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Dropbox

2 GB free; $10 per month for 100 GB
Reviewed
May 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Dropbox Online Backup

Best cloud storage

Pros
  • Excellent file syncing
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux
  • Fast and easy to use
Cons
  • Costlier than some competitors
Where to Buy
 

Bottom line

Dropbox is a file synchronization service that has earned multiple Editors' Choice awards, and critics say it is one of the easiest backup services to use. Dropbox allows you to store files online and sync them across multiple computers, smartphones and tablets. While there's a lot of competition in this space (including Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive), many reviewers prefer Dropbox over other syncing services.

Ease of use

Easy to use. Reviewers say Dropbox couldn't be easier to use -- you simply sign up, download the client and drag and drop files into a folder on your device. You can then access the files on linked computers, phones or tablets. You can also store the files locally instead of in the cloud, meaning you won't need an Internet connection to access them. Uploading and downloading are fast as long as you have a reliable connection. Reviewers love the robust sharing options, which include the ability to send files to others right from the Dropbox client or create read-only public folders. Invite your friends, family and teammates to any folder or file in your Dropbox (it requires them to sign up first), and it'll be as if you saved that data straight to their devices.

Features

BlackBerry and Kindle Fire apps. Dropbox covers Windows, Mac and even Linux operating systems (a rarity among online backup services), and provides apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire devices. Any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically update on your computers, phones and tablets. You can choose to upload only changes to your files, rather than overwriting them, which uses far less bandwidth, and there's no restriction on file sizes. Dropbox lets you edit documents, run videos or music (via your devices' players or plug-ins) and add files at the same time. You can access your files from any computer, as well as iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android devices. Dropbox keeps earlier versions of your files for 30 days. If a month isn't enough, Dropbox's Packrat service (Est. $4 per month or $40 per year) allows you to save an unlimited number of old versions of all your files as well as any deleted files. 

Plans

2 GB -- and possibly more -- free. Dropbox provides 2 GB of online storage for free, but is one of the pricier cloud storage services. Paid subscriptions are available for 100 GB ($10 per month) for the Pro plan, or unlimited space with the Business plan ($15 per month per user for at least five users). Members on the free plan can earn additional free storage (up to 18 GB) by referring their friends. Google Drive offers more free storage (15 GB) at lower subscription prices ($2 per month for 100 GB), but many experts say Dropbox is still a better choice because of its competitive features, seamless integration and support for Linux PCs and BlackBerry smartphones (Google Drive supports neither).

Our Sources

1. PCAdvisor.co.uk

Dropbox is rated Best Cloud Storage Service for 2014 here and awarded 5 out of 5 stars because of its features and support for Linux and BlackBerry along with Windows Mac OS X, Android and iOS. The service is praised for being fast, easy to use and great for syncing files between devices.

Review: 7 Best Cloud Storage Services - 2014's Best Online Storage Sites Revealed, Martyn Casserly, March 14, 2014

2. ZDNet.com

Reviewer Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols declares Dropbox "the best of the best" among 10 cloud storage services because it's easy to use. Dropbox "let me create, add, delete, move, copy, edit, whatever file and directories just as if they were any other file on my system," Vaughan-Nichols writes.

Review: The Top 10 Personal Cloud-storage Services, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Feb. 25, 2013

3. Macworld (U.K.)

Dropbox and Google Drive are recommended over Microsoft OneDrive in this comparative review. Dropbox's local networking option and apps are stronger than its competitors, but it's also more expensive, Hattersley says.

Review: Microsoft OneDrive vs. Google Drive and Dropbox: Best File Sync Service for Mac?, Lou Hattersley, March 17, 2014

4. PCMag.com

PCMag.com gives Dropbox a score of 4 out of 5 stars. "Dropbox is a well implemented, cloud-based, automatic, file-syncing service that's ideal for working with files you can store in a single folder," the author writes. The service's ease and reliability are singled out for praise.

Review: Dropbox, Jill Duffy, May 19, 2014

5. PC World

Dropbox "proves its worth time and time again," according to reviewer Mark O'Neill. Although Dropbox offers extensive file synchronization, O'Neill found it "problematic" to set up the default folder for this. However, the new free Dropbox Folder Sync app allows you to easily sync data, such as Outlook files that you can't move into Dropbox.

Review: Review: Synchronize Any Windows Folder on Your PC with Dropbox, Thanks to Dropbox Folder Sync, Mark O'Neill, March 29, 2013

6. CNET

CNET's Sarah Mitroff picks Dropbox as best for file sharing in this comparative review of Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Box. Dropbox is applauded for its simple, easy-to-use design and for its excellent file syncing.

Review: OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box: Which Cloud Storage Service Is Right for You?, Sarah Mitroff, March 13, 2014

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