With a market capitalization in excess of $8.5 billion and 15.4 million users worldwide, Dropbox can justifiably claim to be the world’s most popular cloud storage platform.
Over the past decade, its logo with that little white box against a blue background has become as well known as any of the big tech firms’ branding.
And with its free version being the first time that close to a billion people used cloud storage for the first time, it can justifiably claim to be a pioneer in the industry.
But does being a pioneer in cloud storage justify using Dropbox in 2022?
DealRoom looks at the evidence.
Dropbox almost didn’t happen. Its founder, Drew Houston, was working on a host of other ideas before he stumbled on the concept for the world’s most popular cloud storage.
It was only when Houston - a talented computer programmer - forgot his memory stick (now largely consigned to history because of online cloud storage), that he began to codify what would later become Dropbox.
Within two weeks, he had secured funding from Y Combinator and the rest is history.
The truth is, Dropbox doesn’t do a whole lot, but what it does, it does very well.
Each user downloads a Dropbox folder on their computer, and the contents of the folder are continuously synchronized with other users in that user’s network, and the Dropbox servers, ensuring that the files are up to date in all locations and devices.
And although it has added a few more functions in the past decade, such as Mailbox, an email app, and Dropbox Carousel, a multimedia gallery app, its core offering is still its cloud storage offering.
The truth is, Dropbox doesn’t do that much but it is excellent at what it does.
This is why it has more than half a billion users: If you’re looking for a quick fix for files under 2GB in size, Dropbox is fantastic.
Furthermore, the fact that there are over half a billion users means that you’ll find that most people know about its functionality, avoiding the need to explain the concept over and over. Dropbox has nailed commerciality.
And yet, this commercial, one-fits-all nature is also Dropbox’s biggest drawback. In being everything to everybody, Dropbox amounts to less than the sum of its parts. It is a commercial solution, not a professional one.
The fact hat it has a Family package should tell you everything you need to know. Dropbox is used as much for distributing family seating plans at Thanksgiving dinner as it is for complex business affairs.
The table below looks at some of these pros and cons in more detail, using DealRoom for comparison.
In short, Dropbox is a highly capable tool, which continues to evolve.
It may be finding the transition from mass market appeal to the tool that professionals trust is a difficult one, however.
The main pros and cons are as follows:
So, to return to the initial question: Should you really be using Dropbox in 2022?
The truth is, it depends.
For professions where the requirement is for several teams, each in turn composed of several members, sharing and requesting dozens of documents - areas of the legal, financial, medical professions, for example - Dropbox is adequate at best.
For roles less demanding in these tasks - say, a teacher sharing files with a class - there are few better options on the market, particularly given its 2GB free storage.