Dropbox ends unlimited storage, blames crypto miners

Dropbox is withdrawing tariffs offering unlimited storage, claiming that a small number of abusive customers are forcing its hand.

The popular online storage service offered unlimited storage on its Dropbox Advanced for Businesses plan. However, the company says excessive use of storage by crypto miners, among others, has forced it to impose limits on new and existing accounts.

“We knew that an ‘as much space as you need’ policy would result in some level of uneven usage because businesses have varying storage needs—and that’s okay,’ Dropbox wrote in a blog post explaining the changes. “We encourage our customers to use Dropbox for all of their most important work.”

“But over time, we found a growing number of customers were buying Advanced subscriptions not to run a business or organisation, but instead for purposes like crypto and Chia mining, unrelated individuals pooling storage for personal use cases, or even instances of reselling storage. In recent months, we’ve seen a surge of this behaviour in the wake of other services making similar policy changes.”

Dropbox’s new storage limits

Under the new plan, customers who open a Dropbox Advanced plan with three active licences will be offered 15TB of storage, with each additional licence unlocking another 5TB.

The situation is more complex for customers who already have an Advanced plan. Those who are currently using 35TB or less – which Dropbox claims is the case for more than 99% of the customers on the plan – will be able to keep their current level of storage, with an additional 5TB of pooled storage thrown in, for the next five years at no additional cost.

For the more problematic 1% of customers who are using in excess of 35TB, Dropbox says “we’re committed to working with you”. There won’t be any immediate changes to their storage capacity, and they too will get another 5TB of pooled storage, albeit for one year instead of five. However, these customers will be “contacted by our team in the coming weeks to discuss a range of options for getting the storage that you need for your business or organisation”.

It seems likely that those with large storage needs are going to find Dropbox a lot more costly in future. Forthcoming storage add-ons will be available from November at a cost of $10 per month per extra TB.

Dropbox says it will begin migrating existing customers to the new policy from the start of November, so if you’ve got a Dropbox overflowing with hundreds of terabytes of data, now might be the time to start thinking about a clearout.

Related reading: Dropbox bets the house on AI – is this another Metaverse moment?

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Barry Collins

Barry has 20 years of experience working on national newspapers, websites and magazines. He was editor of PC Pro and is co-editor and co-owner of BigTechQuestion.com. He has published a number of articles on TechFinitive covering data, innovation and cybersecurity.