Box review cloud storage
There are many cloud storage solutions to choose from so check out our Box review to see if this is a viable option

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Box is one of several options that a business has when it’s looking for cloud storage with sharing capabilities. It offers several different plans that are designed to appeal to different businesses that may need support for different kinds of workloads. In this Box review, we’re going to be looking at Box’s pros and cons, features, prices and plans, etc. The goal is to help you decide if Box is right for your business needs.

In this Box review…

Box Summary

While Box can technically be for personal use, it’s the business context that’s focused on here. To this end, small or medium-sized businesses that may be looking for scalable cloud storage that allows for some level of collaboration between users can take advantage of Box. This is especially true if a manageable cost is one of the requirements. The two main elements that bring the package together are cloud storage and file-sharing offerings.

Box review Dashboard
Box Dashboard

Box Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Secure storage
  • Affordable plans with an annual subscription
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Group implementations
  • Google and Microsoft Integrations
  • Unlimited storage across the board

Cons

  • Troublesome private key management
  • Minimum user requirements must be met

Box Features

Now, let’s have a look at some of the features that make Box a potentially desirable cloud storage offering for your business:

Desktop app

Typically, cloud applications are used in browser-based sessions. However, service providers increasingly realize that people are more comfortable using apps from their desktops instead of having to browse a website. To this end, Box is one of many companies that have decided to create a desktop app that you can sync your data to and use.

While this model may not have been adopted by every cloud service provider, it’s important to know that this is not unique to Box as far as cloud storage applications are concerned. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are two examples of similar programs that offer this feature.

Unfortunately, users have sometimes complained that the sync gets disrupted and does not necessarily work as smoothly as it should with Box. While it is possible to have similar issues with Google Drive or OneDrive, they are few and far between.

Workflow automation

Automated workflows are very handy to carry out simple tasks that may become time wasters because of their repetitive nature. From within the Box console, users can set up rules to help them work efficiently. For the most part, this feature tends to be used for automated reminders for document approvals or reviews. 

Furthermore, administrators can assign tasks with due dates, which also translates to a convenient reminder for users. Microsoft OneDrive also has automated flows in the form of Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow). While Power Automate is a more granular offering with far greater capability, it’s not built into Microsoft OneDrive. Note, however, that most people purchase Microsoft 365 in bundles, many of which include Power Automate for free.

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 integrations

Many of your documents that are created and edited in Google or Microsoft 365 programs are typically also stored with the respective service provider. However, if you wish to use either a word processor or spreadsheet application, for example, you could elect to store the files with Box and have the seamless integration take care of everything for you.

So, if you have a Word document stored in a Box library, you could edit it using the familiar desktop program you know, while your changes are consistently synced to Box in the background. Alternatively, you could use these integrations from the website, and have these programs running in your Box session as you work.

The reverse is not necessarily true as Box does not have document editing programs to speak of. Nevertheless, while Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 don’t have such integrations, the formants of corresponding applications are supported. For example, you can open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet in Google Sheets and vice versa.

Permission-based file sharing

As far as simplicity goes, Box hits the nail on the head with its permission-based file sharing. Document security is an essential piece of the workplace puzzle, as you must facilitate the ability of your users to work while protecting your data from malicious entities. 

To this end, Box users cannot maintain sign-in sessions and must sign in again whenever the application is left idle. Additionally, administrators can use a host of permission-based controls to limit what each user can do only to what is necessary. So, some persons may be content owners, while others may only be able to view, while there may be another set who can only edit documents.

For particularly sensitive documents, password protection is also available with file sharing. When used, this feature creates a link to the protected files, along with insights into the number of clicks and views.

Of course, the process of sharing documents is a breeze. By clicking on the options area beside each file, a little window pops up with the share option. When selected, all that’s required is to choose the person or people that the file is to be shared with. Note that sharing can take place at the file or folder level.

Microsoft OneDrive offers all the features here. Should you choose to add a license that includes Microsoft information Rights Management or Information Protection, you get even more complex features such as advanced retention policies and security labels.

Box Notes

Box Notes is convenient allowing for a communication option with your team. It’s meant to support high collaboration, allowing comments or questions to be placed right within a document that are not much different from Google comments, Microsoft’s comments feature, or even Sticky Notes. Nevertheless, as you use Box Notes, it feels a bit limited when compared to any of its counterparts.

Reports

It’s always good to have insight into the data that is flowing through your environment, as well as the users that are using the applications. Note that this does not refer to confidential data, such as the contents of documents, or a host of personal identity information. Instead, the reports are focused on the user access requests, security logs, files that are currently shared, external user collaborations, usage levels, and user statistics.

User management

From the IT perspective, the user management functionality is essential in being able to monitor and manage access, while ensuring that no user has permissions beyond those that are needed. Note that the process is simple enough for the administrator to be a non-IT person. Multiple 

administrators are allowed and having more than one is advised. Of course, if you are using Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, you can manage user accounts and roles from the corresponding admin centres.

Box Prices and Plans

Currently, Box has four plans that you can choose from depending on your needs. Each is quoted monthly per user, but you can save 25% if you choose to be billed annually. Note that only the business plans are covered here. The offerings are:

Box Business

The cost here is $20 or $15 for monthly or annual billing, respectively. A minimum of three users is required to get the plan going. Though you don’t have to assign the licenses immediately, this means at least three license purchases at the onset. You get organizational-wide collaboration, unlimited file storage, integrations with Slack, Google workspace, Microsoft 365, Box sign for e-signatures, automated workflows, and data loss protection.

Box Business Plus

According to Box, this is the most popular of the plans. The cost is $33 and $25 for monthly and annual billing, respectively. At this stage, you get an unlimited number of external collaborators, access to 10 additional integrations, advanced search filters, and metadata templates to help with more fine-tuned document classification. Outside of these, all other features of the business plan are included.

Box Enterprise

Box enterprise is next on the list and has a cost of $47 or $35 for monthly or annual billing, respectively. Here, you can get over 1500 integrations, document watermarking, multifactor authentication for external users, password policy enforcement, and built-in compliance features that meet HIPAA/FedRAMP standards.

Box Enterprise Plus

This is Box’s newest plan, and it includes everything in Enterprise. Additionally, you get new first-party elements, such as Box Governance, Box Shuttle, Box Platform, Box Relay, etc. You would need to contact customer care for more information on these offerings and to acquire pricing for your needs.

From a pure figure perspective, Box’s pricing doesn’t appear too expensive. However, all this is for a cloud storage offering only. Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have plans for similar and even lower costs that include the corresponding storage offerings as well as a host of other applications.

Box Support

There are three support tier options for box users. Standard support is offered with any license and can guarantee help during business hours. Premier is the next step up, and you get access to a growth specialist team and dedicated account representatives to help with your critical needs. The final tier is platinum support, and you get a dedicated support channel, annual onsite training, as well as consistent access to digital training to help you use the application most optimally.

Box Review Summary

Box has a solid cloud offering for many business needs. While it does its job well and is easy to use, the price to value ratio here is not good when compared to its competitors, which offer more for less. To this end, it may be best to investigate going the Microsoft 365 route and getting OneDrive instead.

If this Box review helped you, please recommend DigitalSupermarket.

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