* Prices may differ from that shown
Dropbox is in simplistic terms is a online USB, which links all the information from all your devices into one online site, so no need for that Memory Stick you keep loosing, all you require is an email and password. You can upload anything, videos, pictures, documents there are no restrictions apart from 300MB intranet download.
You are given up to 2GB Free memory, but it is so easy to get more for FREE as well which is a nice bargain, for example if you refer friends, when you make your first camera upload, when you give them feedback, when you tweet, when you follow dropbox on twitter, when you like on facebook. These are all simple things you do and as a return you get 125mb-1GB memory free (for each). Most people end up with at least 5GB plus which is around enough for 1,250 songs or 100,000 pictures (varying slightly depending on the actual size of the images.)
Buy Memory options
You can pay monthly or you can pay yearly the sums above which works out cheaper slightly. I would point out though anyone who requires over 100GB might aswell buy a 1T USB which would be cheaper rather than doing it online and paying that price, although as student it is extremely beneficial for my environment.
Use on Computer/Laptop
When you first sign up they give you the option to install a Dropbox gadget so; it's basically like a folder which you are able to drag anything into and as long as you are on the Internet it will automatically go into you online site. It is really simple and the installing is even easier, if you don't install the gadget then it is okay too; for example at university the computers won't allow installations so if I am to move anything on to my Dropbox there I just log on online and import them.
Use on Mobile
The App is free and once again really easy and good to use, the best part I felt was it gave you the option to move things which you had your phone automatically into your Dropbox, so if you take a picture as long as you are connected to the Internet you it is added to your Dropbox without you ask, obviously you can opt out of this.
I have never used this part but you are also allowed to buy or do 14 day trial for Business Dropbox the information below are directly from themselves as I do not have specific knowledge to review that area
-"Dropbox syncs your team's work across all your devices -- working on the go has never been more seamless or easy."
-"Powerful management tools make it easy to manage team members and keep track of account usage."
-"Forget mailing attachments back and forth -- share, collaborate, and stay in sync with your team."
-If you are buying android phones especially HTC they usually come with free 20GB Dropbox, it's really useful.
-Dropbox has over 100 Million users so you know they are reliable and well used.
-They have been integrated with Facebook so it's easy to put your facebook images into your Dropbox
I smashed my Laptop screen today tomorrow my assignments are due, thanks to dropbox I will manage to hand it in, the assignments are worth 50% of my module meaning I could have failed University if I failed to get them in.
I conclude by saying "Thank you so much Dropbox...I would be in serious trouble without you." though I may be sounding subjective as my personal experience has put a positive view of dropbox, I must therefore say I always had a positive view of dropbox, this has just put strong evidence there.. it is somewhat of a free gift, they are reliable, friendly and fantastic.
As an owner of a computer business I know the importance of data. Storing documents online or in the "Cloud" is vastly gaining its supporters.
For the past two years I've been using Dropbox to store various documents.
We currently have an iPad with software that integrates with Dropbox which allows us to fill out forms then synchronize them to our online storage.
The service offered by Dropbox is fantastic; the 2GB offered free is more than enough for us currently. If in the future I require more I would not hesitate to use one of Dropbox's paid storage options.
Documents can be accessed using either the website or software which is available for many devices and operating systems.
The desktop software for OSX seamlessly integrates it's self allowing you to simply drag it to the Dropbox folder where is it instantly uploaded.
For the iPhone and iPad a free app is available that allows you to upload and download your data using a very polished and smart interface.
If you do accidently delete a file you can easily retrieve it however I'm not sure if there is a time or size limit to this ability.
Unfortunately the price per GB for cloud storage is still much higher than more traditional methods of backing up such as an external hard drive. Those who wish to upload vast media libraries will be out of luck but for many the free 2GB will be plenty for many who wish to back up their important documents and photos.
It's easy and free to join so there is no excuse not to give it a try! It truly is a great free service that doesn't bombard you with advertisements.
I often find myself in the position of needing to share recordings that I have made online for choirs to use as a resource. I also like to share my photos with my family and the best way of doing that with large mp3s and photo files is to use Dropbox.
It takes literally one minute to make an account, log in and upload a file. Once the file is uploaded you can then create a public link which you can then share with people that you want to use the files. The link isnt searchable and you must have the exact link to access the information, making it perfect for sharing with only those who will do good with it.
The site is free to use up to a point, if you find yourself using too much of the data allowance you can upgrade it and buy more. If you recommend friends who then sign up for an account through your recommendation link, you get given more data for free.
Its a great place to also store files if you have run out of room on your hard drive and dont fancy buying an external hard drive.
It works really well, the site is simple to use, everything is clearly labelled, and theres not a lot of writing on the site so you can upload really quickly.
I will continue to use this site for as long as it is free, although I dont think I would pay for it as I have another website I could use. Its safe, easy to use and most importantly you dont need an account to view the persons files who have sent you a link.
I've mostly been using this at work for transferring files to our iPad 2, as it's rather painful transferring anything to this particular device that isn't music or video.
