Box Review

Get 10 GB of Free Cloud Storage with Box

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© Box

Box (formerly Box.net) is a cloud storage service that gives out 10 GB of free storage for every user.

Box makes it easy to edit and upload Microsoft Office documents to your online account.

Box Features

Every Box user gets 10 GB of free storage. Opportunities are sometimes presented to increase your free storage capacity. Visit the Box homepage or your account to watch for these occurrences.

Pros:

  • 10 GB of free online storage space
  • Instantly search through all your Box files from the mobile application and desktop program
  • Upload multiple pictures and video files from a mobile device
  • Download an entire shared folder as a ZIP file
  • Desktop application for uploading data
  • Notes can be added alongside files
  • Share files and folders even if the recipient doesn't have a Box account
  • Enable offline access to your files from a mobile device
  • Can setup two-factor authentication
  • Option to share files and folders from the desktop software and mobile application
  • Google Docs and spreadsheets can be created right from Box

Cons:

  • Uploads can not exceed 250 MB in size
  • Can not password protect shared files
  • Some features work only if you upgrade to a paid version

File Sharing with Box

You can share an entire folder with Box or just individual files. Recipients can download the whole folder at once via a ZIP folder.

You can also specify whether or not files can be downloaded by others, and instead just make them viewable in their browser.

Email alerts can be set up to notify you when someone downloads a file from your shared Box folders.

Box Applications

Box is available for Windows and macOS as a that lets you easily drop data to your Box folder for file and folder uploads.

This can also be done through a browser window.

iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and can all download an application for viewing and sharing their Box files. They can also upload photos and videos right from their device, enable files to be used when offline, and set a passcode for extra security. A dedicated mobile page that's optimized for mobile phones is also available.

There's also an application called Box Edit that you can install on a desktop PC to enable document editing. For example, if you open a DOCX file from your online Box account and choose to make an edit, the file will open in Microsoft Office (if you have it installed). Then when you save it, the file will automatically upload back to your Box account with the changes intact.

Note that the sync client is not needed to use Box Edit.

Box Limitations

An upload limit is set at 250 MB per file. This applies to both the desktop applications as well as through the browser.

Box is unable to password-protect shared files. This option is only available if you upgrade to a paid account.

My Thoughts on Box

I like the whole design of the web interface for Box. It's very clean and isn't confusing in the slightest.

Some of the features are only available if you upgrade to a paid subscription with Box, and these settings are clearly marked as such, which is helpful.

The desktop application, Box Sync, is even easier to use. There aren't any settings or options but to turn syncing on and off. While simplicity may be something of a benefit, it also means there are no additional options like manual bandwidth controls. If you're constantly syncing files between your desktop and online Box account, you may witness network hiccups or slow Internet upload/download speeds in other applications.

The mobile application is really nice. You're able to search through text in documents and easily open the portion of the file you're looking for. I found this very useful. Also, in the settings is an option to warn you when uploading files over 20 MB while away from WiFi, which is very handy if you've forgotten you're on a cell network.

You can also open documents and other files from your Box account into other applications like Dropbox. So transferring files to another cloud storage service is possible.

I was able to upload pictures and videos in bulk to my Box account from the mobile application, but not an entire album of media. Activity like this is shown in an activity log, where you can click any event and jump right to it on your Box account.

Overall, I'm very pleased with both the web and mobile version of Box.