December 13, 2013, 8:00 AM —
Our team relies heavily on Dropbox for all of our projects. A major limitation to the free edition of Dropbox is that multiple users can’t synchronize the same files unless they all use the same credentials. Also it’s limited to 2GB of storage. That’s where Dropbox Pro and Dropbox for Business come in.
Several years ago we made the decision to go all in on Dropbox for our company. We purchased the Dropbox for Business plan and never looked back. It’s fairly expensive at first glance ($795/year for 5 users + $125/year for additional users), but the features you gain along with unlimited storage are invaluable for a digital business.
Having unlimited storage in the cloud is very liberating. We literally never think about it, we just load up any and everything we need to accomplish our work. Every team member has access to the same files and we’re always in sync. The days of non-stop email attachments during the revision process are gone for us. We have access to our files from anywhere there is an internet connection - also priceless. Our laptops, desktops, smart phones, tablets , and home computers are all equipped with the Dropbox app - and when all else fails we can use the web app.
Our data and our work have become ubiquitous...in a good way.
You probably knew all of that already, but here are some features of the business edition that you may not be aware of. Included with the plan are:
Unlimited file recovery
Unlimited version history
Single Sign On and Active Directory Support
Login, device, and location tracking
Priority email and phone support
Dedicated deployment specialists
Those are all significant value adds to a business account. To us the most important extra features are the unlimited file recovery and unlimited version history. It’s a pretty remarkable offering when you’re talking about unlimited data storage and an impressive technical accomplishment. We’ve had dozens of occasions where something was overwritten by accident or delete by accident. After the initial panic by the user comes the relief provided by the recovery and version history restoration.
Here’s a true story of something that happened to me three days ago. While I was out of the office, someone came in and took an ancient iMac out of storage and brought it home to use for god knows what. 3 years ago I had connected my dropbox account to this iMac when doing some iOS development work and had carelessly never removed the link. When this person fired up the computer, they began clearing space on the hard drive, which included deleting everything out of my Dropbox folder. The mass deletion spread across all of my devices and within minutes my Dropbox account was completely empty. Now I was panicking. Years of work and several hundred GB of data was nowhere to be found. I sent an email to Dropbox via my account which has priority email support and in under 40 minutes they had responded with detailed instruction on how to recover everything. They also provided the details to track down how this happened in the first place. After a lengthy resync, I’m back in action - good as new.
Dropbox has changed the way our company does business. It’s also made our data safer and more available. It’s hard to put a pricetag on that. I know there are alternatives out there - Box.net, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and many others - but based on our experience with Dropbox, we’ll be grateful and loyal customers for many years to come.