Tresorit is one of the most secure cloud storage services out there while Dropbox is one of the most popular thanks to great ease of use. We at Cloudwards.net like to make it easy for you to choose between competing services, so we’re going to pit Tresorit vs. Dropbox to see which comes on top.
The core purpose of cloud storage services is to store your files in the cloud. Though all services let you do so, they differ in how well they do it and what other features they offer. Plus, some services, such as Tresorit, might focus more on security, while others, such as Dropbox, focus on ease of use and features.
What’s going to be a good fit for you depends on what you want to get from the service. With that in mind, we’re going to compare them on general factors for cloud storage services. If you’ve already made up your mind, read our separate Dropbox review or Tresorit review to learn more about the service you want.
Over five rounds, we’re going to see how the services compare to help you decide between them. We’ll name a winner after each round, and after the bell rings, we’ll give you a summary of result and declare the overall winner.
Strong cloud security is important because the internet has its share of dangers. Malicious individuals, such as hackers, hope to steal your credentials, intercept your data with man-in-the-middle attacks, hold your data hostage using ransomware or execute some other clever ploy against you.
Cloud services use many methods to secure you against potential threats. For example, two-factor authentication will stop hackers who’ve stolen your password from accessing your account. That said, don’t rely only on it. Just make a strong password in the first place.
The TLS/SSL protocol safeguards against man-in-the-middle attacks, while encryption scrambles your data at-rest and in-transit. Private, end-to-end encryption helps you keep your files private by only letting you read them.
This is a major category for cloud services, to say the least. Let’s see how Tresorit and Dropbox do.
Tresorit focuses on security. The main weapon in its arsenal is private encryption, also called zero-knowledge encryption. Tresorit is one of the rare services that offer it, which earns it a place on our best zero-knowledge cloud storage services list.
Note that because Tresorit uses zero-knowledge encryption to protect your privacy, it won’t be able to reset your password if you forget it. Use a password manager from our best password managers article to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Tresorit uses the TLS protocol to prevent attacks that target files during transfer and AES 256-bit encryption to scramble files at-rest. Plus, if someone manages to crack your password two-factor authentication will prevent access to your account.
Tresorit keeps its servers in secure Microsoft Azure data centers in Ireland and the Netherlands. They employ surveillance, 24/7 security and biometric scanning. They’re also compliant with the latest ISO standards. Read our Microsoft Azure review to learn more.
When you upload data to Tresorit, it’s replicated on multiple servers in a data center, which is similar to a RAID setup. This reduces the risk of data loss and increases the availability of your files.
If ransomware corrupts your files you don’t need to pay to get them back. You can use file versioning to retrieve them. The cheapest plan is limited to 10 previous versions, but the others feature unlimited versioning. Tresorit also lets you wipe data from your device remotely, which helps if someone steals it.
More expensive plans give you advanced security features, such as defining security policies, admin monitoring and revoking access from devices.
Tresorit held an open hacking challenge that invited hackers to try to break into it but no one succeeded in a period that lasted for a year and a half. If you want to learn more about Tresorit’s security, read its security whitepaper.
It’s clear that Dropbox doesn’t place the same emphasis on security (read our piece on Dropbox’s security issues). In fact, the service has a checkered history with it. The company was in the spotlight during a breach in 2012 in which 68 million passwords were stolen, and the incident wasn’t reported until years later.
Plus, Dropbox was connected to the PRISM project in 2013. That said, the company took measures to increase security after that.
Dropbox uses AES 256-bit to scramble your files at rest and the TLS protocol with AES 128-bit to protect your files during transfer. That’s a good practice, but it lets Dropbox decrypt your files to extract metadata for indexing when they land on its servers and re-encrypt them afterward.
What’s more, your metadata remains in plaintext on a separate server. It’s obvious that Dropbox doesn’t offer private encryption. That’s not the best practice to protect your privacy, so consider using Boxcryptor, a private encryption add-on. You can learn more about it in our Boxcryptor review.
Dropbox uses two-factor authentication, so you can rest assured that no one will gain access to your account without having your smartphone.
You can use versioning to restore older versions of files that are up to 120 days old to combat the effect of ransomware. If that’s not enough for you, read our best cloud storage for versioning article for alternatives.
The security page of your account lets you monitor linked devices, active web sessions and third-party apps with access to your account. If something looks suspicious, you can disable access to your account.
Dropbox has a page on HackerOne that rewards hackers if they can crack Dropbox’s security. So far, Dropbox has paid almost $300,000 in response.
The information about Dropbox’s data center security is scarce, but the company says they’re “hardened to enhance security and protect against attacks.”
