History has seen some epic showdowns: Ali vs. Frazier, McEnroe vs. Connors, Cardi B vs. Nicki Minaj. We’re going to add another clash to the list in this Wrike vs. Basecamp comparison, the winner of which will be most of interest to project managers.
Wrike launched in 2006 and has over 18,000 companies on its books, including high-profile clients such as Google, L’Oreal and Mars. It’s a feature-rich platform that’s among the best project management software out there.
Basecamp is a big name, boasting a staggering 3 million sign-ups. It was created in 2004 by the team behind the Ruby on Rails application framework.
Both tools have featured in our face-off articles before. Wrike won our Wrike vs. Asana match, but lost in monday.com vs. Wrike. That’s hardly a disgrace, though, because monday.com is the best there is. Basecamp lost our Asana vs. Basecamp battle, so it’ll be looking to fight back.
We’ve also looked at both services in depth in our reviews, so if you want to learn more about them, read our Wrike review and Basecamp review.
Setting Up a Fight: Wrike vs. Basecamp
Wrike and Basecamp won’t be fighting with fists or weapons, but with features, options and design quality. We’ll compare them over four rounds, and a winner will be declared in each one. The overall winner will be the tool that takes the most rounds.
We’ll open by comparing them on features to see which tool does the most. Features are at the heart of what software can bring to your team. Then we’ll look at price to see which is best on value. Many platforms offer several options, so figuring out which is best is important.
In the ease of use round, we’ll assess which works with the least fuss and does the most to help you get started. In the security and privacy round, we’ll look at which you can trust your data with the most, as well as which offers the most options for controlling access to your projects.
In this round, we’ll compare the tools on functionality to see which does most for your team. In addition to the way tasks are presented, we like to see plenty of storage, integrations with other platforms and communication features. Interesting extras will score well, too.
If you want a tool which has some unusual extensions, take a look at our Airtable review. It includes a 3D model explorer, auto translation and even a page designer.
Wrike lets you create tasks and assign them to team members. Tasks can be broken into subtasks and you can add dependencies, so you can make sure your project schedule is feasible. With dependencies you can spot bottlenecks and see what the effect will be if one task is delayed.
Take a look at our Easy Projects review to learn about another option that makes working with dependencies easy.
Wrike is a good platform for file sharing, with 2GB of space available on its free plan. That goes up to 100GB for Enterprise users. If you need more than that, read our best online storage for teams article.
You can leave comments on files, including in the middle of videos. That makes it useful if you want to organize your own video projects. Videos take a lot of space, though, so you might also need our best cloud storage for large files guide.
Wrike integrates with a lot of services. You can use it with Adobe Creative Cloud, Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox and many others. Its new “Wrike Integrate” feature, which we haven’t tried yet, lets you create custom integrations.
Wrike also has an API, so those of you who code can wire it to your own apps or website. If you’re looking to build your own website, our Wix vs. Weebly website builder comparison might help you, too.
Wrike has several views, such as its stream, Gantt chart and calendar. Another useful feature is report creation. There are various report types, such as those that show you which tasks are overdue or unassigned. Wrike makes creating them easy.
International users will appreciate its selection of languages. Over a dozen are available, which includes nine official translations and several contributed by users.
In addition to running in the browser, Wrike has desktop and mobile clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, so it can be used on most devices.
Basecamp has good file sharing and communication features, along with simple task creation. It’s a strong choice for general office use.
It lets you create to-do lists filled with tasks. You can assign tasks to people, leave notes and give them due dates. Unlike Wrike, it doesn’t have subtasks or dependencies. If you don’t need those, though, read our Podio review to learn about another tool that keeps things simple.
There’s a calendar to help plan your schedule and it integrates with calendar services from Apple, Microsoft and Google.
Its “Campfire” chats are a great way to keep everyone communicating. You can share sounds and video, though we had issues with video during testing. In addition to Campfire, you can chat with teammates via Basecamp’s message board.
Basecamp alerts people when changes are made by others, so it’s good for keeping everyone aware of what the team is doing.
It has a decent selection of integrations, including Zapier, which lets you share data with hundreds of apps. There are also integrations for creating reports, software development, time tracking and accounting. If you’re after a project management tool that focuses on the financial side, read our Mavenlink review.
