Don’t Drop the box : Windows/Mac scripts for Dropbox on VPN

esuslogo101409I love Dropbox. I mean really. I use it for sharing among my team, my family, and as a direct code working area. I can open up Visual Studio on one laptop, move to another, and go back to my workstation without even thinking about syncing or anything. I am a paying customer and feel like I get every dime in increased productivity.

But, one side effect of using Dropbox is that it is sometimes blocked by internal IT Departments because of it’s File-Sharing profile. I am not going to argue against this,  even though DLP is a better way to go in my opinion. If only there was a way to be able to access your Dropbox while obeying company policy of keeping it off your corporate networks…

This is why I created the following hacks for both Windows 7 and Mac OSX. They basically just setup static routes around your tunneled VPN connections. This sends Dropbox traffic *around* the VPN and not through it. Couple things to cover first:

  1. This won’t work when *inside* a corporate office. This is purely for remote/home VPN when you are accessing VPN connections that *tunnel-all*.
  2. I don’t endorse this for use by anyone on any network. You should always contact your IT dept and confirm they are ok with this.

There are two versions. The Windows 7 is a simple script that reads an IP list and populates the routing table with more direct static entries. It has to be run with elevated permissions (right-click Run as Administrator) and can be setup as a startup script or scheduled task(easier).

The Mac version has an install script and does basically the same thing but as a Startup Item. Basically works as set-and-forget, which is kind of slick. Just untar, “chmod 755 install_dropboxonvpn.sh”, and run “./install_dropboxonvpn.sh”. This will setup everything and add the entries.

Both scripts use an IP list file that can be updated should Dropbox change something.

Download below:

DropboxOnVPN – Mac OSX

DropboxOnVPN – Windows 7

Comments and feedback are always welcome. And if you can improve my work please do.

.nick

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7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Is there any maintenance required on the DropBox IP list? Or are they fairly static over time?

    Also – I agree that DLP would be a better option to help manage toosl like DropBox but I’m not aware of any that are file-sharing (network storage) aware yet. Any out there that you know of that work with DropBox?

  2. Hi. I running a vpn intermittently: how does this affect dropbox when i am not? and what happens if drobbox do change something? is there a way to undothe changes (whatever they are) the scripts make?

      • Wasn’t gonna mention that, but I did figure that out right after I posted. Found some other oddities, and dropped details into your work email acct…

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