Dropbox Frustration (or: There’s Got To Be A Middleground Somewhere)

I love Dropbox.

NewImageIt’s made the job on syncing files across my desktop machines, laptop, iPhone and iPad drop-dead simple. Thanks to sharing a few links with people and doing the recent Dropbox scavenger hunt, I’ve got 4.75GB worth of storage.

I love too that you can share files with other Dropbox users. This has proven to be very valuable, especially in the office (and our senseless 100MB email quota.)

With a new web developer starting to work for me today and a second person working with us from the UK, I immediately thought of Dropbox as a way for us all to collaborate and share files easily and quickly.

Armed with that knowledge, I set up an account for my office (separate from my personal account) and paid $10 for 50GB of storage. It’s probably a bit more than we needed, but better to be safe than sorry.

Once the account was created, I set up a “JCU WEB” folder on my work account, and shared it with my personal Dropbox account. Thinking I had access to that 50GB of space, I put up about 5GB of files, archives and other stuff the team would need.

It turns out that Dropbox counts all that storage against my personal account space, not the 50GB quota of the paid account. There’s not a way that my team can use that 50GB that we’re paying for.

Lame, dudes.

In reading through the Dropbox forums, many users share this frustration. Dropbox has answer, but for many small teams, may be overkill.

They’ve released a product called Dropbox Teams, which for $795 a year, gives 5 users a shared 350GB of file space. They say:

Storage quotas are shared by the team rather than bound to individual accounts. Now you and your team can share one large pool of storage instead of having to manage the storage limitations of individual accounts. Shared folders only take up your team’s storage quota rather than space in each individual account.

That’s exactly what we need, but we don’t need 350GB. We need just the 50GB, or even let us connect to our own Amazon S3 account (that’s where Dropbox keeps everything anyway.)

I think if Dropbox could solve this problem – they’d find a lot of users willing to pay $10-20 a month for a shared pool of storage. I definitely would.

For us, it’s back to the drawing board on how to share project files. Amazon S3? Basecamp?