Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cheat to max out your Dropbox referral space


I love dropbox. It has really helped me synchronize important files between computers, while making an online backup of everything. But because the 2 gb free space that you get on a basic account isn't enough for me, I've been looking for ways to increase it. Of course there are the normal ways to increase your dropbox space, described here. You can get 16 gb extra space by referring 32 people, but this is hard to do if you're friendless like me. I found a way to cheat the referral system here and here. The steps on these pages seem a bit outdated though, so I decided to rewrite it a bit according to my own experiences. Who knows, maybe it can help someone.

Let me start by saying  that if you have friends that could use dropbox, you should really just get them to try it out. If you have the money (and aren't a cheapskate like me), just pay for a pro account. If you're afraid of getting your account banned, don't do this either.

1. Sign in with your account on dropbox.com. Save your referral link.

2. Download virtualbox and install it.

3. Download an Ubuntu iso (you can also use any windows or linux iso/cd if you want)

4. In virtual box manager, create a virtual machine for your ubuntu iso by pressing "New" and following the steps

5. Start the virtual machine. In the first run wizard, select the ubuntu iso as your installation media. The virtual machine will now load using the ubuntu iso.

6. On the ubuntu welcome screen, choose "try ubuntu". Ubuntu will now start up.

7. In ubuntu, open firefox and go to dropbox.com. Download dropbox for ubuntu. (Download -> ubuntu 32 or 64 bit -> open .deb file in ubuntu software center -> in software center, click install)

8. Run dropbox. On the startup screen, choose "I already have a dropbox account".

9. Make a snapshot of the current state. (In the virtualbox menu: Machine -> Take Snapshot)

10. Use your referral link to sign up for a dropbox account. You don't have to use an existing email address to sign up, it will just accept anything that looks like one. You can either do this step in your normal OS or in virtualbox itself.

11. Enter the email address and password of the account that you just created. Click forward. Now you should've gained 500 mb extra space on your original dropbox account.

12. Close the virtual box and return it to the snapshot (Machine -> Close -> Power off Machine & select Restore current snapshot)

13. In the virtualbox manager, start the virtual machine again by pressing start.

Repeat steps 10-13. It should only take a few minutes per referral, so it's fast enough to do once you've set it up.

EDIT: As suggested in the comments, you can try a combination of these solutions between every try if it doesn't work for you:
-change the mac address of the virtual machine
-change your IP address
-boot back to the live cd and continue from step 5

Please stop spamming this post with referral links.

EDIT2: Maybe you should consider using Copy instead of Dropbox. Copy offers 15 GB of free space and 5 GB per referral. If you sign up using a referral link, you also get 5 GB extra space to start with. Here is my referral link if you're interested.

97 comments:

  1. Perfect!
    I was trying to figure out a way of earning this bonus space, thank you :3

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  2. Thanks :3 For step 10 I'd suggest using a real email address...that way if you really need extra storage beyond the free stuff, you can always just use one of those accounts :p

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  3. I tried this using VMWare but I think they are checking mac addresses now; I get an error in my dropbox under referrals: "Ineligible- This invite looks sketchy!
    This usually happens if you sign up for multiple accounts on the same computer"

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    Replies
    1. I just did it today and it worked for me. I signed up 32 accounts in about a half hour all from the same computer. Maybe they're not checking any more?

      Delete
    2. were you running ubuntu or win?

      Delete
    3. I just did this today using ubuntu, it worked fantastically.

      Delete
  4. You do realize the process is: "Invite a friend, Friend joins Dropbox, Friend installs Dropbox, You get a 500 MB bonus!"

    So restoring a snapshot every time you use a faulty email won't do anything.

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    Replies
    1. I don't get what you mean. Yes, this isn't how the referral system is supposed to be used. It's a way to cheat it, and it worked for me.

      Delete
    2. Try it out before you talk shit retard. lol.

      Delete
    3. Use the link for sharing on social media sites rather than sending out emails.
      Save the link in a text file on the VM's desktop.
      Open the link in an internet browser.
      Put in a valid email address (it does not have to be installed, just has to be a valid email address that doesn't already have a Dropbox account registered to it) and you will get the space straight away.
      Shut down the VM and under network settings replace a couple of numbers and letters in the MAC address field and repeat process with a new email address.
      Dropbox will think it's a new computer.

      Delete
  5. Is your account still working, i.e. not banned?

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  6. It doesn't seem to work any more.

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  7. it's wooooork!!!!!!!
    awesome

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  8. Any fix for ineligible issue? This method is not working anymore, but there are guys at fiverr doing 4-5 referrals in a minute, I wonder how they do it.

    Apparently Dropbox is now gathering more IDs/Data from the system.