Dropbox is an online storage solution, you upload files to your allocated secure space in the 'cloud' (there's that word again) and you can either keep them there, share the files with anyone else or just use them to move large files from one place to another.
You can get a whole 2GB with the free version, all you need to do is install Dropbox, create an account and you're away. Options are also available for 50GB and 100GB for $10 and $20 per month respectively.
If you're on a desktop Mac/PC or a laptop, Dropbox will, once installed, run in the background or in your system tray. Be warned that there's no download/upload progress bar and files must be 'synchronised' before they become available. This means that you have to allow for some time for files to become available which will vary depending on your upload speed. The little Dropbox icon in the system tray does have a little spinning blue icon that lets you know when it is still synchronising, so you do get a small visual cue.
I've found Dropbox very useful for sharing files and for transferring onto the very restrictive iPad 2.
I also have a lot of respect for the creators after reading about how they fought to keep Dropbox a simple online storage solution rather than having Facebook integration and all the other nonsense that nobody ever uses.
For years we had to rely on those 3 and a half inch floppy's to keep or files safe. There was once a time where you had to carry around large amounts of them and wait for ages to be able to transfer files easily. Then memory sticks were released and not long after removable hard-drives came along. If you're like me then everyday you'll have to transfer files from once place to another and pray to god you don't break your storage device. After having people knock over hard-drives, snapping memory sticks and dealing with countless corruption issues I decided to look for a solution. And low and behold "Dropbox" came along!
And with it came the ability to be able to have access to my files on any computer I log on to. So what is drop box? Drop box is simply an online file storage system where you transfer and receive large or small files via the internet. With a free account you get given 2.5Gb of storage and for every friend you invite you gain another 500mb. For an extra $99.00 a year you can have 50GB of storage. And for even more money you can have more and more storage space online.
You simply install the software onto your computer and drag your files into the folder. You then have the option of installing the software on another computer or getting access to your files via your account on their website. I really can't recommend this software more. I love being able to drag all my work files into the folder and before i've got home their already on my home pc....brilliant. It also gives you the ability to be able to share folders with other people so different people can add/remove files; the perfect tool for people working on a project together. I'm currently working on an animation with 3 people that live all around the UK and one person lives in Sweden.
Without this software we wouldn't have been able to work on the project together.
I originally paid the monthly fee, but found that I wasn't using it enough to justify paying for it. I've had the free account for a year and it does the job. The only downside about this programme is that if you have a slow internet connection it can take a long time for you to transfer large files. I also wonder how safe your files are and who may have access to them, aside from my paranoia YOU MUST GET AN ACCOUNT!
We live in the digital age where practically all of our media is stored digitally. I would imagine that most of us don't backup the files that are most important to us. Dropbox is a great tool for backing up files and making files available to you across multiple formats.
~How It Works~
First of you have to download Dropbox which can be done by visiting their website http://www.dropbox.com. You then have to register an account. This process of downloading and installing Dropbox and registering is all pretty straight forward and takes about 10 minutes.
Once you have Dropbox installed and an account you can start to upload files to your Dropbox. You can simply drag and drop or copy and paste the files from your computer or mobile phone to the Dropbox folder. You can also upload files using the Dropbox website which is very easy too. If you have ever uploaded a picture to Facebook, you are move that capable of uploading a file to your Dropbox.
Dropbox is completely secure. You need a username and password to log in and you decide who you share your files with. You can keep them all private or you can share certain folders with family and friends. My parents aren't on Facebook and I find this is a great way of sharing holiday snaps with people without having to email them.
You might say, why not carry a USB pen drive around with you, it's small and light weight. With Dropbox you don't have to worry about losing your USB pen drive and even if you lost your mobile phone or laptop your files would still be accessible over the web. It's a pretty say bet that the internet isn't going anywhere!
~What Does it Cost~
You get 2GB of space for free. Do give you an idea this is probably around 400 - 500 MP3's. You can also choose to upgrade to a larger storage capacity and the rates are pretty reasonable. I suppose it depends on the price you put on having your data backed up and available to you while you are on the move. 50GB costs $99 per year and 100GB costs $199 per year. If you refer a friend you normally get a little extra space too for free, around 200MB.
I have Dropbox installed on my Laptop at work, laptop at home and my mobile phone. This is a great tool which offers you great flexibility. Whenever I go on holiday I make sure I have important docs saved to my Dropbox so I can access them in emergency. All I need is a phone signal or an internet cafe.
It's free so why not give it a try.
== What you get ==
* 2GB of Free online storage space (upgradable to 100GB for a fee)
* A secure place to keep your files.
* Cross platform access (you can use your files on Windows, Macs, Linux, IOS devices (i.e iphones), Android phones/tablets and Blackberrys
* Share folders with friends or colleagues
== My Experience ==
Dropbox and cloud storage changed everything for me. With using computers at uni, work and on the go I wanted my most used files wherever I went. Before I discovered Dropbox I kept everything on various flash drives, most of which I misplaced or lost.
Dropbox is reliable, my files are accessed via the internet but they're saved offline once they've downloaded.
