Here’s a quick list of features for Dropbox that I’ve discovered over the year I’ve been using it.
- Clients will want to know how it’s different from an actual server — it stores everything locally and in the cloud.
- It does not behave like a server. You save the file right to your computer and it syncs that to each computer that’s signed into that Dropbox account.
- Files can sync over your local network instead of to the cloud and back.
- The computer where the files originated is responsible for pushing them to the cloud.
- If two users are working on the same file at once whoever saves first will write to the original file.
- Whoever saves second will noticed that their changes are copied to a new file (filename – computer name – date modified).
- Enabling Growl notifications can be very helpful with this. Each time a file is sync’d it will show you a notification. If it’s the same file you’re working on… you can talk to the other person and work out the necessary changes to one file.
- Office 2011 for Mac has a collaboration feature that allows you to work on the same file as another user but only if it’s saved on their SkyDrive storage… or a sharepoint folder. Either way there’s no discussion of live file editing for dropbox that I’ve seen recently.
- Using a single user for a company will allow everyone to see and edit every file and or folder.
- If you want to share specific folders everyone involved needs a separate dropbox account. They do not need it installed on their computer to access the files. You can sign into your account online any time at dropbox.com in order to access the files.
- The data stored in shared folders take up the same amount of space on each account.
- If you want to share more than 2GB of files everyone involved needs a paid account.
- You can share a file with a non-dropbox user via the public folder.
- Right clicking the file in Finder will give you the public URL to access that file.
- The file can be opened by anyone with the link.
- There is no way to track who has downloaded the file or how many times it’s been downloaded. This is a heavily requested feature.
- The public folder is not something you’d want to use for secure file access.
- You would need to ask the recipient if they have downloaded the file before removing it from the public folder.
Most Recent Update:
- Dropbox just updated to Version 1.0.10 which brings Selective Sync and Extended Attribute Sync.
- Selective Sync allows the user to choose which folders from their dropbox account are sync’d with each computer.
- The SS preference panel is not currently password protected but if implemented would allow companies to use one dropbox account for everyone’s access to the company’s files.
- Extended Attribute Sync will actually sync resource forks along with individual files. Applications like Quicken Quark and OmniGraffle need these resource forks to maintain the file integrity when sync’d. According to Dropbox running 1.0.10 will allow syncing of those file types from this point forward.
- Oh and it also takes up less RAM to run in the background now. This could have been an issue that caused general slowness for system with 2GB or less RAM.
- They also resolved many issues when syncing files over multiple platforms.
Top Requested Features:
- Watch any folder — This would allow you to sync any folder on your computer just like sugar sync. They’re not specifically working on sugar sync capabilities but have something else in the works that will satisfy this request.
- File Check in / Check out — This would prevent multiple machines from accessing the same file at once. Thus eliminating the duplicate file issues. In development.
- Sharing permissions — This would allow you to set permission levels for different computers. I don’t think it will happen. They have sharing permissions available via separate accounts. I don’t see it happening on single accounts.
- Space-Free sharing — This would allow one paid account to share files with other free accounts because it wouldn’t take up space on the free account’s server. Again don’t see this happening because it completely goes against the dropbox format: sync everything locally and in the cloud. But who knows?
- An account with 2GB of space is completely free.
- $9.99 per month or $99 a year will get you 50GB of space.
- $19.99 per month or $199 a year will get you 100GB of space.
Dropbox for Teams:
- Dropbox for teams is designed for companies who don’t want to maintain a server.
- For these prices you’d be better off setting up the client with a server based on long-term investments.
- $795 a year gives you 5 user accounts and 350GB of shared storage.
- Each additional users costs $125 per year.
- Adding more storage to the team account costs $200 per year per 100GB additional.
- A team of 10 people sharing 1TB of information would cost $2 820 per year.