Does “Israel” Throttle Dropbox?

I am a heavy user of Dropbox*. Dropbox changed my behavior about a year ago when I started uploading all of my photos to Dropbox to save them and share them. It is an incredible service and works across all of my devices. In fact, it was how we shared the Aleph presentation across devices to pitch using the iPad.

However, recently, I was frustrated by Dropbox but after this week I must redirect my frustration to someone in Israel. The question is who? Let me explain.

After a two week vacation in Italy, I placed about 1600 high resolution photos in my Dropbox folders. I came back to Israel and began to synchronize. As most of you know, my computer is open 24/6 and generally connected to a network. My family began to complain a week ago that only a few hundred of my “supposedly 1600” pictures were in the Dropbox folder and I saw in the Dropbox status meter that there were still many more to synch. I decided to keep waiting. TWO WEEKS after the initial synch started only ~400 photos were in my Dropbox folder in the cloud.

I decided that when I got to Silicon Valley this week I would ask someone at Dropbox. Then a funny thing happened. I got to my hotel, hooked up my PC, went out for a few hours and came back three hours later to find that 100% of all my photos were synched. In two weeks in Israel, 25% of my photos synched. In three hours in Silicon Valley the other 75% synched!

The question is: Why? Here are the potential culprits. Dropbox runs on AWS. There is no AWS facility in Israel so there is latency. I have a hard time believing this since many of my companies are uploading builds to AWS all the time and could not suffer this kind of delay. The second possible culprit is Israel’s inadequate underwater cable. We, Israel, are short on underwater bandwidth as I have written before. The third possibility is Bezeq or the ISP who may be throttling Dropbox to preserve bandwidth speeds. Either way, it is aggravating and requires an explanation as to whether someone in Israel is throttling Dropbox.

* Full Disclosure: Benchmark is an investor in Dropbox.

[Originally published on 30th August 2013 by MIchael Eisenberg]