A feature I absolutely love is the sharing folders. My friend and I make sections of music and drop what we've done in Dropbox for the other person to pick it up and continue working on it. It has really helped increase our productivity.
Another feature that I think is great is the ability to restore deleted files or to revert back to previous versions of files.
Since using Dropbox and quickly falling in love with it I showed my friends how good it is and invited them to use it and so received bonus space to store more files.
I genuinely cannot imagine using my computers without this, I hope it always remains free to use.
Anyone who hasn't got the message about the backing up of important computer files can't have been being paying attention. Either that or they're yet to suffer a catastrophic loss, either of items they've invested a lot of their time or money in. Give it time, it'll happen.
There are many ways of backing up these files, and many people prefer to have some kind of stand-by drive or USB stick. These however do generally depend on your remembering to use them although some good back-up software often comes with bits of kit like this.
An alternative is to use an on-line means, fast becoming known as a 'cloud solution' as your backed-up files are kept 'somewhere out there' as you flail an arm round generally skywards.
Any amateur like me would do well to search out 'free on-line back-up'
I've tried a few before, but many, promising as much as 50 gigabytes of free storage as long as you don't mind adverts were just what they said they were; somewhere to put copies of precious files, like a hidden USB drive where you have to specify what needs copying, and more crucially, remember to do it!
I was introduced to Dropbox by my friend, 'mattygoves10' via her Facebook page.
Dropbox only offers 2 free gigabytes of storage, after which you have to start paying.
Or do you? Well, yes and no.
Yes, you only get 2 gigabytes initially, but you get an extra 0.25 gigabytes for being signed up via a referral, and subsequently for every friend that you successfully refer to Dropbox up to a maximum of 8 gigabytes.
Almost like a remote file server on your own LAN, it enables your home PCs to share a common repository of files, for example all of my opinions in .doc format. This last sentence was written on my laptop, when the rest is most likely going to be finished on my desktop. All I had to do was remember to save it and let Dropbox do the rest.
Having had a few successful referrals, I've now got 3.0 gigabytes, which, if you're storing your mp3 files or photos still won't cover much these days, especially as cameras sprout more mega-pixels almost by the day.
HOW EASY IS ACCESS?
Having signed up, you can put any kind of file into your new Dropbox directory that gets created when you install their utility. There's a 'public' sub-directory which allows you to send links to guests to view a file at the web-site too. This works seamlessly with Windows, the only visible difference being that files deposited in C:\DROPBOX\ get a tick on them within seconds to confirm that they are 'synced' with your account on the www.dropbox.com website. Thus, for example, any document you write and save will become not only backed up remotely as long as your internet connection is running, but it will also be fed downwards to any other of your PCs running the Dropbox facility. Therefore, it's a little like having a remote server on your home network. Any PCs not running at the time will be updated as soon as they are.
WHAT TO BACK UP?
In my case, I've made some of what I think are good decisions as to what's a sensible thing to store, given the 'ceiling' placed upon this exercise by the simple fact that I'll be buggered if I'll pay for it!
For example, a scan of my passport and driving licence was one of the first candidates, in case of loss whilst abroad. You can then access the Dropbox web-site from any PC with internet access and download any file in your directory structure. In the case of a lost passport, you could go to an internet café and get a printout, which, I'm told speeds up the issue of an emergency replacement quite considerably. Accessing the web-site remotely is of course subject to ID and password check.
I also direct the back-up file of my banking software to the Dropbox directory, not because I need to see it whilst abroad, but for the extra security that having someone else keep a copy gives you.
Your e-mail address book is another likely candidate, and maybe your browser 'favourites' list. There is another way, if using Firefox, to achieve the latter though without using up your precious space at Dropbox.
As a rule, if it's a file that's going to be difficult or laborious to re-create, then backing it up to Dropbox makes a load of sense. Likewise, anything you've spent money on like software downloads (and a text file of their password information) is well-worth the effort of placing it there.
HOW I'VE DONE IT
I've shifted the entire contents of what I'd class my 'Documents', i.e. the output from Microsoft Office into Dropbox.
To make the operation really slick, I've entered the Options menu on Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint and told it to look for, and to save files in the C:\DROPBOX\ directory, not the more common default of 'My Documents'.
I figure it would take a lot of typical documents to stretch the basic free 2 gigabyte allowance. It's only when you start to give thought to mp3 files and jpegs that you realise just how big these files have become. Of course you could actually take out a proper subscription.
This really applies more to spreadsheets and databases, but bear in mind that back-up is instant after you close a file. If you really want 'incremental' back-ups to retain a history of older versions too, you need to change the file name of the altered copy using 'Save As' rather than just 'Save' in such as MS Excel.
You can, by visitng the web-site, recover over-written files, but it's best to use a bit of discipline to avoid this in the first place.
This would not be a suitable means of allowing multiple users to access a database. It only allows for the same files to be used in different locations, not simultaneously.
