Undoubtedly one of the heavy hitters when it comes to cloud storage
Dropbox is undoubtedly one of the heavy hitters when it comes to cloud storage, happily storing up to 2TB of your photos, videos, files, documents and almost anything else you can throw at it. Add that to super simple sync with your computer and some nice extra features, and it’s easy to see why Dropbox comes out near the top of the cloud storage apps every time.
A top-performing cloud storage tool with generous storage allowance
Massive storage capacity should accommodate anything you can think of
When it comes to options to store serious amounts of data in the cloud, most people’s minds include Dropbox on their list, and with good reason. This solid, functional program offers bountiful storage, an accessible, attractive interface, and fast, safe syncing.
To use Dropbox, you’ll need to sign up for an account. The most basic account is free, but it offers you only 2 GB of space. If you’re trying to upload any halfway decent number of files especially photos or videos you’ll run out pretty quickly. To get around this limit, you’ll need to upload to one of the 2 paid plans, which are aimed at personal and business use respectively. Beyond this divide, there's no more pricing flexibility, which will price it out of some people's reach.
Dropbox becomes a Windows app when you download the tool that will sync a folder on your desktop to your online Dropbox account. In and of itself, this Windows client is nothing more than the pre-existing folder on your desktop, so there’s certainly nothing interesting to look at or interact with. There are also Android and iOS clients that replicate this, so your files are indeed available via Dropbox wherever you go.
Even so, this innocuous folder is the key to accessing everything contained in your Dropbox from your computer and being able to save things on your computer to your Dropbox account. If you have something you’d like stored in the cloud, just add it to the folder and, as soon as you’re on wifi, if you so choose, it will upload to Dropbox. Have a rummage around the folder and you’ll be able to access everything stored in Dropbox, without it actually being stored simultaneously on your computer (as this would mean you ran out of space pretty quick!).
Uploading (or syncing) with Dropbox is pretty quick. There’s also a nice feature whereby if you have more than 1 computer on a home network, you can access your files via LAN, which makes the whole process much faster. You can also scan documents, such as receipts, bills, and even napkin drawings, which is pretty cool.
With all of your most precious photos and special documents in one place, you may well be concerned about the safety of your files. Like all good apps, Dropbox offers 2-factor authentication and also clear privacy policies, as well as file history, recovery, and a remote account wipe feature, in case everything does go wrong.
Although we're reviewing the Windows app, if you use it, you'll also probably spend some time in the web app, which is more visual than the Windows folder. Although minimalist and fresh, the Dropbox web interface isn't the most intuitive to get around and suffers a little when it comes to search, especially if you compare it with the nearest competitor, Google Drive.
Where can you run this program?
Dropbox is available for iOS, Android, and as a web app. This version is for Windows.
Is there a better alternative?
Dropbox’s closest alternative is Google Drive, especially when the latter is used in conjunction with Google Photos. There are a number of reasons why you might want to use Google’s offering prices are a little cheaper and more flexible, the search is stronger, and Google takes a slight edge when it comes to security. Google doesn’t offer cool features like the document scanner, though, and Dropbox has better privacy options when sharing. Generally, though, the two are pretty evenly matched, so to pick one over the other, you’re going to need to go through the individual features with a fine-toothed comb.
Dropbox is a highly functional, well-established, and nicely designed tool for file storage and management. File storage isn’t something that most people get excited about: you pick your poison and let it get on with the job and, on this front, Dropbox performs in an exemplary manner. When you start to examine it closely in comparison with Google Drive, for example, it’s clear that from certain standpoints, it might not be the out-and-out winner. To make a final decision, however, you’re going to have to look very carefully as really, there’s not much between the two.
Should you download it?
Yes. If you’ve had a look at Dropbox and its closest competitor and Dropbox still seems to come out on top, go ahead and download it. It’s a solid app that is definitely worth your time.
- Synch multiple computers via LAN
- Good sharing security
- Great space allowance available
- Scanning feature very cool
- Free allowance not high
- Not much flexibility in price tiers
- Web UI not very intuitive
- Search not as strong as competitors