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  • Office 365 & Google Workspace integration
  • Smart storage usage with “Smart Sync”
  • Block-level transfer

Dropbox Review

If you are considering using Dropbox as your cloud storage service, this Dropbox review will explore all its features and rate them. Keep reading to learn this cloud service solution's good and bad points and how it compares with its competitors.

Titus Kamunya
By Titus Kamunya (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2024-07-07T16:23:38+00:00 Facts checked by Igor Kurtz
Key Takeaways: Cloud Storage — Dropbox Review
  1. Dropbox has a clean UI that makes sharing files, integrating with third-party apps and collaboration a breeze. 
  2. Dropbox is easily accessible through the web, desktop (Mac, Windows and Linux) and mobile applications (Android and iOS). 
  3. Privacy is one of Dropbox’s flaws, as it clearly states that it shares data with trusted third parties and lacks zero-knowledge encryption.

Use Dropbox If You Want…

  • A smooth and fast user experience: Dropbox is one of the easiest-to-use cloud storage solutions, with a clean interface and excellent performance. 
  • Advanced sharing features: Dropbox allows you to share files and set advanced permissions with its paid plans.
  • Integrations with native and third-party apps: Dropbox integrates with its various applications and third-party tools to improve productivity and collaboration.

Dropbox Video review

2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month
(save 16%) (All Plans)

Dropbox, launched on Sept. 11, 2008, is considered the grandfather of cloud storage. This product has continued to evolve over the years, earning itself a spot among the best cloud storage platforms. This Dropbox review will examine the cloud platform’s features, speed and security. 

Dropbox proponents love it because it seamlessly works on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. On top of being a cloud storage solution, you can also integrate Dropbox with hundreds of apps, take screenshots, and edit and sign documents online. 

However, Dropbox has some limitations. First, the free plan gives users just 2GB of storage. Second, the lack of zero-knowledge encryption is also an issue for security- and privacy-conscious users. Keep reading for an in-depth look at the good and the bad sides of what Dropbox offers.

  • 03/29/2024 Facts checked

    Article rewritten with up-to-date information about pricing, features and performance.

  • 06/22/2024 Facts checked

    Added new video review of Dropbox.

The Cloudwards Expert Opinion: Dropbox

Titus is a writer for Cloudwards.net. His speciality is in cloud backup solutions.

Dropbox is one of my favorite cloud storage solutions. I especially like its user-friendly interface and versatile app integration. It’s revolutionized how individuals and teams store files and collaborate, and for me, it has enhanced my productivity. It is lacking in the privacy area, but Dropbox is great for sharing, syncing files across devices and collaboration. 

Dropbox Pros & Cons

2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month
(save 16%) (All Plans)

Pros:

  • Good collaboration & file sharing
  • Integrates with many apps
  • Smooth user experience
  • Selective sync option

Cons:

  • Lacks zero-knowledge encryption
  • Limited free storage
  • Expensive

Dropbox Alternatives

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    2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
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    1TB – Unlimited GB$6 / month(All Plans)
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    100GB – 3TB$2.99 / month(save 40%)(All Plans) 14-days money-back guarantee
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    100GB – 30TB$1.67 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
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    100GB – 6TB$1.67 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)

Features: What Can Dropbox Do?

95 % – Excellent

Like any cloud storage service, Dropbox is primarily for saving files to a remote server. There are also a variety of features to help you manage those files. The following are some of Dropbox’s most noteworthy features:

Dropbox Paper
Dropbox paper homepage
Share, edit and take notes in real time using Dropbox Paper.

Dropbox excels at collaboration and sharing, and Dropbox Paper makes it easy to do so. Dropbox Paper is a service similar to Google Docs in Google Workspace. This note-taking app has different templates that you can use to save time. Users can view and edit files in real time as teammates follow the progress. 

Integrations
dropbox integrations
Integrate Dropbox with productivity, project management and communication apps.

