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We have an office where multiple people use Dropbox to share files, and sometimes several users are on the same folder. When an external party adds a large file into one of these shared folders, all the Dropbox apps try to download the file simultaneously and it cripples the LAN. My thoughts:

  1. Slow down the download bandwidth for all of everyone's downloads to the point where the problem doesn't exist (but this seems like hitting a nut with a sledgehammer, and disadvantages other downloads)
  2. Install QoS on the network (I think this might be the best solution?)

In an ideal world, I'd like to see one account download it, then use the LAN share feature to get it to everyone else.

What solutions might allow speedy Dropbox downloads of the same file to multiple sharing users, and not kill the LAN?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is an open feature request at the Dropbox forum for a sync scheduler. But, that feature doesn't exist in Dropbox yet... so as it stands, if it is running and has a net connection, it will sync.

Without installing QoS (like a router running DD-WRT, etc) into your network, one solution is that the users all Pause Syncing (from the Dropbox menu), and then manually synchronize when they resume. This would involve communicating with each other, with one user never pausing so they can notify the rest when there is an update. This one user could also just notify only one of the paused users, who in turn would notify the next user, etc. Sure. Kind of a pain in the buttocks, but it doesn't involve changing your network topography.

You could investigate whether or not using Google Drive would be a viable replacement, and if it would also cause the same issue.

In that ideal world of yours... you just don't have everyone connecting to Dropbox. You only have one. You then share that directory on your network, and have everyone else access the shared directory.

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My +1 is for the last sentence only. I think it stands alone as a viable answer. –  user3463 May 17 '12 at 22:05
    
Thanks. It's difficult to find a solution which isn't painful here, I think. The solution proposed in the last sentence is definitely interesting. –  Simon Wheatley May 21 '12 at 11:35

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