Dropbox remains one of the most popular cloud storage services available. Dropbox is especially popular when it comes to home cloud solutions. Their free cloud storage plan is rivaled perhaps only by Google Drive. In this Dropbox review, however, we’ll be taking a closer look at what Dropbox really has to offer. We’ll also be taking a look at some Dropbox alternatives that might be worth considering.
We hope our Dropbox review will help you get a clearer picture of this cloud storage service and if it is a cloud solution that’s just as suited for businesses as it is for personal use.
Dropbox – General Info
It’s difficult to say how good or bad Dropbox as a cloud solution is since most cloud storage providers have modeled their products after Dropbox. Thus, you don’t really have a solid Dropbox alternative to compare it with.
Most of us are likely familiar with the free personal plan offered by Dropbox. You get 2 GB worth of free cloud storage. Dropbox also features a paid personal plan. There are also three business plans that offer a lot more storage space and tons of advanced features. In the following section of our Dropbox review, we will briefly describe Dropbox pricing plans and their features.
Plans & Pricing
Dropbox pricing plans are relatively straightforward. Most upgrades offer extra storage space and a few other perks. Each subsequent pricing plan comes with all the features included in the previous tier, plus extra storage.
The table below shows a very brief summary of Dropbox pricing offers. Bear in mind that pricing differs depending on your billing country. For further details regarding Dropbox prices, you should consult the pricing page.
|Basic||Free||2 GB||MS 365 Office Integration; Unlimited 3rd party integration.|
|Plus||$9.99/user/month or $99/year (includes two months free)||1 TB||MS 365 Office Integration; Integration with 3rd party vendors; Remote wipe; Password-protected links; E-mail support.|
|Business Standard||$12.50/user/month||2 GB||Unlimited File Recovery; Remote wipe; Password-protected links; E-mail and phone support; Admin Tools; Advanced Collaboration Tools; Granular permissions; System alerts; Minimum of five users.|
|Enterprise||Contact is required||Unlimited||All the features included in the Business Plans; Enterprise Mobility Management support; Advanced training for end users and admins; Dedicated account success manager.|
Dropbox In-Depth Review
In this part of our Dropbox review, we analyzed the features Dropbox has to offer. While for many Dropbox is the default cloud storage service, bear in mind that there are alternatives. The information we offer in this part of our Dropbox review is meant to help you decided whether Dropbox is truly the cloud service for you.
Backing up your first files and folders to the cloud is easy as it gets thanks to Dropbox’s all-out integrated features. In order to upload your files to the cloud, simply drag and drop them in the Dropbox drive that appears in your Windows Explorer.
Alternatively, you can use the Web-based manager to upload your files. You can do that by clicking on the upload icon and selecting your files and folders or by drag-and-dropping them directly in your browser.
And with the real-time sync features, it’s very convenient to share documents quickly with your coworkers or work on group projects. Arguably, it is this real-time sync that has set Dropbox apart for so many years.
Restoring a previous version of a file is just as easy as uploading it. For this purpose, you can use either the Web-based platform or the desktop application.
To restore your files, you can use the same drag-and-drop method you used to upload them to the cloud. Depending on the size of the file, file restoration takes about as much as moving a file from one folder to another.
As far as file versioning is concerned, both the Web-based and the desktop app will display you a short, yet comprehensive history of all the changes made to a folder, picture or a document. Paid Dropbox plans also offer a 120-day file history.
Dropbox uses a pretty standard 256-bit AES encryption on top of an SSL key. Users will also need a password to access a Dropbox folder. When you share a folder, you can choose to protect that folder as well. From the Sharing Options tab, you can select the option that allows only users with a password to view that folder or file. You must then create a password. It’s not really top-notch security, but it can do the trick.
Business cloud storage plans offer additional security features. You can find out more about Dropbox security on the Dropbox security and privacy page.
Recently, Dropbox has introduced a set of collaboration tools, similar to what Google Drive has to offer. It was arguably the only thing missing from Dropbox. These productivity and collaboration tools were launched under the name of Dropbox Paper. Apart from basic document editing tools, Dropbox Paper also features a kind of workspace, similar to what Asana or Trello offer.
Dropbox Paper is a relatively new advanced feature, and it will take some time until it’s going to prove its worth.
Dropbox has also improved on its mobile app features. You can now easily most of the Dropbox functions you had on your desktop from any mobile device. You can view different formats using the Dropbox app, by opening the file via Dropbox.com. File formats include PDF, Microsoft Office formats, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign files.
One of the most useful advanced features any cloud storage service should have is a file versioning option. Dropbox provides an easy way to restore previous versions of a document. You can also use Dropbox to restore files you’ve deleted from your computer, simply by going to the parent folder and clicking on View Deleted Files.
Also, if you’re not at home, but still want to access your files, you can use the mobile version of Dropbox, which is compatible with iOS and Android.
Dropbox – PROs and CONs
To sum up the main points we’ve made in our Dropbox review, here is a list of pros and cons.
- Advanced collaboration functions;
- Real-time backup and restoration features;
- Great pricing;
- Document editing;
- Multiple sharing;
- Drag-and-drop features.
- User friendly
- No media streaming;
- Desktop manager has limited functionality.
Dropbox Alternative Options
The first Dropbox alternative that comes to mind is naturally Google Drive. Google Drive and Dropbox have relatively few things in common. And this is perhaps why both remain popular cloud storage solutions. We’ve looked at this comparison more in depth in our Dropbox vs. Google Drive article. Perhaps it’s not that easy to choose one over the other since each cloud service provides something that the other doesn’t. Although, with the addition of Dropbox Paper, perhaps Dropbox will finally get the edge it needed to resolve the stalemate.
May users have also mentioned OneDrive as a great alternative to Dropbox. It has a lot in common with Dropbox. As far as personal cloud storage solutions are concerned, OneDrive might actually be a better option. However, Dropbox business plans are far more generous than OneDrive business plans. If you want to know more about this Dropbox alternative cloud service, our OneDrive review covers more details.
If Dropbox pricing is your main concern, then you might be interested in what Box.com has to offer. They have a more diversified range of cheap pricing plans. We’ve covered them in-depth in our Box review. However, if you are looking for a business cloud, Dropbox might still be the better option.
Though there are many good alternatives to Dropbox, our conclusion is that Dropbox is still a top-notch choice when it comes to affordable, user-friendly cloud storage services. It’s easy to use, integrates well with a variety of apps, and has relatively good pricing plans.
What Dropbox alternatives have you used? What issues have you encountered when using Dropbox? If you feel we’ve left something out of our Dropbox review, please let us know in the comments section.