored Yes Yes Yes  

Upload Methods

Transfer files and folders from your device to a cloud storage solution.

Box Feature Description Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive Comments
Web browser Upload files using the web-based application UI Yes Yes Yes  
Sync cloud and desktop Manage files via a desktop app that syncs with cloud storage Yes Yes Yes  
Sync-select files Select only specific files to sync between the desktop app and cloud storage Yes Yes Yes  
Mobile Upload Upload and manage content via a mobile app Yes Yes Yes  
Email to folder
(See Box: Upload via email)
Add email attachments to a folder by forwarding the email to a unique email address Partial Partial Partial Supported when using Gmail or Outlook as email client
File Request Link
(See Box: File request)
Upload content via a webpage that is linked to a specific folder Yes Not Supported Yes For OneDrive, see Create a file request. In Google Drive (My Drive), you can create a Google form with questions or attachments.
Scan-to-Cloud (ASEND) Scan from a Cardinal Print device to cloud storage Yes Yes Yes  

Organization

Design a structure to manage content and improve productivity.

Box Feature Description Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive Comments
File system folder/ File hierarchy Hierarchy that acts as a file system Yes Yes Yes  
Personal and shared spaces Allows for personal (unshared) folders/spaces and shared folders/spaces Yes Yes Yes  
File or folder descriptions Optional free text description for a file or a folder Yes Partial Not Supported Shared drive allows a description to be added for files only. In My Drive, descriptions can be added for both files and folders.
File or folder metadata
(See Box: Using Metadata)
Add custom metadata to files or folders Yes Not Supported Not Supported The Manage Drive labels feature for Google Drive (My Drive) is in beta. (Learn more)
Backup Provides cloud backup Yes Yes Yes Google (My Drive and Shared drives) files moved to trash are deleted after 30 days

Other Features

Tools and features to boost efficiency.

Box Feature Description Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive Comments
Notifications
(See Box: Email & notifications)
Email notifications are generated when specific actions are completed (e.g. files are uploaded to a folder) Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported  
Bookmark website Bookmark a URL to appear like a file in your folder Not Supported Not Supported Yes  
Notes/Native Documents Native document types Yes Yes Yes  
Notes/Native Document Templates A native document template Yes Yes Yes  
Embed Tool/Widget Embed files and folders onto any website, blog, or social networking service Yes Yes Yes  
Watermarking- text/image Semi-transparent overlay of text or an image Yes Yes Yes  
Watermarking Semi-transparent overlay of the current viewer's email address or IP address is placed across the document's contents Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported  

Permission Levels

When inviting an individual as a collaborator, you can set the level of access that person has to your files.

Permission Level Box Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive Comments
Manage security; upload, download, share, edit, delete Owner/Author Owner Manager Edit  
Upload, download, preview, share, edit, delete Editor Editor Content Manager Edit  
Manage security, upload, download, preview, share, edit, delete Co-owner Editor Manager Edit  
Upload, download, preview, share, edit Viewer Uploader Editor Contributor Edit Unlike Box Viewer Uploader, Google "Editor" and “Contributor” and OneDrive “Edit” enable users to delete content.
Upload, preview Preview Uploader Editor Contributor View/Upload

No exact equivalents. Google “Contributor” and "Editor" enable users to edit and delete. OneDrive combines view-only and upload-only permissions.

Download, preview, share Viewer Viewer Viewer View

 

Preview only; no download Previewer Viewer Viewer View

 

Upload only; no edit or view access Uploader Upload via Google Form Contributor File Request

 

Storage and Limits

When using a cloud-based storage solution, you should understand how much — and the types of — data you can store. Please note that storage policies and limits may change.

Description Box Drive (My Drive) Shared Drives OneDrive
Maximum size for a single file 15 GB 5 TB 5 TB 100 GB
 Daily upload limit Variable  750 GB 750 GB Unlimited
Total amount of storage provided per individual user or shared space

Unlimited online storage;
1 GB for new accounts as of Fall 2021

Unlimited 

250,000 files and folders

5 TB

Stanford Data Risk Classification
(Learn more)
Low, Moderate, and High Risk;
not approved for PHI
Low, Moderate, and High Risk;
PHI with Cardinal Key only
Low, Moderate, and High Risk;
PHI with Cardinal Key only
Low, Moderate, and High Risk;
not approved for PHI
File/folder path character limit 255 characters No limit No limit 400 characters