Dropbox seamlessly integrates with native and third-party apps to help supercharge your workflows. You can integrate with office tools like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 or project management services like ActiveCollab and Asana. Finding apps is easy with categories like “productivity,” “edit documents,” “accounting & finance,” “IT admins,” “education” and more. 

Dropbox Rewind: Version History & File Recovery
dropbox rewind
Recover deleted files with “Dropbox rewind.”

“Dropbox rewind” is a feature that helps paid users recover deleted files. If you are a Plus subscriber, you can recover previous versions of all the files you have deleted in the last 30 days. 

Those on Professional and Standard plans get 180 days of recovery. You can also access file and folder history and make amends if need be. This feature makes it easy to note when changes (edits and recoveries) to shared documents occur. 

Dropbox Features Overview

2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month(All Plans)
Review
Sync
Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder
File Sharing
File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links
Productivity
File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV
Security
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption ProtocolAES 256-bit
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server LocationUS
Support
24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase
Misc
Free Plan

Dropbox Pricing: How Much Does Dropbox Cost?

60 % – Fair

For the basic 2TB plan, Dropbox costs $9.99 per month, billed annually. It might not be the cheapest cloud storage solution, but there is a range of pricing plans for individuals and businesses to meet your needs.

Dropbox Free Cloud Storage Plan

Dropbox has a free-forever plan with 2GB of storage and supports file versioning for up to 30 days. You can also sync your files to a maximum of three devices. Under the free Basic plan, you can edit unlimited PDFs, images and videos. However, you can only send three signature requests per month to third parties.

However, unlike others on our list of free cloud storage platforms, Dropbox’s free cloud storage space is not that generous. For instance, Sync.com provides 5GB, MEGA has 20GB, and Google Drive offers 15GB. The free (Basic) plan does not appear automatically when you visit Dropbox’s landing page; you must scroll down to find it.

Dropbox Pricing Plan Breakdown

Dropbox offers different plans for personal use and professionals, teams, companies and enterprises. For personal use, Plus is the cheapest at $9.99 per month, billed annually. The Plus plan allows only one user and grants 30 days to recover deleted files, an upload limit of 2GB and 2TB of storage.

Business Plus is Dropbox’s most expensive plan, billed annually at $9.99 per user per month. You can upload files with limits of up to 250GB and include at least three users on this package. The advanced package provides 15TB of storage, 365 days of file versioning and unlimited signature requests. There is also an Enterprise plan with custom pricing and features. 

Free
  • 1 user
  • 2GB
More plans
Dropbox Essentials (aka Professional for professionals)
  • (Formerly Dropbox One) 1 user Signature requests and eSignature templates
  • 3TB
Dropbox Business (aka Standard for teams)
  • 3 users minimum
  • 5TB
Dropbox Business Plus (aka Advanced for companies)
  • 3 users minimum
Dropbox Enterprise

    User-Friendliness & Hands-On Testing

    90 % – Excellent

    Dropbox is a user-friendly platform with a clean UI that prioritizes functionality over classy designs. Beginners can find their way around easily, as there is a straightforward call to action to help new users sign up and select the right plan. Dropbox also has solid color schemes and visually pleasing icons. 

    Users can easily upload files on the web interface or drag and drop them into the Dropbox folder. The platform has a well-designed folder structure where users can create folders and sub-folders and invite users. Overall, Dropbox is user-friendly and offers a perfect platform for sharing and collaborating on files. 