If you're using a mixture of operating systems, like I am, with Windows XP on my desktop and Vista in my netbook, then such as spreadsheets with links to other spreadsheets may not work on one machine or the other. For example, when I first decided to put my main documents and spreadsheets into the C:\DROPBOX directory, it took me a while to realise that whilst this was fine for the desktop PC running XP, the links didn't work on the Vista machine as the directory structure had the addition of my name in front of 'Dropbox'. E.g. C:\[yourname]\DROPBOX\, thus I just have to remember not to do any work on spreadsheets once they've arrived at the netbook end (not normally a problem).
It wouldn't take too long to create the extra layer to the structure of my main PC to give me the same directory structure as the netbook, but then I'd have to rework all those links within the spreadsheets all over again.
Dropbox offer the home user two paid-for upgrades.
Pro50 giving 50 gigabytes of storage costs $9.99 per month or $99 a year
Curiously, no-one seems to have heard about bulk discounts at Dropbox as to rent 100 gigagbytes (Pro100) costs pro-rata very slightly more at $19.99 per month or $199 a year.
OK, there's only a cent in it, but you'd have expected the differential to have been in the other direction.
WHO CAN USE IT?
Just about everybody it seems. Not only does it cover Windows, Mac, and Linux users, but there's also a clutch of Mobile 'Apps' covering Apple, Android and Blackberry operating systems
On-line storage that saves you from forgetting to do your back-ups.
Gives a consistency to what's on all of your PCs
Free access limited to 2.25 gigabytes minimum, with up to 8.0 available to those with lots of friends! This will still mean being selective with what you back up.
Back up is instant and 'hands-free' if you re-direct your Office suite to save in the Dropbox directory.
Problem #1: Keeping your data safe, secure and backed up on your home computer can be a tricky business. Backing up on external hard drives stored in an undisclosed location miles away from your computer (perhaps in the event of an accidental/intentional house fire) is one solution. However, if you are constantly updating files then it's a horribly dull and time consuming process to keep backed up files up-to-date. Not to mention that keeping an historical log of your important files (in case you inadvertently make catastrophic changes to them and desperately need to return to a previous version) requires multiple copies with different names which honestly is just an inefficient use of time and disk space.
Problem #2: Transferring files to fellow trusted friends/colleagues can sometimes be a kafuffle as you may have to use FTP, memory sticks, email or even carrier pigeon which requires time, effort and a risk of interception, especially if you're from the world of espionage handling confidential secrets regarding national security.
Well, a simple and cheap solution for both of these irksome problems comes in the form of dropbox.com.
The homepage of dropbox.com only contains the bare necessities and is pleasantly uncomplicated. When you first arrive you can view a short 2 minute video to explain everything from the point of view of our animated hero Josh who is preparing for a big trip to Africa and needs to consolidate all his travel documents that are dotted about on his laptop, desktop and even his phone - dropbox.com swoops in to save the day. Unfortunately, dropbox.com is an American firm and as a result the video comes across as a little patronising, but on the other hand it is impossible not to understand it.
So, if you wish to learn about Dropbox in more detail before making a purchasing decision the only way is to use the small site map at the bottom of the homepage from which you have the option of seeing a static breakdown of the "features" which further explains file sharing and syncing with funky stick men diagrams as well as a much more in depth analysis of how the backups works, security measures, web access and phone apps. Similarly, there is a further "tour" resource which basically just reiterates the features section using a series of amusing stick figure drawings to graphically get the point across.
There is also a support section in this site map which offers the top 10 frequently asked questions which would hopefully solve any basic problems, forums so you can enter any questions / issues here and receive a response from either the Dropbox team or Dropbox users, a votebox where you can make suggestions for new ideas to improve Dropbox and here you also get the chance to contact the Dropbox team directly, but alas only through an email ticket - you cannot speak directly to them which may not be ideal for certain problems as sometimes you just want to speak to a living, breathing human being.
==How it works==
The concept is pretty simple. You set up your web account for your specified amount of memory (2GB, 50GB or 100GB) and download and install the "My Dropbox" folder for the Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems linking that folder to your newly created account. From here any files that are "dropped" in your My Dropbox folder will be copied to the dropbox.com servers and available in your web account. Any subsequent desktops, laptops or phones that also have the Dropbox folder installed on their computer (linked to the same web account) will find these files synchronised and saved to their hard drives. Alternatively, if no Dropbox folder is installed these files can be accessed online through the web account. You can also share just specific files with other Dropbox users to keep the rest of your data secure.
All new subfolders created in your My Dropbox folder will be private by default but if you want a specific different Dropbox user to have access to a specific folder you can either right click on that folder and under the Dropbox settings click "Share This Folder" or highlight the folder in the web interface and select the same thing under the menu options there. This will email an invite to an address you enter with an optional message which when clicked on will cause that folder to appear automatically in their Dropbox folder.
If you wish to share with a non-Dropbox user there is a special "Public" folder which is automatically created when you run your initial installation. The danger with this folder is absolutely anyone can access it with a link, which even if you don't supply could potentially be guessed so anything you put in here must be of little security risk to you. To share these files simply right click or use the web interface and click "Copy Public Link" which will provide you with a web link that you can send to anyone who can paste and enter it into a web browser thus opening a popup window and allowing a download of that file.
