Dropbox's 'Project Infinite' Introduces Cloud Storage to Free Up Hard Drive Space

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    At Dropbox Open London today, the company announced "Project Infinite," a new feature of the popular document transferring app that will save space on a user's local hard drive thanks to the implementation of a new cloud storage feature.

    With Infinite, both cloud files and locally saved files will cohabitate in the traditional location within Finder on Macs, letting users decide which take up storage space and which stay in the cloud.

    Documents saved in the cloud will be marked with a tiny icon referencing their storage location, but there won't be any kind of laborious download process if a user needs to quickly gain access to anything not directly saved on their computer. Cloud files will sync on demand when a user clicks on them, displaying them in the same way as locally stored files. If a file will be needed in a location lacking an Internet connection, users can choose to "Save local copy" and download the cloud file for later.

    In Project Infinite's introduction video, the company gives the example of a shared company Dropbox folder with upwards of 10 terabytes of data synced inside. On the desktop of one user, however, the folder is taking up just 28 megabytes of data thanks to the inclusion of cloud storage.

    The company also mentioned that Project Infinite supports all platforms that Dropbox is available on, and even includes backwards-compatibility "on any computer running Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X 10.9 and up." So a file saved by a team member on Windows 8, for instance, can be viewed as a placeholder cloud file on another user's iMac, and then downloaded to their hard drive.
    Dropbox's aim for Project Infinite appears to be enterprise focused, but the company's blog post mentioned that it has "more product announcements to come throughout the year," following the launch of its new storage-saving cloud feature. Project Infinite is currently being tested among a select number of Dropbox sponsors, but no word has yet been given regarding a specific wide launch.

    Article Link: Dropbox's 'Project Infinite' Introduces Cloud Storage to Free Up Hard Drive Space
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Thank goodness! A few times I've synced 10s of GBs of data on Dropbox at work, then go home and forget that it's downloading onto the laptop as soon as I connect to Wi-Fi. Also, Dropbox tends to crash when you desperately try to unsync that folder, or even disconnect from Wi-Fi.
  3. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    Dropbox has been a cornerstone of convenient and reliable file management for years. It'll be interesting to see where this latest project goes.
  4. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
  5. Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    This is convenient, but I have switched all my important files in an ownCloud server. Works just as well, but I control every aspect of the server.

    I just don't trust Dropbox for security or privacy.
  6. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    That's welcome news, but 2 things are stopping me from coming back to dropbox.
    1) No client-side encryption
    2) No multi-tier pricing. It's 2GB Free or 1TB for $100/year.
  7. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    nice, thats what i in the beginning assumed was the point of Cloud services in the first place ... not wasting space locally

    i hate opening a file on iCloud and it gets cached locally on my iDevice with no idea how to get rid of it again
  8. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2014
    But my ISP limits my data to 350GB a month :rolleyes:
  9. Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    The problem with that is that cellular data is not cheap and not everyone around the globe has unlimited data. Apple has the right approach: download a copy, use that for everything, and if there are changes either done locally or remotely, only sync/pull those to/from the server if the "use cellular data" option is checked.

    (Of course, this doesn't apply via WiFi.)
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Interesting that they introduce this feature, when MS removed this very feature in windows 10. Dropbox is making a strong case to use them over OneDrive. Its not only faster but it definitely has more features at this point.
  11. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2011
    Backing up those files on the client side would become tricky with this feature enabled, I reckon. Definitely something that needs to be considered.
  12. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I'm curious - why not?

    I've never heard of them having any data leaks or breaches or any other problems.
  13. tremblewithfear6 macrumors newbie


    Nov 2, 2015
    I've tried many other cloud platforms for my data, but DropBox has been immaculate for my needs. This upcoming feature will likely solidify the company further. While I have had ethical qualms with some of DropBox as a company (hiring Condoleezza Rice, buying and killing Mailbox and Carousel, etc), the main product -- their cloud syncing product, has always been something I have needed and wanted.

    I sync documents for college, including multiple papers a week. I also have the ability of syncing work/employment data, including my resume and portfolio for applications. The best part, is it works on all platforms. At my current job, I use DropBox for syncing images and sales for social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, and our website).

