The original concept of Dropbox—and it’s right there in the name—is that there’s a spot on your computer where you can drop files, and it’ll automatically sync with other devices that are connected to the same Dropbox account. And all the while, the files are still on your drive, not hosted over a slow Internet connection.
Over the years you’ve been able to share specific folders with other Dropbox users, offer downloads of files to people who don’t use the service, and the like. But at its core, Dropbox has always been a tool that made a small part of your filesystem—~/Dropbox unless you were really stubborn or foolish—into something more.
So, that terabyte of cloud storage is great. But did you know that there’s only one Mac whose default configuration features more than one terabyte of storage? (For the record, it’s the Mac mini server, which features two 1TB drives.) I’ve got a MacBook Air that’s got maxed-out storage, but even my drive only holds about half a terabyte.
Very good points. I think the problem with non-synced shared storage over the Internet is that it would be too slow for most users with anything other than tiny files.
And most OSes I’ve used have never been good at accessing large files remotely when mounted on a remote volume… the expectation has always seems to be that the remote connection should be “fast enough”. Honestly when you click to open a large file you’d need a progress bar, etc… i.e., large files remotely need to act more like downloads than a filesystem. (at least until things are much faster)