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Dropbox Boosts Pro Storage, Adds Pro Features

Dropbox may have set the standard for file sharing services, but with Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive lowballing the price of storage, Dropbox has found it necessary to tweak the details on its paid Dropbox Pro accounts to compete, now offering a 1 TB tier for $9.99 per month or $99 per year.

Previously, Dropbox charged $9.99 per month for 100 GB, $19.99 for 200 GB, and $49.99 for 500 GB. Users who had one of those plans now have ten times their previous amount of storage. Those who had 200 GB and 500 GB plans can opt to keep them (at the new quotas of 2 TB and 5 TB, respectively) or downgrade to 1 TB at the beginning of the next billing cycle.

In comparison, Google Drive also offers 1 TB for $9.99 per month, and for those who don’t need that much space, 100 GB for $1.99 per month. The personal OneDrive account is normally $1.99 per month for 100 GB or $3.99 per month for 200 GB, but a current promotion on OneDrive for Business drops the 1 TB price to $2.50 per month. Amazon’s Cloud Drive will probably be dropping its pricing soon, given that 1 TB costs a whopping $500 per year there.

More compelling for those who don’t need more space are the new features that Dropbox is adding to Pro accounts (free Dropbox accounts won’t get these features):

  • View-only permissions for shared folders is the big one that many long-time Dropbox users have wanted, so you could share a folder with a workgroup without worrying that they’d change or delete files.

  • Shared links gain two additional features: password protection and expiration dates, both of which give you more control over who can access a shared link.

  • Remote wipe enables you to delete the Dropbox folder from a lost device the next time it comes online. This is useful mostly for Apple users who consider their only important data to live in Dropbox; otherwise you’d be better off using FileVault to protect all your data (as fully explained in Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of FileVault”) or remotely wiping the entire device using Find My iPhone.

Thanks to Glenn Fleishman for alerting me to the fact that Dropbox has also rejiggered its Packrat unlimited version history feature. For free accounts, Dropbox maintains all older versions and deleted files for only 30 days, but in the past, Dropbox Pro users could pay an extra $39 per year for Packrat, which maintained all older versions and deleted files indefinitely. Dropbox has now renamed Packrat to Extended Version History and set it to preserve only 1 year of older versions and deleted files. The price of Extended Version History for Dropbox Pro users remains $39 per year, and existing Dropbox Pro users with Packrat can opt in to keep unlimited version history before 1 November 2014. (Dropbox for Business users continue to have unlimited version history.)

Needless to say, an update to Joe’s “Take Control of Dropbox” will be making its way onto Take Control’s publishing calendar, though the next few months are pretty booked as we gear up for Apple’s upcoming operating system revisions.

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