    How to Install Dropbox

    Get started on Dropbox with these steps:

    1. Register

      Visit www.dropbox.com and click “get started.”

      dropbox sign up
    2. Select “Basic”

      Dropbox presents different plans, starting with the paid ones. Scroll down until you find the Basic plan (free version) and click “get basic.”

      get basic
    3. Sign up Using Email or Google

      You can use your email or Google account to sign up. Agree to the terms and conditions.

      use google
    4. Select the Basic Plan

      Once you have agreed to the terms, scroll down to “continue with 2 GB Dropbox Basic plan.” It is a clickable link, but Dropbox does not make it easy to locate.

      free plan
    5. Define Your Usage

      Dropbox will ask how you intend to use your free account. You can use it for personal, work or school tasks.

      select usage
    6. Select Options

      The new window will present several options, like collaborating on a project or sharing a file or a folder. You can click “skip” or select the options you need.

      select options
    7. Start Using Dropbox

      Once logged in, you can start files, upload items, create folders, record and more on the free account.

      use dropbox
    Dropbox on Desktop: macOS & Windows Apps

    We tested the Dropbox desktop application on Windows and macOS. The desktop app creates a sync folder on your local machine and you can select which files to sync and which ones to keep online or offline. 

    Dropbox windows app
    The Dropbox desktop application allows access to
    files without being connected to the internet.
    dropbox mac app
    Access files offline using the Dropbox desktop application on Mac.

    Dropbox desktop provides a preference menu that allows users to customize the service to their needs. You can access these settings through the system tray and turn sync notifications on or off, select folders to sync, configure upload and download speeds, and choose whether Dropbox starts automatically when you turn your computer on or allow it to run in the background. 

    dropbox preferences
    Customize Dropbox preferences through
    the system tray on Windows.
    Dropbox on Mobile Devices: Android & iOS Apps

    We tested the Android and iOS apps for this Dropbox review. Like the web interface, the mobile apps allow you to sign in using Google or email. The application auto-syncs with the desktop app and web version, and you can see all the files stored in your Dropbox.

    dropbox android
    Share and upload files and photos on the move with the Dropbox Android application.
    dropbox ios
    Share and upload files and photos on the move with the Dropbox iOS application.

    The Android app has most of the same features as the web version and desktop application. You can upload and access files and photos through the app, and all shared folders and files will be synchronized to all your connected devices. You can also create and share new files and scan documents from the mobile application. 

    Dropbox Speed

    85 % – Very Good

    Dropbox has amazing upload and download speeds, easily earning a spot among the fastest cloud storage providers on the market. 

    Dropbox Speed Test Results

    Upload Speeds

    First TrialSecond TrialAverage
    Upload0:08:100:07:510:08:00

    Download Speeds

    First TrialSecond TrialAverage
    Download0:07:450:07:400:07:42
    Notes From the Lab: Our Detailed Speed Analysis

    Dropbox is among the fastest cloud storage services for uploads and downloads. To test how fast this service is, we uploaded and downloaded a 5GB file with a 1 Gbps internet connection, throttled to 100 Mbps for stability.

    It took us an average of eight minutes to upload a 5GB file to Dropbox. On the other hand, we downloaded a 5GB file from Dropbox to our local machine in seven minutes and 42 seconds on average. Our testing setup was a Windows virtual machine hosted in Dublin, Ireland, and the folder had assorted file types, including audio, 4K video, images, documents and raw text files. 

    File Sharing & Syncing

    90 % – Excellent

    Dropbox has amazing file-sharing and sync features. You can share files from your desktop, mobile or web application, and the changes sync with all devices. However, depending on your subscription plan, you can use sync settings to customize how you share and synchronize files and folders.

    File-Sharing Options

    Dropbox allows users to send files or folders by inviting others through email or generating a shareable link. The size limit varies based on the plan: 100 MB on Basic (free) and 2GB on Dropbox Plus, Family and Standard plans. 

    You can share files with registered or non-registered members. Paid members have finer control over the permissions and security features of their shared files. 

    Advanced options are limited for free users, as you can only limit access by setting the recipients as viewers or editors. However, if you are a Dropbox Professional or Business subscriber, you can set link expiry dates and passwords for your folders and disable downloads. 

    Dropbox Transfer 

    “Dropbox transfer” is a special feature that allows you to send files and folders you don’t need to collaborate on. The recipients receive a shareable link from which they can download the files. The recipient does not need to log in to Dropbox or create an account to access and download the files. The transfer expires in seven days on low-tier plans and 30 days on advanced plans.

