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Dropbox Transfer (dropbox.com)
303 points by sbolt 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 215 comments

Good to see them finally doing something addressing actual user needs for a change, instead of chasing greener pastures. Given my informal observations over the years, I wouldn't be surprised if transferring large files was the main need that drives users to Dropbox - when dealing with individuals and companies outside tech, I frequently saw them giving the advice to "get a Dropbox" when someone needed to send them more files than fit in an e-mail.

Agreed. This actually looks useful, something providing actual value to existing (and new) users.

This also looks like it has (viable?) plan for monetising: branded pages for company accounts.

User needs and business models don't always align.

I suspect the bundled OneDrive in Office365 is hurting them. Dropbox is better, but hard to justify if you already have something that's good enough.

I left Dropbox because they count shared space against everyone involved, which makes me cannot share the "photos" folder with my wife (unless we both purchase the 1T plan). Not sure whether they changed this practice. I am a satisfied OneDrive+Office365 user now.

I had this happen recently. Our photographer from our wedding shared the photos on dropbox but we couldnt see them because we didnt have dropbox pro and the folder was over the free size limit! Why does it matter how much space I have if someone else is sharing them with me?!?!

It's not about your space, it's about your payment. If someone like a pro photographer shares their stuff with clients all the time, then their dropbox subscription won't necessarily cover all of that bandwidth. [1] Companies like dropbox only mention bandwidth in fine print or buried somewhere deep in the FAQ, but bandwidth is a key resource that every dropbox user consumes and dropbox has to pay for.


[1] It might if dropbox was a more lean operation, but it isn't.

If it's the bandwidth that's so important, why isn't Dropbox charging the receiver for Dropox Transfer files?

The postal system solved this problem ages ago, you charge the sender postage. Done.

You'd have to increase the plan's price (bad) or charge a fee per share (horrible).

It makes sense when you look at it that way. But as a customer it leaves me with a crapy taste in my mouth since its the only cloud service I have encountered that has that restriction. But then again, the free tiers for the others are all 5 GB or larger so I never would have had this problem in the first place.

I wonder what their ratio of ingress to egress bandwidth is. I would assume most people write more than they read from the service or does Dropbox actively push any changes to all devices?

> or does Dropbox actively push any changes to all devices?

I may be misunderstanding your question, but it seems to me that this is literally the whole point of the service. Dropbox is a folder that syncs. You change something on one device (one write), it updates everywhere (multiple reads).

They do have some tricks to lower their bandwidth usage. AFAIR, if multiple devices are in the same LAN, only one gets synced with the cloud, and the rest sync to that one. Also, they have (recently introduced) a sync option, in which fake files are visible in your file system, but no actual contents get put on the drive until you try to open them.

> "Also, they have (recently introduced) a sync option, in which fake files are visible in your file system, but no actual contents get put on the drive until you try to open them. "

I thought that was a first in the earliest of versions and was one of my favorite. At some point they removed it and made you choose which folders to sync. At which point I abandoned using it. So maybe they are reintroducing it or I am misremembering something.

I've been using Dropbox since its early days and I don't remember seeing this feature until very recently. But it's possible I missed it in the past; I always treated Dropbox as a syncing service, not storage service, so I synced everything to every device (and later opted for selective sync on some devices; e.g. I didn't need a copy of my personal photos on a laptop I use for work).

The mobile clients only show you what's there and download on demand, at least that's the default.

But it doesn't integrate with the file system. On the desktop (at least on Windows), you still have a regular folder that syncs, full of folders regular files that sync - except now, you can make some of those files and folders to only look real, but actually store no data on the drive itself, and transparently fetch it when needed. It integrates completely seamlessly with all the other software you use on the machine.

(I think a good Linux analogy would be FUSE, things like sshfs.)

What about P2P transfers...

These are often blocked by network configuration and firewalls , although with some effort you can probably by-pass this issue. The dat protocol is a good example.

They don’t want people to combine free accounts to get a storage increase. They want people to upgrade from the free accounts, obviously.

> Not sure whether they changed this practice.

Nope, just confirmed again. The only way around it is to go with a business account, which even the cheapest option costs 2x the price of just you and your wife both having Plus accounts of your own.

Yes this annoyance stops me from wanting to upgrade. I don't need these shares synced but either I delete my grandmother's funeral photos or upgrade.

Or share one account with your wife.

