Dropbox: Will it become the place to keep ALL your data?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Dropbox continues to impress with its versatility, reliability and general usefulness. Last year I took the 100GB storage option at $200 a year. I now use Dropbox as a replacement for my Documents folders on various Macs with the result that all my files and archives are synchronised and present on all the machines. But even the free 2GB account enables you to do wonderful things with synchronisation and storage of vital data.

Dropbox is far ahead of the competition and is showing us the way to a future of routine Cloud storage.Two recent articles on Dropbox caught my attention, thanks to The Brooks Review, and are worth comment. Elliot Jay Stocks loves Dropbox but has a few suggestions for improvements, including.

  • More storage above the 100GB limit
  • Ability to store the Dropbox folder on external drives
  • Multiple Dropbox folders

They are all very sensible suggestions, especially the increase in the 100GB limit and it will be interesting to see whether any of these ideas are adopted.

Netherlands-based Jacques Mattheij wonders about the Dropbox endgame: Where is it headed? In common with me, he wonders why Dropbox doesn’t have a million competitors. Despite the proliferation of Cloud storage and backup, there is still no serious competitor for the wide and peculiar abilities of Dropbox. He goes on:

And then, last week, I had this totally weird idea. What if dropbox would simply replace your local file system. On *all* your digital devices? If the future is 'always on' and 'always connected' for every device, be it a mobile phone, a desktopcomputer, laptop, netbook or tablet, then all those devices can synchronize their content using dropbox, without having a local user filesystem at all!

He suggests that the whole of the synchonisation step could be removed and Dropbox could become the only way in which a device that is “always connected” can access files. Basically, he says, Dropbox would be your “home directory on the net”.

It’s an intriguing thought, especially since we are only one or two steps away from this already. It’s taken a lot of experience for most of us to have the sort of confidence in Dropbox that now encourages us to use it as a main place to store all data. Part of that confidence, of course, comes from the fact that the Dropbox folder acts as a standard data folder on the Mac and is accessible even when unconnected. To forego the local copy could be a step too far. But Jacques is enthused by the idea:

Sooner or later, some manufacturer will clue in to the cost savings that are to be had here, economies of scale would mean remote storage should be significantly cheaper than local storage for a given quantity with a given reliability. Strike a deal with Dropbox to bundle an account with their device at some wholesale discounted price. I can picture the 'Dropbox Outside' stickers already.

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