Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dropbox Drops Public Folders

Josh Centers:

On 15 March 2017, Dropbox will convert all Public folders on free accounts to private folders, breaking existing links. Dropbox now recommends using a shared folder or shared link for sharing files with others. Dropbox Plus and Dropbox Business users can continue to use the Public folder until 1 September 2017.


Although it’s annoying to lose the Public folder and its HTML rendering capability, Dropbox remains useful because it’s integrated so well into the Mac and iOS experience, and it just works.

Although, some of its recent behavior has been troubling. I just want a basic folder that syncs and doesn’t peg my CPU when there’s filesystem activity in an unrelated folder.

Previously: Dropbox Discontinues HTML Rendering.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

I replaced dropbox over a year ago with Resilio sync (https://www.resilio.com). This of course does not work the same as dropbox as your files aren't hosted on some remote server; you need to have at least computer available all the time for this to work. My use case is I want to keep a laptop in sync with a desktop, and for that it works great and I don't have to pay a monthly fee for some amount of disk space.

I install NASes for clients and sometimes get asked if I can enable the "cloud folder" functionality so they can have their "own Dropbox". I have to tell them each time that the people behind Dropbox worked really hard to make their product so seamless and effective. If people are expecting to get that level of service and efficiency from an app created by a NAS developer – which itself is plumbed through to a NAS via questionable firewall-busting techniques – then they're in dreamland.

TL;DR Dropbox is really very good at what it does, and is hugely popular for a good reason.

@Fred I wrote about that a bit here. I tried Resilio Sync for a similar situation, syncing a lot more data than would fit in my Dropbox account. It worked well but seemed to have a lot of CPU overhead, either monitoring filesystem changes or periodically scanning, and also storage overhead with its databases and logs of file changes. I’m still using it for the cases where I really do want a folder that syncs in both directions like Dropbox. For the bulk of the files, I’ve found that rsync is much more efficient (but only goes one way at a time).

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