Not entirely unreasonable but might still not be convenient or desirable for them. Even married couples might not want to share everything with each other.

2 individual free accounts + 1 shared paid account?

It's a solution not without compromise in terms of management and accounting but does achieve an outcome that would fit the apparent need.

That wouldn't surprise me - I had seriously considered subscribing to Dropbox many times, but the price was just too high for my needs. When they forced me to make a decision (by enforcing the 3 client rule), I evaluated the costs/benefits and ended up going with OneDrive - cheaper overall and I got Office 365. I much prefer Dropbox's sync technology, but not at double the price.

What's baffling to me is that OneDrive already has the same technology as Dropbox (block-level syncing instead of the more common file-level syncing), but they have arbitrarily only turned it on for Microsoft filetype extensions (mostly Microsoft Office files). If they enabled it for all filetypes I'd switch over tomorrow.

Supposedly, that was coming in 2019:

"Differential sync brings the ability to sync only the parts of large files that have changed, not the entire file. This makes the file synchronization process faster for these files. Currently OneDrive supports differential sync for Office 2016 files. Later this year, Microsoft will bring the ability to leverage differential sync to all file types stored in OneDrive and SharePoint."


Edit: It went live on November 4th 2019:

"To complement these large uploads, we announced availability of differential sync for PC and Mac, bringing the ability to sync only the parts of large files that have changed, not the entire file."


Neat! Looks like I have some transferring to do this Christmas

100%. I shut down DropBox at last $dayjob (mid-size) after piloting OneDrive. Saved tens of thousands a year.

OneDrive was inferior, no doubt, but good enough. And will only become better.

More importantly, I cannot imagine anyone building better integration with Office (live editing) than the actual Office company.

“More importantly, I cannot imagine anyone building better integration with Office (live editing) than the actual Office company.”

After working with their stuff I totally can :)

Joke aside, MS is doing a great job commoditizing the space around Office 365 with Teams and OneDrive. I think DropBox and Slack are feeling a lot of pressure right now.

> OneDrive was inferior, no doubt, but good enough. And will only become better.

I'll hold my breath. Dropbox basically had sync across all major OS's ready to work very early in its life (10 years ago?). The fact that OneDrive and Box's desktop sync performs so poorly leads me to believe this is not where their engineering effort is and nor will it anytime soon (it's probably more on the back-end admin for enterprise clients).

In my experience, if you're not doing programmatic access into your synced folders, onedrive and Dropbox perform similarly enough to not make a noticeable difference to the average user. But if you do large amount of read / writes to the folder, both of them struggle with it.

My company currently does this currently, as we wait for a more seamless system to be set up. So it does a write every minute of the day to a Dropbox sync folder. Which only syncs up once every few minutes. So essentially I do miss a few minutes in a day, but since it's just a human consuming the data, I don't mind.

As a OneDrive user, I'd say it got much better in the last year or two. Before that it was kinda janky, but now it's fast and reliable on Windows to the point where I trust it as much as Dropbox (occasionally I use it too).

It's also the only cloud storage provider that allows you to have files-on-demand feature on free tier account on Mac OS. Others (Dropbox and Google Drive) only enable it at on Terabyte plans.

OneDrive just added differential sync last month. So, very late to the party, but maybe finally spending some R&D money.

> integration with Office (live editing)

The protocol is actually available for any cloud storage vendor to work with: https://wopi.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

Landing page: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/cloud-storage-p...

It’s hard to imagine a product as fragile as OneDrive though. People do lose files on it.

I would have loved to use Dropbox, since they have a proper official Linux client. However, it’s impossible to have multiple Dropbox accounts sync to a single user on a computer (1). “Better” is relative to what you need.

(1) exception: you can have one personal and one business account

You can have multiple Linux Dropbox clients running if you point them at different home directories.

First run (installation): `HOME=/path/to/client-specific/home/folder dropbox start -i`

Subsequent runs: `HOME=/path/to/client-specific/home/folder /path/to/client-specific/home/folder/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd start -i`

Edit: Each "home directory" here can be any folder; you're essentially presenting a fake home directory to each Dropbox process. The dropbox processes can run under the same user.

How do you do this on windows? I’m working in mixed env. All documentation indicates it’s impossible.

A second account, and a shortcut using "run as"


This requires a second windows user account - meaning files will then be owned by that account. That’s a mess.

Technically, you can run the dropbox client inside docker...

You can use Maestral[0] for that!

