Dropbox introduces slew of new features for business and home users

Ron Miller

Dropbox has always been about file storage, sharing and collaboration, but it wants to stretch beyond those roots and provide customers, especially those using the Dropbox Plus paid tier, with a set of additional capabilities that typically would have involved using third-party products. This includes password management, an online vault and full computer backup. While it was at it, the company also introduced a couple of updates for business users too.

For starters, Dropbox wants to help people manage the multitude of passwords across our lives. This is moving into territory of password managers like LastPass or 1Password. As you would expect, the password manager feature stores all your passwords and autofills the password for you.

Dropbox is also getting into the online vault business. The idea with these tools is to give you a secure place to store your important documents in a digital context, rather than using a safe deposit box as in the past. You can share a pin with trusted loved ones to give access to these documents like a will or insurance policy in the event of an emergency.

The company is also getting into the backup business, giving Dropbox Plus users the ability to regularly backup the entire contents of your PC or Mac and retrieve it fully should you lose your computer or experience a full-out machine failure.

Dropbox Plus users will soon be able to do a full machine backup. Image Credit: Box

All of these products are in beta right now, but Dropbox says they should be available to all Dropbox Plus customers in the coming weeks. Dropbox Plus customers pay $9.99 a month for 2 TB of storage and many other features. By adding these additional features, Dropbox is sweetening the offering and making it more attractive to fork over the monthly fee beyond pure storage space.

The company also is offering a new embedded eSignature feature for Dropbox Business users with HelloSign, the company it acquired last year. Unsurprisingly, the company is making HelloSign the default eSignature solution and providing an easy workflow to send, sign and return documents without leaving Dropbox. This is going to be released to private beta soon, and then be widely released next month, the company said.

In addition, the company is offering a new App Center where business users can find other cloud services that integrate easily into Dropbox, like Google Docs, Slack and Zoom.

Lastly, to make life easier for home users, the company is introducing a family account for up to six family members. It includes a common storage for sharing items like family photos and important documents, as well as private storage for each person. This will be available for Dropbox Plus customers initially and more widely later in the year, according to the company.

While this is a broad set of features, it's designed to expand the utility of the Dropbox family of products, and provide greater separation between the free and paid tiers, while helping Dropbox users balance work and family life from one product.

Dropbox snares HelloSign for $230M, gets workflow and e-signature

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