Dropbox

Dropbox logo
Dropbox is a cloud based data storage and synchronization service which provides 2GB of free storage and 50 or 100 GB for subscription accounts. Save your files in the Dropbox folder on your computer and as long as you’re connected to the Internet they’re automatically—and almost instantly—updated on Dropbox’s servers whenever you make changes.

Switch to a different computer and your data are automatically synced as soon as you go online. Even if it’s not your computer you can still access your files from your Dropbox online account or via a smartphone app.

The nice folk at DropBox give you 2GB of free synchronized storage and it’s a no-brainer to use. Download Dropbox using this referral link from Just Wondering and you’ll get an extra 500MB of free storage. As will I. 🙂

This is an outstanding service.

Usage

Because it’s very easy to manage I use Dropbox for all my everyday working files – the ones that I access and/or change regularly: Files like my “fridge door” action file, my computer installation logs, inventory, web site and blog files, images and notes. I also throw in scanned copies of important documents.

As long as you don’t get carried away with lots of big photo, video and music files, 2GB is a lot of space. You can increase the free allocation up to

Main Positives

  • Set it and forget it. Dropbox works seamlessly in the background without any input from the user.
  • If you’re a web designer/blogger you can use it as a really easy image manager. See my post here.
  • Treat it just as you would your Documents folder.
  • Synchronises your data automatically between all your computers and the online storage.
  • Even if you only use one computer it’s still invaluable as an off-site backup for your important stuff. No more worries about burglars pinching your stuff or a fire destroying it.
  • 2GB of free storage.
    • If you need more: 50GB or 100GB paid storage at US$5 and $10 per month.
  • The big plus for many users, it works with Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Unlike competing cloud services, Dropbox uses Delta synchronization. i.e. When a file is changed, Dropbox doesn’t upload the whole file, only the differential data – the part of the file that’s changed. With large files this is a very big plus.

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Main Negatives

  • Less storage than some other free services.
    • For me, that’s far outweighed by the synchronization capability.
  • It’s restricted to one location on your computer. This annoys some users, but if you just treat it in the same way as Windows XP’s Documents folder it’s no big deal.
    • I understand that this may be changed in a future upgrade.
    • Watch this space.

It’s great. Get it today!

When you download and install DropBox it creates its own folder on your computer. By default, in Windows, the folder is created in your Documents folder but you can move it to wherever you wish. The DropBox folder can be used just like any other: add files and sub-folders to your heart’s content and DropBox will toil away in the background uploading a copy of those files to their servers.
Every time you subsequently add, delete, or modify files or folders in your DropBox they’re immediately updated on the remote site.

It gets better!

If you use more than one computer you can install DropBox on each of them, log on to your DropBox account when prompted and it will automatically download your current files and subsequently update them with the latest changes. Thenceforth, whenever any of your DropBox machines are connected to the web they will automatically be synchronised.
If you don’t have access to your own computer you can log on to your online account at Dropbox’s web site from any web-connected computer in the known universe and access your files.
You can use DropBox on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computers.
For text, pdf, Word and Excel files 2GB is a lot of space, but if you really like DropBox (and what’s not to like?) and you wish to have more storage ─ for lots of photos for instance ─ you’ll need to purchase a 50 or 100GB account as mentioned above.

Synchronizing program data files

With many software programs, the default location of the data files can be changed to a folder of your choice. If you put these folders in a subfolder of Dropbox on each of your computers, those data will be kept up-to-date and in sync. This works very well with programs like Autohotkey, Tomboy Notes, Info Select, Wiki-on-a-Stick, PhraseExpress, Stickies, and no doubt many others.
What are you waiting for? As I wrote above, go to the DropBox web site using this referral link from Mistywindow, download DropBox onto your computer—you’ll get an extra 500MB of free storage and so will I. 🙂

And what’s more

If you sign up and get your own referrals you can increase your free storage up to 16GB and if you eventually upgrade to a 50 or 100GB Premium account you get double your referral capacity tacked on.

Other related links

Cloud storage

Dropbox for web image management

Evernote

5 thoughts on “Dropbox

  1. Due to large files we email to our clients and subcontractors we are looking for a “dropbox” provider.

    Can I have further information regarding Costs, file size limits, limited or unlimited access and ease of use.

    Our requirements are as follows:

    24/7 web access for both updating / removing files, and access for clients / subcontractors

    Multiple folders for different projects as well as files within each project

    Common files uploaded would be Microsoft Word, Excel Spread sheets, PDF files, DWG files, other Architectural Documents etc.

    Regards

    DANIEL CURLINE I Quantity Surveyor
    M 021 068 6473 I E daniel@stryde.co.nz

    STRYDE PROJECTS LTD I Private Bag 41907, St Lukes
    P 09 846 1616 I F 09 846 1696

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  3. I let your sp@m through Ashley because it was a good try. If my page was hard to find, how come you’re here?

    I’m fully aware of the requirements of SEO, but to be honest I don’t care that much about traffic that it’s not made it to the top of my todo list yet.
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