[0] https://github.com/SamSchott/maestral-dropbox

Cool, then I’m back to unofficial clients. And stuck without windows support. I appreciate the effort, though.

I have the same feeling, OneDrive is garbage compared to Dropbox, insanely slow and terrible UIX and yet it is widely used. Classic platform move, bundle X with Office and it will be used by millions.

Edit: I use Google Drive because of Google docs. sigh

Also, a fair amount of big companies block access to every other storage platform via MITM after they buy OneDrive. Which forces vendors to buy OneDrive to interact with their bigger clients.

how often have you used OneDrive lately? Which onedrive, the web interface, or the desktop sync client, or the mobile app?

I doubt very much. The OneDrive has had a better website than Dropbox since it was called SkyDrive. Dropbox used to have a better desktop client but I would say they are on par now.

The enterprise OneDrive is SharePoint, not SkyDrive/Live. The interfaces coalesced, however, in the past they were two different things, each with their own quirks.

I use Dropbox only because of Linux Support. In India, All of Office 365 is stil cheaper than Dropbox, but no linux support stops me from using it.

Onedrive is unbelievably cheap in India. I think I initially bought it for ~Rs. 3700 for one year. Every fucking year after that they've been raising prices and sending me an email about it. And every year I check up on competition and nothing else looks this good (you need a LOT of features to make up for not offering Office 365).

I've moved to the US after that, but I didn't bother changing the location on the MS account.

There’s an unofficial Linux client that works okish for people that don’t fear getting grease on their hands. Console only, though.

Which one? They all looked mediocre to me compared to the unofficial CLI drive I'd be migrating from.

I want to be able to pull/push/ls directories at a minimum.

O365 cuts off the oxygen for everyone. You can see with large companies, where even large sales forces moved to Skype for Business conferencing.

Yep, my uni got O365 so good luck trying to convince them to consider Dropbox, too bad for those of us with Linux workstations! I have seen multiple unofficial clients but I'm not convinced of trusting them (or me configuring them) with valuable data.

Dropbox is much better. Data is important and the difference between a premium service and one that is a complementary is that the later will be full of bugs and will corrupt your data.

Dropbox surely had its share of problems but in my experience with the 400 GB archive that I have is that Dropbox was the only one with a decent client that actually works.

In general you get what you pay for and €10 per month doesn't break the bank.

The stock chart for Dropbox from March 2018 to now seems to indicate something pretty bad is happening.

That may be true.

I hope they'll survive because I don't think I can find a good replacement.

I've used that a few times to send myself files. I like the option to set max downloads. However, the dropbox option seems to add the custom logo option which is kind of cool for SMBs.

Firefox Send is open source, so you could brand it yourself if you want to self-host. Dropbox wins if you want to provide a payment method and let someone else deal with running it though.

This is the first thing Dropbox has done in a long while that makes sense to me as an external observer. Great product idea and totally reinforces the prime Dropbox use cases.

Collected alternatives from the comments here:






ps: I really wish HN supported basic markdown so we can make bullet lists and other simple formatting controls, nothing wild like citation/footnote support just the top 5-10 markups. Trying to make a list of URLs to share looks like ass here.

There's also the magic wormhole:


It depends on a central relay server but the planned Tor hidden service feature could change everything.

Looks fine to me. What's wrong with using asterisks as bullet points?

Markdown is pretty much a standard for non WYSIWYG enabled comment forms out there today.

Except it isn't. For my work I have about 5 different editors to work with, each with their own markup syntax.

The best markup is no markup, or at least as minimal as possible

Might also consider https://file.pizza for p2p transfers. And my own service https://patchbay.pub. Or fibridge [0] if you want to self host. The main advantage of patchbay and fibridge over other solutions I've seen is they support range requests, so you can do things like streaming and resumable transfers.

[0] https://github.com/anderspitman/fibridge-proxy-rs

I remember when file.pizza was first released. Glad to see it’s still being actively hosted.

I always had the question in my mind, who is paying for the bill, how are they funding these? How do they make profits?

WeTransfer.com offers a Pro subscription, and also serves ads on their wallpapers. They've been profitable for a long time now.


OnionShare [1] is also great - you can transfer files with no size limits, anonymously over Tor.

[1]: https://onionshare.org/

I've been building a list[1] of file transfer tools with their perks, there's a few new ones from this thread that I will add.

