Dropbox’s new feature could speed up sync times by 200%


If you love Dropbox, you'd better upgrade your Mac. Photo: Dropbox
If you love Dropbox, you'd better upgrade your Mac. Photo: Dropbox

When it comes to syncing multiple small files, Dropbox is a great service that can make sure that your photo libraries, documents, and more are synced between multiple computers without fuss.

But one thing Dropbox isn’t great at is syncing bigger files. Oh, it’ll get the job done, but relatively slowly. But a new a update to the service is promising to get large files synced between clients twice as fast.

Here’s the problem. When Dropbox syncs large files, it waits for that file to upload fully to a server, then starts downloading it. But the new version of Dropbox will start splitting up large uploads into smaller downloads even as the file is still being uploaded.

Dropbox calls it streaming sync. Here’s how Dropbox explains it on their blog:

Before streaming sync, file synchronization was split into distinct upload and download phases. This meant that a file needed to be uploaded in its entirety before other clients even began the download.

While this was pretty fast, we were determined to make large file syncing even faster. With streaming sync, we can overlap those phases and “stream” data through our servers to your devices. That means an improved multi-client sync time for large files — typically 1.25x faster, and even up to 2x faster!

If you regularly upload files larger than 16MB to Dropbox, Streaming Sync should make a big difference to your sync times. But you’ll have to wait to take advantage of the feature: it won’t roll out for another couple of weeks to Mac users.

Source: Dropbox


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.