capsule review

Box.net

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Box.net

    PCWorld Rating

Box.net is a Web-based file storage, syncing, sharing, and collaboration service with advanced features such as file versioning and trash (deleted file backup and restore). It provides 1GB of free storage, with tiered paid monthly plans available for more storage. While the desktop Web-based version allows access to the entire Box.net feature set, the Android app provides a mobile, though limited, way to access your Box.net account for file download, upload, and sharing capabilities on the go.

To use Box.net you must first register an account. You can do this within the app: Just supply a valid e-mail address and choose a password. Or you can login with an existing account. Once you log in, your files and folders are displayed in a familiar Explorer-like file interface. Tap on a file or folder to open it, or tap the arrow on the right for options to preview, upload a new file, or share the file or folder.

The app's preview functionality is weak: Box.net tries to hand the task off to Quickoffice or other installed apps, but it did not know how to pass an HTML file to the Web browser. The inability to properly preview saved Web pages (HTML) is particularly disappointing. Thankfully, the most recent update has made it possible to view images.

Files and folders can be shared (via Bluetooth, Gmail, and so on) as a hyperlink to a Web page from which they may be viewed or downloaded. This is a particularly useful way to get around the e-mail file attachment size limitations of some e-mail providers. Box.net will send you an e-mail notification to let you know when the shared link has been viewed.

Unfortunately, the app allows you to share a public link only, meaning that once you share the file or folder, it is available (in read-only mode) to anyone. It would be nice if the app also allowed the option to send a password-protected link, or a link to an editable version for collaborative purposes. Such functionality is available in the desktop Web version of Box.net.

The inability to create new folders is another annoying and inexplicable omission in this app. And it also crashes frequently. Perhaps future updates will make it more stable. As it is, if you already have a Box.net account, then it makes sense to install Box.net for Android. Otherwise, you might want to take a look at competitors ZumoDrive and Dropbox before you make up your mind.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Box.net

    PCWorld Rating
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