I used to run a transfer service myself but it wasn't up to scratch with the competition and it was costing me money so I decided to aggregate them instead.

-- [1] https://fastest.fish/

> transfer.sh - Technical knowledge of command line tools required

https://transfer.sh website also support Drag'n'Drop for upload, so technical knowledge of command line tools NOT "required", BUT "recommended".

Didn't notice that, fixed now. Thanks

> I've been building a list

I just curios when found that MediaFire[0] service not added in this list yet ;)

[0] https://www.mediafire.com

Added, thanks!

I definitely don't have them all!

If you are interested in self-hosting, there are a lot of options available too:


There's something to be said about using the Dropbox or Firefox options when sending a file. I'm not familiar with the other companies and so for all I know they are saving the file looking for valuable info. Middrive.io doesn't even resolve for example.

I like the idea of summaries (like you did) and wish HN would figure a way to do this also for points that people make in comments. Even if not same day or later.

+1 to supporting markdown although I feel like comments would get kinda crazy looking if there was more than just emphasis and


My top 5 wishlist: bold, italic, lists, inline code `` and link formatting [](). (edit: and change 2 spaces indent to 4 spaces indent for code blocks to align with real markdown)

You can manually inserts bullets (U+2022) to approximate lists:

• foo

• bar

• spam

What I most want is a way to force a newline without starting a new paragraph.

Italic already supported:


- https://wetransfer.com/ - website UI & upload non-usable without JavaScript

- https://swisstransfer.com/ - website UI & upload non-usable without JavaScript

- https://transfer.midrive.io/ - website UI & upload non-usable without JavaScript

- https://send.firefox.com/ - website UI & upload non-usable without JavaScript

- https://transfer.sh/ - website UI & upload non-usable without JavaScript, BUT there are instructions on uploading using cURL or alias.

So they all work absolutely great for their intended audiences?

I do music production as a side hobby. Virtually all the producers and studios I've worked with use WeTransfer. It's fast, efficient, and free.

I can't see any reason to switch.

That's a really nice service, thanks for the rec. From the name I expected it to feel cheap like WeChat but I'm very glad to be wrong, it seems pretty much perfect.

How is WeChat cheap?

This might be more to stop people from switching away from Dropbox, not convincing people to switch to Dropbox.

Agreed. It's one less account to deal with for me.

Thanks for commenting on your use case. I primarily do software engineering and outside of sending large machine learning data sets, I couldn't think of a personal reason to use this.

WeTransfer's users are localized in the creative fields. Their website even features and promotes new artists and musicians.

It's massively useful when you want to send a track (which can often run into hundreds of MB even after compression) to another producer or audio engineer

Agree about that, but I actually do all my prod work in DB, so always synced, and one click to share a file link

I've been using WeTransfer for years. It's great.

Can we really trust Dropbox for such activity ? Just wondering... I Get it , we can of course encrypt file before sending anything to dropbox, but anyway... Just curious on your opinion ! There is also send file from Firefox, with lower limit of course....https://send.firefox.com/

That depends entirely of your threat model. One can’t simply issue a blanket statement that could suit any potential user of Dropbox.

E.g. if a marketing firm would like to send over a company presentation video to a client, perhaps that artifact isn’t sensitive at all. It all depends on the specific circumstances, IMHO.

"try for free" - can't see what the pricing for this is anywhere. Does it require Dropbox plus?

Arg, these kind of landing pages drive me nuts!

They all follow the same pattern: introduce a paid-for product, tell you a bit about it, then give you a link to try it for free - OK, but then how much is it actually going to cost!!

Sorry for the rant, but there are just so many landing pages using this dark pattern, and I'm absolutely sick of it.

Yes also from that landing page you can't go anywhere or have any info on dropbox and who they are or what other products they offer. [1]

[1] My aunt does not know who dropbox is or what they do. My accountant might not either.

Size appears to depend on plan: https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/dropbox-transfe...

Basic (free): 100MB Plus: 2GB Professional: 100GB Business Standard: 2GB Business Advanced, Enterprise, or Education: 100GB

Wetransfer offers 2GB.

I'm having issues not using Dropbox Plus even for the basic service after they limited the free version to three devices or less. Can't have a phone, two laptops and a desktop machine using the same account. Feels like they're really trying to push people to upgrade.

I would pay for a personal or home version of Dropbox. The business plans start at $150 / year which is way too much for what I use it for.

