With Dropbox Business, organizations have a wide range of options for sharing and storage, assuring that no matter their collaborative needs, they can find the perfect tools. It’s important, however, to build an accurate understanding of these different options, so that your business can make the most of them. In Dropbox, sometimes these options can sound similar at first, but the nuances between them are often what makes them so helpful, and what makes the full suite of Dropbox Business Functionalities so powerful.
One of the most common points of confusion among new Dropbox users is the distinction between Team Folders and Shared Folders. We’ve previously discussed what makes Team Folders so favored among organizations that use Dropbox Business, but spoken less about what actually distinguishes them from other types of folders in Dropbox.
- Shared folders use space in each member’s account, unless each person is on the same Dropbox Business team. Your Dropbox storage quota is calculated by adding up the total amount of data in your Dropbox account. This includes all shared folders you are a member of and all files collected from file requests. Not using Dropbox yet?
- Move completed projects to archive folders. Then use Dropbox Smart Sync to mark these as “Online Only” and free up space on team members’ hard drives. Admins can sign in as a team member to access permissions for any folders the user has shared. Update group memberships when people move to different teams.
- Yes, files and folders that someone shares with you are counted against your Dropbox space. If you have 2 GB free in your Dropbox and someone shares a folder with a file that takes up 1 GB, you will now have 1 GB free in your Dropbox. If it is any consolation, the file takes equivalent space in their Dropbox account as well.
- Simply click 'Share' to send a file or folder in its original size, no compression needed. You can store and share files up to 50gb. Dropbox is a fast, reliable way to share files without using your email or taking up disk space on your computer. And if you still need to work with compressed files, Dropbox can do.
If someone shares a folder with you that is larger than the amount of space you have left, you won’t be able to join the folder. For example, if you have a Dropbox Basic 2 GB account, and you’ve used 1.5 GB of space, you can’t accept a shared folder larger than.5 GB. If you need to view shared files that are larger than the remaining space in your account, you can: Ask the person who invited you to send a shared.
At the end of the day, the distinction is actually relatively simple, but understanding it is very important. The features and functionalities of each of these folder types dictate what admins and users within an organization are going to use them for. Storing sensitive data in the wrong folder can have catastrophic results for security and compliance, while even storing basic files in the wrong type of folder can–at the very least–cause confusion and disorganization. So, without further adieu, let’s get to it: Dropbox Team Folders vs. Shared Folders
- Shared Folders: In Dropbox a Shared Folder is a basic folder users create to store their files. These folders can be created by anyone, and shared with anyone, via an invite. While users do need to be added to the folder or sent a link granting them access, Shared Folders are generally one of the less secure ways to store files. That’s not to say they’re not useful, however! For individual users and small groups of users, Shared Folders can be a great organizational tool to store basic things like word documents or spreadsheets, assuming they don’t contain sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII). They’re also great as sub-folders within a Team Folder, allowing users to organize files based on who on the team needs to see them, thus ensuring that people don’t have sort through an avalanche of files to find one specific document they need for their part in a multi-faceted project.
- Team Folders: In contrast to Shared Folders, Team Folders must be created by a Team Admin, who also has control over the sharing permissions of that folder. While, if I’m sent a link to access a Shared Folder, I could send that link to someone else to grant them similar access, admins can make it so that only specific people can invite others to the folder. Additionally, in Team Folders (much like Team Spaces) admins can assign different levels of access to different team members. For instance, one user might be able to download, print, or edit files, while another may be able to view them purely as “read-only.” As an extension of this, admins can choose to sync the folder to individual users’ devices (such as mobile devices, tablets, or personal computers) or mark the folder as internet-only, meaning users must use the web version of Dropbox to access it. Within a Team Folder, admins can create a structure of sub-folders for different departments or specific types of files, and access to these subfolders, even by those who have access to the overarching Team Folder, can be similarly monitored or restricted. The sum of all these options means that Team Folders are generally more secure and more flexible than Shared Folders. When it comes to the Dropbox Team Folders vs. Shared Folders debate, context is key! For projects that require sensitive data, Team Folders are the obvious choice. They’re also ideals for projects that require the attention of a large number of users or are comprised of multiple stages.
Understanding the subtleties of storage and collaboration in the cloud is absolutely essential. It ensures that users handle data properly, that admins can effectively manage permissions, and that teams have all of the tools they need to embark on complicated projects. Looking at key features of a platform like Dropbox Business also helps organizations decide which cloud collaboration platform is right for their business. Choosing to migrate to the cloud is a large undertaking, and it requires all parties to be well-informed about both the process and the destination. While the difference between Team Folders and Shared Folders can seem inconsequential to those who aren’t fully briefed on them the consequences of mistaking their features can be problematic for an organization.
At Cloud FastPath we firmly believe that being educated on issues like these is one of the most important stages of a cloud migration. That’s why we’re proud to help organizations and IT professionals learn as much as they can about cloud collaboration platforms–so that when the time for migration rolls around, everyone is prepared!
