Overall Rating 84%Very Good
Plans & Pricing
80%Good
File Syncing & Sharing
90%Excellent
Retrieving files
80%Good
Comparison
80%Good
Features & Extras
88%Very Good

Dropbox Overview

Dropbox is, in simple words, a file hosting service. It provides free 2 GB data storage for anyone who signs up on their website. It offers cloud storage and file synchronization. The best feature of Dropbox is that it provides us with a parent folder on our personal computer.

Anything we put in that folder is available through cloud service or other computers where we have our Dropbox installed. Another amazing service of Dropbox is the client software. It provides client software for popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and on mobile operating system such as Android, iOS, Blackberry OS etc.

I would recommend people to use Dropbox because it has a very simple user interface anyone can understand. In addition, it provides 2 GB free data storage. Granted, other services have more free storage on their shelves but Dropbox is certainly the most well-rounded of them. 

Plans & Pricing

80% – Good

Fortunately, Dropbox offers very simple pricing plans for your personal files. Here you can find an overview of this year’s pricing plans:

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Dropbox BasicFree2 GB

Free plan. Can be increased through referrals.

Dropbox Pro
$ 9.99 Monthly
$ 119.88 1 Year
$ 99.00 (-17%)
1000 GB

Pro version with more sharing options (password protected links, expiration dates)

Alternatives for Dropbox

Company History

Over the years, Dropbox has proven itself as a reliable cloud backup service provider through continuous improvement of features and functionalities. This was possible due to venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital, Amidzad, and Accel Partners. It has effectively grown into a very large company with an employee count easily crossing 700. The company has served approximately 275 million clients and the number keeps growing at a very fast pace.

Dropbox Inc. Office Locations

  • San Francisco, California (Headquarters)
  • Austin, Texas (Second Office)

Accolades Received

  • MacWorld’s Editor’s Choice in 2009
  • Crunchie Best Internet Application in 2009
  • TechCrunch StartUp of the Year in 2012

Who is Dropbox for?

Dropbox is for everyone. The simplicity of this service makes it usable for almost anyone who has a bit knowledge about the internet. Using this service will be a huge mistake only when one does not know the meaning of “Uploading a File”.

The Dropbox team has tried their best to make it as simple as possible. They provide range of storage space apart from the free 2 GB but it will cost extra money. Dropbox can provide storage of 100 GB, 200 GB, and 500 GB all depending on the amount you are willing to spend on monthly basis. If someone needs more than 500 GB then there is “Dropbox for business” as well.

Update 2015: Dropbox now offers one easy plan: 1TB storage space for 9.99$/mo.

Even the free account is useful if we are just planning to back up small files such as texts, pictures, routines, presentation files and lots more because a lot of space is given even for a free account.

Or think about sharing files with your friends, family and colleagues. It is all possible for free with Dropbox. If you think this review is biased, you might be right as I’m a Dropbox evangelist for quite some time. Yet, I think you’ll get some useful information out of it if you don’t already use it or if you’re currently using a different cloud storage solution (shame on you). 

How Does Dropbox Make Money?

Basic Business Model

Dropbox works on a freemium-based model where basic users are offered a free account with 2GB storage space. You might think 2GB space is not sufficient for storing large amounts of media files, such as photos and videos. However, the beauty of Dropbox is that it keeps offering additional storage space when you use some of its specific features. The obvious question that will now appear in your mind is “what are the various ways to boost the storage space for your Dropbox account?”

Let’s check out some of the popular methods below:


  • Dropbox offers 500MB additional storage space for every friend or colleague (referral) that you successfully refer to the Dropbox service. There is a limit of 16GB space, which can be assigned to your account for successful Dropbox referrals.
  • Another method to get additional storage is to link your Dropbox account to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Once linked, you’ll receive an additional 125MB storage space for each network.
  • You can obtain another 3GB space by simply enabling the ‘camera upload’ functionality to automatically backup photos or videos (from mobile devices) to the cloud.
  • You are also entitled to 250MB additional backup space when you take a tour of the Dropbox Basics.