Give me the free plan and charge me $12 / year / device to unlock additional devices. I want to use it on my desktop, iPad, phone, and laptop.

OneDrive is interesting but Dropbox is a far more common datastore for apps on my phone and iPad.

There is a personal version (2 TB) of Dropbox, but it costs €120 per year.

Meanwhile the cheapest Google Drive plan (100 GB) is €20 per year, cheapest iCloud plan (50 GB) is €12 per year and the chepest OneDrive plan (100 GB) is €24 per year. There's also Nextcloud, which you can host yourself or pay someone like Hetzner to host you an instance (€43 per year for 100 GB).

I don't think the value proposition of the personal Dropbox plan is actually that good compared to really any of the competitors. Most individual Dropbox users probably don't need 2 TB storage or any of the other fancy features being advertised. I think I'm personally under 20 GB after all these years of Dropbox usage.

Leaving the link open for more than 7 days requires PRO and if you want to password protect the link you also need PRO. Pretty stupid in my eyes that that doesn't come with it.

You need Pro to change the expiration date or set a password.

Thanks! Looks like Firefox Send is the better free tool for now then.

For occasional uses and normal transfers, Firefox send is really better. Dropbox transfer becomes useful when you want to share files that you already have in your Dropbox.

I use both and they both have their users.

Firefox send is also encrypted locally, right? Dropbox doesn't look encrypted, but I've never used it.

what annoys me is the password part used to be a plus feature[1]. This is why I've started to try to move things to be self-hosted. Unfortunately I've been struggling with nextcloud + my NAS due to filesystem constraints. And it's to avoid silly crap like that that we enjoyed the cloud services. Ah, what a loop!

[1]: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Files-folders/Was-the-abilit...

What kind of filesystem constraints problem you run into? I've been using nextcloud on a vps using docker and resizing/moving storage used by nextcloud is quite easy on this setup (simply update the container volume config)

attempting to use nextcloudpi on a pine64 rock64 with a mounted data directory (NFS share from my NAS). The data directory must be brtfs and I can't resize down / add in a partition on my NAS software. So i'm stuck for the moment.

I'll likely use a spare 1TB USB hard drive as data dir and backup regularly, i'm unlikely to use more space than that - or otherwise just host the whole thing on AWS instead of at home.

It's cool that they're doing something obvious and obviously useful this time.

It's sad that we don't have a better way to send files to other people than to create a Dropbox account, upload files, then send a link over email.

I've written https://filemap.xyz/ so people are able to send files and links without having to send URLs, instead you just agree on a common geographical location -- but of course this isn't the best possible solution yet.

That’s... interesting. Could you share a bit about how you arrived at this approach?

There's also the problem that anyone who knows your address will be able to download your files, whereas most other services either seem to have strong access control or unguessable links.

That said, it's an interesting and novel approach.

There's a password option...and the world is large. (Although I agree that inhabited regions are far smaller, people are likely to choose their own address, and possible address data collection is a concern: even though it doesn't seem to happen here, not sure if I want to share my location with the recipient)

Maybe that's exactly the point.

I use https://www.swisstransfer.com/, which even if it only supports 50Gb and not 100Gb, it is totally free and doesn't need a account to upload the files. Way easier

How does Swiss Transfer make money?

(As a Swiss, I love the sound of it. But need to figure out what their model is, otherwise surely if I'm not the customer, I'm the product)

They hope you'll use their other products (it's infomaniak.ch, a hosting provider, that operates the service)

I found a news article from February with a bunch of info: https://news.infomaniak.com/en/swiss-alternative-wetransfer/

Does normal Dropbox have “download notifications”? Is this any different than just emailing a link to a shared Dropbox file?

Dropbox transfer notifies you of views and downloads. I'm a paying user and using transfer to send files to friends. It's very useful.

Transfers auto-expire after a week and links invalidate so it's maintenance is minimal for the normal user.

The annoying thing is that you can't turn off those notifications, which pop up in your tray and e-mail box. If there were options for turning off notifications it would be perfect for my use case.

This can be password protected and have an expiration date. I don't think Dropbox normally has download notifications, and this is possibly more friendly to receivers without a Dropbox account and can be company branded.

For all the bells and whistles, you need to be a "Pro" user. I'm using "Plus", and it's fixed to one week, without any password and branding.

So I need to have a Dropbox account to be able to use Dropbox Transfer. And Firefox requires me to sign up to be able to use Firefox Send.

