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How does Transfer actually work - do the files get uploaded twice or just referenced from my "cloud"

How does Transfer actually work - do the files get uploaded twice or just referenced from my "cloud"

Stephen d.8
Helpful | Level 5

It seems DropBox Help don't know the answer to here's the puzzle.

I'm trying to share about 750Mb of property photos with an estate agent, but I have a really slow upload speed, 0.5Mbit/s.  They do NOT have DropBox, so I need to use "Transfer" not shared folder.

 

So, the folder of photos has been syncing for an hour with DropBox, (just a standard sync, not a Transfer) and probably has at least 2 hrs TO GO .

 

So, if the files are uploading, and have been for an hour, but probably another two hours to go, there are three possible routes...
1. If DropBox Transfer is clever, it will use the uploaded files that have already been uploading for 1 hr, plus another 2 hrs TO GO.
2. if DropBox its not so clever, and required me to upload again from my Mac, then I should stop the standard DropBox sync, and just start a 3-hour transfer. That is one our wasted, so it's going to take 1hr (already gone) + another 3 Hrs TO GO to complete a "Transfer specific" upload.
3. Worst case is if I imagine it is behaving as in 1, so that takes 1 hr gone + 2 hrs more, then I find it behaves as in 2, so another 3 hrs, so 6 total and 5 hrs TO GO.
So, that's why I'm asking how the DropBox Transfer sytem works, not which button to press or how to speed up my broadband, sadly DropBox Support don't seem to know.

Does that make sense? And if it makes sense, does anyone on this forum know?

In 6 hours time I will know myself, but wondered if someone could cut that to 2hrs for me. 

Thanks

Stephen

3 Replies 3

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @Stephen d.8, let's jump right into this! 

 

If I understand what you're asking correctly, you wish to know more about Dropbox File Transfers, and how they work in terms of uploading the content to a Transfer, if a file is getting synced by the app. Feel free to correct me if I get this part wrong. 

 

Now, what you described here has to do purely with how your speed works, since Dropbox File Transfer would work the same in any case, let me give you an example. 

 

You can transfer a file of yours, whether it's located inside your Dropbox folder, or not. Therefore, while the file is syncing inside your Dropbox folder, you can always use the app and the path of the file, to create a Transfer. 

 

Both of these things -syncing, and creating/sending the Transfer can happen simultaneously. 

 

The hours you mentioned in your post here, have to do with how syncing, and sending the transfer would both work together, since the internet is a bit slow, right? In any case, syncing a file to your account online, and creating a Transfer doesn't mean that the times between these two would be equal.

 

Keep me posted for moe!


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Stephen d.8
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Meghan, I thought you'd understood, and then realised I clearly haven't explained it clearly enough.

You say "Now, what you described here has to do purely with how your speed works".

No, exactly not, forget the speed, just tell me about the mechanics of it!

 

Let me try to explain it or ask it in a different way. 

If I have uploaded the files I want to transfer to someone from my Mac to DropBox, when I create a Transfer for a recipient, does DropBox:

 

A) upload the files again to a new location on DropBox that is solely for Transfers or,

 

B) simply create a "link" that allows the person I want to send my files to just access those particular files from within my DropBox "cloud" content on the DropBox server. (i.e. it does not require repeat upload of files that are already synced)

 

C) Less likely, but perhaps copies the "Transfer" files from one DropBox cloud location to another that is purely for "Transfer" access for security, so the remote recipient can only ever get to a "Transfer" location.

 

I hope it is clearer now, but in the meantime, I think I've answered my own question. It is option B, as you would hope. Having synced several folders, I've just created a transfer that was created far too quickly to have been a second upload. DropBox Transfer is just creating a fancy link to my cloud files. (but it could still be C!)

 

Thanks for your input, and it would be good to understand fully, but I think I understand enough!

 

Cheers

 

Stephen

 

Nancy
Dropbox Staff

Hey Stephen! Hope you don’t mind if I jump in here. 

 

From what you've described, option B sounds like the correct one, indeed. When creating a File Transfer, Dropbox doesn’t duplicate the file in any way or require it to be uploaded twice. It just creates a link to the file/folder that has already been uploaded to your Dropbox account.

 

Another alternative that you can perhaps check in the future, if you’re in a similar situation, is creating a shared link with view-only access. Shared links don’t require the recipient to have a Dropbox account of their own either, and the difference is that, if you send out a shared link and then, update the files it links to, the recipient will be able to see your updates automatically. 

 

I hope that makes sense, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ping me.


Nancy
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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