Round One Thoughts
Dropbox doesn’t have lax security but it doesn’t provide the high level of it that Tresorit does. That’s thanks to Tresorit’s private encryption, unlimited versioning and a hacker challenge that didn’t have any claims.
The more you get for the price the better the storage cost will be. It’s also good if a service has multiple plans because that increases your chances of finding a good fit. A free plan or trial is a plus, too, because you can use it to test a service before committing. If budget is your top concern, read our best deals in cloud storage for a list of wallet-friendly services.
Tresorit’s security is strong, but it doesn’t come cheap. It doesn’t offer a free plan, but the paid plans have a free trial period. The cheapest one is Premium which is $10.42 per month for only 200GB of storage space. It has common cloud storage features, along with access to five devices, sync, 90-day version history and the ability to restore 10 previous versions of files.
Solo is the other personal plan. It provides 2TB of space for $24 per month. That’s more than twice the price that some services charge for their 2TB plans. The plan adds permission control, file sharing with password-protected links, Microsoft Outlook integration and more.
Tresorit has business plans, as well. Small Business is $20 per user per month and gives you 1TB of storage for each user. Business is discounted 50 percent at the time of this writing, making it $12 per user per month. It adds HIPAA compliance, remote wipe, custom branding, advanced file controls and support.
Enterprise is $24 per user per month and supports more than 100 users. It also adds features, such as customized email flows, custom deployment, admin API, staff training and more.
Dropbox’s cheapest plan is Plus, which is $9.99 per month or $99 per year. It provides 1TB of storage. It includes Microsoft Office 365 integration, 30-day version history, priority email support and the standard cloud storage features.
The next plan is Professional, which adds shared link controls, advanced collaboration tools, extended version history, such as smart sync and Showcase, and access to chat support. It’s $16.58 per month or $198.96 per year.
There are two team plans: Standard and Advanced. Standard provides 3TB of shared space for $12.50 per user per month or $150 per user per year. It has features such as an account transfer tool, team folder, unlimited API access to security platform partners, HIPAA compliance, admin controls and centralized billing.
Advanced doesn’t put a cap on your storage, but it raises the price to $25 per user per month or $240 per user per year. It sweetens the deal with device approvals, viewer history and advanced team features, such as single sign-on, tiered administrator roles, log auditing and phone support during business hours.
The free plan offers a meager 2GB of storage, which doesn’t make it suitable for our best free cloud storage piece. Still, its enough to see if Dropbox works for you.
Round Two Thoughts
Neither service has particularly competitive plans. However, Dropbox is cheaper, while Tresorit gives you more bang for your buck, making us think a tie is in order. You can read our Dropbox pricing guide for a better understanding. If you’re more interested in Dropbox’s team plans read our Dropbox Business review to learn the details about them.
It’s great if a service has a lot of strong features, but that won’t do it any good if they’re not wrapped in an enjoyable user experience. Users tend to steer clear of services that don’t.
Tresorit is among the top services we’ve seen, but its user experience is more complex than the average service because you need to create individual tresors — “vault” in German — to sync files.
The desktop client works on Windows, macOS and Linux. Support for Linux is rare among cloud storage services. If Tresorit doesn’t work for you, read our roundup of the best cloud storage for Linux for other options.
Besides the complex sync, the desktop client is clear and easy to use. Taste is subjective, but we feel that Tresorit’s desktop client is one of the most attractive on the market.
If you’re away from your device, you can use the Tresorit web app to access your cloud storage. Its minimal design makes folders and navigation links easier to find. That said, complex sync complicates the matter because you can’t just drag and drop content into the root folder of the web client. It’s logical because it’s not a tresor, but the approach is unusual.
Tresorit also has smartphone apps for Android and iOS. You can use them to upload photos and videos from your phone. Plus, you can access your cloud storage, create links to your content and work offline. If you want to make sure only you can access the app, you can set a passcode lock.
Dropbox has been at the forefront of user experience since it started in 2007, and that’s true today. In fact, it’s where the common model of sync was invented.
The common model of sync consists of a system tray icon and a sync folder. Anything you place in the sync folder will be synced to the cloud. It’s that simple. To do that, though, you have to install the desktop client which works on Windows, macOS and Linux.
Dropbox’s desktop client revolves around the system tray icon. Because of that, it’s thin and you don’t need to go through many steps to find what you want. The most common operations are in the top right corner, while the main pane shows your notifications or recent files. You can also search through them which is convenient.
You can access the same features from the web client. It’s clear and intuitive, and all you have to do is drag and drop a file anywhere to start an upload. Switching between pages and features is fast, too.
