Dropbox or Virtual Data Rooms: Which Should I Use?

Workplaces across the planet have been integrating new and innovative technologies into the ways they conduct their businesses. Chief among them are cloud storage services, which are becoming essential for any organization that has partial or full operations on the internet. 

Two very popular storage platforms include Dropbox and Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs). Which should you choose? Keep reading to learn the differences between the two and pick the one right for you. 


What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services available. This platform offers users the ability to store, access, and share files online, utilizing “the cloud” from any device they log in on. Dropbox offers this service for free, but you can pay a subscription fee in exchange for more storage space or other extra features. 

One feature offered for no additional charge is automatic file synchronization. Basically, if you upload a file to Dropbox from your laptop, that file should also show up on other devices. This can include your phone, tablet, or wherever you log into the Dropbox website or app next without you having to take any extra steps. 

With Dropbox, you can also enable free features that allow you to keep a local copy of your data for offline access and automatically back-up your documents on a regular basis.


What is a Virtual Data Room?

A Virtual Data Room is another great way to store and access confidential documents and information. 

Before the advent of the internet, companies used these physical data rooms quite often. These rooms were large, securely locked office areas filled with filing cabinets that contained physical documents that needed to be kept private for security reasons. 

These types of rooms were very common in banks and law offices. As companies ramped up in scale and technology sped up company efficiency, a better solution was needed.

That solution came in the form of virtual data rooms. These are similar to cloud storage services like Dropbox, but they are designed to cater to businesses. Depending on the service you choose, you may get extra features like virtual document redaction or automatic translation. 

While the features may vary between providers, the goal is the same: offer a cloud-based storage service that replaces the physical data room without sacrificing ease of access and security.


Differences of Dropbox & VDRs

The first major difference between Dropbox and virtual data rooms is that Dropbox and other similar cloud storage services are often free to use after making an account. Of course, this does not include additional services and upgrades offered. Most, if not all virtual data rooms require a subscription fee/contract to use. 

Dropbox supports third-party app integration. This allows the user to access and edit their files in other programs as easily and seamlessly as possible. Virtual data rooms, on the other hand, are much more restricted for third-party services. 

This isn’t a fault, though – it’s by design. VDR providers care primarily about keeping your data secure. That doesn’t mean that services like Dropbox aren’t secure, but they carry the same security risks as any other online service that you use in your daily life. 


The Verdict

Cloud storage services and virtual data rooms offer very similar services in broad terms, but each person will need a different service depending on their needs. 

If you’re just looking for a simple app that keeps track of your personal files between different devices, then you can’t go wrong with a free service like Dropbox. 

However, if your business regularly deals with important documents where security is a top priority, then you would probably be better off looking into the many VDR services currently available for purchase.


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