A free app for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or Android can be downloaded that allows you to view or download the synchronised files, add photos or videos from your phone straight to Dropbox, share links to any file in your Dropbox, and export any file to another application. Once again, any changes, additions or deletions using this app will by synchronised across the whole account network so you can access your files on the go for extra convenience.
Any changes, be it updates, additions or deletions to any of these files will by synchronised across all linked computers as well as in the web account so at any given time files will be up-to-date everywhere. If you made an incorrect change to any of your files and accidentally hit save then you can view all the previous saved versions of your file within the last 30 days and restore the one you want, or if your hyperactive cat thought it would be funny to highlight everything with its left paw and delete everything with its right then your files can be restored with a few simple clicks of a button, as long as you do it within 30 days. Buffoonery will soon become a thing of the past.
As far as I can tell, Dropbox works in real-time by matching all linked Dropbox folders to the files saved on their server, and files are only removed if a Homo sapien (or feline) hits the delete button on their computer or deletes a file from the web interface, so even if your hard drive is wiped by an electromagnetic pulse or your computer spontaneously combusts your files will be safe and retrievable on the web interface. Also, if you decide your Dropbox relationship just isn't working anymore and you terminate your account all that will happen is that you will no longer be able to access your account online and Dropbox will purge their server of your data, probably after some legally stipulated time. All data saved in the Dropbox folder on your hard drive(s) will remain unaffected, but will simply no longer synchronise with other Dropbox folders.
You may also be worried about the security of your data, but dropbox.com guarantees that no employee ever has access to your data saved on their server, all data transfers from you to their server occurs over a secure SSL encrypted channel and is further encrypted on the server using the AES-256 encryption algorithm and they have ample protection against evil hackers. Your web account is secured by a username and password (so if you hand those out willy-nilly you only have yourself to blame), privately shared folders that require you to send a confirmed invite to view and public folders that require a link and are not searchable.
==Buying and Installation==
So if you make the decision to go ahead with Dropbox then on the website you can find a download link on the homepage which will automatically recognise your operating system. This will allow you to download and run the Dropbox.exe file. The instructions are very easy to follow and along the way you will set up your account details (email, username and password) and then make a decision as to whether you want to select a free 2GB account, a 50GB account for $9.99 a month (£6.30) or a 100GB account for $19.99 a month (£12.60). They also offer discounts if you commit to a year for the 50GB or the 100GB accounts. So if you select one of the paying accounts then you also enter your payment details here as well which can either be through PayPal or directly through a credit/debit card. If you want to change the way you pay you can access your Account details on the web interface and update your billing information here.
Once the installation is finished you will find a newly created "My Dropbox" folder in the place you selected (typically just in your User folder which has the public folders created already. Then to get started you simply add whatever files you want to back up / share in this folder and after some time spent synchronising (which is very quick for small files, but can take quite a while if you upload a large amount of data all in one go) these files appear on your web interface and are instantly backed up.
Everything I've experienced with dropbox.com so far has been very favourable indeed. The installation and usage of this software is so easy and I never have to worry about backing up as it's just done instantly as soon as a file resides in the My Dropbox folder. I originally started using this for work as the cheapskates we are we didn't want to professionally set up a network system to share files thus we used this system to create our own network. It works brilliantly and quickly to synchronise the files, the only annoying this is if lots of people are working at the same time you get loads of pop up messages informing you of changes. Also, if people unbeknownst to each other are working on the same files you can get a load of new "conflicted" files created each with their own set of changes so it is not the perfect solution as a network as there doesn't seem to be a way to lock the files from one location to another.
I have on occasion messed up some vital work documents and in my haste to undo the silly changes I may have accidentally hit Ctrl+S instead of Ctrl+Z...oops. Why do S and Z have to be so close to each other? But, it is so good being able to just pop on the web interface, find the file you corrupted by your idiocy, locate the last previous version of it, click restore and hey presto, it is back. I now no longer fear destroying my company by deleting crucial data as it just as simple to restore deleted files in much the same way.
I would also comment that sometimes if I have an explorer window open for too long with no activity connected to My Dropbox it can slow down significantly when you try to use it again and you end up waiting for folders to open with an annoying blue circle twizzling round indicating time supposedly passing. Opening a new window allows manipulation of the files to occur back at normal speeds so I'm not really sure what causes this slowdown, but it's just a little niggle really.
Anyway, liking how Dropbox worked I decided to use it for my home computer as well. By sending myself an invite from my work account to join up I was able to get both extra memory for my work's account (500MB) and my own account (250MB) as part of an incentive they offer - that's morally okay isn't it? I mostly just keep all my music and all my important documents backed up on my own personal account as I'd hate to lose it all if my computer suffers an untimely and tragic death.