Why not MiDrive Transfer. https://transfer.midrive.io

Firefox Send can be used without signing up. The limitations are 1 GB instead of 2.5 GB, a maximum of 1 download instead of 100 downloads, and a maximum of 1 day instead of 7 days. So it's still useful in certain circumstances.

Why not MiDrive Transfer? I haven't heard of it and don't know how reputable it is. And is it in beta? So it could be buggy?

Their answer to Firefox Send?


And WeTransfer, probably the leader in the market.

Unlikely. I have seen 0 send links around and wetransfer is still king of the office.

I'd like to see some numbers, though.

> Unlikely. I have seen 0 send links around

Do you routinely monitor a large portion of file sharing that goes on in the world? Sorry, but this is just a weird (but common) way to make a claim that [something in the tech world] is not used...

I personally use Firefox Send all the time. Works very well and I trust it to do the job.

> Do you routinely monitor a large portion of file sharing that goes on in the world?

I routinely receive assistance requests for expired links that lead to data loss (as in at least once a week) during work hours and assistance requests like "how to upload a folder of files, not just that file" or "where do I put the email ?" or "why are the files gone ? I just sent the link again but my contact says it's not working".

None are about FF send (not for a lack of trying).

> Sorry, but this is just a weird (but common) way to make a claim that [something in the tech world] is not used...

I monitor enough, without having all the variables in the world and the number of TCP packets that went through Firefox send at hand, to form an opinion that goes something like: "Yeah, that FF send thing isn't catching enough users to impact wetransfer usage significantly any time soon or to force Dropbox into releasing their own spin of the thing." Hence my question - that you conveniently cut off - for numbers. It shows that I am ready to change my mind, that my opinion is just... my opinion.

Yeah, people navigate the world with intuition and mushy feelings and opinions. What's weird is that you are surprised by it and feel like pointing it out.

Of course there'll always be people using niche things... doesn't mean it's relevant at large.

Hacking Gameboy ROM in your free time ? Pretty cool. Guess what, that console is still dead.

> Sorry, but this is just a weird (but common) way to make a claim that [something in the tech world] is not used...

I don't believe for a moment that you are "sorry".

Sorry, but this is just a weird (but common) way to try to pass for being polite while truly offering a condescending and insincere apology before telling someone that he's wrong.

Do you have numbers to add to the conversation ?

> I personally use Firefox Send all the time. Works very well and I trust it to do the job.

So do I. So big what ?

We use a self-hosted instance of Firefox Send in our office since it's easy to install and operate. I recommend others do the same.

I've used the main/public send.firefox.com several times for personal use, but I'll probably set up a personal instance on a VM soon.

We were tempted to do so but ultimately chose to rely on our internal SAN (55 employees).

How many employees in your office ?

Our motivations:

- people still losing files in "that send thing"

- storage dedicated to send is shared with the SAN so there is no advantage in the expiring link.

- missing configuration settings (aka we didn't want to fork it for a few switches and maintain it)

We also decided to take the opportunity to educate our users in file management.

same. first time i'm hearing of firefox send.

is this something new that mozilla is offering?

Came out in march. Easy to install on a $5 droplet or a VPS.

Dropbox and wetransfer/send don't serve the same needs and don't offer the same experience.

I could see Dropbox getting back into the office with that tool, they have a brand to capitalize on after all, if they drop the mandatory login.

? elaborate plz. you don't need a droplet to use ff send

I self host a ff send instance. See https://github.com/mozilla/send

Dropbox is not going to win me back as a user. Not after they chose to drop support for non-APFS/HFS+ filesystems on macOS without sufficient explanation.

What filesystem are you using? ZFS? You don't have any HFS+ or APFS volumes?

Correct, I use ZFS for my home directory. I do use APFS for everything else. But I’d have preferred to keep my Dropbox folder under my home so I got rid of Dropbox altogether.

To be honest the market for ZFS support must be quite small, and the semantics just different enough to cause unpleasant bugs, so I wouldn't blame them for that.

Interestingly, there are signs that they have been working on support for a wider range of file systems: https://itsfoss.com/dropbox-brings-back-linux-filesystem-sup...

Good point.

Not sure how I feel that security is casually referenced as a passing thought on that page.

Compare it with something else, like Firefox Send, which puts security and privacy front-and-center in its description. https://send.firefox.com/

Why should I trust Dropbox Transfer over Firefox Send?

