Dropbox is a file-hosting service founded by two MIT students in the San Francisco Bay area in 2007. In the decade since, it has added new components to align itself better with the needs of businesses, and as of March 2016, it had more than 500 million users worldwide. It uses a freemium business model and has two very famous investors, Bono and The Edge from Irish rock band U2.
Dropbox’s main service
Dropbox’s main offering is a file storage and sharing application that lets you access files from any device or from the Dropbox website. You can also share folders or files with other users by giving them access to the specific folder or file. The amount of space available for your files increases as your service plan goes up in price. Individuals can get up to a terabyte (1TB) of space for $9.99 per month.
Prices last checked July 2017
Dropbox Paper addresses one of the major pain points that Dropbox users have identified over time, the inability to collaborate on the same document at the same time. Previously, users sharing a document had to download a version of it to their desktop, make changes and then upload a new version. If two or more people were working on the same project at the same time, one’s changed version could potentially wipe out the other person’s file.
Dropbox Paper eliminates that with real-time collaboration on open documents featuring conversations, attributions and the ability to communicate via words, code, pictures or motion.
Smart Sync removes the burden of sharing files residing on your desktop, thus taking up tonnes of space and slowing your processes to a crawl. Much like creating a shortcut on your desktop, Smart Sync uses part of a file to serve as a placeholder for what it represents. When you click that image, Dropbox will load the full-sized image or folder to your desktop for instant access and collaboration. This works for both Windows and Mac systems.
Additional Dropbox features
- File recovery. A 30-day version history is available in case you accidentally delete a file or need a previous version.
- Security. Two-step verification and sharing controls lower the chance of accidental deletion.
Dropbox has four basic paid plans: one for individuals and three for teams. There is also a free package which anyone with a valid email address can start using immediately.
|Plans||Features||Storage||Price (Per User)|
|Plus||This is the only paid plan available to individuals.||1TB||$8.25/month (billed yearly)|
$9.99/month (billed monthly)
|Standard||This is the lowest-level team plan.||2TB||$12.50/month (billed yearly)|
$15/month (billed monthly)
|Advanced||This is the second-tiered team plan. All of the features of the standard plan, plus:||Unlimited||$20/month (billed yearly)|
$25/month (billed yearly)
This is the most engaged team plan. It encompasses all of the Advanced features, plus:
|Unlimited||Contact Dropbox for customisable solutions|
Prices last checked July 2017
Pros and cons
- Standard and advanced packages come with a one-month free trial, which is ideal for smaller businesses on tight budgets.
- The free offering is a good opportunity to see how Dropbox works without investing any money.
- Dropbox Paper is a big step towards total collaboration.
- There is very little information given about the free version on the site.
- There is a history of security and privacy breaches including the hack and release of 68 million passwords in 2016.