There are a lot of cloud backup and storage companies popping up all over the place. Dropbox is one of the more commonly known of them. ZipCloud is a new, fast growing company that has risen to challenge preconceived notions about cloud syncing and storage.
We have taken the opportunity with our website to do necessary research and find out which of these 2 companies is the best. In this guide we will test them in a head-to-head competition to see who wins. We have set criteria that we use to get a feeling for each company as a whole. We will start with a comparison chart, move to information about the companies, main features breakdown and, finally, our thoughts on who is better.
Quick Answer: ZipCloud
ZipCloud is one of our favorites because of how their service works both as an online backup utility and as a cloud storage tool. You can sync documents easily through the Sync Folder while also backing up your entire hard drive. Their plans are very affordable. Unlike Dropbox, ZipCloud has a built in file manager that gives you the ability to backup select files and folders that are not in the sync folder.
|Plan Type (storage space)||100GB||75GB + 1GB|
|Operating Systems||Mac, Linux, Windows||Mac, Windows|
|Mobile Support||App on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry||Webapp on mobile browsers|
|File Version History||Yes||Yes|
|Photo Album View||Yes||Thumbnail view|
|Security||Encryption, Geo-redudant storage||Encryption, Geo-redudant storage|
|End-user liscence agreement||Limited||Limited|
About The Companies
ZipCloud was founded in 2011. They offer a brand new take on cloud storage and syncing. Their product has several online backup options and a sync folder which comes standard with each plan. They were started by Just Develop It, a software development company based out of the United Kingdom. Since its release in 2011 ZipCloud has grown and continues to be used by more and more people.
Dropbox was founded as a cloud syncing company where customers can store files in ‘The Cloud’ and share files over a network. The founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi started the company in 2007. It has grown very rapidly and they now have over 4 million users and continue to expand. They have gone from just a few employees to around 65. They made a name for themselves with their iPhone app which was featured as one of the best cloud storage apps.
Both ZipCloud and Dropbox have a sync folder. With Dropbox it is called “Dropbox” and with ZipCloud it is called “Sync Folder”. Everything that is placed into these folders is backed up to the cloud. It provides a way to share a specific set of files between multiple devices.
ZipCloud’s Sync Folder is added to your normal folder structure. In Mac’s Finder window it can be found in your user’s home directory. You can drag and drop files into this folder and they will be synced. This way you can easily control which files are shared between devices.
Dropbox’s sync folder is located in the same area and it behaves the same way. You can put the files into it that you want to transfer to the cloud and Dropbox handles the rest.
Our Take: Both sync folders work well. They are essentially the same. Files that are to be synced must be copied or moved into the special folder. Any computer connected to the ZipCloud account can access the folder and make changes to the files within it.
Sharing Files With Others
Having the ability to send files to another person can be very useful. For both ZipCloud and Dropbox customers use the website interface to share files.
ZipCloud allows you to share any file that is backed up or synced. You have access to the files through the web interface and sharing is done by clicking the link next to the file. The recipient must sign up for a free ZipCloud account to access the file. From there they can download the file.
Shared Items in Dropbox show up inside of your Dropbox folder. You can access them, change them and save versions of the files based on your permission settings.
Our Take: Sharing with either of these services works pretty well. Both Dropbox and ZipCloud allow sharing to anyone who has an account with them. Dropbox has an advantage here because any folders shared can become a collaborative work space. Here other users can change or modify files on the Dropbox sync folder. ZipCloud only allows access to those files for downloading and viewing.
The Major Differences
ZipCloud is based on the idea that you have lots of files you need to backup. They provide affordable plans that give you a liberal amount of storage for backup. This is not the same thing as syncing, however. You can backup as many devices as you want but you have to pay per computer. The sync folder is free to share with as many computers as you want and you can buy up to 20 GB’s of storage.
Dropbox is designed to help you share all the files you want across multiple computers but the storage comes at a premium. You can buy up to 100GB’s of space and all of it can be used by any device or with shared items.
ZipCloud comes with a file manager which helps to get all of the backed up files organized. They make it really simple to back up files by their default ‘Documents folder’ setting, manual file selection, or drag-n-drop solution.
Dropbox is simply a folder that you can drag files into. You must have copy or move files to the folder to be backed up. This is nice because it keeps all of the synced files in one spot. On the other hand it removes those files from their organized place should they need to reside on the computer in a different location.
Our Take: After using both ZipCloud for a long time the main difference is simply in how they operate. ZipCloud performs mainly as an online backup manager that also provides a syncing solution. Dropbox is mainly a syncing utility with no file manager and few backup options.
Our Take: if you take the angle that you would like to have much more backup space for less money, they ZipCloud is a great choice. We like that you can backup a majority of files and sync the few that you need too. When it comes down to it. Most files we have, we don’t need synced across multiple computers. However, having the ability to sync files and collaborate across different computers can be very helpful.
With ZipCloud you will pay $4.95/month for 75GB’s of backup space with a free 1GB sync folder (upgradable to 20GB’s for $95/year)
Dropbox charges $8.25/month for 100GB’s of online syncing space.
These pricing structures are different because ZipCloud chooses to focus on online backup and Dropbox focuses on syncing.
More information about the companies:
Steven is a web developer and online technology expert. He has built global networks and websites for fortune 500 companies. A graduate of Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, he now happily spends his time building Joomla and WordPress websites as well as reviewing online backup services, web hosting and anything else that needs reviewing.