Seems useful, and a step in the right direction. I think the future of file sharing is permanent URLs to files stored on decentralized hard drives, with dead simple access control settings (ie here's the list of email addresses that can access this file). You need either ipv6 (plus an ISP that allows port 80), or some sort of proxy for this to work. Range requests must be supported. Also I think it needs to be designed from the ground up for sharing not just with people, but also with apps, just like you can access Google drive data using their API. It's surprising to me that WebDAV is the closest thing we have to an open protocol for doing this sort of thing. I think we need something simpler, with a standardized auth protocol. Maybe RemoteStorage, but honestly it still looks complicated to me.

This is a great idea. We can named it hftp :p

Nice hidden internet gem

My company (Fortune 500 Aerospace/Defense) has implemented something like this for years now.

I’ve personally used it to send CAD files to outside manufacturers/suppliers who are under an NDA.

I’ve really grown to like the service and always wished I could use it for personal stuff so I will definitely be trying this out.

If you want to self-host, Nextcloud has this service and it works incredibly well.

100 GB only in the Professional plan though ($19.99/mo)

Doesn't really seem good when Google has:

$ 1.99 100GiB

$ 2.99 200GiB

$12.99 2000GiB

But doesn't google scan the files and use them for advertising and profiling you? Yeah I know you can encrypt the data, but my point still stands for "regular" users.

No. Google scans your file and index them so you can search them. No advertising profile is created based on content of your Google Drive.

They used to scan mail - or at least have an option for that in gmail - to show relevant ads in Gmail.

They stopped doing it years ago I think.

Also even on those days the ads were only for the page where you were reading that specific email, it didn't go into a hidden profile that carries over.

Google is actually very privacy councious when it comes to their own properties. Where I agree they fault is with their double click cookie that follows you around the internet

I can't imagine Dropbox won't do the same once they get into a tight financial spot. Or whoever buys Dropbox, but same difference.

I've never heard this before. Is there any evidence (not speculation) that this is true?

It was well known for us early gmail users that they would scan mails (on-the-fly iirc) to provide relevant ads.

They were fairly up front with it (remember, back in the days Google was a nice trustworthy company or at least that was my impression.)

Is there any proof that Google does not? Scanning user's private data to target them with ads is the primary reason Google offers services. Absent other evidence, the default assumption should be that Google scans as much data as they can.

Proving absence of something is an unreasonable standard. Your answer does sound like "no, there is no such evidence" to my ears, though.

I guess I wasn't clear. I had something in mind like a public statement from Google saying that they do not scan a particular set of data. I would accept that as evidence. Absent a statement from them either way, I assume they read whatever is uploaded to their servers.

That's a different plan, for storage instead of transferring. Dropbox has $12.99 for 1TB in the comparible plan.

Google Drive's clients (Backup and Sync or Drive File Stream) are pieces of shit that barely work.

Where do you get this from? Their pricing page [1] lists a plus plan for €120/year and 2TB or a €200/year professional plan in my region

[1] https://www.dropbox.com/plus

Here: https://www.dropbox.com/buy

Plus: Send files up to 2 GB with Dropbox Transfer

Professional: Send files up to 100 GB with Dropbox Transfer, including additional customization options

When I saw this I thought, Finally, A Way to Transfer Large Files. But alas, it is only for small files, up to 100GB. And it gives no indication of using resumable and fault tolerant transfer.

If you want to transfer a large amount of data (like backups or any big data collection, like a couple of years of RAW photos) via the cloud (e.g. because of NAT and firewalls) it is still better to rent a machine from Linode/Digital Ocean/OVH and use a tool like BT Sync or rsync (simple but low bandwidth).

> And it gives no indication of using resumable ... transfer

Don’t you get that from HTTP?

And while I’m sure 100 GB is small for your domain whatever that is, surely you can’t be so unaware to know that this is going to be sufficient for the vast majority of consumers, businesses, and academics?

I don’t think I’ve ever handled a file that was 100 GB and I’m not a non-technical person.

Individual files sure but apart from sending one file there are many more transfer jobs. People can buy 4TB HDDs from their office supplies store, and the fastest way to transfer data remains putting it in the mail, not because of bandwidth but lack of services. Cloud backup is much cheaper than buying a tape array and administrator, but at present that is all you can do with it -- backup. You should easily be able to have TB of personal data in the cloud and send any file/directory, without worrying about how big it is.

