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. Mar 22, 2013 at 18:27
  • 1
    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, 2016 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


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."

  • 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.
    – d0g
    Mar 22, 2013 at 23:32

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