Dropbox Expands The Box - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud // Cloud Storage
04:20 PM
Connect Directly

Dropbox Expands The Box

Dogged by competition, Dropbox now gives subscribers 1 TB for $10 a month, but backing up data to an external hard drive is still cheaper.

 NYC Vs. Vegas: 10 Fun Interop Differences
NYC Vs. Vegas: 10 Fun Interop Differences
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

With storage prices plummeting and competitors like Google offering unlimited storage for $10 a month, cloud storage pioneer Dropbox has responded by offering 1 TB of storage to customers on its $10-per-month Pro subscription plan.

"We don't want you to worry about choosing the right plan or having enough space," the company said in a blog post.

Investors might worry nonetheless about whether Dropbox has chosen the right business plan. Digital storage just keeps getting cheaper. With 3-TB hard drives selling for $99, that's about around 3 cents per GB, four times less than what Dropbox is charging ($120 for 1 TB, or 12 cents per GB) at monthly pricing, or three times less at the discounted $99-per-year price.

[Need help choosing online storage? Read Cloud Storage: How To Pick A Provider.]

Given the sophistication of syncing and file-sharing software like BitTorrent Plus or CrashPlan, it's relatively simple and more cost effective to back up one's files across a network to a storage device without the involvement of a cloud storage provider.

What's more, storage prices have declined just as users are warming to streaming services, which don't require significant storage capacity. So storage capacity that might have gone to storing media files is likely to remain unused.

This doesn't appear to have dampened enthusiasm for the company. In a 2009 meeting with Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, as recounted in Forbes, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that he considered Dropbox more of a feature than a product and later offered to acquire the cloud storage service for "a nine-digit price." Houston rejected the offer and Jobs said he was going after Dropbox's market. Two years later, Apple launched iCloud. Nonetheless, Dropbox earlier this year was said to be worth about $10 billion.

Some investors clearly see value in the company's 300 million users. To turn users of the company's free storage offering into paying customers, Dropbox isn't just focused on expanding commodity storage capacity. It has also updated its Pro plan to include new file sharing controls and security features.

Dropbox Pro users can now create passwords for shared links, to prevent shared links from providing unauthorized file access. Users also can set expiration dates for shared links and specify whether shared files can be edited or only viewed.

In addition, Dropbox customers can delete Dropbox files from lost or stolen devices using a remote wipe option. They can direct the service to erase files from the Dropbox folder on a missing device when it next comes online.

File security happens to be one of the few services that cloud storage providers can offer that people can't easily replicate using local storage devices. Just having one's data backed up offsite has some value for disaster planning.

Security from competition remains a challenge.

Interested in shuttling workloads between public and private cloud? Better make sure it's worth doing, because hybrid means rethinking how you manage compliance, identity, connectivity, and more. Get the new New Tactics Needed For Hybrid Cloud Security issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 10:13:06 PM
Re: Dropbox Expands the Box
Funnily enough a friend just posted about this earlier today, expressing no small amount of surprise.

This amount of storage almost makes a true off-site backup feasible for home users. Hooray for Dropbox and Google.
Andrew Binstock
Andrew Binstock,
User Rank: Author
8/27/2014 | 5:49:58 PM
Dropbox Expands the Box
Amazing, how DropBox has kept this quiet. Thanks for the post. Off to claim my storage...
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll