First isn't always the best...
Remember Betamax, AOL, Prodigy, Friendster? Just because Dropbox was one of the first online storage providers doesn't make them the best and most secure place for your documents, files, videos and pictures. Hand-drawn cartoons might look friendly but take a moment and learn about how Dropbox is securing your stuff online.
How does Dropbox stack up?
Does Dropbox own or manage their storage hardware?
No. Dropbox uses the 'rent-a-server' approach and relies on Amazon S3 to store your files. Relying on a third party arguably increases the risk of a security breach.
Does Dropbox manage the networks on which their users' data is transferred?
No. Dropbox relies on Amazon for its backend and doesn't manage their own network. Should you rely on an online storage provider that can't service your data from end-to-end?
Does Dropbox use data deduplication to scan all of their users files in order to save on storage costs?
Yes. Dropbox uses deduplication in order to store less data and reduce storage costs. Deduplication means that Dropbox scans each of your files and if it detects that the same file is stored on their server, they just keep the original, not your copy. Some think that deduplication sacrifices user privacy and creates a situation in which Dropbox will improperly confuse your files with another user. Not good!
Does Dropbox store multiple copies of every file?
Unknown. Dropbox doesn't state whether they keep multiple copies or not. But, we do know that Amazon charges less for 'reduced redundancy'. It is unclear if Dropbox stores more than one copy of your files.
Does Dropbox use an open storage protocol?
No. To access Dropbox data, you either have to use a Dropbox client or you have to use an application that has been specifically coded to Dropbox's API. Is this API as full-featured as the one used by Dropbox's 'official' apps? If you don't have a Dropbox-compatible client, you're out of luck, and if Dropbox changes its API to restrict capabilities even further, your applications may be out-of-luck, too. (Remember Twitter, anyone?)
Can Dropbox deliver innovative security features like Private Encryption Keys?
Not supported. WIthout private encryption keys only known by the end-user, an engineer at Dropbox (or conceivably even an Amazon engineer) could examine a user's data. And if Dropbox security becomes compromised (or is willingly given to someone), anyone else who has the key could look at every user's data as well.
Does Dropbox offer jurisdictional diversity?
No. Dropbox servers (via Amazon) are only in the United States. Users, particularly in Europe, are concerned about US privacy laws and aren't given the option of another location to store their files.