You get plenty of space with it. Its 500GB of cloud storage is much more than Wrike offers, even on the Enterprise plan. If you need more, though, our best cloud storage roundup has options.
Like Wrike, Basecamp has apps for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS to complement its browser version.
Round One Thoughts
Basecamp has lots of storage and Campfire is good for team chats. Wrike is a more serious tool, with its dependency management being useful for advanced project planning.
Though we find Basecamp friendlier and it isn’t short of features, Wrike feels more detailed and gives you more options in most areas. It also has a more advanced structure with subtasks and dependencies. Its language options make it useful for international users, too.
Next, we’ll look at price to see which tool offers the best value. In addition to low prices, we like to see a long free trial, plenty of ways to pay, discounts and different plans. Basecamp took some heavy punches in the last round, so it’ll be keen to get back into the contest. Let’s look at what Wrike offers first.
Wrike has a free plan for up to five users, and there’s a card-free 14-day trial if you want to try its other features without dipping into your budget. If you want to use its extra plans, you’ll pay a monthly per-user fee, which increases as your move up the tiers.
Prices are negotiable at the Enterprise tier, but you may be able to get a lifetime usage deal for a one-off payment if you ask nicely.
Wrike isn’t too expensive, but it isn’t the cheapest tool on the market, either, and with user limits on the cheaper plans, it’ll cost you more as your team size increases.
1-year plan $ 9.80/ month
$117.60 billed every year
Save 29 %
1-year plan $ 24.80/ month
$297.60 billed every year
Basecamp teams pay a flat fee of $99 per month, regardless of team size. That’s great value if your team is large but less so if it’s small.
Basecamp is free for educators, so if you want to get your class, or fellow staff, more organized, it’s the one to go for. Nonprofits get a 10 percent discount, too. Students might want to read our FunctionFox review, as well, because they can access it free of charge.
Basecamp has a long 30-day trial, giving you time to get your teeth into it to see if it’s a good fit for your team. Basecamp keeps it simple, with plenty to offer everyone, except teams with a handful of staff who’ll find it more expensive than other options.
Round Two Thoughts
Wrike is cheaper than Basecamp, but only if you have a small team. Its free tier is fantastic for small teams trying it and its Professional plan is inexpensive. If you have more than 10 people on your team or want to use more advanced plans, Basecamp is cheaper. Its flat payment system is also much easier to figure out and manage.
The potential savings with Basecamp are larger. It also has a generous free trial and is free for educators, so it wins this round.
3. Ease of Use
In this round, we’re going to look at which tool is easiest to use and does the most to be accessible. A strong interface, lack of bugs and good help and support options will help.
If you want a simple tool, take a look at our Trello review to learn about a kanban-based option.
Wrike is one of the most advanced tools in the project management category, but it’s easy to sign up and get started with it. The start-up process lets you invite teammates and takes you through setting up your workspace.
Building your workspace is quick and easy. Wrike includes many categorized templates to help you get going. They can be simple kanban boards, systems for ticketing, event management or a lot of other things. The templates include their own videos to show you how to use them, which is a nice touch.
You can then add tasks easily. Wrike’s main view shows your tasks on the left and task details on the right.
Dependency management is sometimes difficult, but Wrike handles it well. It has a dedicated button for creating relationships between tasks. Wrike’s interface includes lots of options and controls. You can do a lot with it, but it takes time to figure out. Navigation isn’t always straightforward and it is possible to get lost at first.
When you get stuck, Wrike gives you plenty of help, with a detailed knowledgebase and fast, responsive customer support.
Basecamp is a likeable tool, with a soft color palette and cheerful imagery used throughout. Its design is clear and you can use it without getting stuck.
We saw occasional issues with pop-up elements not disappearing and controls failing to respond, though. That said, we could generally resolve them by logging back in or clicking around, and they weren’t too frequent.
Basecamp gives you lots of help, with wizards taking you through tasks step by step and creating messages for you automatically. That could save you time if the messages say what you want. There are also lots of notifications and emails. You can turn them off if you get too many, but if you need to be kept informed, Basecamp certainly helps.
We found its individual applications well-designed, attractive and easy to use, but we weren’t as keen on its top screen which looked dated compared to the rest of the platform. If you repeatedly create similar projects, you can set up your own templates to include whatever your projects have in common and use them as a starting point.
Basecamp has nice touches, such as its “boosts”. You can click a rocket to show your teammates appreciation. That’s a good way to build morale. Read our Asana review for an example of another tool that tries to brighten your day with its cute “celebrations.” Our Asana beginner’s guide will help you get started with it, too.
If you get stuck, Basecamp has plenty of guidance and tutorials on its help page. Its three-minute support response is joint best in class with, er, Wrike.
Round Three Thoughts
Basecamp is friendly and welcoming, but its bugs hold it back in this round. Wrike has a steeper learning curve, but there’s a good selection of templates. Both have excellent support and help pages for when you get stuck. Overall, though, Basecamp is more accessible, so it wins this round.
Both of these tools are good on usability, but if that’s a key area for you, take a look at a tool that nails it in our monday.com review.
4. Security and Privacy
We’ll look at security and privacy next. With governments and tech supergiants doing everything they can to spy on your data, it’s important to use a tool that keeps your data safe. Encryption, certification and options are key in this round.
Let’s see which tool does the most to protect you from cybercrime.
Wrike is one of the best tools when it comes to security. It has a strong selection of features, uses top-quality encryption and gives you many useful options for controlling access to your projects.
It has two-factor authentication via the Google Authenticator app, which lets you log in more securely. Our best two-factor authentication apps article talks more about that.
Wrike has several security certifications, including ISO 27001, SOC 1 and SOC 2. It has a separate data center for EU customers that complies with ISAE 3402.
It uses the latest encryption technology. Data in transit gets TLS v1.2 with AES 256-bit and a 2048-bit server key length. Data at rest, such as attachments, is protected with AES 256-bit encryption. If you want to know the ins and outs of that, read our description of encryption.
Wrike lets you set your network access policy, so you can prevent people from unrecognized IP addresses from accessing your projects. That makes it hard for anyone outside your organization to break in. It could also stop your staff from accessing data from home if you want to prevent that.
Enterprise users get more security features. You can adjust permissions to decide who can do what with files, as well as control how team members are invited to your projects.
You also get control over your team’s password policy. You can require strong passwords and make people change them regularly, so the balance between convenience and security is yours to handle.
If team members are struggling with passwords, show them our how to setup a strong password article for a few pointers.
In addition to having its own servers, Basecamp uses Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Storage to store your files. You might want to read one of our State of the Cloud articles to help judge if the big players can be trusted to handle your projects.
Data in transit is sent via HTTPS with AES-128-CBC. The TLS version isn’t stated on its website, but we’ve seen TLS 1.2 mentioned elsewhere. It uses strong AES-256/SHA-256 encryption for files. Nobody’s going to be breaking through that in a hurry.
Basecamp also complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and says it won’t share your data unless legally compelled to do so. It’ll inform you of that, if it legally can. If you’re concerned about snooping, you might also want to look at our best VPN feature.
Basecamp is PCI-compliant, but though its data centers are SOC audited, it isn’t.
Its servers are protected physically with biometric locks and staff present 24 hours a day. It makes hourly backups, so if an accident occurs at one of its data centers, you won’t lose your files. Your data is deleted 30 days after closing your account.
Basecamp takes part in bug bounty programs, allowing white hat hackers to help improve its security and plug holes before anyone finds them.
Two-factor authentication is available via Google, as with Wrike, so you can log in more securely with Basecamp, too.
Round Four Thoughts
Both tools do a lot on security, with strong encryption, compliance with privacy frameworks and systems to keep your data safe. Wrike goes further, though, and offers clients a wealth of options for controlling how their users interact with the website. It wins this round comfortably.
5. The Verdict
At two rounds apiece, we have a decision to make. The ease of use and price rounds went to Basecamp, but there wasn’t a lot in it. The features round was taken comfortably by Wrike and the security and privacy round even more so. Wrike takes the overall contest.
Wrike and Basecamp are different tools with different approaches. Wrike is more detailed and business-like and will suit managers who want to analyze team performance and streamline workflows.
Basecamp is great as a general meeting place and communication tool. It does a good job of keeping your information in one place and making it easy for everyone to share and access it. It has a more relaxed feel, and that’ll suit some teams.
Overall, though, Wrike is our favourite tool, with its extra features making it stand out from the project management crowd.
Both platforms offer a free trial, so go ahead and test them to see if you agree with us. If you’ve used either and have anything to tell us about them, please do so in the comments. Thanks for reading.