    Zalima, I did everything (Install Virtual Machines again instead of cloning, Randomize WMP* IDs, Change MAC, Change IP, Use VPN) but still I am getting caught, can you test this method again? Would be great if you could update the post,

    Thanks,

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  9. deleting and recreating the vm works for me.

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  10. still works. just got +16,88gb total is now 18.88GB

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  11. I did this today. There was no need to change the IP address. I just did it with Win XP iso. Got now 44,38GB ;-) thx a lot

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  12. Works great for me, I'm surprised dropbox haven't put a stop to this yet.

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  13. It's working like a charm! Remember to:
    - change the computer name each time you create a new account.
    - Power off Machine & select Restore current snapshot
    This last step is very important.

    I had no need to change MAC address or anything. Just read Zalima's steps carefully and do EXACTLY what he says and you'll be o.k.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I did exactlyu this way and it works great.
      Many thanks!

      Delete
  14. Pretty useless... needs to change IP address

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  15. it is still possible. here is how to do it under windows.

    0. backup your virtual machine (optional)
    1. install the dropbox client, exit it
    2. pick a string/sentence of 32-40 names
    3. open device manager
    4. pick a realistic mac address of 12 hex digits
    5. increment mac address
    6. open browser, paste db.tt referral link
    7. reg with address sentence[n]@whatever.net, fixed password
    8. cancel the download, close the browser to erase the login cookie
    9. launch dropbox client
    a. login within the client into sentence[n]
    b. skip through the intro
    c. logout from the client / unlink this computer
    d. exit dropbox client
    e. if n<31 n++ goto 5
    f. restore the virtual machine from the backup
    g. done

    you do not need to restart the computer. you may use a physical computer if you can allow it do disconnect from the network, upon changing the mac address. you do not need to reinstall anything or reboot inbetween creating invites, only at the beginning and end. be sure to always log out and exit the programs.

    mac address is called "Network Address" in Device Manager (which is what it really is). if that control is not available there, use a different network card or virtual machine.

    i don't know if the computer name matters. i changed it to match the username, and definitely didn't modify it in the os, where dropbox pulls it from.

    http://www.fileden.com/files/2012/4/26/3297107/screens/dropbox-proof.png

    -- j,p

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  16. It is possible that there is a limit of MAC serial numbers per IP adress. I could register about 40 referrals, and then further attempts were deemed "sketchy".

    -- j,p

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    Replies
    1. I think there is.. I have maxed-out my one user, but then I got the ineligible error when i hitted 8gb on my girlfriends account :)

      But it worked fine until.. have 21gb on my account :)

      Delete
    2. Same here, just plowed through about 10 on an IP address before number 11 was ineligible.

      Delete
  17. thank you very much zalima.

    It works 100% and I earned the maximum space i could earn by referrals. i was searching the whole net for an easy way to do this for a long time until i came across this wonderful post. thank you again.

    P.s.
    Don't read the comments and get confused about changing IP and stuff, just follow the instructions by zalima and that's it. It should work.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks. I was wondering how those guys on Fiverr were upgrading those accounts using referrals. Judging by the number of clients they have there's obviously some good money in dropbox referrals, LOL :)

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  19. Same here. Just follow Zalima's instructions and it should work like a charm. No need to change mac addresses, or ips etc..

    Just tried this on WinXP VM and it just plain works.

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  20. Worked Perfect. thanks!

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  21. Worked like charm. Thanks!

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  22. I tried this and I did need to change the Mac address every time I restarted the machine. Not sure why it worked for others without needing to do so, but regardless, a minor inconvenience and I'm all set now.

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  23. Worked perfectly, many thanks!

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  24. worked as described thank

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  25. I do have to change the MAC every time, if not, the referals in not valid and I don't get the extra space. I have to shut down the virtual machine, go the net config, randomize the MAC, restart, download and install the package, register, put the data on the client, and bam! another 500MB extra.

    Over all, it takes me around 10 minutes per referal, which is still faster than spamming people, but is not very comfortable.

    The Ubuntu CD slowed own the mchien too much, so I picked a live Debian with Gnome from official site. Worked much faster and easir than Ubuntu.

    I'm half-way now :)

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  26. Don't create each dropbox account from your main computer and then sign in on the Virtual machine as that will trigger the sketchy sign up. Do all the new activity on the virtual machine.

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  28. Mate. u r what i call a computer pro.

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  29. This worked for me two times, but every attempt since has been deemed ineligible. I tried changing the MAC address in the Network settings of virtualbox but apparently that has no effect because the MAC address of the physical computer is hardcoded into the virtual machine and can't be changed. Not sure why this works for some and not for others; wish someone had a working solution for those of us who can't do it. Maybe dropbox has improved their security since the original post.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Follow my instructions above on how to do it quicker without restarting or reinstalling software. I don't know if it _still_ works. My previously beefed up dropboxes still have the space though. My guess is that those memebers who think they didn't change the MAC, actually did it without realizing it.

    Nothing is "hardcoded" there. The physical network card has a serial number, but it is not seen by a virtual machine, nor is it transmitted on the wire outside the network. The software on the machine where registration is attempted reads it and sends it as part of its submitted data. It could have used any other number, the serial of a hard drive or whatever.

    Follow the instructions and change the address while Dropbox is closed.

    -- j,p

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  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. Can you pay someone to do it? Like you start up a dropbox account and load it up to 18GB and then email the email and password and details for it in return for payment. I'm just not tech savvy enough to try all that, I can pay for it, but I don't want to pay $100 a year for something I could pay once for... Thanks,
    Derick.Shull@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes,I only pay 5$ (paypal) ,it worked for me.finished within 24hours.
      Excellent service, quick and effective. I recommend this to everyone.
      Perhaps I will buy again.

      Delete
  33. I am so lazy to do it. I got 47gb dropbox from Fiverr for just 5 usd:-)
    dont trust me?, check it out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it seems like the price is increased to 10 usd. Anyway, still cheap. I got one.

      Delete
  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  35. thanks,but I need upgrade myself account,also temporary space is not good for me

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  36. wow, I got 46gb from that fiverr. Thanks for the info.

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  37. great, still works! thx!

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  38. Hey, when I try this I get a message on VB saying unbuntu did not configure right and will run in low graphics mode and then nothing happens?

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  39. Don't bother, apparently Dropbox is starting to do a crackdown on referral cheaters.

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  44. I tried your directions and they don't seem to work anymore, but you point to all the right tools. I have to shutdown ubuntu each time and generate a random mac address (virtualbox makes it easy). Boot back to the live cd, reinstall dropbox, use your db.tt link. This worked 8 times so far today.

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  45. Just want to add that his directions still work. I'm not sure what people are doing wrong but every step he listed is accurate.

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  46. WOW...thanks A LOT!!! Got all free spaces today.
    Though my virtual machine didn't work with Ubuntu. I got it working with Windows 7.

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  47. Many Thanks for the posting these simple instructions. Worked flawlessly......

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  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  49. It worked for about 40 referrals with parallels 8 (you have to generate a new MAC address after you revert to the snapshot). does anyone know how to get more referrals approved beyond 40? Thanks.

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  50. Dropbox apparently just launched a Refer-a-friend app :
    http://app.245friends.com/dropbox

    If you want to get Dropbox, it checks who can refer you amongst your friends,

    If you are already a dropbox user, you'll get a full-featured referrer dashboard with detailed analytics,
    and will be noticed each time a friend of yours comes looking for a referrer!

    ReplyDelete
  51. FYI,

    Works, but reverting the VM to snapshot and changing the mac is not sufficient. For me, I also changed the hostname of the VM and gave it a static IP and it worked. Configured VM network settings to NAT, don't think you can change mac or IP in bridged mode.

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  52. Followed the steps outlined above, and didn't have any problems. Filled out my quota and my space in 30 minutes. Thanks for this!

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  53. A few days ago all my self made referrals turned to ineligible after 2 or 3 months or so. The computer hardware has to be different each time, not only the MAC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah the same here I generated fake referrals and they all disappeared recently and my space was downgraded... only got a message "Your account has been flagged for referral abuse As much as you love Dropbox, please try not to spam your friends!"

      Delete
    2. Mine stayed good for a year up until a few days ago as well... I'll need to find a workaround because 7GB just isn't enough.

      Delete
  54. i did this over 6 months ago and had an account with 21 gb for quite some time. today my dropbox shows my account is overfilled. they revoked all the referrals that i had as being suspicous. back to self storing my digital media.

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  55. My dropbox is ineligible too!
    I had used for 1 year, but now downgraded to 7GB (it was 21GB). spectromanbr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could you share your method with us if you don't mind?

      I've been testing different methods lately, and wanting to figure out how much info dropbox actually collects to detect it.

      Delete
  56. Same here as well. Dropped from 20+GB to 7GB today. I'm using less than 1GB anyway, so I'm not going to complain.

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  57. Same here. Dropped to 3 gb

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  58. Mine dropped from 24GB to 8GB today yet they removed all of my legitimate Dropbox referrals. I simply installed Dropbox on every new system I built which I didn't think was cheating. Time to 'drop' Dropbox and find a real file sharing company - Dropbox is too lame to support WindowsPhone anyways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably not gonna come back and check this reply but in case you do, I'm wondering if all the new systems on which you installed dropbox have the same IP?

      For anyone whose account got reverted to the basic storage afterwards, please post the method you used.

      I'm currently doing it slowly by spoofing MAC (non-changeable from OS) and using a different IP everytime. I do a few everyday in an attempt to make myself look less suspicious.

