Dropbox Review: Online Storage Review

Company Overview:

Dropbox is a cloud storage and file syncing service. Founded in 2007 by two MIT students, Dropbox operates on a freemium business model, meaning that a basic version of its service is offered for free with paid upgrades available. It has won praise and recognition from various major US publications including The New York Times, The Economist, and PC Magazine. Its iPhone and Android apps are also highly touted. Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage solutions today.

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Key Features:

Storage and CapacitySecurity and Support
Maximum Storage Capacity: 500 GBSSL Encryption: yes
Scheduled Backups: noPassword Protection: no
File/Folder Sharing: yesLive Online Chat: no
Support Numerous File Types: yesSupport for Windows/Mac: yes


​Dropbox offers a simple but powerful storage, syncing, and sharing service. Users can add files directly to the online cloud using the desktop app and access these files anywhere on the online site. Dropbox is compatible with a range of operating systems and mobile device platforms, meaning that its users can easily access their files anywhere.

Dropbox runs efficiently and circumvents the problem of bandwidth by transferring only parts of files that have changed during revisions. It also allows users to retrieve deleted files and access previous file versions on the online application.

An interesting feature about the Dropbox desktop app is that it doesn't run as a separate interface; rather, it creates a folder in My Documents. Simply move your files to the Dropbox folder and it is instantly stored locally (on your hard drive) and on the cloud (accessible via Dropbox.com).

Sharing files is easy and can be done via email, Facebook, Twitter, or by Dropbox URL. However, there is currently no file editing capability on the online application.

Following the increasingly social nature of online services, Dropbox offers a referral bonus that awards users an addition 500 MB (up to 16 GB) for every new account. A recent campaign, the Great Space Race, was a major hit among college campuses as students around the world scrambled to refer their friends and compete for points while gaining free extra storage space for themselves. Finally, syncing with a mobile device can earn you extra space as well.

Recommended Storage Plan:

All users are encouraged to try out the free version of Dropbox before deciding whether to pay for an upgrade. Dropbox is the top choice for many users, but it does take some familiarization. Users who need more space can opt for the Pro plans, and small business can purchase Dropbox Teams, a business plan that includes administrative tools, telephone support, and unlimited file versioning.

Safety & Security:

Dropbox uses SSL and AES-256 bit encryption for every step of the file upload, storage, and transmission. The website is continuously guarded against attack. Dropbox uses Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service, which is backed by Amazon's own trusted security policy. Finally, all third-party app integration is secure and monitored.

Value:

The free Dropbox plan is an excellent deal, especially if you are able to gain extra space through referrals or promotions. No other cloud storage service offers 18 GB of space for free. The starting amount, 2 GB, is enough for a light user. As for the Pro service,  it depends on your needs. In certain cases, it may be preferable to purchase a cheaper unlimited plan elsewhere than to upgrade to Dropbox Pro.
 

Plan TypeStoragePrice
FreeUp to 18GB$0
ProUp to 500GB$9.99-$49.99/Mo.
BusinessUnlimitedFrom $795 per year

Customer Support:

Dropbox offers a tidy Help Center whose front page features a search bar, top ten FAQs, help categories, and links to additional resources. Help articles are tailored to specific operating systems and mobile devices, and are well-written, relevant, and useful. Many articles include step-by-step instructions and links to related topics, which make DIY troubleshooting a fairly straightforward process. There are also discussion forums available, but no phone number or chat option.

Bottom Line:

Dropbox is a simple solution for online file storage that offers 2 GB free right off the bat. While Dropbox fulfills the needs of many users, those seeking more than 100 GB or further online file-editing capabilities may benefit from looking elsewhere. But, as Dropbox's popularity can attest, many people are happy with the simple Freemium it has to offer.

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