Do you ever wish files from your home computer were available at work or on your phone? Do you clog your inbox with emailed files?
Dropbox might be the solution.
How Dropbox Works
Dropbox is a web based service. You install the Dropbox client on your computer, signup for an account (available for free), and are ready to go. The program creates a folder “Dropbox” on your computer, and anything you put in this folder is automatically copied to your online account. You can login to access these files from anywhere.
Synch & Share
What makes Dropbox special is the ability to also install its client on other computers. When you save a file to your “Dropbox” on one computer, it is automatically copied not only to the web, but to your other computer as well. If you have co-workers with the program installed, you can even create folders that will automatically synchronize your work. It is also possible to access the files via various cell phone apps.
Backup & Undo
Dropbox adds a nice piece of mind, as you know that every time you save a file, it is automatically saved to the cloud. If something happens to your computer, recovery is as easy as installing the Dropbox program on a new machine – and in the meantime, you can always access the files online. In addition to backup, Dropbox retains every save you make for 30 days. If you accidentally delete or modify a file, you can easily request a copy of a version from the previous week.
I’ve used Dropbox for around 6 months, and have really appreciated the synching feature. Anything important I’m working on is saved to the Dropbox folder, and I have it available both on my desktop and laptop computers. In addition, I have shared folders with a few others, and use this as an easier way to transfer files between people.
There aren’t too many downsides. The program has to be constantly running in your system tray, which must use some system resources, but it hasn’t been enough for me to notice. It also does not synch files until they are saved. This might seem obvious, but a couple times I’ve left with my laptop, only to realize the file was never saved and is not available through my Dropbox.
Signup & Pricing
Dropbox is free for 2 gigabytes of storage, which is plenty if you’re mostly dealing with documents. If you sign up through my link, you’ll receive a bonus 250 megabytes free (and I do as well). For those that need more space, there are Pro versions available, with 50 or 100 GB of storage. They are priced at $10 and $20 per month respectively.