Feeling the heat from Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Web Services and the soon to be reborn Apple iCloud Drive, Dropbox is upgrading its Dropbox Pro plan with much more storage for the same money.
It's also adding new features to make Dropbox Pro more user-friendly for clients of Dropbox Pro owners.
Dropbox still has to figure out how to compete for the average consumer's cloud storage business, since the company's paltry 2 GB of free storage doesn't compare favorably with Google Drive and OneDrive's 15-GB gratis plans.
But for the professional user, for whom Dropbox Pro is configured, upping the storage allotment from 100 GB to 1 terabyte (TB) for the same $9.99 per month is a substantial attention-getter. Under the outgoing plan, subscribers could only get 500 GB, approximately half of that 1TB, for $49.99 per month.
Dropbox sees Dropbox Pro as ideal for freelancers, independent contractors, the self-employed, small businesses and small institutions and organizations.
In addition to the whopping increase in cloud storage space, new features are incorporated in Dropbox Pro, including "view-only" permissions, which allow a client to view a presentation, for example, with no editing capability. Links to documents and folders can now be password-protected and given expiration dates on accessibility.
One new feature that is sure to provide peace of mind is a remote-wipe function. If a user loses a mobile device, the owner can stop Dropbox syncing to that device by logging onto Dropbox from another computer or mobile device. Turning that feature on also triggers the deletion of files on the missing device to happen automatically once that device is online again.
Not a moment too soon for Dropbox to re-engage in the storage war. Google had already lowered the price of its 1 TB plan to $9.99 in March. Immediately following that, Amazon did the me-too thing by dropping the cost of Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service (S3) cloud storage plan by 51 percent. At the 1-TB level, savings amounted to a 65 percent cut from previous charges. One terabyte of cloud storage is now priced at 03 cents per gigabyte per month -- approximately $28. The more consumer-oriented Amazon Cloud Drive starts with five GB free, while 1 TB is still over $40 per month. Microsoft OneDrive for Business starts at $2.50 per month per user for 1 TB, but that requires an annual commitment.
The upgrade in storage and features is available to new subscribers right away. Current subscribers should see the upgrade in their Dropbox service take effect within a couple of days, according to a Dropbox blog post.