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New Dropbox Pro plans (dropbox.com)
221 points by endijs on July 10, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 180 comments

Why would you announce new prices prior to the new price page launching? I immediately went to see the new pricing options only to be met with the same old prices.

They squandered my click-through this blog post earned.

Agreed. That is so annoying.

I just spent five minutes digging through my Pro account to see why I hadn't been updated to the 100G limit.

Then went back to the article to see this at the bottom: "All this goodness goes live on our pricing page this evening, so stay tuned." Ugh.

It's not presented in a usable fashion, but the existing Pro tiers are having their storage doubled with price held constant (50GB @ $10, 100GB @ $20 --> 100GB @ $10, 200GB @ $20). They're also adding an additional 500GB tier above those, which we don't know the pricing of yet.

Bad presentation on their part, but hopefully that answers the question [that people would have when clicking the link].

Wasn't the only question asked:

> Why would you announce new prices prior to the new price page launching?

Which to me is still unanswered but very interesting.

"Dropbox Pro now comes in flavors of 100 and 200 GB, but at the price of the original 50 and 100 GB plans." I don't know what's complicated about this. It reads like new pricing = old pricing with 2x the storage. Am I missing something, too?

See GGP: "They squandered my click-through this blog post earned."

The confusion is not what the new prices are. The confusion is, given that they have published new prices, they seem to be hurting themselves by not making them available immediately. Users will go to the blog post and say "oh hey, maybe I should pay for Dropbox now", and then get turned away because the prices aren't actually available yet. So why not capitalize on the publicity and allow people to sign up right away?

He's asking why they would announce it before they implement it.

I hear from a person inside of Dropbox that they announced it early when they'd all gotten drunk and edited the planned well-written blogpost to go up immediately with the new prices.

They explicitly said that the prices will not change.

I really wish there was a plan between free and 50G (now 100G). Kudos foe the increased storage though.

Not having the pricing page live yet is kinda weird.

There's a reason Dropbox won't introduce smaller plans. As it stands the vast majority of Dropbox Pro users aren't filling up their boxes much at all, effectively paying for capacity and bandwidth they're not using, and subsidizing a minority of superusers that are maxxing out. If Dropbox introduced a 25GB plan a vast chunk of their user base would switch to it, Dropbox's hosting costs would hardly change (users aren't using most of their space), but their income from subscriptions would drop massively.

Right. It's not that Dropbox doesn't want to offer less than 50 GB, it's that they don't want to be charging anything less than $10/month. Customers that care about the difference between $5 and $10 per month are not going to make a business rich. You will not get twice the paying audience at $5 than at $10. And it runs into pathological customer territory; statistically in all walks of software and technology, the cheapskates are the greater support nuisance.

And neither are customers paying zero. Personally Im not that thrilled about buying into something where I subsidize a sizable free tier. I love Dropbox, but I can't justify $10 a month for just personal doc storage. Dropbox isnt great for collaborative sharing (becuause you can't have 'shared' space) it isn't a proper backup service (I use crash plan for that) so basically it's personal storage. In that market $5 is all I'm willing to part with.

We use it at my company all the time as shared space. I can't 'share' it to an unlimited number of people, mind you, but I can't imagine a scenario in which I would.

Regardless, it's a pretty good collaborative tool, super for backup of important documents, and yeah, personal doc storage, but as I've spread it out across 6 different PCs, it's a great sync service too.

That said, I'm no longer paying for Dropbox in lieu of Google Drive. Perhaps their cost model is more to your approval?

How do you feel about putting company data on a service like Dropbox which is arguably wildly insecure?

I originally used it for sharing company stuff, and then I read up on their data storage practices and moved my work stuff off there as quickly as I could. The only data I keep on Dropbox now is data I don't care really care about.

By insecure I mean that people at Dropbox are able to look at your data if they wanted to (it's against their policy, but they are physically able to). If they can look at your data then someone who hacks Dropbox can look at your data. This is placing your data at the mercy of the dropbox security team, and the ever mounting threat that the more popular they become, the bigger a target they are.

Contrast that with somewhere like SpiderOak or Tarsnap: all encryption is done on the client side, they have no idea what your data is and no one at the company can find out. This means you get to control your security (picking a secure passphrase etc).

We're using it to collaborate, generally with groups of people. As such, uber-sensitive files tend to not be the types of files we're sharing.

I like Tarsnap in theory, and as a backup solution it's great I'm sure, but it isn't meant to be a competitor to Dropbox for a lot of reasons, but mainly because Tarsnap would suck horribly at collaboration. It's far too private for that sort of thing.

For what it's worth, I've used Encrypted drives on Dropbox, and it works perfectly. It has to sync the entire volume if any one thing changes (for obvious reasons), but that solves the privacy issue. I've used it on the old 20G plan where 10G was encrypted and 10G wasn't, and it worked as expected.

The problem we constantly run into with it in work environments is that any one person is screwed if they don't have enough space for the "shared" stuff, it still all counts towards their usage.

So do I, and I think 99% of all Dropbox users at some point. Why then, don't they do it?