 

Alternatives for Dropbox

File Syncing & Sharing

90% – Excellent

Dropbox File Sharing, Deletion, and Synchronization

It is important to understand the simple process through which any computer user can start sharing files online via their Dropbox folder. The Dropbox software license is per user and not per system. The best part about Dropbox is its compatibility with most operating systems. Some important tips to use for Dropbox file sharing and synchronization tools are listed below:

  1. To start using Dropbox, install its client on any Windows PC, Linux desktop, or Mac you wish to sync files on.
  2. Then, create a Dropbox account (if you haven’t already) and use it to sign in to all your devices.
  3. You should have a “Dropbox” folder created on your device’s hard drive or primary storage.
  4. Now, simply drag and drop files from your PC (that you want to store in your Dropbox cloud account) into the Dropbox folder. This automatically synchronizes these files with your other computers where you have logged in with the same account. If you do not want the files to synchronize automatically across all your devices, you can use the Selective Sync feature for individual Dropbox clients. Moreover, files shared through Dropbox are also available when you are offline.

  5. Any of the files or folders stored in your Dropbox account can be shared with other people using simple sharing options. To access these options, simply right-click on any of the folders that you wish to share.

When you click on the ‘Share this folder’ option for one of your Dropbox folders, a pop-up lets you specify whom you want to share it with.

Retrieving files

80% – Good

Retrieving lost files with Dropbox

Dropbox has a feature where it saves a history of deleted items and previous versions of files for until 30 days and if Packrat (an add-on for Dropbox) is installed then Dropbox will save your file versions forever. Data can be recovered though the application of Dropbox and by clicking on “Show deleted Files” and hitting the restore button.

However, it has to be within 30 days of the deleted date unless one is using “Packrat”. Now called “Extended Version History”. Advanced users can also recover deleted items through cache folder within Dropbox. The speed of recovery depends a lot on your internet connection. It should be, however, quite fast if you’re using Cable. In our tests, we couldn’t max out our connection speed in our office, so the bottleneck certainly were Dropbox’s servers. 

Comparison

80% – Good

How does Dropbox compare?

If we talk about competition then Mozy is a pure online backup service whereas Dropbox provides synchronization and somewhat backup like features, although we do not recommend using Dropbox for serious backup tasks. Carbonite is not a free service but Dropbox is. Carbonite has some features that Dropbox lacks though. There are options for private encryption keys, backup scheduling and looking up files.

Nevertheless, files stored in Dropbox can be synchronized across multiple computers,  it has no file size limits and there is no free trial because you can use free 2GB version until it is maxed out. So choosing between these two, all depends upon one’s preferences.

Dropbox is left behind by the numerous features that Crashplan has to offer. There are so many features that Crashplan provides which Dropbox does simply not have, like simple backup scheduling. BUT Dropbox is not designed to be a backup program. If you want a simple way to sync your files across your devices, access your photos on your mobile and already have a backup routine in place, Dropbox may be a good start. 

 

Features & Extras

88% – Very Good

A cool gimmick Dropbox offers is increasing your free storage with referrals.  If somebody signs up a Dropbox account through you then you will get 500 MB extra space.

Dropbox is not only syncing service but also a sharing service. It allows its users to share data and access them through different means such as other personal computers, tablets, laptops, mobile phones etc. which none of the other services such as Backblaze or Crashplan offer.

Sharing in Dropbox is very easy and fast as files are already in the Dropbox. There is also a feature called “Favorites” in mobile devices where one can save the uploaded files in their favorites section so that it can be easily accessed. 

Final Verdict

To be very clear, choosing between Dropbox and other services such as Mozy, Carbonite, Crashplan etc. all comes down to two points. First is the fact that if one is willing to pay for cloud storage.

