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Cloud storage comparisons

There are a number of different options for storing and syncing your data in the cloud. This guide is here to help you to decide which kind of storage is right for you.

Rutgers requires that all university business be conducted on university-approved services. For example, faculty and staff email must be conducted using Rutgers Connect. In the case of storage, there are several categories of storage and different options within each category. This page will help you choose among the approved cloud storage options of Box, OneDrive (Rutgers Connect), and Google Drive (ScarletApps).

Security and compliance

The first consideration when choosing a service is determining which ones are appropriate from a security and compliance standpoint. There are federal and state laws, as well as university policy, which govern where data can be stored. In general, information that is highly confidential and classified as restricted information can be stored in Rutgers’ Box and Rutgers Connect’s OneDrive. It is not appropriate to store this type of information in ScarletApps’ Google Drive or to store any university information in any personal account, even a personal Box or OneDrive account.

For more detailed information about what can and cannot be stored in each type of storage service, please see the data classification and storage matrix.

View comparison matrix

You can use the links below to learn more about each service:

Recommendations

After considering the security and compliance restrictions, multiple services can be used to provide data storage and sharing services concurrently. Before making a decision, you should consult the IT support staff in your organization.

In general, OneDrive and Box are equivalent services in terms of what data can be stored.

Choose Box if:

  • You will be frequently transferring large amounts of data because Box will typically be faster

Choose Microsoft OneDrive if:

  • You require seamless integration with Microsoft Office software and tools

Choose Google Drive if:

  • You require seamless integration with Google Apps

When sharing data (that isn’t restricted) with students, Google Drive is listed as preferred simply because all students automatically have a Google Apps account created when they are enrolled. For students to use Box, they must open their own account first. This process is simple, but it requires an extra step for the student. When students use OneDrive, this account is automatically created for them, but it is not integrated with Google Apps the way Drive is.

The services are similar in many respects, but performing certain tasks can be easier depending on the service. For example, since OneDrive is a Microsoft service, Microsoft Office apps easily support it. You can save and retrieve files easily and have recently accessed document lists sync between different computers. Box is a general storage service, so all software, including Microsoft Office, can work with it, but without the additional features that Microsoft builds in.

Other considerations

It’s also worth noting that these three products only represent one type of storage, and that they are not appropriate for all purposes. This type of storage is not suited for the storage of databases that will be accessed by multiple people or for other software that requires very high speed access to files. If you have special needs that go beyond general file storage and retrieval, please consult your IT support professional to determine which service is right for you.