I think, its because this makes getting "free additional space" so very attractive. You envite lots of friends and colleges in order to grow to a few GB [1]. I would guess this is one of the biggest reasons for Dropbox's success.

[1] For instance, I have 8.4 GB by now, without cheating. This more or less meets my needs.

It's a brilliant strategy, isn't it?

User acquisition costs for a product like Dropbox can be fairly significant, especially if you're going toe-to-toe with everybody else in Google.

On the other hand, a gig of storage borders on free for Dropbox, but the marginal utility of that storage is pretty significant for the user, providing a strong motivation to actively recommend (an admittedly excellent) service to their friends.

You get more storage for 'free', Dropbox saves a bucket of money on advertising. It's genius.

Right. And, actually, some people who "cheat" might help Dropbox even more. It used to be quite a common "trick" to pay for Google Ads that link to your personal Dropbox referral link.

Or the old, "refer-a-bunch-of-fake-accounts-and-activate-them-each-on-a-VM" cheat.

I just logged in to my unused dropbox account with my galaxy s3 ... surprisingly, I get 48gb for free for 2 years just for having a samsung phone ... thats a nice touch :)

This comment kinda annoys me. Let's say Dropbox had a 5GB plan for $10 (let's assume that's the price of their lowest plan - I'm not sure). So, people with 4GB would say "this is good value". But suppose they offer even better value and allow 100GB for the same price. Now it's perceived as bad value for the 4GB user, and they want a cheaper plan.

In fact, we had the same problem at my startup. We had a plan with 1-way parallelism, and a plan with 8-way parallelism (we do hosted continuous integration - https://circleci.com). Many of our customers said "oh, I don't need 8-way, so I don't want to pay for it". When we changed it to 4-way (for the same price as 8-way), the uptake was much higher, as they perceived it was something they'd use. Go figure.

That isn't exactly the same what he is saying is that for many of us we can't justify the $10 dollar plan enough to purchase dropbox but would purchase the $5 dollar plan at 25gb or 50gb or half the ten dollar plans size.

This isn't to say it would be a good idea for dropbox to offer this whether they make more money now or with the cheaper plan is unclear to us just many people want a $5/month $50/year plan.

> I really wish there was a plan between free and 50G (now 100G).

Agreed. For those of us who use less storage (and especially 30 GB or less), Google Drive is clearly the better deal. Although others seem to have experienced problems with Google Drive, it has worked essentially flawlessly for me and, because of that, I plan to let my Dropbox subscription expire.

For every person who wants to keep 100 GB of data synched, I bet there are at least five who want to synch 30 GB or less.

Although Microsoft is not as cool these days, I am liking the new SkyDrive (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/skydrive/compare). (I also use a paid SpiderOak account for backup and sharing.)


Sidenote: SkyDrive's "fetch" feature is awesome. Can grab any file on my computer even if it isn't in my skydrive folder.

Iirc skydrive offers 25 gigs. I wonder why they're saying just 7 though.

EDIT - Yep my account says 25. I'm thoroughly confused.

If my memory is correct, when they merged it back into the Live brand they also downgraded the standard storage space to 7GB. If you logged in sometime during the transition period or clicked on a special link that they sent out in an email you got to preserve your 25GB of storage.

It wasn't a login, you had to have at least one file on your skydrive before the recent merge to keep the 25GB. Effectively you now can get e.g. 45GB for 10$ a year. Dropbox' old 50GB for 10$ a month plan was a joke in comparison.

Yes, this is what happened. I have the 25 gig as well.

They launched with 25 gigs but that was only a short term promotion at the start of this year. 7 gigs is their standard free offering. Anyone who signed up during the promotion period gets to keep 25 gigs free though of course.

Oh I see. I had no idea that it was a promotion. I guess I got lucky. :)

Perhaps they've run the numbers, and decided that a fair price for, say, a 25G account is less than the hassle of having to do billing is worth?

If I may just say: I have Google Drive, and am loving it. It's much cheaper than dropbox, as I pay only $5 and get 100GB of space. That's WAY more than I need, but it syncs to all my devices.

However, I will be the first to say that DropBox has some really great features that Google Drive lacks. For example, there is no public folder for Google Drive, like there is for Dropbox, and I cannot throttle the speed at which Google Drive syncs. With a new laptop transferring 20+GB of data, I unwittingly maxed out a 100mbit connection.

For Dropbox users my question is: is Google Drive not worth it? Do the features offered by Dropbox make it more worthwhile than Google Drive, even if the raw storage costs more?

Does Google Drive do LAN sync? Like any self respecting geek I have far too many computers and LAN sync keeps the bandwidth down, especially on freshly installed systems.

I'm also primarily on Linux so Google Drive is useless to me. (Yes I know about grive.)

My biggest peeve with Dropbox is that it doesn't know about multiple users. I have a personal paid account, as well as a separate team account for work. All of their software and sites work as though you only have one account, which is a huge pain.

Separately they also screw over paid accounts who share folders. For example if two users each get a paid account for 50GB each and the first one shared 10GB of content with the second, then the second will only be able to use 40GB for their own files. So there will only be a total of 90GB of unique storage even though 100GB has been paid for. I understand (and agree) why they do this with free accounts, but their support kept refusing to see why it is an issue when both accounts are paid.

