Dropbox review

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 8, 2012
Updated • Dec 26, 2012

When Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google started to enter the cloud hosting and synchronization market I was not sure if smaller players in the market were able to survive in the long run. Now that some time has passed it is fair to say that some even thrived thanks to the new competition. Dropbox for instance announced that it broke the 100 million user mark just recently which would have been a big milestone for every player in the niche.

So what is Dropbox? It is a file hosting service at its core that combines online storage with the ability to synchronize the data to your devices. You can install Dropbox on your PC, Mac or Linux system, and also use one of the company's mobile clients to have access to the data on the go.

Whenever you install Dropbox on a device, a root folder is created on it that contains all the data that you want synced. You get a say in the matter though, for instance by preventing that data gets synchronized with a particular device.

The data that you synchronize is not only available on the devices you have Dropbox installed on, but also on the Internet. You can sign in on the Dropbox website at any time using your account credentials to access the cloud hosted data there. That's handy if you are using a third party device to connect to the Internet.

The clients support a feature called Lan Sync which you can use to synchronize data in a local area network between two systems. While you still need Internet access as well on all systems, LAN sync speeds up the syncing of data between computers significantly by transferring files locally instead of remotely.

Files and documents can be shared with Dropbox and non-Dropbox users. You can share links with anyone, which effectively makes the file publicly accessible. What this means is that anyone with the link can download it. More secure than that is the ability to share files and folders with other Dropbox users. This is excellent for collaboration for example and obviously also for security purposes as only invited users can access the contents that you have shared.

Dropbox offers a free account for all users that provides you with 2 Gigabyte of online storage that you can increase to 18 Gigabyte by referring other users to the service. Pro and Team accounts are available at a cost that provide you with extra space starting at $9.99 per month.

Dropbox tips and tricks

We have published several guides and how to articles in the past that help you get the most out of Dropbox. Here is a selection of the best ones:

  • Dropbox Two-step verification - To improve the security of your account, I suggest you enable two-step verification which basically adds a second verification layer to the account. To sign in to Dropbox, you not only need your username and password once set up, but also a verification code that is send to your mobile phone.
  • Thunderbird Dropbox integration - Use Dropbox as a file link provider in the Thunderbird email client. You can move attachments to cloud storage which offers several benefits including faster email download times and the option to change or remove files whenever you want.
  • Dropbox Automator - A third party service that can automatically process select files you upload. You can for instance use it to upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr, convert documents to PDF, or upload them to Google Docs.


It is the combination of features that make Dropbox popular. From the game-like referral system to add storage space to your Dropbox account to support for all major desktop and mobile platforms (with the exception of Windows Phone), it all adds up without changing the ease of use of the solution.

There are still things that can be improved though, like the ability to sync data that is not stored in the Dropbox folder (there are ways around that though) or Lan syncing that does not require Internet.


We have ten codes for Dropbox that increase your storage by 3 Gigabyte for free. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win one of the codes. Let us know which file hosting solution you are currently using and why.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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