Uhhh… You mean like Dropbox?

Droplr vs. Dropbox: which should you use?

One of the questions we hear over and over when we describe Droplr is “you mean like Dropbox?” It makes sense. We both do “file sharing” and we both have “drop” in our name. But when you take a closer look you’ll find two very different companies solving two very different problems.

Dropbox has created a great solution for storing your files in the cloud and syncing them across devices. This was really needed a few years ago. People were still trying to use shared network drives, FTP solutions, etc… to store their files, and it was a mess.

But today, safely storing your files in the cloud isn’t exactly a pressing problem anymore. Online storage has become a commodity. Some of the largest companies in the world are offering online file storage as a free add-on to their platforms. Like what happened to physical hard drives, it’s now a race to the bottom of the price floor, and in many cases it’s already reached the business graveyard of “free”. As technology moves forward, high speed networks become more ubiquitous, and hardware continually gets cheaper, eventually we’re just left with more supply of ‘online storage’ than demand.

Additionally, Dropbox’s deficiencies have exposed the real problems in larger organizations. As a collaboration tool, Dropbox works really well with a small team of people. But it doesn’t scale elegantly. Imagine hundreds of people sharing one single file cabinet in the middle of your office. Remember Outlook shared folders? Simply putting those in the cloud doesn’t fix the broken model.

“The cloud” aka, “the internet” is here to stay. There will always be a need to store stuff online, sync it between your various devices, and backup important things. But we believe there’s smarter ways to use the cloud to help people solve the problems they’re really having and collaborate freely.

Source: XKCD: File Transfer

This comic is always a funny reminder for us of why we created Droplr. It’s 2014, and yet it’s still really hard to just get stuff from point A to point B. And why? If you need to send maybe one or two files a day, sure, solutions like Dropbox can work. But when you need to share 50 things a day and collaborate with a remote team, the shortcomings of those solutions really become obvious.

This is the problem we designed Droplr to solve. It used to be easy to share things in an entirely physical office environment. You grab a file, walk over to someone’s desk, and hand it to them. But with today’s companies and the proliferation of remote distributed teams, simply “getting something to someone” has become a huge pain. And heavy file storage and syncing tools just aren’t cutting it.

We created Droplr with one goal: to make sharing anything fast, easy, simple, and beautiful. What if at any moment, anything you’re working on, could be shared with just one keystroke or one click? What if anything you’re working on could quickly have a link that you could send to anyone? What if sending a screenshot, 40MB PDF, or a large media file felt as natural as sending a text message? And what if none of those files cluttered your desktop or required you to manage and clean them up in some folder later?

The idea is pretty simple: you can drag anything to Droplr, it gives you a link, and you send the link. Anyone who receives the link can view that file right in their browser or easily download it — all without signing up for anything. Combine that with native screenshot tools and plug-ins for your favorite apps you use every day, and you have the absolute most elegant and simple way to share. We’ve made getting something from point A to point B a problem of the past. And because like email, everyone on your team has their own account, it scales gracefully for even the largest of teams.

The best way we’ve learned to describe this difference is this: Droplr is to Dropbox as IM/Chat is to Email.

Could you collaborate real time with multiple people on a project over email? Sure. Would it be efficient? Absolutely not. This is why there’s such a clear need for chat tools, especially within a large organization where people might be on a different floor, or in a different country.

To the same degree, can you send files over Dropbox? Sure. You could invite people to a shared folder, ask them to sign up for an account and have everything constantly syncing. Or, you could use Dropbox’s link features to share things. But now you’ve got a bunch of files sitting in your Dropbox, taking up space, creating a mess, and syncing between all your devices, which is really the last thing you wanted. Nobody knows where to find things, people are constantly deleting stuff that they don’t own, and it’s extremely slow.

And when you’re working with things like screenshots or other transient files that are common when collaborating, the last thing you want is to have to go manage them and clean them up later on. Like towing a travel trailer with a Kia, it’s just a classic case of using the wrong tool for the job.

If you need a folder of files synced between all your devices, or if you need to backup important files to “the cloud”, Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox all offer great cheap solutions for that. But, if like us, what you really need is to transfer a large quantity of files back and forth throughout your day, Droplr was built for you. We’d love it if you’d give it a shot and tell us what you think. You should sign up for a free trial here.

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