By Harry McCracken | Friday, October 28, 2011 at 7:37 am
Of all the many and varied services devoted to letting you move around files between computers and other devices by storing them on the Internet, Dropbox may be the single biggest fan favorite. Unlike some of its competitors, it’s been aimed at individual consumers. But despite that, lots of folks in businesses have used it to share stuff with coworkers and clients.
Now there’s a version of Dropbox targeted specifically at such users: Dropbox for Teams. It’s not fancy or radically different from the service’s other plans. Subscribers start with 1TB of storage that’s sharable among five users, but they can get more space at no additional charge if they need it. They can also receive tech support by phone, an option that isn’t available with other plans. That costs $795 a year; additional users are $125 apiece.
Considering that Dropbox costs start at $0 for a 2GB account, $795 may sound steep. But 100GB accounts are $19.99 per month, or $239.88 a year, so unlimited storage for five people for $795 a year is a better deal at $159 per person per year.
[UPDATE: A Dropbox representative read this story and says that Dropbox for Teams offers not unlimited storage but “as much as you need,” and that it will expand the quota at no additional cost “where reasonable.” Which I guess means that Dropbox, not your company, ultimately gets to decide how much storage you need. But to clarify: There’s always a quota, but it’s expandable.]
Dropbox is working on additional business-related tools; it has a long, long way to go before it has as many meaty ones as Box.net, the file-syncing service I think of first when I think about ones designed for corporate use. (Box is designed as an alternative to Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration software; Dropbox representatives told me that Dropbox for Teams isn’t meant to take on Microsoft’s product at all.) I like the idea of a Dropbox that’s a richer productivity tool, and will be interested to see where it takes this.