Dropbox catches up with a password vault, folder backup, and a family plan

The new Dropbox services are generally in beta, and will roll out to paid Dropbox plans later this year.

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On Tuesday, Dropbox announced new features that help the service catch up to Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive, which offer a number of these features already. Did you know that Dropbox didn't have automatic folder backup from your PC to the cloud? Password storage? A secured vault for critical documents, or a family plan? Well, now it does.

A key new feature is Dropbox Passwords, which attempts to emulate a password manager (or Google Chrome, which offers a secured store of passwords to use across various apps and services) by offering its own password vault. Like the other services, the Dropbox Passwords service will autofill passwords when asked. Dropbox said it will provide apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, with zero-knowledge encryption, so the passwords will only be known by you. Dropbox isn't charging separately for this service, but will make it part of Dropbox Plus (currently $11.99 per user per month).

For those documents that require additional security, Dropbox is adding Dropbox Vault, also available to Plus users in a private beta. (Microsoft's OneDrive provides a similar feature.) Dropbox isn't saying how large the Vault can be, but it requires a PIN for secure access in addition to the normal protections. The files will be accessible from any device that can run a Dropbox app.

Dropbox is also trying to make inroads on a similar feature that Microsoft has tightly woven into Windows PCs: automatic folder backup. OneDrive already allows you to back up your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop. Dropbox now does, too. It's apparently free, as long you participate in one of the Dropbox Basic, Plus, or Professional plans.

Finally. the new Dropbox updates include Dropbox Family, an upcoming plan to let up to six members share 2TB of storage with their own individual accounts, but a single bill. Dropbox hasn't finalized pricing, however, and the Family plan will be rolled more broadly throughout the year.

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