If not, then Dropbox will be the right choice for you because other listed services do not give free space or only in a very limited fashion. The second fact is file sharing. Only Dropbox has the file sharing feature among all the listed alternatives. If one does not care about accessing stored files through multiple computers and mobile devices then Dropbox will not be the right choice. 

Other services provide more features than Dropbox. Personally, if file sharing is not a big issue then I would like to recommend CrashPlan or Backblaze over Dropbox but for ease-of-use, simplicity and quickness, Dropbox would be the better choice.

Alternatives for Dropbox

Features

Dropbox Features
www.dropbox.com
Free Storage2 GB
Free Trial
System
  • windows
  • mac
PriceStarts from $ 9.99 per month
Mobile Access
Mobile Apps
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • WindowsPhone
Syncronisation
Free External HD Backup
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Backup Scheduling
Bare Metal Backup
Exclude File Extensions for Backup
Network Drives
Bandwidth throttling
Web Access
HIPAA Compliant
File Size LimitUnlimited GB
Included Machines1
File Sharing
Multiple Accounts
Share Photo Albums
Music Streaming
Folder Collaboration
Outlook Backup
Local Encryption
Server Side Encryption256-bit
Keeps deleted files30
File Versioning30

Dropbox Review

Passable syncing and good transfer speed.

Moderately good cloud storage service. Great third party integration. Terrible backup solution.
Starts from
$ 9.99 per month
Visit Dropbox

28 thoughts on “Dropbox”

  1. Dropbox was the first cloud service I had used..Till now Dropbox is waking up when my PC wakes up..I have tried other cloud services too,but nothing is simple as Dropbox…I have 5.5 GB space on my free account..and everyone in family uses Dropbox…That’s the power of simplicity…

  2. Dropbox is amazing guys! It’s probably the best for business or a proffesional photographer.

    Dropbox offers amazing features, and especially the BIG 2014 changes and updates made it to be the one of the most cheapest cloud storage ever! 1TB for 9,99$/month. And new feature Dropbox launched, is password lock for files you share!

    However, in security, Dropbox is good, but nothing more.
    Dropbox is NOT going to take a war, if a company would be requesting your account’s files for legal procedures to take against what you did, so dropbox would simply say “oh hey, yeah yeah sure take this users 850GB copy files”. Why? you’re saying why i say this way? it’s because it’s their REAL face!
    They are a cloud company that don’t want to get in a trouble if a illegal activity is monitored on how you’re using the cloud. Example, if you got illegal files that is copyright protected, and you upload to your cloud and share, they will easily see your file, with the MD5 Hash control (i think they are using MD5 hash, or another thing similar to MD5).
    Dropbox uses Amazon S3 servers, which are NOT NSA Proof!
    Dropbox uses SSL Only during File transfer. In the Cloud, it’s easily read-able.
    IF someone has Access to Amazon S3 servers, they could easily read and see your files (well, it’s pretty hard since Amazon has tons of TB in that cloud, so will there be low risk of your files getting revealed). For Bussiness, Dropbox definitely is a NO!
    Low security, non-encryption on server-side.

    Unless you mark your files as “share”, dropbox wont use their system scanner, to scan illegal files. Yup, dropbox has a system that maintains the scan feature, if any suspicious is found, it will get redirected to the Dropbox staffs for manual scanning procedure to decide whether it is legal or illegal.

    Simplicity of Dropbox is Very good! very simple! they made it as simple as possible which is very easy to learn and manage files.

    Speed of Dropbox is really good too! Well, it can’t beat Google Drive’s speed (which MAXED my speed, i got shocked, because no any cloud provider maxed out my 100mbs upload/download speed). Dropbox has good speed, i am serious, it’s really good for personal use. Dropbox lowered their price, which made them marked in the “Affordable clouds” section (well so in my list anyway).

    Their Mobile app is super-easy and super-simple. However, it lacks some features that other cloud privders mostly gives, anyway, Dropbox is very proffesional cloud company.
    Their Windows software is really bad guys, because it is copying your cloud to your local harddrive without even warning you about that, which in result causes bandwidth overcharge issue (if you have a Internet which has a limited bandwdith usage). I think that function is customizable to your preference.

