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Dropbox for Business: Why it’s the best option? (sort of)

If you have a business and need to share files of all kinds while security matters concern you, Dropbox for business is the great solution. This service allows all your employees to have access to add, modify and delete all types of files stored in the cloud while having at the same time an automatic file sync that works on hold in the background. I didn’t come across situation where files would have trouble to synchronize if contains characters other than standard A-Z and numbers, which is the case with other providers.

Advantages and thinks that I like:

– Easy access from everywhere. You can have it on your personal computer, account, and mobile device.
– It supports a variable of mobile devices (Android, iOS, Blackberry and even Kindle Fire).
– Unlimited storage.
– Easy drag and drop interface.
– The 30 days’ free trial is a good start to see if you this solution ticks all boxes for your business.
– File synchronizing is really good and responsive (up to certain size)
– Admin features and tools are easy to use and have a good variety of options.
-Security: strong encryption- 256-bit AES and SSL connection for data transfer and option to use two-factor authentication.

Strongest point of Dropbox

Administrator console and its tools are the most interesting added feature. Admin can overlook on the dashboard all users and groups. He can manage and amend settings for the groups and users such as access to specific folders, add or delete users. Another useful feature is that you can view the billing and storage information for all users rather then look through individual account as it is on non-business package. Finally, there is commenting which means that anyone can feedback and discuss changes to files on their web interface.

Disadvantages and thinks that I don’t like:

– Maximum storage is limited at 5TB (1TB per user) for one Dropbox Business license “out of box”. However, you can contact Dropbox team and they will expand your storage free of charge.

– You must provide payment information for your free trial.

– You must pay at least for 5 users regardless how many accounts you really want.

– Would be nice to see drop in price, as other Cloud providers constantly lower price for storage.

Weakest point of Dropbox

It isn’t the most expensive cloud service out there but it’s not the cheapest too. So, if you have a big appetite for space and need more than 5 users to have Dropbox, you will need to pay a lot more. Also, if you only need 4 or less users to have the Dropbox license you have to still pay for 5 users.

Second disadvantage with larger team I have encountered is time it takes to refresh files for selective synch and subsequent issue when user try to synchronise to much data to machine that have not enough hard drive space. As you can imagine such user quickly runs in to trouble and it require help from IT team. Removing files form blocked machine can be nerve wrecking exercise if you have very complex file structure, as you want to ensure you don’t delete files which in turn could wipe files from other user’s machines. Sure you can still recover it but time require for such operation can seriously affect working day of the office and land such unlucky IT person on a chat with very crossed management team.

Price – Cost

The Dropbox business plan costs £66 per month for one license (5 users). The cost can be reduced if with annual commitment rather than monthly billing. The annual price for five users is approximately £660. You have the option to add another user for an additional £11 per month or £79.20 per year depending whether you pay monthly or annually. Bearing in mind that there is so many providers customers are very sensitive to price and lowering it a bit would definitely be a good thing from user perspective. But for this price you will get one of the best solution on the market and your team can enjoy the collaborative work regardless of where they are located.

Recommendations

I would definitely recommend to try the free trial and see if it covers your needs. Furthermore, on Dropbox website there is tons of help in form of guides, manuals and online chat with support in case you can’t find an answer. One more good element that Dropbox for Business is integration with Office 365 which is gaining in popularity. Finally, great feature is unlimited version and restore of deleted files, which as you can imagine can be life saver.

Conclusion

Dropbox for Business is undoubted among the best solutions for small and medium business and I have no problem recommending it. It’s a solid packet which does extremely well at file sharing. It’s a reliable competitor to the same similar cloud services (Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, etc.).

However, Dropbox has a serious problem as Microsoft and Google offer more with their solution, you don’t get only file sharing but you get fantastic email facility (Exchange or Gmail) with top class Office software and Google Docs. So if you are after file sharing facility it’s a clear cut, however if you need more, other providers might be more suitable for your business.