Dropbox’s new Project Infinite is the reinvention of cloud storage systems to do more than just save backups.
When we save a file to a synchronized Dropbox folder, we end up with two copies: one on our system, and one in the cloud. This is ideal for cloud backup, or file sharing.
Until now, that border between cloud and local storage has been very clearly defined, but isn’t it strange to have two copies of the same file? If we consider the cloud as an extension of the storage that we have on our computer or portable device, there is little point in having the same file twice.
The trick to save space using the cloud
Project Infinite is a new functionality that allow us to save space by harnessing the full potential of the cloud, and I will do it with a file type much older than the cloud concept: links.
We normally use the links to access a file more easily without having to go to the folder where it is saved; We can have links to our favorite programs on the desktop, or a folder with the files we use the most that are scattered throughout the unit. The good thing about these links is that they take up practically nothing because inside there is only the address of the original file.
What Dropbox has raised is the same concept, but applied to the cloud; that when we synchronize our files, links appear in our system to files stored in the cloud, instead of the complete files.
In this way, it is possible to considerably reduce the disk space occupied; if you have 20 GB in Dropbox, those are 20 GB that you save on your computer, for example.
How the Dropbox Project Infinite works
Of course, it is not as simple as the links, but the concept is the same. The hard work is in getting let’s not notice that those files are not saved locally, and that’s what Dropbox has focused on, so that we can double-click a file and it opens as usual.
We can also go through all the files and use the contextual functions of Windows and Mac browsers as if they were really there, without lag or having to wait for the information to load from the cloud.
And if we want to make sure that the file is saved locally, a new option in the context menu will allow us to mark the file so that it always has two copies, one in Dropbox and one in local.
For the moment,Project Infinite is only available for some companies, but it is expected that in time it will reach more users.