‘Streaming Sync’ Promises Faster Dropbox Speeds

Unless you have oodles of bandwidth, using cloud storage services such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive to store massive files can be impractical, depending on how often you need to sync them. Improved telecommunications technology will eventually make the process less painful, but for now, software tweaks will have to do. Dropbox recently revealed some enhancements it’s made to its clients that should boost sync speeds for “large” files by up to two times.

Dropbox’s Nipunn Koorapati announced the news on the company’s official blog yesterday and while 2x might be the best case, more than likely users will see a 25 per cent increase on average — still a respectable gain.

The only caveat is that these optimisations will only flex their muscles on larger downloads, with benchmarks showing that the improvements could shave around 100 seconds off a 500MB file (from ~400 to ~300 seconds). That said, you’ll notice a difference starting from around 16MB, which is a lot more likely for most users. The time saved here will be in the range of a couple of seconds.

For the technically-minded, there’s a detailed explanation of the changes the company has made on its development blog. Essentially, it has reduced the time taken to transmit data chunks by overlapping requests at the protocol level, which is why the speed benefits are most noticeable on large files, which require many segmented downloads / uploads.

Introducing streaming sync: supercharged sync for large files [Dropbox]

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