Tuesday, December 22, 2015

how Dropbox and Evernote file sync works

Spent some time trying to understand better how Dropbox and Evernote sync changes across different devices (mobile, desktop client, Web browser, etc.). Here are some of the interesting papers and articles that I found. Note that they might be outdated a little (you can see the timestamps).


1. IMC'12 paper "Inside Dropbox: Understanding Personal Cloud Storage Services" by Idilio Drago, etc. (Nov 2012).

The paper studies the Dropbox architecture and traffic by intercepting and analyzing traffic data. It provides many insights about various control and data flow, service components, protocols, etc.

2. "Streaming File Synchronization" from Dropbox tech blog (July 2014).

This blog post gives an overview of file sync and presents a new stream-based sync mechanism that improves latency by upto 2X.

3. "Inside LAN Sync" from Dropbox tech blog (Oct 2015).

This blog post describes a new enhancement called LAN sync, which allows devices on the same network to share files without upload/download through Dropbox servers.


1. Core Concepts in dev API doc, especially the Data Model, which defines various data structures, familiar to you if you use Evernote a lot, like me.

2. Synchronization specification in dev doc: "Evernote Synchronization via EDAM" (Jan 2013)

If you are interested, you can also look into FUSE, which is a user space filesystem abstraction. You can build your own Dropbox and Evernote ;-)


  1. That is really good and useful post. Going to keep it with me as it you never know when it gonna come handy. Godo post. Thank you for sharing it with us

  2. Wow this sound great and it provides a better way of understanding and using dropbox and evernote and their synchronization across different platforms.