The users issue and shared space issues mean I'm highly likely to move to Google once they support Linux.

My beef with Google Drive is that you can't symlink. I don't want to use my petty internal laptop hard drive for all the space. I need my external drive to be the "muscle." Google Drive won't let me sync that.

You can add Public folder functionality to any file or folder. See http://www.dropbox.com/help/167

No, you can't, because that generates one-off links with gibberish in the URL and forces the disposition to "download" instead of just sending the file.

no, it isn't. just has to be manually enabled.


I don't know. $10 a month really doesn't seem like a lot of money to me. Especially considering the cost of, say, the computers you're running it on.

It depends on what you are doing with it and what you are comparing it to. For 50 Gigs, its extremely cheap.

But if you really say want 5 gigs, then $10 a month seems a bit high, especially now that Gdrive gives you 5 gigs free.

Its also a bit of a pyschological barrier seeing that second digit in the monthly bill as opposed to say $5/month and knowing that the yearly cost breaches the triple digit barrier.

Hypothetically speaking, you could be running on a cheap laptop that you bought used for some $200. One and a half years of using Dropbox would cost about the same amount.

Realistically though, I totally agree.

It will double the cost of a typical consumer laptop ($500 laptop used for 4 years) or add a third to the cost of a high end $1500 laptop.

There is a plan between the two, but you pay for it with time. https://www.dropbox.com/help/category/Referrals

The lack of a plan between tiny and huge may be intentional. Cellphone providers seem to work the same way, offering cheap starter plans with just enough minutes so you either go over each month, and consider upgrading to the massive plan.

If only cell providers also followed this precedent of regularly stepping down the price of all the plans!

That's why I'm using both Dropbox and Skydrive now. --If I'm likely to need to access it on my phone, I put it on Dropbox since the app is nicer, but I joined Skydrive early enough that I have 25GB free, and if I really need more, adding 100GB for $50/year is less than half the cost of what Dropbox charges.

I sent them an e-mail when I was looking into dropbox and they offered me 10G, 20G or 25G for a slightly smaller price.

I'm not sure if the offer still stands, though. I got into it when they just launched.

Edit: Looking at the e-mail they stated this is a one-time limited offer. But still worth a try.

I think the reasoning goes so that of those who are willing to pay something, most are willing to pay $9.90/month. If there was a smaller plan with lower price, quite many would probably go for that one, instead of paying the $9.90.

Somehow I still have a 10GB plan which is sufficient for what I need right now. I can't remember when I bought it and I don't expect it to turn into 50GB automatically this evening..

yes. I want less than 50. Not more. I'd like to be able to purchase with a one-time fee some GBs. (10 for example)

I had really hoped this would happen in response to competitors like Google Drive. Now it's hear and I can only say: YAAAY!!

I'll repeat it, for the billionth time: Dropbox is one of the companies that has drastically changed computing for me over the last few years. I absolutely adore it, and I simply cannot understand the many people who do not use Dropbox to host everything. All of my important, non-computer-specific files are in Dropbox, all of my projects are in Dropbox, all of my photos, all of my documents - in short, everything I care about is in Dropbox.

Please don't trust Dropbox as a journaled backup solution.

I powered up a virtual machine that had been down for a while and had dropbox installed. I tried to SSH in. My password kept being rejected. I verified my key through the console, and then it dawned on me that the VM's clock was off, and that's why SSL didn't work. So I set the clock. I think I set it a couple seconds into the future.

Fast forward a couple of days and I tried to open a project on another computer, but half the files were missing. What gives? I logged into the Dropbox web interface and saw that three days ago, "2311 files were deleted"!!! That's individual files from all over dropbox. How do I restore them??? Luckily I had a local hard drive backup and got most of my stuff, but it was hell to merge.

Did I screw up? Maybe, but I came to realize that that little blue box running in my task bar which has permission to delete my important files whenever it's algorithm thinks it needs to scares the hell out of me.

IIRC you can get deleted files from dropbox.com for 30 days for free accounts. With a paid account you can go back in history indefinitely.

True but (unless I've missed something) it's insanely tedious for more a few lost files.) There seems to be no way to first select all the files to restore and them have them restored in one action.

I've had similar lost files situations, such a setting up a new machine, where dropbox mistook an empty folder as the most current state and proceeded to delete things from other machines.

Whether or not this is what one should expect given the circumstances, or if these mishaps could be avoided with some care, it's still a little too easy to lose things. My fear is something will vanish and I won't realize it until it's too late to restore it.

The Dropbox Web site offers an RSS feed for your account activity. I've taken to watching this to see if there's any unexpected deletion going on. I've half a mind to write some cron thing that filters the feed for deletions and alerts me somehow.

Downside to this is that Dropbox has a way of updating files by deleting what's there and then adding back a newer version. Perhaps I just need an RSS feed of deletions that I scan periodically or check when I've done something potentially dangerous (like restore a drive or VM or something).

Makes me wonder if there's a business in here, helping people safeguard (select) Dropbox content.

If you'd have filed a ticket with Dropbox support, they'd have fixed that and restored all your files instantly, no hassle, no questions asked.

That's great, at least for massive, scorched-earth file loss.

With my most recent loss the were missing folders I wanted back, but other items I deleted earlier on purpose. Even in the mistakenly deleted folders were items I didn't want.

I'd be happy if there was a way on the Web site to either select "Restore entire folder" or check off files in a folder and opt to restore all selected.

But good to know about filing a ticket. Thanks.

My impression skimming through the help files on this is that you ask to have things restored to a particular event in your Dropbox event history. There would only be a problem if there were other items deleted later on purpose.

The problem is that it requires 2,311 clicks to restore those. There's no ability to batch restores, to my knowledge.

I had it happen to me, and an email to their support solved the problem. They gave me a few additional GB's for the inconvenience too.

I could be wrong, but a cursory glance at Dropbox's REST API at least provides some hope for those who've lost a large number of files in Dropbox.


Not true -- you must purchase pack-rat unlimited history ($39) to be able to go back beyond 30 days. This is not included in the paid accounts.

Both paid and free accounts have 30 days of deleted file history by default.

Right, but in my case, it would have been one file at a time.

OK, I see now that free accounts require a support ticket to revert everything to a specific point in time. One of my users a year or two ago was able to restore a very big folder herself; she must have had a paid Dropbox account with the Pack Rat feature.

To summarize all the replies to euroclydon...

Free and non-Pack-Rate paid accounts can have their files restored for up to 30 days into the past. A support ticket is required for batch restoration; otherwise you have to restore files one-by-one. (brlewis is wrong in thinking that non-Pack-Rate paid accounts have an indefinite history.)

Pack-Rat paid accounts can batch restore all files no matter how old and without a support ticket.

Thanks. I love Dropbox. What is the UI like for a batch restore? I can't find anything on it or it's features.


rsync to an external drive. I use droppy for Web access and convenience only.

Suggestion: rsync a folder tree over to the dropbox directory once a session? anacron every 30 mins?

It's better to use duplicity than rsync. It provides incremental backups so you can restore from points in time.


Still in beta? I'll try it out on a test box later on when things are quieter.

I didn't realise that. Maybe they apply "beta" in the same way as Google. It has been around for years and is very stable from my experience. I wrote up how I use it to handle my backups last year: https://grepular.com/Secure_Free_Incremental_and_Instant_Bac...

There are many reasons not to use Dropbox:

1. Sensitive/Confidential info - I would never feel comfortable storing any kind of documentation on a 3rd party server that is sensitive to me like mortgage docs, tax docs or receipts.

2. Many companies have a strict policy disallowing use of Dropbox because it would leak information. On a personal level, any kind of work that I don't want to share with others (this includes Dropbox employees) does not go on Dropbox.

3. Slow, limited or capped internet connection. 50GB over the wire in those circumstances will net you a very, very big bill.

Just because you can't understand why someone wouldn't use it, doesn't mean there is no use case for it.

Regarding sensitive / confidential info, why not set up a volume with TrueCrypt that you can just mount when needed for sensitive stuff?

I used to do this for passwords and such. The problem was that the file would become un-synched and I'd end up with several "<computer name>'s version..." copies. The problem is that with Dropbox you aren't accessing a single file, you're accessing a local copy. So concurrent access, especially when a file is being held open on Windows, creates problems.

Because dropbox will save bandwidth by only updating the parts of files that have changed. If you use truecrypt the entire file will change for every small change you do. Basically you lose any advantage of using dropbox over a standard FTP system.

If it's only a KeePass database or a small (1MB?) TrueCrypt volume for text/documents, the traffic still won't ever become appreciable. Also, you're implying that the only selling point for Dropbox is that it uses deltas, which is far from true.

Yeah but you can opt to only use encrypted volumes for certain files that don't have to be accessed daily.

You don't take advantage of Dropbox fully, but it's still pretty convenient to be able to sync that small encrypted volume containing tax reports etc.

Actually dropbox and truecrypt work really well together, even with large truecrypt containers because of the way truecrypt updates its container on file changes.

This defeats some of the uses of Dropbox, but 1.+2. can be worked around with EncFS. I am using http://www.boxprotect.com/ as a frontend, but I will try to replace it by directly using EncFS soon. I already do the latter on Windows.

I still get some of the benefits like having everything everywhere, even when I'm offline, and LAN computer-to-computer sync.

If you're a Windows user, then I'd recommend using TrueCrypt (http://www.truecrypt.org/) to encrypt all of your files. Then put the TrueCrypt file in your Dropbox folder.

Doesn't TC volume need to be unmounted in order for Dropbox to sync it? Or have Dropbox added Volume Shadow Copying support?

I have to throw in that TrueCrypt runs quite well on Linux and Mac OS, too.

Yes, and then be left with N copies of your Truecrypt image, because it turns out that its was mounted on two machines a couple of times. Been there, done that.

I use Boxcryptor. When I look in my dropbox folder all the files, file and folder names are encrypted. Instead of this, I as a user interact with my mounted Boxcryptor drive where I view same files and folders unencrypted.

> in short, everything I care about is in Dropbox.

That statement should be one of embarrassment, not of triumph. You're only one disaster short of an angry "everything I cared about was in Drop box and now its all gone" blog post. Please, look into backing your data up. The cloud doesn't make the need for backups disappear, it only makes you feel better about not having any.

Well, technically, everything is auto-synced using Dropbox to 2 computers at all times, so I do have a backup.

Unfortunately for my peace-of-mind, if Dropbox ever decided to go wonky and delete all my files, it could do so from both my computers at the same time without me being able to stop it in time.

Not too worried about this, but it is something I think about once in a while. I do occasionally do a complete backup to a hard-disk, but only very occasionally.

3-2-1: Three copies, two local, one remote. That's backup. Anything less is "backup".

I use Time Machine for local and Backblaze for remote. Very happy with both. Dropbox is great for stuff I want to sync across machines or share with others. And my local Dropbox is watched by TM and BB, so even if DB implodes, locks me out, and wipes everything from my local drive, I maintain local and remote copies that its system can't reach.

The best part is that I never think about any of it. All this just runs in the background, keeping (virtually) up to the minute copies of whatever I'm working on. And I've tested the recovery features well enough to be confident that I can fully restore where ever and when ever needed. I consider backup a solved problem.

My sentiments exactly! A few weeks ago I spilled an iced latte on my air's keyboard and had to let it dry for a week. Shit. But Apple has a 14 day no questions asked return policy. Excellent! I bought a new air -- installed dropbox, app store xcode, homebrew, ran a script to symlink my dot files / documents etc to dropbox, and done. 30 minutes later I'm back up and running as if nothing had happened. A week later I powered on my caffeinated laptop (works fine after its delicious iced latte bath - not a single sticky key even) and returned my free apple rental. Thank you dropbox, and apple.

That would have been much quicker with Time Machine (been there, done that).

Serious question: why not use Backblaze to backup your important things?

Dropbox is primarily a sharing and synchronization tool: using it for backup is very expensive.


Edit: They now match Spideroak's pricing. If anybody from Spideroak is reading this: you have an awesome service, but here are a couple of things you might want to do. I like your commitment to privacy and hence use it, but sadly, IMHO it's not easy enough for my spouse to use, and I wouldn't recommend it to them.

1. simplify the client.

2. sharing is not intuitive

3. default setting should be that all folders are synchronized: the opposite of the current one.

Serious question: why not use Backblaze to backup your important things?

Because their homepage says: As low as $3.96/month per computer for unlimited data.

I consider that to be an unmaintainable low price, and their "unlimited data" claim really puts me off. My files are too important to me; I couldn't even consider going with them.

DropBox certainly costs more but:

1) I trust them (knowing that they use Amazon S3 is a BIG bonus)

2) $20/month is an incredibly low price for peace of mind.

Note: I'm not the same author as the grandparent comment.

You can then add suspenders to your belt: sign up for multiple backup services. E.g. I have Backblaze and Crashplan. $3/mo for Crashplan and $5/mo for Backblaze give me two unlimited backups.

If you were to choose one, which would it be? I'm with CrashPlan now, but their upload speed is so impossibly slow that I'll never upload all my data. Uploading only 250GB has taken me 4 months. And the software is not so great.

I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more if those problems were fixed.

Not sure… I had tried Backblaze last year and had the same problem as yours: after a few months I was still not done with the initial backup, so I cancelled. A few months ago I figured I should give online back-ups another try and I signed up for both at the same time. Both took less time the second time around somehow… I was planning on keeping only one but in the end, at that price, it's worth it to keep both.

Overall I don't care too much about the software (I agree Crashplan's is pretty bad) since it would be needed only in case of crash. But I like Crashplan a bit better because it can back-up your whole drive and they're cheaper. Their family plan is very cheap too.

    I agree Crashplan's is pretty bad
I'd say so... They just reset my backup for no discernible reason.

Backblaze doesn't limit your upload speeds if you have a lot of stuff to backup which is why I stuck with them instead of switching to another provider. That said, backing up from Norway still isn't fast - I only get about 13GB/day, so it's still taking forever to get everything backed up, but I just made sure to exclude the lower priority stuff at first and add another folder or drive at a time in order what is most important to me. So far I have about 2.5TB backed up across 2 computers.

In case you didn't know they invented the "Backblaze Pod" to reduce storage costs.

I don't think their costs are unreasonably low.

1 TB of double-redundant bare HDD space costs about $250 for five years (they have an interesting blog post where they candidly admit that they buy high-warranty drives and the manuf's eat the loss of drives).

Even if you manage to upload 1 TB to their servers, they still don't lose money. Just to be clear, imho 1 TB is an insane amount of data. My pictures and videos from about 3 years still total only about 100 GB.

Given the slow upstream bandwidth of most users, most people are unlikely to upload anywhere close to 1 TB.

I don't think their costs are unreasonably low.

Fair enough. For me, though, there are so many possibilities for things going wrong when it comes to storage, I'd rather not trust it to a company trying to squeeze a profit from taking in a few dollars a month - and that's before processing costs.

Also, why would I go for the cheapest option when I get so much greatness for the equivalent of buying a few coffees/beers? It's not mega money by the majority of people's standards.

I used to use Mozy and then switched to Backblaze when Mozy upped the prices. I see your point about pricing and data security, but for me I'm willing to risk it to save some money because it isn't like Backblaze is the only source of my data.

I've got the local active copy, a local backup to a home server and then Backblaze for off-site. While Backblaze could theoretically disappear any day as far as I know, the chance of all three of my data sources being lost simultaneously is very small. Small enough that if it ever happened I suspect I'd have bigger problems to worry about than my data backups.

What makes you think that, if their pricing proves low, they won't simply increase prices? And marginally so? They'd have to more than quadruple prices before DropBox is the better backup solution.

Lack of reasonable Linux support made it surprisingly difficult to find a backup provider. I ended up going with CrashPlan. I tried SpiderOak but their client software was terrible and the headless install basically didn't work.

Jungledisk is good and got clients for Linux Mac and windows

(Op here)

Basically what others have said - I want things Synced, not just backed up. I like being able to access all my things on iPhone, on other computers, etc, and with it always working.

Also, I used Dropbox first, Dropbox "opened this market" for me, so to speak, which means I wasn't even thinking that this kind of thing would be convenient before I installed Dropbox and started using it. It's very possible that there are better services which I don't bother looking at because I'm with Dropbox.

My experience exactly. I started with Dropbox’s free 2 GB account for a short while, and once I saw the benefits of it I went with the 100 GB plan. I pay $20/month and now will get 200 GB for that. I also have two local clones of my MacBook Pro on my desk so I have a fully bootable option if I need it. Dropbox has worked well for me and I am very happy with this setup.

Because it's convenient and reassuring to be able to access everything from everywhere, including from iOS devices. Also: instantly share any file or folder with a link; zero upload time for content that already exists. (I did give up Dropbox a while ago because keeping projects on it was killing my MacBook's battery life. I'm planning to come back, though.)

It gets better. Install some PortableApps.com programs like Firefox, Chrome, GIMP, Skype, PuTTY, uTorrent, ClamWin, etc etc

Great point.

I don't use PortableApps itself, but I hacked together my own portable collection of stuff. Together with a portable Launchy, a portable Total Commander, and a few batch files which automatically set environment variables to point to the current location of my Dropbox folder, meaning Launchy knows how to launch all of my software automatically, and in Total Commander, all my directory favorites (ctrl+d) work automagically.

I wish someone would do compiles of these programs with static libraries as binary blobs for Linux...

> I simply cannot understand the many people who do not use Dropbox to host everything.

Easy: Privacy.

If I'm calculating this correctly, S3 costs about $12.50 per 100GB per month (and that's not including any http requests you make).

How is Dropbox (I assume they store data in S3) offering a lower price than that?

I know they de-dupe data but is there enough common data being stored for them to be able to charge so little?

I pay for a 50gb account but use about 5% of it. I would imagine the vast majority of their users don't use anywhere near the full storage amount.

And even among those who do, a lot of that will be purchased music, movies etc that they can dedup.

edit: not to mention shared folders. 45 GB of my account is a shared folder from work, which is probably shared among 10 users who all have to pay for the same data

Why do you pay for it, then?

I like paying for products that I enjoy, I figure I'd rather pay them $9/month than try and get enough referrals to get the space I need. Now it seems I've lucked out because of that decision I suppose.

They are definitely going to be in the top tier of S3 (5000TB+). If you do reduced redundancy, it's $3.70/month, $5.50 with full redundancy. There's plenty of room for them to make money there.

1) Not everyone has their account at max 2) They get bulk discounts from Amazon that take the price down quite a bit 3) They only store one copy of a file across their user base, so even though they bill you for 100GB and you have it completely full, it's possible they are only storing a small fraction of that. A folder of music for example is likely to not actually take up any space at all, but they get to bill you for every bit.

Except that the metadata on your MP3's is likely different, whether you've purchased them or just edited the genre in ID3 data.

I've often wondered if backup services "parse" MP3's into data and metadata for backup purposes, just because it can enhance deduplication so much. I've never heard of them doing it, but it's the first thing I would do...

You don't need to worry about the particular structure of the files if you break the files into fixed-size chunks (e.g. 512KB) and do the dedup based on the chunks. The difference in the metadata of MP3 will be just in the first chunk, and the rest will be exactly the same no matter how you change the ID3 data. This strategy works for many other types of media files, too.

I can't recall of it was Dropbox or one of the other services, but I read they blocked up the files into blocks of a certain size. As long as the MP3 header doesn't change size (they usually contain padding or are at the end of the file to avoid this) it would just be one block that changed.

Perhaps, but not a lot of people rip their own anymore. There are a lot of identical songs out there thanks to Amazon MP3, iTunes Music Store and all the various scene releases.

Whilst I don't disagree that few people are ripping their own stuff anymore, im pretty sure iTMS still puts the purchasers name in the metadata even now theyre drm free.

It's probably the utilization rate.

The average person on the 50GB Dropbox tier might only actually have 25GB of stuff. Now they're on the 100GB tier, but they still only have 25GB of stuff.

This is almost certainly why they also don't offer smaller paid accounts (like 10-20GB) -- they know users of such tiers will probably keep their accounts maxed out. I know I almost always utilize nearly 100% of my 2GB free account, and I'd probably do the same with 10GB.

Volume discounts and long term contracts will bring the price down.

Aside from de-duping and underutilization, Dropbox might get better rates from S3 than the rest of us.

If we share files using dropbox it comes out of both of our allowances (+ what everyone else said)

I'd be very interested in hearing more S3/Dropbox comparisons..

Still about 2X the price of Google Drive, but close enough to make me not switch which I had been considering.


My problem with Dropbox is that they aren't good custodians with my data. The password glitch could happen to anyone, but Arash's nonchalant original response was pretty shocking, and Dropbox haven't integrated anything like two-factor authentication.

When I have to double authenticate in order to play Diablo 3, but I don't for all my data, I find that odd.

I've heard Google Drive best described as "Dropbox for those whom time is free".

No kidding... my first sync basically made my PC useless for a good week. Over 1GB of memory and 100% processor usage for around 8 days to sync 35 GB of data.

I haven't had any problems with it yet (as a single user); I have had weird problems with dropbox when shared with lots of users actively editing files (conferences). Not really apples to apples comparison, true.

I briefly considered switching to Google Drive when it was released. I copied all the files in my Dropbox (57GB) to the GDrive folder and waited for everything to sync.

After syncing, the GDrive client constantly used almost 500MB (yes, 0.5GB) of memory while Dropbox was always under 50MB (Windows 7)[1]. That's a huge deal for a program that's supposed to be always running.

Also, the GDrive client often crashed while syncing and had problems syncing some weirdly named files that Dropbox handled perfectly.

I hope GDrive gets over these issues soon, since they have some cool features (e.g. webapp integration, content-based image indexing).

[1] https://twitter.com/jtuulos/status/211702650109046785

Your right about the absurd use of memory by Gdrive. However, looking at my usage right now, my Google Chrome instances each use about as much as my GDrive, which for me is not a huge tradeoff, as Gdrive is just as useful to me as one of those Google Chrome instances.


I did the exact same thing, and had the same experience. Crashes, flakiness, slowness, and extreme resource use (RAM/CPU/bandwidth).

The (up) sync time was also about 10 times that of Dropbox.

Maybe they've fixed things, but the experience was pretty horrible all around.

Yet again, Dropbox does it in style: charging more for a higher tier, but because the others get doubled in size for free, it's impossible to feel squeezed by it - because it's not squeezing, it's literally all good. Of course, storage prices have probably dropped by more than half since the original prices, but that doesn't make it any less cool (partly because consumer needs typically don't increase as fast as technology prices fall).

I keep expecting Dropbox to announce a cloud service, because I don't understand their high valuation for just data. But maybe it's just that if you host someone's data, you become "their OS" - their central point of interaction with their devices - and that is enough.

The auto-backup of pictures from my iPhone was such a killer feature it finally made me go all-in on DropBox and pay-up for the 50 Gb plan.

Dropbox can auto-backup photos on iOS? That's news to me.

I know they released something like that for Android, but I'm not seeing it anywhere in the iPhone app. How do I enable that?

Set "Camera upload" to On in Settings in the app

Doesn't this require you to launch the DB app to upload new photos? I don't think third-party apps can be automatically invoked when you take a picture.

You can also set it to upload your photos when you plug-in your device. The dropbox client accesses the files on the device as if it was a camera.

Oh right. Too bad I never plug my phone into my computer.

Thank god, and just in time. I had just moved my Dropbox to my Google Drive folder, thinking about switching once Google got their kinks worked out (still facing a lot of sync problems and crashing issues), but I'd prefer not to switch. This might solve that problem for me.

This puts Dropbox into a useful range for me, and re-invokes the dilemma: trust Dropbox, or continue waiting patiently for an AeroFS invite.

I have an AeroFS account. Never use it; their client is slower than molasses, takes up a ton of RAM, and frequently spikes my CPU. This is on both windows and linux machines...

Personally, Dropbox + 20mb truecrypt volume for more sensitive files is good enough for me.

My issues with dropbox is not storage and price (I'm happy to pay not to have all my data with 1 provider), but speed.

I recently was in Greece and added 5GB of photos to my Dropbox so that if I had my camera stolen (or left it accidentally on a bar table) that I wouldn't lose the photos.

The problem was that the photos only uploaded at a rate of around 50kbps to 70kbps from the hotel (wired connection).

Fair enough... must be hotel or local internet access.

Frustrated at the speed I tried a local internet cafe... same speed.

I didn't actually manage to get all of the photos uploaded and when I was back in the UK I plugged in and they continued to upload at the same rate. Even though I have a 10MB uplink here.

I ran some quick tests uploading large files to a few boxes I have in different places, and all achieved at least half a meg upload speed. Dropbox stubbornly remained on less than 100kbps.

I'd tried unchecking the "Limit upload rate" both whilst in Greecen and in the UK, to no avail. Not that I would spend more time on this than it needed, I'd already made a second copy of my photos by copying them to the laptop.

Before this trip I hadn't prioritised upload speed for a cloud storage provider, now I would.

I'm fine paying twice what Google charge, but still want 2 things more than anything:

1) Client side encryption of all non-public, non-shared files.

2) Faster upload speed.

You might like http://spacemonkey.com (when it becomes available). Client-side encryption, 60x faster upload, 10x more space.

This came at a perfect time for me. When Google Drive came out, I made the leap. GD was priced significantly better than DropBox, so I went with GD. However, I've had an awful experience with Google. Tons of syncing issues and the background app that does the syncing is awful.

I've never had a problem with my free Dropbox account - and I can't wait to move over to this.

Videos I might believe, but I'm skeptical that family documents and photos are filling 50 and 100 GB accounts. :)

Photos half a meg each so 2000 per gig. 100k photos might happen, I have a couple of filing cabinets full of 35mm negatives and contact sheets (ok not family snaps).

Put some music and videos in there and you are away.

Half a meg each? Even my cell phone takes 2-3 MB photos. And then if use iPhoto or something, it stores the original and edited photos separately. My humble personal iPhoto library is 65 GB.

Even easier, RAW photos at 8MB each. Just 125 per gig.

Not even. My canon 7D murders my free account (at 10 gigs free...)... an hour of leisurely snapping pics can take a whole gig

I just looked at my Pictures folder (moving countries later in the year, so seeing if Dropbox monthly might be a short term additional copy solution for those irreplaceable files). Currently at 99.1GB. And there's 83 days of travelling (and photographing) to go before arriving back home.

I guess it all adds up, you can easily shoot 1GB of photos on a weekend with current cameras.

I wish there was an option to encrypt all the data not in pbulic folders...

I like dropbox. I think they are providing a great service. I just wish they at least pretended it was a hard decision.

I guess it's pretty easy to live with security concessions like this when people want to give you barrels of money.

Hang on; old free:cheapest paid ratio was 1:25. New free:cheapest paid ratio is roughly 1:5. Plus 18Gb will store my teaching materials until I retire! 400Mb does me for a year or so including the scans from paper I do on my photocopier.

Jolly decent I'd say

I still think this is not cheap enough for the amount of storage you're getting. I'd love this service to displace products/services like crashplan where safely storing stuff becomes more of a live backup process so to speak. At this current price point most people really can't afford to back up their media in its entirety. I don't really mean pirated stuff either, I'm talking about home movie raws, photo dumps from DSLRs or even point and shoots.

I think sitting on top of Amazon is really hurting their pricing and for a company of their scale and funding they should be looking into custom/owned data centers to drive down the price even further.

I really hope they improve indexing speed with these updates. Maybe I'm a but more of a heavy user than normal but I have 500k files in dropbox going a little over 70gb and recently indexing even a few hundred more small files is painfully slow and the hard drive is constantly thrashing (so slow that I've had to turn dropbox off while working as the computer is almost unusable).

It seems indexing speed has become slower and slower the more files I already have in my dropboc. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm on windows 7 with a standard 7200 rpm HDD (only 18 months old too). The pc runs nice and fast when dropbox is closed.

I have a teams account for my business and it is fantastic. I have to admit though, I was hoping it would jump to 2 TB when I saw the headlines today.

I have the $99 plan. The one problem I have is that one of my computers has an SSD so I can't move more stuff to Dropbox on my desktop because it would kill my laptop, which is the reason I bought it. I do much of my work on my laptop out of my Dropbox dir. With so much Dropbox space, now I don't want every computer to have all my pics, videos, etc.

You can selectively choose which directories to sync per computer (https://www.dropbox.com/help/175/en).

I guess it will. I bought Dropbox one morning in a panic when I thought my drive was dying. It turned out to be fine but I've been working out of the directory since then. Thanks.

Dropbox's Selective Sync feature would solve this problem for you, no?

You can exclude certain directories from synchronizing to your laptop if you want to.

This is good news for those who need bigger storage. However, I just use dropbox occasionally. Thanks anyway dropbox!

I'm a drop box paying customer and would rather have seen them implement 2 factor authentication. Simple cell phone text message confirmation when anyone tries to add or connect to the account would help.

Does this plan let you access other people's account without a password?

Yes, but that feature is unreliable and I've never managed to get it working. =)

> or those of you who need even more space, a brand new 500 GB plan is also joining the posse!

Do they mean that it's happening in the future? I don't see the plan on the pricing page.

My 50G plan is currently running at 44G and I was investigating FOSS options since much doesn't technically need to be in dropbox. This saves me some tech time ;)

I'm pretty happy with Skydrive. 25GB for free.


I was desperately hoping for this to happen also. I love dropbox. Use it across linux/windows/mac/android.

They actually linked to a video of fireworks.

I really wish Dropbox would add the ability for arbitrary directory syncing. This single "dropbox" folder is so annoying.

Until them, I'm quite content with one of their competitors.

You could use symlinks to add arbitrary folders to your dropbox.

Yeah, just not cutting it for me. I understand the workarounds but the reality is they shouldn't be required. I should be able to right-click a directory and "Add to Dropbox"

They do have 'Selective Sync' but those folders do have to be in your Dropbox folder for that. So not exactly what you are looking for unless you re-organize to use that structure.

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