Dropbox Alternative: Box

We are around 2 months away from Dropbox unceremoniously logging out PowerPC users, kicking us to the curb via a digital eviction notice.

There is no sign that the growing thread in the Dropbox forums is changing anyone’s minds, although there were rumors someone was going to try to port the newer Python framework to Leopard. We’ll see.

In the meanwhile, let’s begin to look at some alternatives to syncing and sharing your files online.

My first choice is to point folks to Box.

Box screenshot

Box is similar to Dropbox in that it gives you a folder that can be synced across different computers. It also has the ability to share files and public folders via a few easy clicks and includes access via some fairly decent mobile apps. The web interface is very useable, and the client (if it works on your computer) is similar enough to Dropbox. I’ve had a Box account for a while with a nice amount of space, but I couldn’t get into it because it initially had an issue with some Mac files with bundles. That is now fixed.

In a quick glance, here are the ups/downs:


It tends to be generous with space. Dropbox starts you off with a few GB though you can add more via pay or referrals and stuff. Box tends to be more generous – I got 50 GB through some deal for free.

Webdav support is awesome. You can mount your Box folder via the command line or using Go -> Connect to Server.

Generally has similar features to Dropbox and integrates with other services.


There is no client for PowerPC Macs. You will have to rely on its built-in WebDav protocol to mount and make use of your folder.

Copying files is not particularly fast via Webdav. I’m not sure if I have something setup incorrectly or if it’s just a slow protocol. This is annoying. I’m still waiting for 4 files to copy totaling 410k in size after at least 5 minutes. A Webdav client (like CyberDuck) may not have these issues.

FTP access is possible for paid accounts, not for free accounts.

Update: Here’s a quick follow up reading to help get you started with Box. It seems Box support recommends using third party clients to map your drive in Mac OS. Good to know. CyberDuck does work a bit smoother in some initial testing.

In summary, Box is a reasonable option to check out. You can still have access to the same pool of files across a variety of devices, keeping in mind that your G5 will still feel a bit like a second class citizen without the great sync features of Dropbox. As you give it a test run, let me know how it goes.