This is the fourth installment of my "Online Storage for Recording Projects" post. In our second post we looked at "Amazon Cloud Drive" and our third post looked at "SOS Online Backup", Today we'll be looking at:
Space: Dropbox offers the following storage packages: 2GB, 50GB & 100GB
Reliability: Dropbox has been around since 2008 and is reportedly valued at $10 million dollars. Dropbox is established enough that I don't believe it will be dissappearing with our data anytime soon, but the tech world can be a rollercoaster.
Budget: You can get a 2GB account with Dropbox for free and if you complete 5 of the "get started" steps you get an extra 250mb for a total of 2.25GB. It is possible to get more free storage by inviting friends as well. There is a 50GB account for $99.00/year and a 100GB account for $199.00/year. You can synch with multiple computers.
File Sharing: File sharing is really what Dropbox is all about. This is where the service excels. You can share folders with folks who don't even have Dropbox accounts which is a nice feature.
Security: Dropbox boasts Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption. They claim that their employees are prohibited from accessing user's data. This means though, that that could access it if they wanted to, but this type of issue is typical with cloud storage. You can read more HERE about that. Dropbox has had some security problems in the near past. On June 19, 2011 there was a window of time where a bug was introduced into Dropbox's authentication mechanism that allowed any password to work for an account. After about 4 hours, Dropbox had this fixed. You can read more about that HERE.
Platform Compatibility: Dropbox works with PC,Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android & Blackberry
Interface: There are 2 interfaces really for Dropbox. The interface for most Dropbox transactions is almost disturbingly simple. You set up a "dropbox" directory on your computer and put the files you want to share or store on Dropbox into that folder and boom! they are transferred to your dropbox online storage. The second interface is through their website where you can manage your files, set up sharing, restore files based on versions, etc. Both are very intuitive and easy.
Conclusion: Based on my tour of Dropbox, I like how easy it is. I like that I can set up an account with 2.25GB for free and then upgrade to 50GB whenever I want. I like that getting to my data is simple and that it can be accessed by numerous PCs/Macs/Mobile devices. Dropbox hasn't been around for a decade like SOS or Amazon, but it is a popular service with a decent amount of funding so I think they will be around for awhile. If you want more than 2.25GB you do need to pony up for a larger account. Compared to SOS backup, I find Dropbox to be a little expensive: $99.99 a year for 50GB as compared to $79.00 a year for 50GB with SOS. The File sharing with Dropbox can't really be beat and is perfect for sharing with folks that aren't FTP savvy. I also really like the fact that you can roll back to different versions of files and if you accidently delete something it is recoverable. Despite Dropbox's security snafu in June I haven't been able to find anything out of the ordinary regarding breaches and I have friends who have used this service with no complaints. I like Dropbox and if it weren't for the cost and a few doubts I have about their security, I would say its right up there next to SOS as a possible solution for my back up needs.
You can read another review for Dropbox at bandwidthblog.com HERE
Next solution investigated... Carbonite!
Until next time... over N out