      Will report back once it's all done.

      Delete
    2. Please update once you see results. I don't mind taking a month to do it slowly since I'm still below my limit, but I'm only 500MB away which could fill up ...

      Delete
    3. yes will do, so far i'm only half way done. i also mix email signups and referral link signups.

      it seems their initial detection upon signup only checks mac and ip. but it does seem to send all your network adapters' mac if you have multiple ones. Not just the one of the active adapter, or the one in use.

      -x

      Delete
  59. still works
    using vmware on mac and ubuntu virtual

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  60. Yup had the same problem: "As much as you love Dropbox, please try not to spam your friends!"

    Randomized MAC each time on a VM. But I guess they are looking at speed with which referrals are done also (maybe?)

    Some of the newer legitimate referrals have also been marked as ineligible.

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  61. in case some of you haven't read this yet...

    https://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=98829

    I feel sorry for the innocent, but DB really overdid it this time. it's amazing how some DB fanboys mindlessly defend their beloved DB, and accuse everyone who has complained in that thread of cheating, while DB employees hide behind the curtain after a couple of robotic responses.

    oh boy sometimes you have to wonder, are those fanboys actually the employees in disguise? or they are simply paid to be a guard dog?

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  62. "You can get extra space by referring people, but this is hard to do if you're friendless like me"

    ^LMAO favorite line of the article.

    In case you haven't read this yet:

    http://www.imgigz.com/Programming/3635/expand-your-Dropbox-account-to-18GB-via-33-Dropbox-referrals

    It's a little easier than setting up an ubuntu virtual machine, spoofing mac addresses, and changing IP's. Hopefully Dropbox won't crack down on all of us cheating their referral program. Only time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  63. lol using windows 98
    still works fine ;))

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hey Zalima, I'll send you a monthly payment if you drop a small link to my website in your blogpost! I'll go first! email me at flip2theflop [at] gmail . com

    Sorry I couldn't find you email address so I'm posting this here.

    ReplyDelete
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  66. It's giving me ineligible after 5 trials! Anyways I switched to "Copy" recently and I'm impressed!

    They give you 15GB of free space - 20GB if you sign up via this link: https://copy.com?r=9IfWjn - with a further 2GB for linking to your twitter account.

    Basically you start with 22GB and have the ability to earn a further 5GB of free space per referral.

    The interface is clean, the program works wonderfully, very fast, supports Wifi Sync and AES256 encryption, and they seem to have a client for just about everything (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android). It's exactly what Dropbox should have been

    ReplyDelete
  67. ubuntu is working very slow in virtual box, taking 5 five to change from pointer to cursor when placed on typing bar...

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  68. The Guy above is right. COPY offers a lot more space. It´s perfectly well integrated for every platform.
    I won`t be signin up to twitter tho, but I thank the 20 GB that it´s giving me,

    Click here for the 22 GB of Free Space, once you install the platform on your computer, or you just can go with 15GB with installing anything. It´s worth a shot, cause it´s a lot of space. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, works like a charm.
      Going with the installed API

      Delete
  69. I lost my most beefed up account. Curious thing is that I had invitee addresses, such as friend-loves@ friend-the@ friend-dropp friend-box at the start of the list, and I have now received this notice:

    "Your account has been flagged for referral abuse. As much as you love Dropbox, please try not to spam your friends!"

    It was a giant waste of time. Maybe it wasn't wise to use possibly existing mail addresses, which could be complained from... Anyway, all I have left from the experiment is exactly four invitees on my primary account with a Public directory, and I'm glad I didn't lose that one; and I no longer remember the password to the dummy accounts because I never intended to use them.

    I tried Copy. I have tried Mega and CX. And a couple other services that I can longer name.... None of them have the basic webserver functionality that can be achieved with Dropbox's Public directory. I have so far been unable to download anything from Copy because the share window comes empty. Even if that is an error on my end, getting a direct link from this window would be slow at best, and likely impossible.

    The basic functionality of me getting my own files through a service is inefficient and not needed. Sharing is what it is for. If I need to get my files, I would log into my computer via FTP and get them. But keeping shares available for the public via an unchanging address is not quite within my means, which is where Dropbox comes in.

    Basically, in Dropbox I can tell you to download dropbox.com/number/file1.mp3, and you are free to expand the link to also get file2.mp3, file3.mp3 assuming that they exist, without any shares being generated on my part. Or I can quickly make those links myself. These MP3s can also be streamed down if needed. 2-4 Gigs for this task is quite enough, as long as this space remains available.

    But as you can see from my dead link above, FileDen has literally died. These free cloud services will not last in their present form, and I don't have a reason to be strongly disappointed. Just a little.

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  70. are the referrals earned through fiverr still valid? Thinking of spending the money but not if they will all become ineligible in a few months!

    ReplyDelete