When Dropbox uploads files, it does not sustain a constant speed. The upload happens in bursts, stopping for a few seconds every few seconds.

Other apps, such as CloudApp or Google Drive, or even ftp, upload consistently.

This is a traffic graph of Dropbox uploading:

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  • I'm not sure whether Dropbox is classified as a "web application" or a "desktop application" - this site's distinction between "web applications" and "desktop applications" is very confusing and arbitrary, so I'm not sure which Stack Exchange site this question belongs on Superuser or Webapps. – Anderson Green Mar 22 '13 at 18:27
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about Dropbox's drive synchronization feature, not its web interface. – ale Aug 26 '16 at 16:27

This is likely because the Dropbox client uploads files in 4 MB chunks. https://www.dropbox.com/developers/core/api : "A typical chunk is 4 MB."

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  • That makes sense. I tested a straight upload to Dropbox, and that did go at full speed. I guess syncing is slower than uploading. Bummer. – Dan Mar 22 '13 at 23:32

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