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- The Good
- 2 GB instant free storage
- Mobile apps
- Restore deleted files
- The Bad
- One user profile
- Can’t track changes
- Collaboration difficult
Dropbox is one of the most popular programs in the cloud storage genre. It differs in that it doesn’t back up your computer. It lets you store your files online, sync them and share them with others. It is not a full online backup service, however, and thus doesn’t include features and protections common in such services.
- 2GB storage
- 50GB storage
- $9.99 per month
- 100GB storage
- $19.99 per month
- 1000GB storage
- $99 per month
Dropbox has a very simple pricing plan; a plus for any user. The fees for Dropbox are comparable to similar services. Its cost per computer goes up as the amount of storage increases.
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Mobile apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry
- File sharing available
Dropbox doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can sign up for free with a 2GB storage capacity at no cost. Once you install the Dropbox software, an icon link appears on your desktop. File synchronization is an included feature. Dropbox will keep your deleted files for up to 30 days. File sharing, photo album sharing and music streaming are all features offered by Dropbox. It will back up Outlook and allows folder collaboration. There is no local encryption, and you can’t back up your hard drive to Dropbox.
- Automatic organization and backup
- Offline access
- Preview and download
Dropbox has several useful features, such as automatic updates and accessibility from any device. It offers an efficient syncing feature. The file sharing and file storage are superior, and the ability to share large files is refreshing. Backup and file recovery are available online — a user-friendly feature. Users can share files via email, chat or text message through simple link-sharing.
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Two-step user verification
- Cannot customize encryption key
The lack of a private encryption key is necessary to provide the file-sharing feature of the app. Files resting on the server have 256-bit AES encryption. The service maintains the encryption keys because doing otherwise would make it difficult to sync and share files, which is a major priority for Dropbox. Files stored with Dropbox are completely private and are only accessible to others if you provide a link to them. You can also share any file with others as you see fit.
Dropbox: User Reviews
If all you need is online storage, Dropbox is a great way to go. It is not, however, a cloud-based computer backup. It can’t automatically back up your entire computer. With Dropbox, you create a folder in your online space into which you drag files to store them.
How Does Dropbox Work?
Dropbox allows you to handle any stored file from your computer or mobile device. You can combine files from multiple devices into one online space. These files will then be available to you or other users from any of the devices you’ve loaded with the Dropbox app. Or you can access your space directly through the Dropbox website.
What Makes Dropbox Stand Out?
Dropbox does away with many of the features that are, frankly, typical annoyances when doing business online. If you begin a project on your office computer, you can upload the files to Dropbox, then access them at home on your computer there. There’s no need to attach files to emails and send them.
Is your tablet or work computer prone to crashes? A computer crash isn’t such a tragedy when a few minutes of downloading files from a Dropbox account gets you back to work. Bandwidth limits can be manually set.
Common Reviews of Dropbox
One complaint mentioned more than once is Dropbox’s lack of FTP ability. If you need to transfer files via FTP, you are out of luck with Dropbox — that feature isn’t offered.
Many cite the ability to limit bandwidth as a definite positive. This feature can come in handy if you’re uploading or downloading files from desktop software frequently during the day. Limiting the bandwidth helps if you don’t want your network to get bogged down when you’re using Dropbox a lot.
Some describe Dropbox’s pricing for upper limit storage capacity and number of users as “pricey” when compared to some of its competitors. Some feel that the price should include computer backup, but that is not a feature Dropbox currently offers.
Is Dropbox for Me?
Dropbox’s simplicity makes it a good fit for anyone, whether an internet novice or a seasoned pro. If all you’re looking to do is back up small files, such as pictures, routines and agendas, texts or presentation files, then Dropbox is for you.