Whether we like it or not, we have become a society that is always connected; always creating, consuming, and sharing media. Our dependence on media, and the rate at which technology improves our media (e.g. moving from DVDs to Blu-ray, higher quality audio, more megapixels in cameras), means we need more storage to keep up with the pace. Over the past few years, there has been a deluge of cloud storage service providers such as: Google (Google Drive), Apple (iCloud), Microsoft (SkyDrive), and Box to name a few. In a move to reclaim its dominance, the arguable pioneer in the cloud storage arena, Dropbox, has both consolidated its tiered plans into one, and added additional features to compete with the latest players in the game.
Before going further, we should probably explain what cloud storage is. Cloud storage allows users to access their data from practically anywhere that has some form of connection to the internet. If you are on your smartphone, you can reach your files. If you are one your home computer connected to WiFi, your files are easily within reach. If you are a student needing to reprint a report you started on a home PC that is synced to the cloud, you can log on to a computer at the library and access your file there. The convenience of having your files readily accessible just about anywhere, is hard to pass up.
Google shook up the cloud storage scene, by offering:
100 GB for $1.99 a month
1 TB for $9.99 a month
10 TB for $99.99 a month
20 TB for $199.99 a month
and 30 TB for $299.99 a month
On the other hand Dropbox used to cost:
$9.99 per month for 100GB
$19.99 per month for 200GB
and $49.99 per month for 500GB
Not very much storage for what you would be paying competitors. Now, the revamped price offering from Dropbox consolidates the older 3 plans into just one Dropbox Pro account that provides you with 1 TB of storage capacity. You actually end up saving more with Dropbox by paying $99 upfront as opposed to paying $9.99 a month which would equate to $119.98. Of course, Dropbox still offers plans for business users starting at $15 per user per month for 5 users.
Additional Security Features
In addition to making their plans competitive again, Dropbox has added a very slick security feature set that competitors can’t presently touch. There are 4 features that should be highlighted, the first being remote wipe. If you have files that are stored on your smartphone from Dropbox, and that phone is stolen, you now have the capability to wipe those files from the device and stop it from syncing.
You can now password protect shared files. So if you inadvertently share a file with someone who shouldn’t be seeing your files, they won’t be able to access them without the right password. Shared links can now be given expiration dates. Specific dates can be plugged in, but the default times are 1 day, or 1 week. And finally, shared folders now have a view only option. This is particularly handy when sharing within a group where you want to limit who has the ability to modify files within a folder. So for instance, if there is a group of collaborators, and only one editor, others can give input, while the editor makes the final call.
The price is now right for Dropbox, and many who migrated their data to more affordable options, have reason to pause, and consider coming back. Collaboration is much smoother under the new Dropbox, than on what any competitors may offer. The feature set and storage capacity make for an intriguing option for many.