Box Review

Box offers one of the best selections of business-oriented tools in the industry, making them the ideal solution for organizations who need to manage their documents and projects all in one place.

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The Good

Keep important files secure

Box has taken every possible step to ensure their customers’ information is kept safe, including SSL encryption, password protection, and advanced administrative controls for businesses. Employers are able to set up role-based permissions for their employees or adjust permissions by individual user. Add an extra layer of security to shared files by setting expiration dates. This prevents users shared on that file from being able to access it past a certain date of your choosing. One of the best ways to protect the information you’ve stored in the cloud is to activate two-step verification on your account. This prevents unwanted individuals from accessing your files because it sends a code to your phone upon entry of the password; this code must also be entered before you’re able to log in.

Back up your important files for free

Box’s Personal plan comes with 10GB of free storage space and the ability to sync and share your files. This is very generous, considering most free cloud storage plans only give you 2GB of space before requiring you to upgrade to a paid plan. Also, the free Personal plan comes with all the features of the paid plan, including online editing capability, SSL encryption, and mobile and desktop apps. You won’t be able to upload large files while on this plan, but aside from this, there are few restrictions on your cloud storage.

Easily collaborate with team members

Rather than flipping back and forth between your email inbox and your cloud storage account, keep all your communication centralized in Box by posting any comments you have directly on the file. Mentioning a team member by name sends them an email notification so they can instantly see your own comment and respond. If you want to talk about a folder rather than a file, start a discussion instead. The Box interface also contains an activity feed, so you’re always aware of what edits and updates others have made to the files stored in the cloud. In addition to all this, Box integrates with Google Docs so multiple people can edit documents in real time.

Manage employees and projects

Though they’re a cloud storage provider, Box offers a number of services to their business customers that are commonly found in project management software, including the ability to assign tasks and post discussions on files. A real-time activity feed and numerous report options help you stay up to date on what’s happening with your employees and projects, and adding a custom logo and colors makes the Box interface fit in with your company’s theme. Just as with project management software, administrators are able to split their employees into groups and adjust their permissions and cloud storage allocations. If this still isn’t enough, Box integrates with a number of third-party applications to help you do even more from inside this single program.

Quickly get the assistance you need

If you run into questions while using Box, the first thing to do is check out their support center. Here, you find a list of frequently asked questions and a knowledge base containing detailed help articles for common questions. If that isn’t enough, look at the product user guides or head on over to the forums and post about your issue. For times when you need more immediate assistance, try reaching out to Box directly via email, social media, or by phone. Representatives are standing by 24/7 to help you with any problems you may have while using the service. Though not a critical factor when choosing a cloud storage provider, this type of support is valuable, particularly to businesses that rely heavily on cloud storage for backing up their important documents.

The Bad

Expensive for large organizations

Box charges their business customers by user and by month so, depending on the size of your company, that could make Box a little too expensive. Before you cross them off your list, though, you should note that Box offers a number of services that no other online storage provider has for managing employees, files, and projects from within the cloud. It’s definitely worth taking a look at what they offer and assessing how that compares to your organization’s budget before making any decisions.

Large files can't be backed up

Box’s Business plan only backs up files that are 5GB or smaller. Personal and Starter plans are similarly limited in terms of file sizes that can be uploaded to the cloud. In most cases, this isn’t going to be a problem because spreadsheets, documents, photos, and the like aren’t going to be this large. For those individuals or organizations with special cloud storage needs, you may want to keep looking around. If you’re interested in the Enterprise plan, however, Box could still be the right choice. This plan is extremely scalable and, if you contact Box, they can set you up with a plan that allows for the upload of larger files.

The Details

Personal Plans

  • Max File Size: 250MB or 5GB
  • Monthly Price: $0 or $10
  • Storage Limits: 10GB or 100GB

Business Plans

  • Max File Size: 2GB - 5GB
  • Monthly Price: $5/user - $15/user
  • Storage Limits: 100GB - Unlimited

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