Dropbox – my favorite free online file storage

I wanted to take a minute and share one of my favorite and most used applications – Dropbox.

I love telecommuting. I try to work out of my home whenever I can. One of my largest problems in the past was synchronizing my files. If I was working at the office and decide to take a project home, I would either have to email it to myself, store it on a USB drive, or copy it to my laptop – all which take time.

No more! Now I just use my Dropbox.

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is an online file storage application that you install on any computers you might use. Through a simple drag-and-drop interface, your files are securely uploaded over a SSL connection, stored to a server and automatically copied to any computers that you have Dropbox installed on with the same ID.

I currently have Dropbox installed on my desktop PC, laptop PC, and my PC at work. This makes it simple to transfer work files as well as keep revisions of projects I work on.

Here’s some other bits of info on Dropbox that I like:

Features of Dropbox

Drag-and-drop interface (I also threw a shortcut in my Send To folder so I can just right-click a file and send it to my Dropbox)

Sync with other computers

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Use multiple platforms – currently Dropbox will sync between Windows, Mac, and Linux. (I believe there is also a feature or add-on that will allow iPhone users to access Dropbox as well – nothing for Mobile Windows…yet.)

Access from anywhere. Not at your computer? No problem – just use any computer to log on to your Dropbox account and you can view, retrieve, and add files. When you get back to your computer, your files have already been synchronized and are waiting for you.

Log any file changes. Dropbox will remember changes you made to files and show you a revision history – it will even allow you to restore files you may have deleted.

Share files with other non-Dropbox users - share a folder and add work colleagues, friends, family, etc… They can all have access to your files depending on how you set the users up. You can even drop files in your Public folder – right click the file and it will give you a link you can email to people so they can access your file as well.

Easy to use interface. When you log on to Dropbox, you can view any and all changes made to your files by you and anyone you might share that file with.dropbox_e-trail

Share your photos. Drop photos in your Dropbox and share them with others thru a web gallery. It’s not as advanced as Flickr or SmugMug but it gets the job done.

So how much is it?

Anyone can join for free and receive 2GB of free storage. If you want to add more space, you can pay $99/year or $9.99/month and upgrade to 50GB. I’ve found that the 2GB is enough for me right now but I plan on upgrading in the future depending on my usage. Current file upload size is limited at a 350GB file. That may or may not be changed in the future.

UPDATE: Use my referral code to join and get an extra 250MB of storage for free!  Join now!

How do I get my Dropbox?

Visit their website and sign up – download the app and you’re good to go!

Comments

  1. says

    This looks like a perfect fit for my simple backup needs. I can see that sooner or later (probably sooner) I’d burn through the 2GB and end up needing more. Right now I just use Memeo to back things up when I get back to my home network. But this would allow me not to lose anything I did online.

    I was thinking of using carbonite, but this looks more flexible.

  2. Matt Lindley says

    Love this service. I have used many – the *worst* of which was Windows Live Mesh. Unlike most, Dropbox is very easy to use. Yes, it does have a mobile section of their website, where you can access your files through the iPhone Safari browser. I would guess that you could use the same on Windows Mobile, but I’m not certain.

    I’ve been using the free account & have been very happy with it.

  3. garrethwilcock says

    So Zigology, would my assistant and I be able to backup and share the same files? I have about 15GB of real estate data, and I want to give access to my virtual assistant. What I don't quite understand is whether this is really a multi-user kind of tool or not. What happens if a file is edited in two places at once (unlikely to happen, but possible) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    • says

      Thanks for dropping by again, Garreth. I made the number one mistake in blogging – not being timely and responsive to your audience. Sorry for the delay!

      To answer your question, Dropbox is great as a multi-user tool. If you and your assistant have the same file open, you can both see each other’s changes almost immediately. A revision log is saved so that you can revert to previous versions if need be. If you’re really worried about a certain document, keep it in a folder and place a copy in a subfolder you share with your team.

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