Dropbox is a file synchronization service that is also a good option for online backup. It earns numerous Editors' Choice awards -- though all of those were given before the launch of Google Drive (Free for 5 GB) and the updated Microsoft SkyDrive (Free for 7 GB) -- and reviewers say it is one of the easiest backup services to use. Dropbox allows you to store files online and sync them across multiple computers. If you change a file on your work computer it will be automatically updated on your computer at home. Even Linux computers are supported, a rarity among online backup services. You can access your files from any computer, as well as iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones.
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. Dropbox provides 2 GB of online storage for free, but paid subscriptions are available for 50 GB (*Est. $10 per month) or 100 GB (*Est. $20 per month). The best reviewed Google Drive offers more free storage (5 GB), lower subscription prices (*Est. $2.50 per month for an additional 25 GB), and the ability to edit documents in-browser, but experts say Dropbox is still a solid syncing-style choice, especially if you own a Linux PC or BlackBerry smartphone (Google Drive supports neither).
The best reviews of Dropbox come from Pocket-Lint.com, the Associated Press, TheVerge.com and RedmondPie.com. Those publications conduct group tests of online backup services and issue opinions or ratings on each provider they test. Comparison roundups at Gizmodo.com, TechSource.com and Gizmo's Freeware are less comprehensive, while fairly detailed stand-alone reviews can be found at PC Pro and PCMag.com.
British website Pocket-Lint.com evaluates four of the top cloud storage services, including Dropbox. Although Sung notes that it offers much less upfront free storage compared to its competitors, he says that Dropbox is still a strong option thanks to its unrivaled platform support, which includes Linux PCs and BlackBerry smartphones.
Review: Apple iCloud vs Google vs Amazon Cloud Drive vs Dropbox vs Microsoft SkyDrive, Dan Sung, April 26, 2012
2. Associated Press
Google Drive wins the nod as the best overall file synchronization service in this comparison of Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. However, Dropbox is called a solid second option thanks to its robust multi-platform capabilities.
Review: Review: Using Files Made Easy with Online Storage, Anick Jesdanun, May 3, 2012
TheVerge.com praises Dropbox's simple interface, but says Google Drive is a better choice overall. "Dropbox is still the champ at syncing since it's so reliable and on so many platforms, but if you're looking for the best way to collaborate with others using online documents, Drive is the way to go," Ellis Hamburger writes.
Review: Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and Others: a Cloud Sync Storage Face-off, Ellis Hamburger, April 24, 2012
Paul Paliath praises Dropbox's platform support, file recovery system and sharing features, but says that Microsoft SkyDrive is the better choice for most people -- as long as SkyDrive supports your mobile phone of choice.
Review: SkyDrive vs iCloud vs Dropbox: Which Is the Best Cloud Storage / Backup Service That You Should Use?, Paul Paliath, April 24, 2012
PCMag.com gives an Editors' Choice award to Dropbox. "Dropbox is a superbly implemented, cloud-based, automatic, file-synchronization service that's ideal for working with files you can store in a single folder," the authors write. The service's ease and reliability are singled out for praise.
Review: Dropbox, Jill Duffy and Edward Mendelson, Oct. 28, 2011
6. PC Pro
PC Pro, a British site, gives Dropbox a rating of 5 out of 6 and a Recommended award. "For all its limitations, Dropbox is great because it makes sharing and syncing files so easy across most devices," Stuart Andrews writes.
Review: Dropbox Review, Stuart Andrews, March 30, 2012
In a review that's little more than a table of features followed by a list of one-liner opinions, Adrian Covert says that Dropbox is inferior to Google Drive thanks to Google Drive's productivity and document editing features.
Review: Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox and More Compared: What's the Best Cloud Option?, Adrian Covert, April 24, 2012
Jun Auza writes for the TechSource blog, which focuses on Linux news and reviews. He discusses the eight best online backup services for Linux and calls Dropbox his "favorite online backup service for its simplicity and ease of use."
Review: 8 of the Best Online Backup Services for Linux, Jun Auza, June 19, 2010
9. Gizmo's Freeware
Although Dropbox falls third in this list of free online backup services, the author says "Dropbox is a must try and is my preferred Online Backup Solution." The simple and lightweight nature of the PC client is cited as a highlight.
Review: Best Free Online Backup Sites, "Kyengineer", May 28, 2012