    Overall guys, Dropbox is very good (if we exclude the security) for the price.

  3. I have had Dropbox for over a year now after a colleague initiated its use. I love it! My storage is at 17GB thanks to friends joining me. I can access my current projects (letters I’m writing, homework, etc) no matter where I am, from any computer.

  4. I’ve been using Dropbox for several years. My Dropbox folder is my default folder for Microsoft Word. So all of my Word files automatically go to Dropbox. One of the features I especially like is that Dropbox retains multiple versions of my files. So, for example, if a template file is corrupted through user error, I can easily restore the original version. Likewise when a crucial file gets deleted, I can easily restore it. Another feature I value is the ability to share a file so that I can provide a link to the file to anyone I want to share it with. That person doesn’t even need to have a Dropbox account. For example, suppose you need to provide an updated file periodically to a group of people. Instead of emailing the file to them, you can just provide the link. Then each time you update the file the link will automatically point to the updated version of the file.

  5. I have been trying too get a hold of anyone at Dropbox. .. but am not receiving any replies! I was told to contact mgm.blann@gmail.com regarding something pertaining to my drop box..

    Please reply

  6. I’ve used Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive, but Dropbox is by far the fasted and most reliable in terms of speed and synchronisation. I’ve had a lot of trouble with the other apps where they take forever to synchronise.

  7. I have found Dropbox service to be very inflexible. I think the website is more difficult to use than is necessary. One has to go through too many steps to figure out the various pricing plans. It is also too many steps to get to a point where you can choose to cancel your trial service. I feel totally duped by trying their trial service and the inflexibility to work with me to determine the best service for me at a reasonable price.

    1. “One has to go through too many steps to figure out the various pricing plans.”

      $9.99 for 1TB of storage. Wow, very confusing.

      “It is also too many steps to get to a point where you can choose to cancel your trial service.”

      Settings – Cancel Subscription. Wow, so complex.

      Perhaps using computers and the internet are not your strong suit Cindy.

      1. Wow, is Rolo ever an asshole! I hope he’s just a random internet jerk and not an actual employee of Dropbox.

        I have never done business with a company that makes it so difficult to get simple support. I signed up for their $750 business service specifically to keep separate my business photos and files from my existing personal travel photos. I was very careful to set up a separate email account — everything I could think of to keep them separate because I wanted to share files with a major client.

        As soon as everything was set up on my new business account, I open it up and see……all my personal photos from my other account. WTF??? Exactly what I was so careful to avoid was right there in front of me.

        So….after a very long time of trying to find the secret decoder ring that spelled out a tech support number, I finally reached DropBox, tried to get it all straightened out and after hours, ended up just frustrated enough to tell them to forget it, just cancel the whole damned order and refund my $750. They actually did that immediately. That was last June (2015).

        Guess what I found when I signed on to my bank card account today (May 31, 2016)? A new $750 pending charge from Dropbox. Seriously, you’re going to hit me for an auto-renew charge when I’m not even a customer and haven’t been for a year?

        So, before Rollo the jerk decides computers and the internet are not my strong suit, you should know that I make my living pretty much exclusively handling things online. I can call Pruvan, I can call Quick Books, I can call Basecamp and get help immediately from any of them. There is no other company I’ve dealt with in business that makes communication such as nightmare as does Dropbox.

        **More fun trying to find help from Dropbox: the kicker of this whole sorry experience: all my personal photos that were migrated into the now-deleted business account: gone. Can’t find them anywhere. Thanks a lot, Dropbox.

        1. Speaking of “: gone…”:

          If you even imagine Drop Box as a last resort back-up of a real back-up, forget it.

          Drop Box pretty much destroyed what had been a useful; library of some 450 albums. It ripped apart every single compilation album (SXSW 2016, for example), spewed a few across the library as individual albums and then crammed 450+ tracks into an “Unknown Artist” extravaganza album from which it is impossible to extricate them. This, in spite of the fact that in every case the individual track information including artist and album name appear in Drop Box’s own information.