    Free Dropbox accounts can send files up to 100MB with Dropbox transfer. This increases to 2GB on the Plus, Family and Standard plans and 100GB on most business plans. The Business Plus plan has the largest file size limit for Dropbox transfer at 250GB. 

    File-Syncing Settings

    Dropbox makes syncing files easy across all your devices. You can choose between selective sync and smart sync. Selective sync lets you choose which files/folders to download to your local device. Selective sync is useful if you have a large Dropbox account with many files and folders. 

    Smart sync allows you to choose which files to store locally and which ones should stay online. Local files will stay on your local machine, and you can access them even when offline. Online files are stored in the cloud and will only be available for use when you click them. Smart sync is suitable if you have limited storage on your devices. 

    Security: Is Dropbox Safe?

    90 % – Excellent

    In theory, Dropbox is safe. It has various security features, like 2FA authentication, and encryption standards like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect data at rest and while in transit. 

    However, Dropbox suffered a security breach in 2012, when more than 68 million email addresses and passwords were leaked online. The company responded to this hack by improving its encryption protocol from SHA1 to bcrypt. The company also advised its users to adopt two-step authentication and avoid reusing passwords. 

    Dropbox Security Features

    Dropbox allows users to set up 2FA to protect their accounts from unauthorized access. When you enable 2FA authentication, Dropbox will always require a six-digit code and password whenever you want to add a new device or log in to your account. You can use a mobile authenticator app or a phone that can receive text messages to enable this feature. 

    Detailed Security Analysis: Encryption & Cloud Security
    ProtocolWhat It Does
    Transport Layer Security (TLS)Protects data while in transit
    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)Protects data while in transit
    Advanced Encryption Standard 256-bit (AES)Protects data while at rest
    Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)Provides a secure communication tool between servers and clients

    Dropbox has several features to protect your data while in transit and at rest. The app uses Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) when data is moving from your devices and being uploaded to Dropbox servers. 

    Dropbox also uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to keep your files secure while at rest. You are thus assured that your files are in a secure storage space. You can read an in-depth article on Dropbox security for more insights. 

    Privacy: Is Dropbox Private?

    60 % – Fair

    Dropbox is not a private cloud storage provider. Although its safe from external threats, there are glaring privacy flaws. In its privacy policy, Dropbox states that it can access your data to ensure you don’t violate its policies. It also uses algorithmic analysis or machine learning technology to collect personal data to promote, improve, provide and protect Dropbox services. 

    Dropbox has data centers across the United States. This service also has storage servers for eligible users in the United Kingdom, European Union, Japan and Australia. Unfortunately, the United States has strict data protection laws and is not among the regions with the best data privacy laws

    Zero-Knowledge Encryption

    Dropbox lacks zero-knowledge encryption (the gold privacy standard for modern cloud services). When a service has zero-knowledge encryption, also known as end-to-end encryption, it means that not even its employees can access your data. 

    Zero-knowledge encryption generates and stores keys on your local device, meaning only you have access to the keys to decrypt your files. Dropbox competitors like Sync.com and pCloud implement zero-knowledge encryption.

    Dropbox Privacy Policy

    When signing up, Dropbox collects data such as name, physical address, payment information, email address and phone number. According to its privacy policy, Dropbox also collects information about your devices, such as IP addresses, the device and the browser. 

    Dropbox stores, processes and transmits items like files, documents, photos, comments, messages and more. Processing and transmitting this data means that Dropbox accesses and reads the contents of your files to enable collaboration or even generate previews. Dropbox can remove or delete content that violates community guidelines or its terms of use.

    Dropbox also collects usage information like creating and moving files, sending and receiving signature requests, and viewing and editing files. Dropbox collects and monitors such actions to “protect Dropbox users and promote its services.”