I also find the web interface is also incredibly intuitive to use, exploring your files is very similar to windows explorer and you can do all the normal stuff to your folder structure like delete, rename, add folders, copy and move. You can also keep track of all the changes to any files in an Events log, which is especially good if you need to blame a fellow colleague for something going wrong. You also have access to your account information if you want to upgrade your account or change your payment plan / details and keep track of all the payment transactions that have occurred.
So in conclusion....
I think dropbox.com is an absolutely superb website that makes sharing and backing up your files a seriously simple procedure at an extremely reasonable rate. It's so much easier than faffing around with external drives, FTP, email or USB sticks and a frankly is a whole lot safer too, plus through a really simple, but well designed website it is almost foolproof. I say almost, there's always an exception to the rule. I've never needed help as of yet so cannot comment too much on the support offered, but the online guides are very helpful and a quick scroll through the forums look like you can get a lot of useful help from there, so the only downside I can see is that you cannot talk directly to a human. Overall, I feel very confident in the security and integrity of my data - a thoroughly recommended product.
Dropbox is a free file hosting/sharing software which is extremely easy to install and use. All you have to do is go to their site and download the software which takes about five minutes. Once you have done so and registered an account (valid email address), you can use it straight away!
What it does is place a folder on your computer system wherever you designate it to be and all the files you put within it will be uploaded to the internet. Dropbox also allows you to share folders with other people around the world. Once they have been invited to be part of the folder, any item dropped into it will be shared between all participants, making file sharing extremely easy.
What's more, files you place and upload onto Dropbox will be available worldwide from any computer so saves you the hassle of carrying around a USB pen or some other device that you could lose on such journey.
I have found it most useful to share pictures with friends and family as sending large amounts over the internet (as anyone will know) is not a pleasant task. Attachments are almost never big enough. Upon joining, you receive 2GB of free space, with every friend you invite giving you another 250MB, up to a maximum of 8GB, so you can potentially have a lot of stuff on here!
With the use of file-sharing, sometimes there is a problem of putting a copy of the file into Dropbox, which means you are essentially using up your computer space. If you are placing a full 8GB of copied data into dropbox to share, you are eating at your computer space a lot. Of course, you can just delete it afterwards, but this duplication and usage of space does eat at your performance (if you have a shoddy laptop like mine)!
As I said, this software is free, but if you want more space, you can pay for it.
For 50GB-$9.99 / month or $99.00 / year
For 100GB $19.99 / month or $199.00 / year
If you need to backup files or share it with others, Dropbox will be just the thing for you. It is extremely easy to get started and manage, and it does not slow down your system. Despite the potential problems, it is still a great piece of free software that will be useful to many!
Dropbox is something I first discovered listed on Apple's appstore but passed over it and never gave it a second thought. I was then browsing Dooyoo when I found a review of it; I enjoyed the review, rated it and then moved on, again not thinking much of it. Only recently after temporarily misplacing my usb pen drive (lemme know if you find it!) did I give it a second (or third) look.
Essentially, you register with dropbox and download a dropbox to your computer; fancy name aside this is just like any other folder except it and its contents are accessible from pretty much anything with an internet connection and the software needed to use those files. A free account gives users 2gb of storage space with a 300mb cap on each file and users have the choice to pay a little bit for some more room.
How does it work then, and more importantly, how does this make life easy for me? Well, files are split up into chunks with unique ids. When you alter a file in your drop box, everything that remains the same still has the same chunk with the same id and doesn't need to be uploaded. This means that only the changes need to be uploaded. If you've altered a few words on a 10mb document then, only a few kb need be uploaded thus saving you a lot of time!
Dropbox allows users to access and alter files from any computer or phone with dropbox access and automatically provide an up to date version when they move to another device. I particularly enjoy using the iPod touch app; the subject I study requires a lot of reading; I simply put the pdf files I need in my dropbox and can access them on my iPod when in lectures or when I don't have my computer turned on.
One massive benefit of dropbox is that it keeps track of deleted items and for 30 days users have the option to restore a deleted file or to revert to a previous version of that file. In the past I've lost projects of hundreds of thousands of words because I hadn't backed them up and subsequently lost them; now with dropbox there is no need for worrying because you can simply store these important documents in your dropbox and not worry about losing them.
Finally, dropbox lets you share your box with other users. Having recently travelled I have thousands and thousands of pictures, but emailing these or uploading these to an image hosting website would be too time consuming. With dropbox I am able to share my box with somebody and let them download and view the pictures by themselves in their own time.
In conclusion, this program has been something of a godsend to me. I have yet to encounter any problems with it and it is working fantastically, saving me unnecessary stress. Much recommended
Sharing data with my colleagues used to be a complete nightmare. I put together a series of magazines and the days and weeks running up to publication can be manic. I primarily work alongside a magazine designer (who works on a Mac) and a sales team who work on PCs. As well as our work computers, we all have machines that we work on at home so collecting magazine copy used to be a complete nightmare. We used to rely on e-mailing information and transferring documents on a USB stick... Then we were introduced to Dropbox... and life changed forever...
