Dropbox (service) (Android) January 21, 2014

3.1.1 (iOS ) March 21, 2014

1.0.55 (BlackBerry) October 5, 2011

Dropbox ( engl. to drop = drop, so translated loosely: crate to clean Chucking things) is an introduced 2007 Internet service that stores data from a PC or smartphone on a remote computer system. The company, Dropbox Inc. uses for these file hosting or cloud storage service specified for the user not recognized, the mass storage from Amazon. Once you upload a file to Dropbox, you can retrieve it from any computer connected to the Internet. The system serves the online data backup, but also the exchange of data between different people. Access to the dropbox is possible in the browser and using applications (apps) for various operating systems. Dropbox is a pure storage service and does not allow for cloud computing, so the execution of programs on the remote computer. Dropbox Inc. has its headquarters in the United States.


Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston and Arash two students Ferdowsi in San Francisco in 2007. Their goal was to develop a service that should make the exchange of large files by e -mail or USB sticks unnecessary and solve the associated problems. The service was promoted in the initial phase by Y Combinator and was still in the first year funding from Sequoia Capital, which was later increased several times.

The end of 2010 left Dropbox officially out of beta and was released in the first stable version 1.0. At this time, fully supports Windows, Linux and OS X. In addition, Dropbox got the function, rather than the entire folder to sync only selected content (Selective Sync) for the first time.

In 2011, a variant of Web Service was introduced under the name Dropbox for Teams. This is aimed at businesses that require centralized management of storage and access rights. In contrast to the other tariffs of each user will be credited to the quota of the entire company and not per person at Dropbox for teams of memory. 2013, the name of the platform in dropbox business has changed.


After registering with Dropbox, a new folder is created on the first device used. All files in that directory with a synchronized on the server of the operator, so that the content is always the same. Data synchronization only works if the user has an active Internet connection - it should be offline, synchronize changed files, once the connection is reestablished. Theoretically, any number of devices can be connected to a dropbox.

If there are two devices in a local network, the synchronization request can also take place on this one, so that the servers of Dropbox are not used (LAN Sync). To save space, Dropbox relies on the de-duplication. Files that are uploaded by other users and are identical are stored only once.

By default, all folders and files in a dropbox not publicly visible, other users have to be invited to participate. This is done by sending an automatically generated e -mail, the receiver can accept or reject the access to third party content. After accepting the invitation, all changes to the shared objects are synchronized so as it would be self created folders and files. The permissions for owners and participants of folders and files can be customized through the web-based interface of Dropbox at any time later. Since 2012, the read access to folders and files can also be by persons who are not themselves registered with Dropbox.


Dropbox uses the Web service S3 Amazon Web Services to store files of users. According to the company they are with AES encryption provided ( with 256 bit key length ) before they are stored in the S3 storage so that unauthorized access is precluded by a third party according to the current state of the art. However, Dropbox itself has full access to plain text to the user files.

In addition, the entire transport - communication between client and server is encoded by the SSL process.

However, since Dropbox save as operators the above-mentioned private AES key in their service per user centrally and not deliver it to the users, experts strongly recommend you to encrypt files needing protection before moving into the Dropbox additionally itself - for example, by a method such as TrueCrypt. This makes the file end - to-end encrypted. This carries into the regular use of the files but the disadvantage that they only themselves, can use in knowing the key of this native encryption, and also loses access via the web interface. A sharing of files among friends, for example, is out with this extra treatment.

Dropbox since 2012 supports two-factor authentication, to complicate the capers of the account by other users. In addition to the password can be activated so that the access of new devices a PIN code for an application is created on the smartphone of the user who has to be entered. Alternatively, it can be delivered as a classic text.


About a programming interface that is provided developers of third-party software, other applications can also access Dropbox. In this way it is possible for example to access directly from Gmail on Dropbox to back up files from Google Chrome directly to Dropbox or to fully automate recurring tasks.

Dropbox turn engages itself to on various other programs. Thus, since version 2.0 the photos read, for example, under Apple iOS to upload them automatically to Dropbox. In addition, a data synchronization with iPhoto and screen capture software of the operating system is possible.


Dropbox is based on a freemium model, where the main features are free and have users pay only for extensions. In the case of Dropbox is paid tariffs refer both to the amount of memory, as well as ways to ease administration. Specifically, the following tariff levels are currently being offered:

  • Dropbox Free ( free ): 2 GB of memory, plus 500 MB recommended for users in a bandwidth limit of 20 GB per day
  • Dropbox Pro: Subscription for 100, 200 or 500 gigabytes of storage space with a bandwidth limit of 200 GB per day.
  • Dropbox Business: Subscription from 1 TB and five managed users

In January 2014 Dropbox announced more than 200 million registered users, of which four million paying customers.

The end of 2012, the company announced in its Action Space Race students the opportunity to gain additional depending on the number of participants per university up to 25 GB of free storage. On January 25, 2015, the term of the promotion ends. Participating lose the extra memory obtained expected to be back.


Dropbox fell due to poor safety again and again in the criticism. So four hours accepted the service in 2011 after an upgrade of its server software any passwords, so that almost all the files of all users were unprotected. 2012 attacker were to gain according to official figures from time to time access to an account of an employee of Dropbox, which allowed them to access e -mail addresses and other personal data from numerous registered user.

At times, also led the client software from Dropbox significant weaknesses with that thus the service used for authentication at first only the so-called host_id, which should identify the device used to forge. With a complete copy of a locally installed Dropbox installation therefore unrestricted access to the memory of each user was possible. It also enabled a faulty setting in the Android software third programs to upload any file into a Dropbox. Both issues have been closed by the affected software updates.

In connection with the revelations in 2013 about the worldwide interception activities of the U.S. secret service NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden Dropbox was designated as a future partner of the NSA. Safety experts recommend for a use of Dropbox for files needing protection, the use of appropriate encryption software.