I’ve been a happy Dropbox user for years now. The combination of being able to backup all my data and to sync my data between multiple devices is a great benefit for me. Because of the importance of backing up your data, I thought it was time to write a little review.
Like most of you, I own more then 1 computer. I have a MacBook (OSX), a Sony Vaio (Windows), a Samsung Netbook (Ubuntu Linux), an iPhone (iOS) and an iPad (iOS). As you can see, a lot of different devices. Because of all the devices I was looking for a solution to always have the most recent version of my data. I tried a memory stick for a couple of days, but that wasn’t a great solution. I had to keep it with me, it was not secure (what if I lost it?), and compability between the different operating systems was not 100%.
That’s when I found Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud service to sync and back up your data. They offer 2 Gb for free and there are also commercial plans.
You can download and install Dropbox on Windows, Mac and Linux. If you’re a first time user, you’ll have to make a (free) account when installing Dropbox. When you install Dropbox afterwards on another device, you’ll have to fill in your Dropbox account.
During installation, you can specify the folder you want to place the Dropbox folder under. For security reasons, I advise you to keep the default folder (my documents). This means that Dropbox will install the Dropbox folder under the My Documents folder.
Synchronize your data
One of the major benefits of Dropbox is that it is easy to sync your data with different devices. How does this work? Let’s say you create a new document on your computer (in your Dropbox folder). After saving the document, the document is also automaticly uploaded to your Dropbox cloud space on the internet. When you, for example, open that document on another computer, that computer makes connection with your Dropbox cloud space on the internet and downloads new documents and the latest version of changed documents. In that way, you always have the most recent version of your documents!
It’s also possible to work offline. In that case Dropbox will sync it’s data automaticly when you have an internet connection again!
Back up your data
Another great benefit of Dropbox is that you always have a back up of your data online. This is the most secure way of backing up data: even if your house burns down, you always have a recent back up of all your important data!
It’s also important to know that Dropbox saves deleted and previous versions of your files. You can access these files by loggin in to Dropbox.com.
What if you want to share specific files with other people (friends, collegues, clients,…)? In your Dropbox folder there is also a Public folder. Files in this folder can be shared with others.
Just like there is a Public folder, there is also a Photos folder. Copy a folder with pictures in this folder to easely share an album with others!
There is only 1 negative point on the free version of Dropbox, and that is that you only get 2 Gb of online space. Take a look at some competitors, because some of them (like CX.com) offer 10 Gb of free cloud space.
I’ve been using Dropbox for years, and that will not change in the near future. Dropbox has all the features I need to sync, back up and share my files on whatever platform I want. Despite the 2 Gb of free space, Dropbox still my favourite cloud service.