    Without DropBox, I would likely be back to the olden days of having a flash drive with me everywhere I go, and worrying that if I break it by accident, I would be screwed. Man... Those days sucked, haha.
  14. Sandstorm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
    OMG, OMG, OMG! I love Dropbox (I'm a very satisfied Dropbox for Business user), but this has been the single biggest missing feature imo. They have implemented it exactly how I'd hoped it to work. So happy!!!

    This is also so perfect for me because I have extremely fast unlimited fiber at home and unlimited fast LTE on the go (zero worries about bs like data caps and slow connection).
  15. coolfactor macrumors 601

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Dropbox has been an amazing tool for me, but I've slowly been choosing Canadian (or rather non-US) providers for my business and infrastructure.

    Client-side encryption should entirely be up to you, the end user, not a third-party file sync service. Macs have FireVault built-in. Your entire drive is encrypted when enabled. Done.

    Don't forget about the referral program. Every referral gives you bonus space, so with a bit of effort, you create your own tiers. Need more space, just refer another person.

    This Project Infinite seems to be exactly what I imagined Dropbox and iCloud Files would be from the beginning, so I'm glad to see it finally happening.
  16. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2010
    Something like this maybe?

    Biggest problem I have with Dropbox is like someone mentioned before, multi-tier pricing, or even family pricing. In short, dropbox is great, but pricy when compared to other cloud service provider. Don't get me wrong, I would certainly rank them the best, but sometime when my needs aren't that great and dropbox is charing much more than the other, you just had to take your business else where.
  17. Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    There was a lot of noise a few years ago regarding their Privacy Policy (2011 - time flies!), amongst other things:


    Snowden didn't help a few years ago by name dropping them:


    I used DropBox in the past, but similar to an earlier poster I now just have a personal cloud solution using Synology.
  18. Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    Simply because your personal data is stored remotely without control. You don't know where it's stored or how it's stored. You have no client-side encryption or guarantee that no one other than you can access your data.

    With ownCloud or any other self-hosted service, you control every aspect: setting up the server, permissions, encryption, and deploying on your own hardware. It's your server, not someone else's.
  19. aleksander macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    Eddy tells me macOS will have that revolutionary iCloud feature in 2020 with 5GB for free!
  20. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    Selective Sync isn't a feature for you...?
  21. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Interesting. Dropbox nailed the simple "just put it in the folder and it's available everywhere" idea. I like how it works and am not sure I like the on-demand sync.

    Still, it seems interesting. I'll be curious to see how this works out. I do have folders in Dropbox that aren't synced to my computer because they are duplicates used for archiving. I would be nice to still see these in the Finder instead of having to use the iOS or web interface.
  22. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It is, but if you add a new folder, it seems to auto sync that to all devices.

    Unless I'm doing something wrong! I have selective sync enabled, though it always seems to sync new folders regardless. There's probably a small tick box to disable that from happening or something similar... I'll have another look through the settings. :oops:
  23. Sandstorm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
    Selective sync is useful, but not nearly as convenient as this new method.
  24. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    People complain about Apple's offering, yet they have cheap options like 5GB for free, 50GB for 99¢, etc. I can get a bunch of storage from Apple for $11.88 a year. 100GB from Google is only $23.88 a year.
    Why can't Dropbox offer something for less than $100 or more storage than 2GB??

    After all these years Dropbox still defaults to 2GB. Even after getting a bunch of affiliate/friend signups, I think I'm only up to 7GB with them. I'd pay for more, but I don't want to start at $100.
  25. wschutz macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    This 'feature' exists from long time ago... it is called NFS, AFS, etc.. they just integrated it with their main product and I guess they have introduced some measures to minimize collisions and issues but all in all it is no more than a remote storage within Dropbox itself (I assume they will be doing smart syncing of data that is used often and avoid redownloading if the data on the server hasn't changed...).

    The problem is not really storage because few people need to work with terabytes, and those who do so, do it on site not remotely. Dropbox just puts the 'issue', if there was any, on the network (and that is going to be fun for many).

    Good to see the old and reliable technologies re-invented as brand new :)

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