Anybody can create a Dropbox account by going to www.dropbox.co.uk and it's free of charge up to 2GB. People can then be invited to join your Dropbox network (via e-mail) and information then can be shared freely, easily and securely.
It is very easy to set up a Dropbox account and to use it on a number of computers (providing each computer has a separate e-mail address). Once you have signed up your Dropbox will be saved within the 'my documents' folder.
Everybody within your Dropbox network has the ability to add and delete files, but everything is automatically backed up on a web server.
The free account has a 2GB allowance and you can pay $99 a year for 50GB worth of storage - I think this is a great deal.
The Dropbox system is really easy to use and it makes correlating information a lot easier. It prevents information from being lost, it means that you don't have to use USB sticks to transfer information and stops e-mail accounts being clogged up with big files.
If you work within a group of people and you need to share information then I strongly recommend Dropbox. It's a great invention!
The vast majority of people these days have access to both a computer and the internet. Having the one is fine. But what if you go on holiday, or if you visit a friend's house. Perhaps even get yourself a notebook or netbook to use in the coffee shop. How do you get that essay you were working on, onto another machine efficiently? In the most likely of cases, people will stick them on their pen drive or even email it to themselves. What if you forgot to transfer it, or forgot the stick itself? You'd be in a bit of a mess. This is where the application that I now use frequently comes into play.
Dropbox is a magical box of wonders. Whatever goes in can come out wherever you are. Here's a scenario. I'm in the process of writing a Dooyoo review on my PC. I'm half way through and decide to go out. You save the review, exit the program and shut down the machine. You come back in and would much rather relax on the sofa and finish off the review on your notebook. Do you really want to boot up the pc, transfer your review onto a flash drive then proceed with the review? In most cases I'd just leave the review and finish it another time. However, with the magical box known as dropbox you can load up the notebook and proceed just as before. No transferring files, no manual downloading and no hassle.
--How does it work?--
Once you install dropbox you will be given your own magical box. Anything that is put into this folder is automatically synced into the cloud. In other words, stored on a server somewhere on the internet. Any changes to the files are automatically detected and re-synced. By installing dropbox on another machine and logging into your account, all your files are synced with the machine and accessible within your dropbox. Any changes and additions to the box are also synced into the cloud yet again. Since the files are stored on the computer when synced, any synced files can still be accessed when off-line.
The installation of dropbox is really straightforward. It is compatible with Windows, Linux and Macs so you are not even bounded by the single operating system. Creating an account only requires and email address and a password. Email confirmation is not required. The dropbox itself is a folder and you can decide where it goes on your computer. A shortcut on the desktop is really helpful for this if you have multiple hard disks. You are prompted with 3 storages you can select. The most basic storage is 2Gb which is FREE. I find this to be a very generous size.
Premium storage sizes:
50 GB - £5.60 a month
100 GB - £12.50 a month
I'm not completely sure what will happen if you cancel the size, but you may be given such information when you sign up for it. The account can be upgraded at any time.
And extra 250MB of storage can be earned if you complete a list of tasks. Such as taking their tour of dropbox and inviting a friend to join. For referring people, you can earn up to 3GB extra space.
Once it has been installed, just think of the box as a folder that you drag whatever files you want to share into. Inside the folder is a couple of text documents which can give you some information on using the software if you are having trouble.
When a file has been synced there will be a green tick on the thumbnail of that file. Files that are currently syncing have a blue icon with 2 arrows.
Files can also be shared with anyone else. By placing them in the 'Public' folder. You can obtain the download url you can allow friends to easily download the files without having to send them over an instant messenger program or via email attachment. You can also have a shared folder where others files are automatically synced to.
File history is stored such that you can download previous versions of that file in the case that you made a mistake and saved it. It keeps back ups of deleted files.
Any kind of file can be stored, pictures, text documents, music etc.
Dropbox can even be installed on the iphone which is a free application.
Files can be downloaded and uploaded by logging into the dropbox website in a browser window.
Files of any size can be synced. However, a maximum of 300Mb can only be downloaded / uploaded from a web browser per file.
I haven't used dropbox for very long and I am regretting that I did not find it sooner! I was at school, working on a project when I forgot that I hadn't copied the latest draft onto my pen drive. I tried going onto the dropbox website which to my amazement wasn't blocked by the filter. I proceeded to find my file and download it with no problem! I then uploaded it again once I had finished since dropbox was not installed on the computer already. Managing work between my notebook and pc has been a breeze. I've never had to use pen drives at home at all.
The interface is very easy to navigate when installing and dropbox runs in the background. You will not even notice it is still there since all you do is use that one folder to drop your files into, or you can put the file into the box and edit it within the box. This allows the file to be automatically synced each time a save has been made. The program in general gives you peace of mind that even if your hard disk failed, your files would still be in the cloud ready to be synced to whatever computer you use dropbox on.
I can't say much about using multiple dropboxes for different people since I haven't had to. I've heard it is possible with a few tweaks to the program. Although the files are somewhat encrypted during transmission of the file, they are definitely not of the highest security. I would not recommend using it for very sensitive data or sensitive photos just in case. In any case, the program is extremely easy to use, has a high capacity for free users with the prospect of having up to 5GB and is generally very useful.