          But that’s not half bad compared to the 60 or so albums that still appear in the library (album art shows up) but have one track instead of, say, 12. The other 11 tracks are just: gone.

          Several of my text documents received the same treatment.

          Add to that the hours and hours and hours of restoration time, and floppy disks begin to look pretty advanced.

          1. This is true. Dropbox is _not_ a backup system. For backups there are other tools and it needs a different backup strategy or/and some tools which providing this (CrashPlan, TrueImage,…).

            It can be a nightmare if a file was locally deleted or corrupted and it’s synced with all devices. If you don’t know the file and the latest working version, you have a big problem.
            Dropbox (and most other cloud services) are no backup tools and also no replacements for a real version control system.

            So never use Dropbox and similar cloud services to backup your music library, documents, eBooks, photos etc. It’s good for sharing and collaboration with other people but not for backups.

        2. Hi! Thank you for your post! We are dealing with dropbox nightmare, too. You mentioned you were able to find a phone number. Do you by chance still have it?

        3. Hi Alison, I recently had this happen to me too. I am curious if you were able to resolve the issue with the charge? I cannot afford the $750 bill that they stuck me with. Any insight will help greatly!

          -Kyle

      2. I agree. It said 30 days free trial so I’ve become 1 year subscription because it save more money than monthly charge. I was stupid they charge $99 right away and never refund back even I cancel subscription within hours. The Reason of cancel is that the storage has 1TB but I can’t upload more than 150GB so I sent tech support but didn’t get any answer soon so I tried to search. My hard drive unused space is only 150GB and I can’t upload more than that.
        It is completely not useful. Bad service and tech support (still didn’t get any answer from couple of days ago). extremely bad company

  8. Went through a painful search to reach a customer service line.

    Got one finally, a hold of some Red Dot Indian guy who laughed at my problem then hung up on me.

    He wanted to charge a service fee for helping me with my account. I told him no.

    1. I see that G.L. posted in August and might not read this, but it may be helpful to other readers:
      1 888 414 8124 IS NOT A DROPBOX SUPPORT NUMBER! It’s a scam. You will have the same experience as G.L. had—a nasty guy that sounds like he’s from India who’s tries to get your card number.
      There is no phone number to reach Dropbox tech support unless you are a so-called Business Plan customer. Even if you paid for Pro, you will still have to wait two or three days to get a response, if you get one.

  9. Severe safety issues. Dropbox has security holes big as an elephant, and no loss-restore. Your DB account can easily be taken over and deleted by an unauthorized third party, even by accident. There is no safeguarding back-up solution, no way to restore your account. All your pics and documents are forever gone. And the DB tech team will just say “no can do” before they stop responding at all. I’d recommend you stay away

  10. Dbox is good until…..I have used them for many years. I liked them until they just stopped supporting XP based computers. This means the DROPBOX system STOPPED working…I would be ok if they just stopped supporting the service with XP. When windows stopped supporting XP, my computer still worked. This was not so with Dropbox. It just stopped working, no warning, no email warning, no phone call…it just stopped. What kind of company would do this move? They have lost my business, I am going to google drive, you should too before it is too late and you can not get access to your files on their server.

  11. I don’t think that CrashPlan fits this category. It’s a cloud and local backup tool and works different than Dropbox so it makes not so much sense to compare this both.

    Anyway, Dropbox is still the big player because of it’s easy usage and the features if it comes to sharing of files. Dropbox allows to share a complete folder and it’s intelligent enough to automatically make a zip archive if the user with the shared link likes to download a folder. The pro version adds some more interesting features like passwords for links.

    Dropbox uses a special strategy and uploads only partially changed chunks if the file is already in the cloud. This makes the upload often very quick. If the file is already somewhere in the cloud it will also not uploaded twice, Dropbox compares this with already uploaded files.
    With my testings with Google Drive and One Drive, Dropbox had the quickest uploads.

