Dropbox announces family plan, password manager, and other security tools

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Dropbox has announced a handful of new features for both consumers and business users, as the cloud storage and productivity platform looks to capitalize on the rapid acceleration toward remote working. Additionally, the company also announced a new family plan which covers up to six members of a household, allocating individual accounts and logins under a single subscription.

The San Francisco-based company is launching a new password management service called Dropbox Passwords, which is the result of an acquisition it apparently made last year with little fanfare — Dropbox snapped up Massachusetts-based Valt last November, with Valt going on to sunset all its apps ahead of its integration with Dropbox.

Similar to other password managers, Dropbox Passwords stores and encrypts users’ various online passwords, and syncs them across all devices to make it easier to log into websites and apps. This will require a separate Dropbox Passwords app, but it will be available to paid subscribers who log in with their Dropbox credentials.

Above: Dropbox Passwords

Similarly, a new feature called Dropbox Vault promises to help users organize and secure all their files and documents while also making it easier to allocate access to other people — this means that if you have a confidential document such as an insurance letter or passport scan, you can hide it behind a PIN to access when required.

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The Vault folder sits alongside other files and folders on Dropbox, however the main difference is that it can only be opened from Dropbox.com and the Dropbox mobile app — the files contained within Dropbox Vault are not stored locally on a user’s desktop.

Above: Dropbox Vault

Finally, home users will also be able to access a new computer backup feature that automatically creates backups of PC or Mac files stored on the desktop, downloads, or documents folders. These backups are continuously synced between the user’s hard drive and the cloud.

Above: Dropbox computer backup tool

All three of these consumer-focused features are available in beta from today for new Dropbox Plus users on mobile, though they will be arriving for all Dropbox Plus subscribers “in the coming weeks.” The computer backup feature, however, is also available to Dropbox Basic and Professional users from today.

Arguably though, one of the most long-awaited Dropbox features for consumers is the family plan — this will be made available first to Dropbox Plus users in the coming weeks, before arriving for all Dropbox users later in 2020. Essentially, it allows families to share 2 terabytes of storage between individual profiles, with all members able to create “shared spaces” for content such as photos, videos, and documents.

Dropbox confirmed that its Family Plan will cost $16.99 per month when billed annually, or $19.99 when billed on a month-to-month basis.

Above: Dropbox Family

In the enterprise realm, Dropbox also announced that it would also embed HelloSign’s esignature technology as a native feature within Dropbox, more than year after acquiring the company for $230 million. In effect, this makes HelloSign the default esignature tool for Dropbox, allowing users to sign and send documents without having to leave Dropbox.

Finally, Dropbox is introducing a new Dropbox App Center, which serves as a centralized hub for accessing all the various tools and integrations from partner organizations including Slack, Google, and Zoom. The App Center is currently available to a “subset of users” in beta, with more than 40 app partners featured for the inaugural rollout.