Dropbox – Simple, Straightforward Access to Your Files Anywhere

DropBox synchronizes files across your internet connected devices.  Windows, Mac, Linux doesn’t matter.  iPhone,  Android, iPad doesn’t matter.  Stolen computer? No worries with Dropbox.

Have you ever arrived at your customer’s site,  fired up your laptop and  realized that you left the presentation on your desktop computer  back at the office?   If you are using DropBox, you will always have access to that Powerpoint masterpiece that you spent all those hours creating.

Dropbox Logo

Dropbox is a simple, effective file-synchronization tool that does what it is designed to do flawlessly.  Many users set up an account simply as a backup tool.  Works well in that mode, but there is so much more that you can use it for.  You can share a file with someone else with only a few clicks.  You are provided with 30 days of “undo”  history, so that you can recover that file that you deleted two weeks ago by mistake.

Features that you will appreciate include:

File Sync  –  Allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.

  • 2GB of online storage for free, with up to 100GB available to paying customers.
  • Sync files of any size or type.
  • Sync Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
  • Automatically syncs when new files or changes are detected.
  • Work on files in your Dropbox even if you’re offline. Your changes sync once your computer has an Internet connection again.
  • Dropbox transfers will correctly resume where they left off if the connection drops.
  • Efficient sync – only the pieces of a file that changed (not the whole file) are synced. This saves you time.
  • Doesn’t hog your Internet connection. You can manually set bandwidth limits.

File Sharing  –  Sharing files is simple and can be done with only a few clicks.

  • Shared folders allow several people to collaborate on a set of files.
  • You can see other people’s changes instantly.
  • A “Public” folder that lets you link directly to files in your Dropbox.
  • Control who is able to access shared folders (including ability to kick people out and remove the shared files from their computers).
  • Automatically create shareable online photo galleries from folders of photos in your Dropbox.

Online Backup  –  Backs up your files online without you having to think about it.

  • Automatic backup of your files.
  • Undelete files and folders.
  • Restore previous versions of your files.
  • 30 days of undo history, with unlimited undo available as a paid option.

Web Access  –  A copy of your files are stored on their secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device.

  • Manipulate files as you would on your desktop – add, edit, delete, rename etc.
  • Search your entire Dropbox for files.
  • A “Recent Events” feed that shows you a summary of activity in your Dropbox.
  • Create shared folders and invite people to them.
  • Recover previous versions of any file or undelete deleted files.
  • View photo galleries created automatically from photos in your Dropbox.

Security & Privacy  –  Takes the security and privacy of your files very seriously.

  • Shared folders are viewable only by people you invite.
  • All transmission of file data and metadata occurs over an encrypted channel (SSL).
  • All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password.
  • Dropbox website and client software have been hardened against attacks from hackers.
  • Dropbox employees are not able to view any user’s files.
  • Online access to your files requires your username and password.
  • Public files are only viewable by people who have a link to the file(s). Public folders are not browsable or searchable.

Mobile Device Access  –  The free version of the web tool for iPhoneiPad and Android lets you:

  • Access your Dropbox on the go.
  • View files from within the application.
  • Download files for offline viewing.
  • Take photos and videos and sync them to your Dropbox.
  • Share links to files in your Dropbox.
  • Export your files to other applications.
  • Sync downloaded files so they’re up-to-date.
  • Blackberry support is on the way.

Pricing options:

  • Basic Plan – 2 GB for free just for signing up
  • Pro 50 – $9.99 / month or $99.00 / year
  • Pro 100 – $19.99 / month or $199.00 / year

What I like most about my Dropbox web tool is that it’s simple, and just works.  Set it and forget it, always there when I need it.  Sign up, try it out for free and tell me what you think.

  • Miles,

    Dropbox is great. I’m hooked on it. I look at my files from my iPhone, netbook and desktop. I’ve gone rather “cloud bonkers”. I’m doing my email/calendar etc via Google Apps. So with my files all on Dropbox and everything else on Google Apps I figure it does not matter if one of my computers falls into a lake as long as I don’t.

    Keep the great tools coming my man. Great work.

    Nigel

  • Thanks for the feedback Nigel, always good to hear from you. Hard drive capacity seems like an issue from the “old days” before the cloud. Stop back again, we all learn from your experience and perspective.

  • Shannon

    Binfer is a great option to send large files directly from computer to computer, without uploading to a server. You can send hundreds of files of any size with a simple drag and drop. Binfer will manage the transfers with auto resumes, encryption, notifications etc. Check it out: http://www.binfer.com

  • Great article! Well-written and thought out. 🙂 I’ve heard good things about Dropbox, but I personally prefer FilesDIRECT for my online file transfer and storage needs:

    i. Send files up to 2GB even with free plan
    ii. Works with all file types (video, audio, CAD, whatever)
    iii. 128-bit SSL encryption on all files
    iv. No software to install and works with any OS
    v. 2 GB of storage to start

    Easy to use, 30-day free trial – it’s got my vote! 🙂

  • Tim

    Actually the most straightforward access to your files anywhere has got to be FilesAnywhere! FilesAnywhere has been operating since 1999, they have a Salesforce plugin and some really advanced tracking features for guest file sharing – they have both outbound and inbound file/folder sharing.

    • Tim, Thanks for stopping by. I checked out FilesAnywhere! and looks like a nice service. Salesforce plugin and tracking aside, I am sticking with my preference for Dropbox. Integrations with hundreds of other web tools, speed, multiple platform support for desktop as well as mobile platforms, and a very friendly, well-developed interface have all made it a clear customer favorite.

      That is why Web Tools are of such interest to most of us, there is something for everyone out there. Thanks for sharing another web tool for us to consider.

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