Hi Lifehacker, My workplace won't let me use Dropbox anymore — I've been told I can only access it via the browser. How do I go about persuading them that I should be allowed access? Thanks, You Are So Dropped
Presumably, your IT managers have already weighed up the pros and cons before making this decision — so convincing them otherwise could be tricky. You'll need to demonstrate that you have a workplace need and that you won't use it to export confidential information.
The first step is to write a detailed business case as to why you need Dropbox. You can provide proof by timing how much longer it takes to access data across multiple devices compared to using the app. Basically, include any evidence you can think of that demonstrates how the block is counterproductive to your workflow.
Unfortunately, these kinds of policies tend to be set in stone for everybody. It's unusual for blocked content to be reversed for a single employee; especially if your circumstances are no different to anyone else. For most companies, the risk of leaked data and corporate espionage trumps the ability to work a bit more efficiently and productively.
One possible solution is to use the smartphone/tablet version. Dropbox is available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone, so this shouldn't be an issue regardless of which mobile platform you use.
When combined with email and the Dropbox web app, it should be easy enough to transfer files to and from your work computer. In the unlikely event that your workplace has a relaxed BYOD policy, you could also try accessing the full app on your own laptop via a 3G internet connection.
If you'd prefer not to churn through your phone's data, you can often find portable, self-contained versions of apps which you can drop onto a USB key and run without installing anything on your work computer. DropboxPortableAHK is a portable version of Dropbox that comes with Auto Hotkey included.
Just be mindful that many of these workarounds could be breaching your company's terms of service policy. Even if you think the Dropbox block is stupid, you can still get fired for willfully circumventing it. Proceed with caution.
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