What is a ZIP file?
File compression is an important part of the digital workspace. ZIP files use compression to send more data at faster speeds than has ever been possible. This is why ZIP files are such a popular tool for businesses all across the world. But what exactly is a ZIP file?
ZIP is a common file format that’s used to compress one or more files together into a single location. This reduces file size and makes it easier to transport or store. A recipient can unzip (or extract) a ZIP file after transport and use the file in the original format.
ZIP files work in much the same way as a standard folder on your computer. They contain data and files together in one place. But with zipped files, the contents are compressed, which reduces the amount of data used by your computer. Another way to describe ZIP files is as an archive. The archive contains all the compressed files in one location. So, the ZIP file format is one option to use if you need to make a single file or group of files smaller.
So, how can you identify a ZIP archive file? Simple. Whenever you see the extensions .ZIP or .zip at the end of a file name, you’re looking at a ZIP file. The icon that represents the file would also change. Say you have a photo named vacation.jpg. After you zip this photo it now read vacation.zip and have a new icon.
Is ZIP different from 7-ZIP or RAR?
When you’re researching ZIP files, you may come across the term “7z file” or “7-ZIP.” This is an archiving format that uses a higher compression ratio for fewer megabytes. While this smaller size is a positive, it also takes longer to process. It is also less convenient in that you need to download and install a software application to use. This is also the case for RAR and TAR files as well as WinRAR, ZIPx and PeaZip third-party software apps.
How do ZIP files work?
ZIP files encode information into fewer bits by removing redundant data. This “lossless data compression” ensures all the original data is intact. Let’s look at a quick example to explain how this works.
Imagine a file that contains the following sentences:
- The best sharing and storage solution for your business
- Your business solution for the best sharing and storage
Each word in this file appears twice. Now, if each letter and space in the sentence equals one unit of memory, then the entire file size would be 110 units. But you can create a numbered code to express the data in a different way:
- The best sharing and storage solution for your business
Or to put it a different way, both sentences would now read: 123456789896712345. This means that the initial file size of 110 units is reduced to 18 units, which is a massive savings. The ZIP file format uses lossless compression algorithms to do exactly that. It allows you to express the same information in a more efficient way by removing the redundant data from the file. This also means it is faster to send a ZIP file.
When to use ZIP files at work
There are a broad range of potential uses for zipped files in a business setting. Being able to send large numbers of files over email is imperative. Say you need to send a big batch of files to a colleague or client. If you try to send them all at once in an email attachment, you will get an error message because of file size. So you could try to send each file as in separate emails. But this is time consuming, labor intensive, and could lead to duplicate files. To send all the files in one email, you can zip them and attach this single ZIP file to your email. Your recipient can then unzip the file by downloading and clicking.
You should also consider any potential storage saving. Zipping your files can help to reduce the amount of space they use on your computer's hard drive.
You can find more information on how to zip files here.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the ZIP file format?
Dropbox Create Shared Folder
First, zipped files save storage space and increase the efficiency of your computer. It’s also an effective way to improve file transfers with email. You're able to send emails faster with smaller files. Furthermore, the ZIP file format will encrypt your data. This maintains your privacy when sending files over the internet. In short, it’s a simple way to maximize the efficiency of your file handling. It also a somewhat easy process to make a ZIP file on a Mac or PC. Windows and Mac OS have a different method, but they both begin with a right click. And for recipients, it is simple to unzip files. All it takes is a download and a click regardless of their computer's operating system.
Dropbox Shared Folder Capacity
However, there are a range of potential issues associated with ZIP files. They include file size limits, file type limits, corruption, and mobility issues.
One of many disadvantages associated with ZIP archive files is compression limits. Some files cannot be compressed much more than they already are. This is especially true for MP3 files and JPG files. So, if you frequently work with video and image files, the ZIP format won't help you save very much storage space.
You also need to think about the security aspect of zipped files. Completed zipped files are encrypted, but you don't know what happens to your file if you upload a third-party app. It’s also worth remembering that ZIP file extensions can also get corrupted. In some cases, corrupted data can affect the entire ZIP folder.
ZIP files are also difficult to use if you are on the go. If you're using a phone or tablet, you would need to use a file saved on your phone and a third-party app. This would create problems both with file storage space as well as security.
What are the alternatives to ZIP files?
Cloud storage is a better alternative to ZIP files. With Dropbox, the cloud removes the need for compression altogether. There’s no long, multi-step process that you need to run through to store or send large files. Simply click 'Share' to send a file or folder in its original size, no compression needed. You can store and share files up to 50gb. Dropbox is a fast, reliable way to share files without using your email or taking up disk space on your computer. And if you still need to work with compressed files, Dropbox can do that too! Dropbox offers ZIP and RAR preview support, post-upload compression, and editing.
In a nutshell, a ZIP file is a way to store or transfer data in a more efficient way. But it’s not the only way to compress files or save space. Now that we have Dropbox, the cloud makes file storage and sharing faster, easier, and safer than file compression.