    It also highlights that it shares your data with “trusted” third parties like Google LLC and Amazon Web Services. Dropbox shares account information such as your real name, internet protocol address, postal address and email address, among other identifiers.

    Dropbox’s privacy policy leaves a lot to be desired. The fact that it processes and shares your information with third parties is not good if you want to remain private — it makes it sound like someone is snooping on you. If this is a dealbreaker for you, check out our related guide on how to remove Dropbox from Mac.

    Dropbox Customer Support

    90 % – Excellent

    Dropbox has an extensive customer support toolset. You can use the help center, browse the “community” section, use the “Dropbox learn” section or contact support if none of the other solutions work. 

    The help center has different categorizations, like “using Dropbox,” “account,” and “app and integrations.” There is also a search bar to input keywords and get recommendations for various articles with solutions. 

    dropbox support
    Access the resource center or chat with live support on paid plans.

    If you are on the free version, you can only use the help center, community area or chatbot. 

    Live Chat & Email Support Speed & Quality

    Dropbox has live chat and phone support options on paid plans during local business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). We tried the live chat option and were connected to a customer support agent in less than 30 seconds. The live chat option was helpful and addressed our issue promptly. 

    After closing the chat, we also received a follow-up email with the chat transcript and a ticket number we could use to follow up in case our issues weren’t adequately addressed in the live chat. 

    dropbox live support
    Use the live chat for an instant reply or email.

    Dropbox also provides email support in case all the live chat agents are busy. However, email support is not available on Dropbox Basic. 

    The service promises to respond to all emails within one business day (Monday-Friday). During our test, we received an instant automated reply after emailing to acknowledge receipt of the inquiry. However, it took about 13 hours to get an actual reply, and the response was detailed, addressed our query and linked to some guides.

    Dropbox vs Other Cloud Storage Services

    Dropbox excels in some areas and fails in others. First, Dropbox supports various third-party integrations, making it the perfect platform for collaboration and improved productivity. Dropbox ranks higher in integrations than pCloud, its close competitor. Check out our comparison article on pCloud vs Dropbox for better insights. 

    Secondly, Dropbox has some of the best customer support. Even though the free plan does not offer live chat, you can still use the resource center or chatbot to find the answers to most of your questions. Live chat and telephone options on working days on the paid plans are also a plus. 

    Despite the amazing features, Dropbox’s privacy is a concern for some users. Cloud services like Sync.com and pCloud have zero-knowledge encryption. The lack of zero-knowledge encryption is a letdown for those who want total control over their data. Sync.com is top of our list of the best zero-knowledge cloud services

    The Verdict: Is Dropbox Worth It?

    Yes, Dropbox is worth it. Though not the cheapest, Dropbox offers a lot to its customers. It is also worth noting that most new cloud storage platforms have been built on its principles. Dropbox excels for its collaboration, sharing folders and files, good UI and customer support.

    However, some recent cloud platforms like Sync.com and pCloud go a notch above by using zero-knowledge encryption, a feature that Dropbox lacks. The availability of many integrations with third-party platforms provides a tradeoff between privacy and productivity.

    What is your overall rating of Dropbox as a cloud storage solution? Which Dropbox alternatives would you like us to review? We would love to hear your thoughts about Dropbox — what you like about it and where it can improve. Thanks for reading. 

    FAQ: Dropbox Review

    • The main downsides of Dropbox are limited storage on the free plan, poor privacy and lack of end-to-end encryption. Dropbox does not use zero-knowledge encryption and admits to sharing user data with third parties.

    • Dropbox is a secure and trustworthy cloud storage solution. However, Dropbox’s privacy policy is lacking, as the service admits to sharing data with third parties.

    • Whether Dropbox is good or bad depends on your needs and preferences. Dropbox is a good cloud storage solution for sharing, collaborating and syncing files. However, it scores low on privacy, and its free plan is very meager.

    2TB - 5TB $9.99 / month (All Plans)
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