When you think of storing your documents in a Dropbox account, you typically envision your work being saved in a cloud storage container.
Dropbox may be looking to change that, if details in its latest patent become features for Dropbox users. Various sources have reported that Dropbox could be looking to streamline file sharing and file syncing in the enterprise using the power of peer to peer networking.
This decentralized method of collaboration could help business users work more rapidly, eliminating potential bottlenecks that may exist between the traditional cloud methods of sharing files. When cloud file syncing services are compared to services such as BitTorrent Sync, the biggest difference that consumers notice is that the BitTorrent Sync client seems to sync files much faster. Dropbox seems to be capitalizing on this feature, giving users the ability to quickly sync up files without a cloud server in the mix.
The patent application was filed back in 2014, however the details were not published on it up until recently.
The patent application describes Dropbox’s P2P functionalities saying, “Recipients can use the cryptographic key during peer-to-peer distributed sharing of the version of the content item among the user and the recipients in a shared network (such as an intranet and/or the Internet) without synchronization conflicts.”
The new P2P sharing technology possesses several built-in advantages for Dropbox. For example, when users sync copyrighted files into the cloud, Dropbox could potentially become liable for storing these files.
When users use P2P, users become could potentially become responsible. Some analysts mention that this could alleviate responsibility from Dropbox to patrol copyrighted files, while also becoming competitive within the P2P file syncing marketspace.
Without using the cloud, Dropbox will eliminate the need for a file to be synced to a remote storage server, thus giving users the ability to move large files much more efficiently.