    Because it’s the leading cloud platform nearly all apps supporting Dropbox. This can be interesting for some special apps on mobile devices like cloud music players or photo galleries.

    The downside.. yes, with 10€ it’s not the cheapest platform and the competitors don’t sleep. They offering often more features in different departments, for example the online working on documents with Google Drive.
    So IMO Dropbox is still the king if sharing of files, integration with other apps and syncing over different devices is needed. Not to mention that the syncing client works like a charm and IMO better then Google Drive, OneDrive etc.
    For better encryption, more features there are better cloud providers.

    So overall rating is IMO fair 😉

  12. Dropbox is terrible. I had a problem with my account.

    1st- I cancelled my account, then they charged me anyway.

    Then I tried to contact them via email but their contact form did not work.

    So I tried chat.

    I was told there was no option to refund my money despite the fact I cancelled. (they had no record of it- of course I know they have at least one other form that does not submit properly)

    So I called, was told the same thing and when I asked to speak with a supervisor I was told there was not one available.

    How anyone likes Dropbox more than other services I will never know

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      The reason people like Dropbox is that it generally works well and is convenient. HOWEVER, should you have any problems with Dropbox, including tech support and billing, chances are that you will end up hating it and the people who work there.
      You can do some looking around to see how many people have nightmarish stories about Dropbox.
      Also, don’t try to get any help at their users’ forum. If you post something at all critical of Dropbox, some bizarre creatures called “super users” will respond by attacking and attempting to discredit you. After I read some of the complaints and responses, I realized that there was no point trying to get help there.

  13. My elderly Aunt has a recurring charge of 9.99 on her credit card. She has only ever had one email account, and DropBox has no record of that. Without the email address on the account, there is NO WAY to cancel, or even to contact their support team. The only resolution left was to block all charges from the vendor. After seeing how badly this company provides (or does not provide) customer service, it is VERY easy for me to not recommend that the state government agency I work for ever use their service. There are many other cloud based storage solutions that have actual customer support.

  14. Tech support at Dropbox is basically non-existent. I had no problems for years, but recently I added my Dropbox account to a new computer. The files were too large for the C drive, so I moved them to a different drive. By doing that, somehow I removed my own access to all my folders and all of my files disappeared from Dropbox. Luckily – I had them all backed up, but otherwise I would have been utterly out of luck because after over a week of constant email – they have done absolutely nothing to help, and their emails are condescending in tone and aggravating. I cannot recommend them. I would suggest looking elsewhere for file storage and file sharing.

  15. I have had a free DB account for years now and decided to use it for digital downloads for business but needed to find out which business plan would work for my needs. I ended with “Amanda” chat and she wanted my email and phone number first and I said I already have an account and gave the name. I asked why she needed the info before I find out if their plans will do what I need first. Then she says ok then gives me a link to business plans and ends the session. Wow that was rude. I then go to the link and they want to start up a chat but they say that guy is busy. I am thinking that DB is hard core sales and from many of the complaints here it sounds like they run a sloppy pushy ship. I will stay with Google Drive until I can find a better business alternative. I am glad I found out about all this before I gave them my credit card. That was a close one.

  16. The first surprise I’ve had with DB was that files shared with me by other people count toward my storage when these files already, logically, count toward their storage. So if someone decided (just like they did) to share large files in their paid account with me, my modest box will fill up on day one. How naive of me to think otherwise.

  17. I’ve just spent 11 days playing ping pong with Dropbox customer support and my issue is still not resolved. I own a business account. I expected their customer service to be OK. It’s total crap. I get copy and paste answers. I requested my ticket to be transferred to another rep and the rep refused. I can hardly believe it. If customer service is important to you, avoid Dropbox at all cost.

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Dropbox Review

Passable syncing and good transfer speed.

Moderately good cloud storage service. Great third party integration. Terrible backup solution.
Starts from
$ 9.99 per month
Visit Dropbox