Dropbox Crawler

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Personal cloud storage is becoming more and more popular, with Dropbox certainly being the best known example. It generates a huge amount of Internet traffic, but how does it works? How is it used? What are the possible improvements?

In this experiment, we collected basic statistics of what files are stored in Dropbox folders.


Download our datasets:

Name File Size Volunteers
Crawler Dataset 219M 333

Some results derived from these data can be found in here.

In particular, the figures presented in Sect. 5.3 of the linked document are obtained using the scripts available in the folder "scripts" inside the tarball.

How our data collection work?

  • It scans Dropbox folders
  • Calculates basic statistics
  • Shows what has been collected for approval
  • Sends the statistics to us

What has been logged?

For each file/folder in a Dropbox, the program collects:

* Size in bytes
* Last modification time
* Mime type of the file
* File extension
* MD5 Hash of both initial and final 8 kbytes of the file
* MD5 Hash of the file name/path

The program also sends to us:

* MD5 Hash of Dropbox configuration files (or MAC address if we cannot read the former)
* MD5 Hash of the path of your Dropbox home folder
* Your IP address and operating system version
* Error logs, in case something goes wrong during the data collection

Collected information is sent via plain HTTP to a centralized collection server.

Client source code

Download the source code by clicking here for the native versions (you will need Python 2.7 and PyInstaller for building these versions), or here for the Java version.

More information

The dataset in this page is used in the following publications:

         author       = {Idilio Drago},
         title        = {Understanding and Monitoring Cloud Services},
         school       = {University of Twente},
         url          = {\url{http://eprints.eemcs.utwente.nl/24136/}},
         year         = {2013},
         author       = {Idilio Drago and Alex Borges Vieira and Ana Paula Couto da Silva},
         title        = {Caracteriza{\c c}{\~a}o dos Arquivos Armazenados no Dropbox},
         booktitle    = {Anais do Workshop de Redes {P2P}, Din{\^a}micas, Sociais e Orientadas a Conte{\'u}do},
         series       = {{WP2P+}},
         pages        = {109--114},
         year         = {2013},

More information about our previous work is found on these papers:

External Links

These institutes involved in this research: