Does Dropbox on iOS use LAN sync between two different accounts?

I'm 99% certain that if the iPad and the computer are using the same Dropbox account that the LAN is used.

I am much less certain what happens with different Dropbox accounts that have a shared folder.

Specifically, if a computer on the LAN is running Dropbox and has shared files with another Dropbox account on an iPad on the same LAN, will that iPad get the files via the LAN?

This is an issue for an upcoming meeting where the Internet connectivity will not be great but I have files to share to about 15 other Dropbox users in the room. We will all be on the same LAN. It would be much better if the sharing did not require each of the users to download the same files from their Dropbox account "in the cloud".

The shared folder has about 150 MB of files and Dropbox synchronization to just one system takes non-trivial time over a slow Internet connection.

  • I would think that it most likely runs directly from the cloud server I'm sorry to say (but I don't know for sure). You could always try something like a local FTP server? – Autumnal Aug 17 '13 at 22:50
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    @ohope5 The whole idea of Dropbox LAN sync is to get the files from another copy of Dropbox locally. This is going to be (1) faster and (2) less load on the Dropbox servers! I already know it works if both systems are logged into the same account. I would really like to know it works with a shared folder between two different accounts. – lcbrevard Aug 17 '13 at 23:37
  • Oh right, well that's strange, because when I tried that it didn't sync over LAN (just using the one account) – Autumnal Aug 18 '13 at 8:52
  • Check this out and figure it out. It can do it if you set it up right. dropbox.com/help/137/en – Damon Aug 20 '13 at 8:51

Your dropbox folder is a real drive on your system. I guess I'm missing the point of using dropbox at all. If you are all on the same LAN, can't you just make a share on a local machine?

Even if you intend to modify the common files, you could turn off dropbox syncing, share the folder while you worked together, and after the meeting, sync back up to dropbox. You would update "the cloud" and everyone would get their copy automagically.

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  • A real drive on iOS is thoroughly hidden. You cannot (easily) mount a shared drive from the LAN to an iPad. The issue was if LAN sync would be used with an iPad because, in this case, there was good LAN connectivity but the cloud connection was slow. AND the files are big. – lcbrevard Sep 16 '15 at 14:19
  • I see now that you are trying to copy files from one account to another. I have hooked up my macbook to my LAN, using the same acct, and it looked like it was still going to the cloud to get updates, even with both on the same lan. – Engineer Sep 17 '15 at 2:41
  • thanks. I had come to the same conclusion. If different accounts, it does not use LAN sync between them. That's a shame for the need we had - which has long since passed! – lcbrevard Sep 18 '15 at 13:22

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