A Review of Dropbox

Are you ready to take a deeper look inside Dropbox?  Here are some of the service's high points and low points, for your consideration.


  • Dropbox is everywhere you go -- Dropbox is accessible from multiple places: your desktop computer, your tablet computer, your mobile smart phone, or anywhere you can access the Dropbox website.  Even if one of your devices breaks or otherwise malfunctions, your files on Dropbox are still safe with them, and you can still get at them by using another device.

  • Easy and intuitive -- What Dropbox lacks in features, it makes up for in simplicity.  It creates a special folder on your computer, where you can move other files and folders, and then navigate through them just like you would with your computer's usual file explorer.

  • Files can be as big as you want -- There is no restriction on Dropbox for the amount of memory space that a single file can take up (unlike for some of Drobox's competitors).

  • Share files and folders in a flash -- You can use Dropbox to share files and folders with other people who use Dropbox, or with people who don't have Dropbox via direct links.  Putting files on Dropbox, taking them off Dropbox, and synchronizing them across your devices is significantly faster with Dropbox than most of its competing services.

  • No need to panic over lost or altered files -- If one of your files or folders on Dropbox is changed or deleted against your will, you can reverse the change or deletion within 30 days (or longer, if you upgrade your account).


  • No live collaboration on files -- Dropbox doesn't allow two people to work on a file at the same time, or else it creates two separate copies of the same file.  You will have to wait for one person to finish editing a file, save it and close it, and then let it synchronize on Dropbox before you can work on it.

  • Comparatively small initial storage space -- The initial 2 gigabytes of memory storage space that Dropbox provides with free accounts is relatively small.  Many comparable services offer anywhere between 3 and 10 gigabytes of storage with free accounts.  However, you can get around this somewhat by referring Dropbox to your friends, and getting them to use it.  We'll have a tutorial dedicated to how to do this.

  • Speed... at what cost? -- Dropbox has received a bit of criticism for how it handles security and privacy.  In a couple of our later articles, we'll get into details about this, and provide a few tips for staying safe and secure while using Dropbox.

The Bottom Line: 8/10

Dropbox is one of the most well-recognized names when it comes to storing and sharing computer files through the Internet cloud, for a couple of reasons.  First, it's one of the easiest and simplest services out there; just install the client, throw files and folders into your new Dropbox folder, and you're good to go.  Dropbox also allows you to get at your files from your desktop computer, your mobile device, or their own website, so there's always a way to access your stuff, even if one of those routes breaks down.  And your files will almost always synchronize between devices, so you'll always be able to see the latest changes made to a file.

Dropbox also makes it easy to share your files with other people, whether or not they use Dropbox.  This is useful for avoiding clunky attachments interfaces in email clients, especially if you're part of a team that's working on a certain document at the same time.  And if someone whom you've shared a file with accidentally changes or deletes it, you can retrieve the file (or a previous version of it), as long as the change or deletion is less than 30 days old.

As Dropbox has grown, though, so has the criticism regarding it.  The initial amount of memory storage space that you get to store your files and folders with on a free account is relatively small, compared to the amount that some of Dropbox's competitors now offer for free.  Dropbox has also received finger-wags from experts in the computer world concerning how its security and privacy systems work and are designed.  Though Dropbox has worked (and continues to work) hard to correct many of its initial problems, it's still not perfect, and you'll have to take a few extra steps if you really want to cover all of your bases.


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