Blurp Review: DropBox

rating a

DropBox - When I first heard of Dropbx, I confess that I did not "get it" - I wondered why I'd store my documents in the cloud to share with teammates when I could just email documents to them. Now I am a convert and a half - this is one of the few services I simply could not give up. It has my life so much easier, saved me tons of time and has given my customers peace of mind as well.  If you work in a team, you won't regret reading this review!

DropBox

Cloud Storage doesn't mean much to me but the ability to save my work and know it will instantly be available to those people I've chosen to see it - from anywhere - is real business value if you work on a team.

Link to website:

https://www.dropbox.com/

Short Description:

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it easy to share with others, whether you're a student or professional, parent or grandparent. Even if you accidentally spill a latte on your laptop, have no fear! You can relax knowing that Dropbox always has you covered, and none of your stuff will ever be lost.

DropBox is more than a simple cloud storage app. While it does allow you to store and access your files from anywhere, its claim to fame is the ability to collaborate. With DropBox you can build folders for your uploaded material, share these folders with anyone who has an account, and control who has access to which folders you own. The material in these shared folders can then be updated by anyone who has access, making painful revisions a thing of the past - and if anyone messes up, one click lets you roll back to the last version.

And when adding files to the cloud server, all you do is save the files to the Dropbox folder on your computer and they will automatically sync to a duplicate folder in the cloud - no "uploading" necessary. Whether you want to share something within your organization or without, this app is perhaps the best collaboration tool I've seen.

What I like about it:

DropBox allows you to share individual folders with specific groups of people, meaning that you don't need to create separate accounts to share with separate groups. For example I have a folder that is shared by my team, another that is shared with my web design company, another that is shared by my not-for-profit group and so on.  Everyone gets to see what's in the folder that they have access to but no others.

For remote teams who are running fast and where more than one person is working on a document or even just wants to see the "latest", DropBox is a god-send. No more emailing the latest version - just say "it's in Dropbox".  And best of all they can pick up from their laptop, their friend's computer or any mobile device. I use it on my iPad all the time from the local coffee shop!

The mobile application for the three major operating systems (iOS, Android, Blackberry) not only allows you to access your files on the go, but allows you to easily transfer files between devices.

It doesn't require you to do anything different. Best way to use Dropbox is to install it on your computer. Then it shows up as a folder called My Dropbox.  All you do is open folders in that area and start saving your files there.  DropBox will upload your files in the background to the cloud - too easy.

The 2GB storage that is offered with a free account is more than enough to deliver real value - by the time you use it all up, you'll know how you feel about Dropbox and then you'll be in a good position to decide if you want to pay for more storage space.

What I'd change if I could:

The desktop application does not open upon start-up of my PC – I need to find and open it in my application list before it will sync my folders. I'd like to see it have an "open on start-up" option.

Sharing folders requires that the other person have a DropBox account. Most people do not want a full account if they are only receiving a single file, one time.

Sharing applies to the an entire folder within Dropbox, you can't put sharing restrictions on subfolders, this means that I often have two folders for a group who are actually all involved in the same project, cause sometimes I have documents that I don't want everyone to have access to.

Good for:

  • Storing your files securely in the cloud for access from anywhere
  • Syncing your files across all your computers and devices
  • Organizing documents, pictures, and files of any kind
  • Sharing these documents with anyone who has a DropBox account
  • Revising documents within and across departments

Grandma test for simplicity:

Passed (mostly). I still get confused when someone changes a folder name - it changes on their Dropbox but not on mine, so when we try to tell each other where to find a file it can get confusing!

Mobile Use?

Smartphone application for iOS, Android, and Blackberry and a tablet application for iOS.

Free version available?

Yes, with limited storage (2GB). By inviting non-Dropbox users to sign up for Dropbox you can get more storage for free.  It costs them nothing so everyone wins. In fact if you want to try Dropbox, feel free to use this Dropbox free sign up link so I can pick up a few more chunks of storage in my account.

Cost:

Free version gives you what appears to be full functionality for up to 2GB. Pro version starting at $9.99 USD per month (100, 200, and 500GB plans) and Team version (1TB and beyond) also available.

Bottom Line:

I am not sure I could work without this service - seriously!

Link to website:

https://www.dropbox.com/

Summary:

Pros

  • Simple
  • Rollback to previous version in case of problems
  • Lots of people already use it so you don't have to educate everyone
  • Works on all my devices

Cons

  • Remembering to "unshare" someone when they leave your team
  • For some things, ie providing a link to a file, I have to go to the dropbox website to find it

© 2012 Blurp    About Blurp    Partnerships    Privacy Policy    Contact Us    Sitemap