Resumable transfers seem to fail a lot with http. Block level differencing (like dedup) can also make things a lot faster.

I agree. But maybe that kind of size was not what Dropbox set out to solve with this service.

i'm a huge fan of magic wormhole for simpler workflows (e.g. send some files in a dir within a local network). it's CLI based, so not for your average computer laborer but it's easy, secure, compact, and awesome for moving things around.


Ha. I could do this with git, an ec2 instance, sftp a few Perl scripts and 200 lines of JavaScript.

Why would I use this service?

Been a loyal user for years. Recently switched to pcloud for better pricing and Linux compatibility.

They also offer a free 5gb transfer tool: https://transfer.pcloud.com/

This was from back in July right? Or is this something different? https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/product-tips/send-large-file...

This is amazing, but I wonder if traditional enterprises would accept Dropbox to be secure. In the startup world, this will be great though.

What's wrong with GG Drive? In my country people use GG Drive to share all kind of files.

Is this specific to Eastern Europe? I’ve never had anyone send me a GG link!

100 GB is a great value proposition. Is it E2E encrypted?

I doubt it would be. Dropbox’s model for file storage has always been to encrypt the data with its own key on the server.

.. and to also de-duplicate files across users to avoid repeatedly storing the same file.

Probably not since AFAIK Dropbox uses deltas to transfer file changes. It's entirely possible they worked on a totally new tech for this, but I doubt it.

that endoplasmic reticulum staircase animation was totally worth turning on JS for, can't wait for someone to make one of these IRL

Sounds great, what about E2E encryption though?

So like Firefox Send with a bigger quota?

If you need to send large files to someone, you can use Firefox Send:


The file is encrypted, the urls are expiring, it costs nothing.

I've used wetransfer for files up to 2GB (https://wetransfer.com). If you need more they have a very reasonable $12/mo pro plan that gives up to 20GB per transfer and options for password protection etc.

This is limited to 1GB. Dropbox is limited to 100GB file size.

That's their pro version. Free is limited to 100MB

Given that we hit a file size limit with the paid version of Box at the work the other day, this is welcome news.

It's 2.5 GB if you log in. For anything I share, that's plenty.

what has the best in file size and upload caps


I'd not heard of FF Send before this comment, and will now make use of it, so I think your comment is a bit misguided.

So? Are we not allowed to suggest alternatives? Let the customer choose and stop doing it for them. Especially by censoring.

Hey, easy there :) Nothing wrong with linking to an alternative.

>It is premium.

What you consider premium, I consider a rip off.

"You should treat other businesses with respect" no business deserves respect. a business is not a person. a business does not have human rights, nor human needs. a business is a social construct, deserving of about as much respect as, say, the concept of a deity, or a work of fiction.

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Are you saying that suggesting a relevant and free alternative by a non-profit is disrespectful towards Dropbox, and should not be allowed?

Why now ?


"Angry fruit salad" seems to be the hot design trend for 2020 :(

Wetransfer, the competition this seems to be directly aimed at, also has a rich, designy aesthetic.

It’s Dropbox’s new aesthetic, and it was already been discussed to death when it came out.

Dropbox did a design facelift a couple of years ago and everyone on the internet hated it. It was a big thing when it happened.

It think they have moderated it gradually and come back to their blue/white/black branding.

People seem to be designing for mobile devices now rather than for desktops. So they greatly simplify the layout and optimize it for skittles colors and one column display

Hahahaha.. I was wondering that myself.

I'm done with Dropbox. I spent years preaching the Dropbox gospel to my family and friends. When Dropbox decided to fuck their free users by limiting them to three devices I got over a dozen pissed-off phonecalls blaming me.

I would have asked them why they felt entitled to space, bandwidth, and computing power on someone else's computers.

Why offer it only to yank it?

I don't know what the offerer's motivations are, but I do know from experience that there's no reason to expect an indefinite supply of free stuff.

I dropped my paid Dropbox account when they instituted "two factor authentication" because it broke the use case of file transfer between trusted parties using a single account. Now I'm going to drop my OneDrive account for the same reason.

You can also share the MFA private key if you really want to, and it's excellent security for 99,999999% of the use cases otherwise.

Or just use 2 accounts and share the file...

I don't use MFA because it requires me to provide a phone number. SMS is not a reliable authentication method anyway - it's only an improvement for people who can't manage passwords.

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