When comparing GitHub vs Dropbox, the Slant community recommends GitHub for most people. In the question“What are the best cloud storage services for developers?” GitHub is ranked 1st while Dropbox is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose GitHub is:
GitHub's UI is clean and intuitive. Each view is designed to not fill the screen with useless information. For example, the repository view displays only the most crucial data about that repo - on the top it displays the number of commits, branches, releases and contributors. When clicked, each of them will take the user to a page that displays more detailed information.
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Pro Nice and usable UI
GitHub's UI is clean and intuitive. Each view is designed to not fill the screen with useless information.
For example, the repository view displays only the most crucial data about that repo - on the top it displays the number of commits, branches, releases and contributors. When clicked, each of them will take the user to a page that displays more detailed information.
Pro Integrated issue tracking
GitHub has integrated issue tracking that makes hunting and solving bugs easy. Each project's issues page can be filtered by closed issues, assignees, labels and milestones. Issues are also sortable by age, number of comments and update time.
Pro Provides free hosting for static websites
GitHub Pages is a feature that allows developers to create websites for their projects or anything they need a static website for, for free.
Pro Anyone can fork
Any user can fork a project and submit a pull request. If accepted by the owner, the fork will be merged with the master branch.
Pro GitHub makes it easy to find open source projects
GitHub is the largest host in the world for open source projects. Developers from all over the world fork and work on countless projects hosted on it.
GitHub's search box is a powerful tool that allows developers to find open source projects in areas they are interested in and where they can immediately start to contribute.
GitHub also has a page dedicated solely at exploring and finding open source projects, grouping them by each topic they cover. In the same view, GitHub displays trending repositories and sorting them by day, week or month.
Pro Large community
GitHub is the largest code host on the planet with over 21.4 million hosted repositories and many users. It's unarguably the largest VCS used by developers worldwide and as such, it has a vibrant community that follows it resulting in many guides and tutorials for new users. Even experienced developers can always find an answer to any question they may have.
Pro Gist (Snippets)
Gists is GitHub's way to easily share code, text snippets or any kind of information with the world. They are an easy way to share text and they work as Git repos, which means that they are forkable and versioned. They are also fully compatible with Git.
Pro Simplified team management tools
GitHub has easy and useful features to control teams, large and small alike. Team members can be given different powers on different projects, ranging from the ability to create them, to only being able to have read-only access.
Pro Convenient continuous integration with Travis CI
GitHub can be integrated with Travis CI for code testing and deployment, furthermore it is free of charge for free open-source projects.
Pro Supports Two-Factor authentication
GitHub has added another layer of security to their user accounts. This layer comes in the form of Two-Factor authentication. After it's enabled, GitHub delivers an authentication code by SMS, or by a free application for smartphones. After two-factor authentication is enabled, the authentication code is sent to the account owner's phone any time someone attempts to sign into their GitHub account. This means that only someone who has both the password and authentication code can sign into the account.
Pro Code search functionality
GitHub supports searching code. Whether it's from a specific project or from the whole website. What's more, GitHub has excellent SEO and you can easily find any line of code hosted on public repos on GitHub even from Google.
Pro Easy integration with cloud hosting services
Many widely used cloud hosting services are easily integrated with GitHub. Any project hosted on GitHub can be set up on these services in seconds. Some companies that offer this feature are:
- Amazon Web Services
- Google Cloud
- Windows Azure
Pro Support for mandatory code reviews
GitHub allows maintainers to make code reviews mandatory for any repository they choose.
Pro Additional features for academics
For those with a valid .edu email or valid school ID there are additional benefits such as free private hosting. While it may take time for the account to be verified, it can easily be worth it.
Pro Project management tools available
GitHub has a tool called (quite intuitively) "Projects". It helps teams to organize and prioritize the work they are doing by creating roadmaps and release checklists.
Pro Easy to use
You can use Dropbox via website, by installing a desktop client that creates a folder that you simply drag and drop files into, or with their mobile app. Everything synchronizes across all devices used and cloud storage. And Dropbox offers easy methods of sharing whatever is within it.
Pro Allows sharing a single file via link
Whether using desktop client or web interface, simply right click on the file you want to share and select Dropbox > Share link, then send the link to the people you want to share the file with. The recipient does not require a Dropbox account.
Pro Allows sharing a folder
Using a desktop client: right click on the folder you want to share and select Dropbox > Share This Folder, then enter the e-mail addressees of people you want to share the folder with.
Pro Cross-platform desktop and mobile
Dropbox is available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, OS X and Linux. By having a client for so many OS's pretty much anyone is covered no matter what kind of device or OS they are using.
Pro 30-day version control
Dropbox keeps deleted and earlier versions of files for a month.
Pro Smart updates to big files
If a small portion of the file is changed it sends/receives only the differences (not the whole file), which is fast and bandwidth-efficient.
Pro Up to 18GB of free storage space
Dropbox personal accounts start out free, with 2GB of space, but users can get extra space by recommending the site to friends, or taking part in events like "Dropquest", where users can win extra space by solving puzzles.
Pro Desktop client has no file size limit
As long as you have enough storage available, you can upload files of any size using Dropbox desktop client.
Pro Lots of addons and integrations
There are official and third-party Dropbox add-ons that extend the functionality of the service and add ease of use of existing features.
Additionally, Dropbox can be integrated with existing applications to bring its functionality to other apps.
Pro Instant disaster recovery
Your files always synced online means instant disaster recovery. When your hard drive becomes unbootable, pick up another laptop and just carry on with your life from where you last saved.
Pro Folders can be downloaded compressed to save bandwidth
To save bandwidth and download speed you can choose to compress a folder into a zip archive for download.
Pro Linux support
Dropbox offers native Linux support, integrates with Nautilus file manager.
Pro Available free storage can be increased with referrals
You get extra free space for you and your friend if they sign up.
Pro Adjustable bandwidth use
To not slow down the network or save traffic you can limit the upload and download speeds of Dropbox.
Con Only public repositories are free
Unfortunately, GitHub offers closed repositories only for premium users, and the price is not cheap at all.
Con Rule of thumb: 1GB per repository, 100MB per file
For most repositories this is acceptable, but for already large repositories with a long history, this may be a limiting factor.
Con Using it encourages other tools to integrate only with GitHub, leading to a monopoly
Con No OAuth2 support
In order to sign in to GitHub, users have to sign up first with unique credentials for GitHub only, so no option to sign in with Google+ or Facebook.
Con Very inconvenient UI
Very hard to switch between projects.
Con Not secure
They don't apply end-to-end encryption, files are visible to admins, governments, etc..
Con Too little free space
There is just too little of free space available comparing to the competition.
Con Consumes a lot of CPU resources when syncing many files
Con No privacy
Extensive collecting and distribution of user data to commercial third parties.
Con All-or-nothing (non-selective) upload
Uploading generated contents (cache, compiled code, etc.) is prone to conflicts, wastes bandwidth and free space.
Con Low bandwidth
Con Does little more than storing files
Con Problems when synching between Linux and Windows devices (unconfirmed)
This summer I lost thousands of files due to this problem on older projects which subsequently needed revising and had to be rebuilt as tons of the source was gone.
Con Can unintentionally delete your files if you reinstall your OS without closing Dropbox
If you reinstall the operation system for your PC and you do not close Dropbox, it will delete all files.