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Access All Dropbox Cloud Files Locally While Saving Storage Space With Project Infinite

Dropbox has introduced an amazing new feature called Project Infinite which allows to you instantly access all your cloud files from your computer without downloading all of them, thus saving storage space. How does it work? We’ll discuss it all after the jump.

Man overlooking clouds from a mountain viewpoint

What is Project Infinite? 

With the help of Project Infinite, users who have dwindling storage space on their small hard drives or solid state drives but still need access to all files on their Dropbox personal or Business cloud will be able to do just that – without worrying about space!

Project Infinite is something straight out of a science fiction story or book. It offers users a way to instantly open their files stored in the cloud without actually having the file downloaded locally on the hard drive – all you need is a fast, and active Internet connection.

If you watch the video, you should now have a fair idea of what Project Infinite is.

The new technology from Dropbox will allow you to instantly access and open files that have a cloud icon next to them. These files will open instantly without taking up space on your local disk drive.

These files will be available for you to see and explore from Windows or Mac’s respective file explorer, but in reality, they are not taking up any space. This is the complete opposite of how OneDrive and Google Drive function at the moment, though you can selectively sync folders in Drive.

Accessing files on the cloud

No space taken on the local hard drive!

The WEBPAGE OVERVIEW file with a cloud icon takes 0 bytes, but is accessible anytime.

There is also a very handy option of “Save local copy” when you right-click on the file of your choosing. This will allow you to access it in the absence of internet.

Saving a local copy of your files.

These features will be available to users of Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10 and Mac OS 10.9 and above. Dropbox is rolling Project Infinite out to all users as I write this. It is essentially targeted at users of Dropbox Pro and Dropbox for Business which come with terabytes of cloud storage.

What do Google Drive and OneDrive offer?

In a word: nothing.

In the current state of affairs, Google Drive and OneDrive on Windows are severely limited. You can’t open any file locally unless it has a green tick icon next to its name. OneDrive did once come with a similar ‘placeholders’ for files but it wasn’t implemented well at all. It is expected Microsoft will bring them back in this year’s Anniversary Update (previously called Redstone).

You can see below that when I opened an assignment from an old folder, it made downloaded the file to my hard drive and then opened it. This is what Infinite will seek to remove.

How OneDrive handles files.

Project Infinite will seek to make your files accessible to you where ever you might be, even in the absence of internet.

The features that have been shown are currently not live on Dropbox, but hopefully will be made available in the near future

In the current state of affairs, laptop hard drives are shrinking in size due to the push of Solid State Drives (SSD). Essentially it has become cruicial to always ensure your precious documents are always on the cloud for you instantly access without the need to worry about about a local back up.

There are several places where this can be of great use, especially to students who are constantly dealing with multiple documents and with the help of this, can instantly access their documents with even slow speed internet being present.

This can go a long way in helping us take our important presentations, documents and other materials with us on the go without having to worry about downloading them prior to presenting them; all we would need to make them come to life would be an active internet connection which is easily available at a number of locations.

While it might not sound like much right now, Project Infinite is definitely a game changer in the world of cloud storage. We have only seen what it has to offer in the form of documents and other small sized media, but hopefully this can expand to media of various sizes and be of more use.

What are your thoughts on Dropbox’s big move and do you think Google Drive or OneDrive will be able to compete? Let us know in the comments section below!

(via Dropbox Blog)