The mobile apps are also easy to use. They let you scan documents, make files available offline, access Dropbox Paper and automatically backup your photos and videos. Plus, you can share your files. If you’re not familiar with Dropbox Paper, you can learn more about it in our Dropbox Paper review.
Round Three Thoughts
Tresorit has a solid user experience, but it’s more complex than Dropbox’s thanks to the need to create tresors. Dropbox is also more intuitive and easier to use.
Sharing is a big part of the cloud storage experience, so it should be easy, fast and capable of going directly to the big social networks, individuals and groups. To complete the experience, you should be able to protect your shares using content controls, such as password protection, expiry dates and permissions.
Tresorit has strong content controls and sharing capabilities, which helps it make our list of the best cloud storage services for sharing. The same features are available whether you use the web or desktop app.
If you want to share a folder, you need to generate a link or invite users via email. If you go the email route, the recipients will need to register for a Tresorit account. Files don’t have that requirement, but they can only be shared with a link.
You can protect links using an expiry date, password, or access limit. Folders can have three levels of permissions. They let you read, read and modify or edit.
To help you keep track of the links you’ve created, Tresorit supplies a “links” view. Another view, “contacts,” lets you know which people you’ve shared folder access with.
Tresorit is missing a couple of things, though. You can’t create upload links or share to social networks.
Dropbox lets you share content stored on it using your desktop client, smartphone app or browser client.
You can share links using the web client by copying and pasting them or sending them via email, but you can’t share directly to social networks. Dropbox lets you protect links by using a password or expiry date, disabling downloads or selecting specific individuals who can access it. If you want to stop sharing, you need to delete the link
Subscribers to the cheapest plan, Plus, don’t get those features. If you want to use them, you have to subscribe to the Professional plan, which is twice the cost.
You can share folders and set their permission to “edit” or “view.” There’s a page that shows what you’ve shared with others, too. If you want to invite others to share with you, you can use the “file request” feature.
Round Four Thoughts
Both services have capable sharing features. Tresorit has better security for shares and Dropbox lets you create file requests. The difference in security isn’t big but Dropbox reserves sharing features for its more expensive plans while Tresorit has them on its cheapest, so Tresorit wins this round.
This category deals with features that go beyond those offered by most cloud storage services. Some examples are productivity apps, media playback, advanced versioning, photo analyzing and integration with third-party apps.
Tresorit doesn’t integrate with third-party apps, such as Microsoft Office Online or Trello, because zero-knowledge prevents it. Zero-knowledge also prevents playing music or videos. If you need services that have such features, read our best cloud storage for collaboration article.
Tresorit has a network drive feature called Tresorit Drive. Tresorit Drive lets you store files only in the cloud and continue to to access them from your desktop. That’s a good way to save space on your hard drive.
The service also provides an add-on for Microsoft Outlook, which gives you a way to share files that’s more secure than normal email attachments. Linux users will be delighted to hear that Tresorit offers a simple command line interface that runs on Linux workstations or servers. It lets you automate tasks such as sync and reporting, too.
Tresorit has strong versioning capabilities, too, earning it a place on our best cloud storage for versioning list.
Dropbox integrates with Office Online, which lets you create Word, PowerPoint or Excel files in your Dropbox folders. You can edit documents after you upload them, too.
Dropbox also has a proprietary note-taking app called Paper. It lets you take notes, embed media files and collaborate with others. It can’t do much else, though. For better alternative, read our best note-taking apps article.
Dropbox has another app called Showcase that lets you share files on an attractive page.
You can do a full-text search to scan the content of your files. That includes documents scanned with the mobile app. When you scan a document, you can tweak it and upload it as a .pdf or .jpeg file to the cloud.
Versioning lets you restore deleted files or older versions from the last 30 days. You can also play your media files and preview photos. That said, it didn’t make the cut for our best cloud storage for music list.
One of the most useful features is smart sync which lets you access the files and folders in your Dropbox account from your computer without syncing them first. That saves hard drive space. It works like Tresorit’s drive feature.
Round Five Thoughts
Though Tresorit has a good reason for lacking them, Dropbox has more apps and integrations, so it wins this round.
Dropbox and Tresorit are among our best cloud storage services. We have two rounds in favor of each, with one tie. We rated Tresorit higher in our overall ranking, however, so we’ll give to match to the Swiss contender.
Tresorit requires you to pay big bucks for top-notch security and some users might think that’s too much. On the other hand, Dropbox will provide good productivity, third-party integrations and nice sharing features. Its plans also give you more storage (still, we have a guide on how to delete your Dropbox account, in case you want to switch to another service).
What do you think about this comparison? Which service do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.