Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
8/27/2014
04:20 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2014 | 4:09:14 AM
Re: Scale the GB
"The price (10$ - 10T) per month for a small size company is very good but for a regular user still is not that cheap as it sounds. Maybe a scale in GB will be more beneficial for everybody.  "

Nemos, cloud storage is dynamic and it's good for a short period; who don't want to invest in infrastructure. In long term it's always better to have own storage place because it's economic and secure.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2014 | 4:07:06 AM
Re: Just buy an external HDD for backup
"Dropbox is good for sending large files exceeding 25 MB but that's about it.  Actually, YouSendIt is a lot more secure for sending large files."

Askqn, its more or less like a file sharing service. At the same time you can also store files there.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2014 | 4:04:35 AM
Re: Dropbox Expands the Box
"There's no guarantee that a cloud provider can't ever lose data. For the relatively low cost and minimal extra effort, use a service and offline drives that is stored someone other than the same room/house. To me, it is worth a few extra steps to double-down on protecting my critical data."

Jaggibonds, it won't cost you too much.                                                                         
jgherbert
50%
50%
jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 11:45:13 PM
Re: Just buy an external HDD for backup
@asksqn> Dropbox itself doesn't do much, but there are a good number of other programs and plugins out there that use Dropbox in a very convenient fashion. One that comes immediately to mind are the WordPress plugins that backup your WP site dirct to DropBox. It's a quick and easy public HTTP server - I use it as a source for Minecraft texture plugins (used for server-textures). I guess if you can find the right use for it, it's gold; if you can't, it's just another stupid bit of cloud storage :)
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 10:35:31 PM
Just buy an external HDD for backup
Personally, I have never used Dropbox (or any of its competitiors) for backup given that a 1 TB external HDD from Toshiba can be had for under $50.00.   Dropbox is good for sending large files exceeding 25 MB but that's about it.  Actually, YouSendIt is a lot more secure for sending large files.
Nemos
50%
50%
Nemos,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/28/2014 | 1:33:48 PM
Scale the GB
The price (10$ - 10T) per month for a small size company is very good but for a regular user still is not that cheap as it sounds. Maybe a scale in GB will be more beneficial for everybody.  
jagibbons
100%
0%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 1:11:07 PM
Re: Dropbox Expands the Box
I prefer both, Gigi3. There's no guarantee that a cloud provider can't ever lose data. For the relatively low cost and minimal extra effort, use a service and offline drives that is stored someone other than the same room/house. To me, it is worth a few extra steps to double-down on protecting my critical data.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 1:27:24 AM
Re: Dropbox Expands the Box
"it's cheaper to buy a hard drive. But what absolutely amazes me is that so many people who opt for this sort of solution locate the backup hard drive either in the same box(!) or in another machine in the same room. A powerline surge, a fire, or a flood will take out the original as well as the backup. So much better to do your storage thousands of miles away, on a commercial system that no doubt backs up your stuff up on more than one server."

Garry, I would prefer cloud storage than personal hard disk because of convenience. I can access my data at anytime from anywhere; irrespective of location or time without carrying the hard disk.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 1:23:49 AM
Amazons offer for Unlimited storage for $10 per month
"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."

Thomas, competitions becomes tighter. Any way Amazons offer for "Unlimited storage for $10 per month" is very attractive.
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 11:34:02 PM
Re: Dropbox Expands the Box
True enough, it's cheaper to buy a hard drive. But what absolutely amazes me is that so many people who opt for this sort of solution locate the backup hard drive either in the same box(!) or in another machine in the same room. A powerline surge, a fire, or a flood will take out the original as well as the backup. So much better to do your storage thousands of miles away, on a commercial system that no doubt backs up your stuff up on more than one server.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 9, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.