Dropbox is a popular service that allows users to store, share and edit documents in "the cloud," meaning that the files do not take up space on the individual's hard drive, but on a third-party server owned and maintained by Dropbox. The company was founded in 2007, and currently boasts 45 million users. More than 2 billion files are shared and stored in Dropbox each week.
Most users subscribe to the free service, which includes up to 2GB of storage space
. Anything stored in the Dropbox can be shared on any device and with any user with a Dropbox account. Extra storage space can be purchased or earned by referring new customers. Recently, Dropbox announced a premium plan for businesses, called Dropbox for Teams.
Dropbox for Teams can help businesses bring their administrative work up to date. By using Dropbox for Teams, administrators and employees can share documents and other information in real-time. It is ideal for sharing and editing large documents, especially for tasks that need a response or review quickly, like contracts.
Dropbox for Teams starts at $795 per year, for up to five users. This account allows for 1,000GB of storage space. Customer support by phone is also included in the price, and control over adding and removing users is left to the expertise of your company's I.T. or administrative department.
Security issues have recently caused some concern for potential customers
of Dropbox for Teams. In June of 2011, Dropbox experienced a security breach
, which left user's accounts vulnerable for several hours. The issue has been corrected, but the incident has left some people weary of the company.
Alternatives to Dropbox for Teams do exist on the market. Google already offers cloud storing and sharing services, such as Google Docs
, which are very popular among businesses. Chromebooks, another product offered by Google, are laptops that automatically store everything online, allowing users to access their documents from any computer. Apple has also entered the file-sharing
market with their highly anticipated iCloud servers.
One of the primary advantages Dropbox has over its competitors is the ability to share among all types of devices. Dropbox has always been and will remain compatible with Mac and Windows products. The same document can be accessed from an iPad, an Android phone
, a Macbook Air, and any Windows operating system
. Dropbox is a third-party service, which doesn't hold any allegiance to a certain service provider
or operating system.
This makes it ideal for sharing among employees, which often do not own the same types of devices. According to the Vice President of Dropbox, Sujay Jaswa, unlike their competition, Dropbox doesn't have a horse in the race, so their primary concern is to be there for consumers and offer the best service they can.