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Dropbox is a Web-based file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc. which uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files and folders with others across the Internet using file synchronization. It was founded in 2007 by MIT graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi as a Y Combinator startup.
There are both free and paid services, each with varying options. In comparison to similar services, Dropbox offers a relatively large number of user clients across a variety of desktop and mobile operating systems. There are a total of 12 clients, including versions for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (official and unofficial), as well as versions for mobile devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry, and a web-based client for when no local client is installed. Dropbox uses the Freemium financial model and its free service provides 2 GB of free online storage.
The Dropbox client enables users to drop any file into a designated folder that is then synced with Dropbox’s web service and to any other of the user’s computers and devices with the Dropbox client. Users may also upload files manually through a web browser. Through these usages, it can be an alternative to couriering physical removable media, and other traditional forms of file transfer, such as FTP and e-mail attachments.
While Dropbox functions as a storage service, its focus is on synchronization and sharing. It supports revision history, so files deleted from the Dropbox folder may be recovered from any of the synced computers. Dropbox’s version control also helps users know the history of a file they may be currently working on, enabling more than one person to edit and re-post files without complications of losing its previous form. The version history is limited to 30 days. A paid option for unlimited version history called “Pack-Rat” is available.
Price: See website for plans