--- What Is It? ---
Dropbox is available from www.getdropbox.com and is a simple way to share documents between friends/families/computers. It works by creating a folder on your computer which you simply drag files in to for them to be uploaded to your account. Any connected Dropbox computer will then download the file/s you have just added. This simple drag and drop approach makes it incredibly easy to use.
--- Why Do I Need It? ---
MSN is slow transferring files, e-mail has size limits and sites like yousendit are also often slow/have limits. Dropbox gives you 2gb of space FREE.
So you can share files, anything else? well the software is useful for myself as a photographer in many ways. Firstly I photograph my girlfriends art dolls which then get edited and sent accross to her, she has her own special folder which enables her only to see the files in her folder (not in the rest of the Dropbox), I simply drop them on there and walk away. When it's done it'll update on her Dropbox next time she's online and she'll get a message to say the new files have been received.
Secondly i'm lazy at times. Moving files to USB drives then moving upstairs and transferring again can take time so I simply drop it in the Dropbox and walk upstairs. For small files they're often there or downloading by the time i'm in front of the other computer.
Basically it sets up a file sharing network that is constantly monitoring for new files such as PDF invoices from my printer (who now also has Dropbox).
--- How Much Does It Cost? ---
2GB of space for FREE!
Pro 50 - $9.99 per month, 50GB of space (good for small businesses)
Pro 100 - $19.99 per month, 100GB of space (good for bigger businesses)
You can also earn extra space by referring friends, 250MB per person (up to 3GB) if this is useful as a review please consider signing up via my link:- https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTIzODE4Nzc5
--- Summary ---
Dropbox is an easy way to share information on a big scale with a simple drag and drop interface and no need for big complicated software to be involved, just a simple smart folder that monitors for new files and provides an easy way to share files.
For a FREE 2GB what's to loose?
Try it now!
Like lots of people I work on several different computers each week, I have my work PC, my home Pc, and my laptop when I'm mobile. Across these machines I like to be able to access a core set of documents and files that allow me to work from where ever I am at any given time. Most people (myself included until recently) use USB memory sticks to move save these files and folders on in order to get them from one machine to the other.
The problem with USB memory sticks is that they have several inherent flaws: They break, fail, get lost, get forgotten, and unless secured properly they and the data they contain are easily stolen.
Dropbox fixes all of these issues for me as it works securely over the internet to synchronise a selected folder and all the files within with all machines it is installed on, along with this it also saves a copy on a web server which does automatic versioning (keeps record of changes made to a file and allows recovery to any point in time) and recovery of deleted files.
You start by navigating to www.getdropbox.com and downloading the client for your operating system. Dropbox works with MacOS, Windows and Linux and allows for files to be synched between different operating systems seamlessly. Installing the agent on windows and linux (ubuntu) is an easy affair (I assume mac is as simple but don't have one to try) and it is followed by creating an account for use. This account needs to be used on all subsequent machines so as to sync the same data.
Once installed I creates a folder called dropbox in the My Documents folder but this can be easily moved to another location. On my windows PC's I have placed the folder in the C drive and then redirected the my documents folder to the same location so as to make saving documents there easy.
The agent runs in the task tray and allows you to see what your dropbox is doing, a tick means its fully synchronised, a blue circle with arrows means its synchronising. Right clicking on the icon shows you how much space you are using, allows you to open the dropbox, or visit the web interface for your dropbox account.
The initial folder created by dropbox contains a folder for pictures, a public folder where you can add a file and then provide others with a web link to download with out password. Right clicking on any folder in your dropbox allows you to call up the previous version of that file by taking you to the web interface.
The web interface gives you access to all the files you have synchronised across your computers, it also allows you to create folders and share them with other dropbox users allowing you to collaborate on documents, as well as share files with them without leaving a computer on all the time. You can see all files that have been deleted/changed and recover them if needed, and they will automatically restore to each computer. It also has a really useful tool that shows history of all the files in your dropbox so you can track back on any changes that have been made.
Dropbox comes in 2 flavours free, and paid for. The free account allows you access to 2gb of storage and but this can be extended to 5gb by referring friends to the system. The paid for account is for 50gb of storage and costs $99 per year which I feel is good value.
The best thing with dropbox is that it works exactly as it says it does, it has a forum based community where suggestions are listened to, It's built on solid foundation in the form of Amazons S2 platform (google if you want to know more) so you know the backend is going to be stable.
Compared to the faults of a memory stick: Its unbreakable, it anywhere there is a connection to the web, it won't get lost, it can't be forgotten (except the password), its automatically secured, theft of data is minimised by good pc security (passwords and encryption).
I conclusion I would say that the dropbox product is an indispensible part of my computing needs now and would suggest that everyone signs up to at least the free version to see what its all about, even if its only just to use it to back up a few files to the web for safe keeping. My usb Memory sticks haven't left the house in the last 6 months and I can't see them doing so anytime soon.