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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dropbox users increased to 200 million, up from 175 million in July this year, and has indicated that around 4 million businesses and 97% of Fortune 500 companies make use of it too. If CEO Drew Houston and his team are right, these figures are set to increase even further with the release of Dropbox for Business.

The Main Problem with (the old) Dropbox

One of the biggest problems users of Dropbox had was that it wasn’t possible to make use of the service in a personal and professional capacity at the same time – instead being forced to switch between accounts. Writing for Tech Crunch, Jos Constine reports that the group originally thought to offer account switching as a solution, but realised that, “if that takes 15 seconds each time and it has 200 million users, it would waste 1,000 years of its users’ time every day”.

New Features

Houston explained the rationale behind Dropbox for Business stating;”To really do this right, you’d have to rebuild Dropbox. But then we thought we’ve hired all these great people, let’s let them rip on it. Now, I’m so excited to introduce the all-new Dropbox for Business. We’ve rebuilt everything.”
No mention has been made of a change in pricing, as yet, but a hefty list of new features has been announced:

One account holds it all

Users will now be able to view both their personal and business folders in the same account, using different tabs. Personal folders will be listed by the users name while business documentation will be labelled under the company name.

It’s certified and compliant

Storage is SSAE16/SOC1, SOC2, ISO 27001 and ISAE 3402 certified.

It’s reliable

Storage is virtually limitless (at a cost) and is built to be reliable – making Dropbox a safe option for important documents.

Wipe it remotely

With Dropbox for Business an employee’s folder can be wiped remotely in the event of their resignation or of theft – ensuring that data remains private. Another feature called Account Transfer also enables employees to transfer their access to their replacements.

All it takes is two-step verification

An additional layer of security can be added using a phone and a password

It’s private

The system has been designed to keep companies’ data secure and setting also enable IT managers to ensure that documents can only be opened and shared by authorised persons within a specific task team.

Encryption is easy

A secure tunnel space for data transfers is created by SSL encryption while files are stored using a 256-bit AES encryption.

Notes from a Reviewer

Info World’s Serdar Yegulalp specifically mentions the new activity auditing feature as a big improvement. The new Events page lists the history of all activity within the account, which can be filtered by folder or date.

His final verdict? “These are incremental upgrades to Dropbox, but they're useful. Dropbox for Business still has a way to go to catch up with the likes of Box, but it's certainly on the right path”.

Author Bio:
Jani le Roux is a freelance journalist with a passion for all things tech. She's a big fan of online products and systems, like her hosted desktop, that makes writing on the run so much easier.  

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