Illustration of the many ways people use Dropbox

Customer Stories

The many ways people use Dropbox—in one illustration


Published on June 28, 2017

We’ve come a long way since Dropbox began. What started as a service to store and access your files has become a place to share, create, and collaborate, both at home and at work.

To honor you, the Dropbox community—and the many ways you’ve helped shape Dropbox’s evolution—we created an illustration to capture our customers in action. Below, we break down the various ways people use Dropbox today.

Capturing memories

This is where it all started. Since the early days, Dropbox was—and still is—a great place to store your memories and projects, whether that’s photos of your puppy, a goofy family home video, or the draft of that novel you’ve always been meaning to finish.

Sharing what’s important

Memories mean more when you have someone to share them with, which is why sharing features have always been a big Dropbox priority. From sending large videos with a handy link, to creating live-updating team folders, we’re always working to make collaborating on files as simple as possible. We’ve also seen how essential sharing has become for professionals, such as instructors in the classroom. When teachers need to collect assignments, they can send out a single link to gather all their students’ work. It’s easy for students, secure for teachers, and it works with all kinds of file formats across both Mac and PC.

Running a business

Businesses like easy sharing too, but they often need a lot more control, added visibility, and more administrative features. As the Dropbox community grew, we set out to build new tools for entrepreneurs, IT admins, and eventually, enterprise-level businesses. All the while, we focused on maintaining the simple spirit of the original product. Today, Dropbox Business offers dozens of features and tools for organizations of any size, including more granular control over teams and files, more visibility, and space that can grow at the same pace as your company.

See a full rundown of business features on our plans page.

Keeping your files safe

Even more important than good business tools is keeping data safe in the first place. Files at rest are encrypted using 256-bit AES, and all data in transit between our apps and servers is protected using SSL/TLS. With Dropbox Business, we’ve continued to add even more advanced security options, like remote wipe for devices, expiring shared links, and more fine-tuned permissions across folders and sub-folders.

To read more about all the ways Dropbox keeps files, accounts, and sharing safe, visit our security page, or do a quick security checkup using our five-question guide.

Never losing a great idea

One thing we’ve discovered over the last decade: people often spend a lot of time just trying to stay organized, which leaves less time for creative thinking or growing ideas. So at Dropbox, we’ve made it a priority to take care of as much of the busywork as we can. Suppose you’re working on a new design, and it’s been through 14 separate revisions. Just as you’re getting close to a final draft, you realize you had the perfect color scheme in version three. So where is the file now? With Dropbox version history, you can access every revision of the file up to 30 days back—and even longer with Dropbox Business. You can make changes as much as you want, knowing you’ll always have a record of the steps you took.

But what about when a colleague sends you a giant shared folder of video files, instantly filling your laptop hard drive to the brim? We made Smart Sync to help you jump past this kind of busywork. With Smart Sync, simply mark any file or folder for online-only storage straight from your desktop. You’ll get the space back, but the file will still be a click away. It gives you the room to create without the mess of files to clean up or throw away.

Inspiring creativity

We have a diverse community of Dropbox users, and no two people are alike. Each person needs a certain kind of creative environment—a place to capture and grow ideas that’s flexible enough to accommodate all different types of users. With Dropbox Paper, we set out to provide this space. Paper is like a doc, but it comes without the clutter, and it’s free from the typical avalanche of formatting dials and menu boxes. You can jot down text, drop in images or video, and express yourself with emoji. It’s lightweight, it’s personal, and it knows that it’s your thoughts, notes, and ideas that are ultimately what’s most important.

Creating together

Once you’ve got your ideas on a page, you might want to share with others. Paper is collaborative by design, a place where your friends or colleagues can expand on your ideas, leave comments (or stickers!) in the margins, and ultimately, help you grow your ideas to their fullest potential. We set out to make creating together in Paper like creating together in person. You can share as you go, connect docs on the fly, and exchange comments that feel like conversations.

In the end, Paper’s collaborative features provide a handy example of where Dropbox is today. We want to help people get beyond the busyness of repetitive work to the satisfaction of discovering, sharing, and creating together.

It’s this sort of work that gets us excited, and it’s the kind of thing we love seeing all across the Dropbox community.