Dropbox adds new file-sharing service for work groups

Cloud storage and file-sharing service Dropbox on Thursday announced a new service that allows work groups to share up to 1TB of online capacity, while also allowing IT shops to add or remove users.

Dropbox for Teams is priced at $795 annually for five users, with additional seats available for $125 each. The base plan includes 1TB (1000 gigabytes) of storage, and each additional seat comes with 200GB.

Like its free consumer cloud service, which offers 2GB of capacity to start, Dropbox for Teams stores files in an encrypted form on Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service. The files also remain on users’ Dropbox-synced computers for added backup.

Dropbox competes against many other free or low-cost cloud service providers, such as ADrive, Box.net, Flickr, Carbonite, Mozy, SugarSync and YouSendIt. Many of those companies offer as much as 5GB of free online storage and then charge a fee for unlimited storage after that. Windows Live Skydrive offers 25GB of free storage, but bandwidth is severely limited.

Unlike its free consumer service, Dropbox for Teams includes administrative controls that allow IT administrators to set up rules. The service also offers centralized billing and phone support.

When work groups make changes to files, they automatically synchronize across all devices that have Dropbox installed. The service is compatible with most computer and smartphone operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

“People in over a million businesses around the world trust Dropbox for its simplicity and reliability,” said Sujay Jaswa, vice president of business development and sales at Dropbox. “Now, Dropbox for Teams will give businesses the control and freedom to rethink how they work.”

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