If you’re not already using Dropbox, I have to ask: What are you waiting for?
This popular service lets you easily sync files between computers, share with them others, and create backups. Best of all, it integrates so seamlessly with Windows — and other platforms — that you’re barely even aware that you’re using it. This program is a must-have for anyone who needs to make their files readily available to multiple users or computers.
…is a file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc., that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are accessible through a website and mobile phone applications.
In short, Dropbox is storage space on the cloud – based servers where users can store files and share them with others for free (up to certain storage space limitations).
Once installed, Dropbox appears as an icon in the system tray. It doesn’t have an interface, exactly; it turns up as a folder in My Documents, and it functions just as any other folder would. The magical thing about this folder, however, is that its contents are stored both locally and in the cloud. Any files or folders that you place inside the Dropbox folder can be easily shared: simply right-click, select Dropbox from the context menu, then select Share Link. This will open your default browser and provide you with the opportunity to share the selected file or folder via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter, or to simply copy its Dropbox URL. The folder contents will also be automatically synced, so anyone who has access to a folder will immediately have the most up-to-date files. You can forget about using USB drives or e-mailing documents to yourself; Dropbox lets you keep everything you need in My Documents on multiple computers, or simply log into the Web interface if you’re not on a machine that has Dropbox installed. Dropbox requires users to create an account; the service provides users with 2 GB of space for free, but paid upgrades are available if you need more. A thorough online Help center, as well as brief text instructions within the Dropbox folder, provide plenty of well-written documentation.
If you look around on the web you can discover plenty creative uses for cloud storage like Dropbox:
- Syncing any folder or your entire eBook library,
- maintain constant access to Your Portable Apps
- monitoring your computer (Labnol outlines the process for Windows here)
- hosting a website. (see how to host a simple website on Dropbox using the free service DropPages).
- create a portfolio on Dropbox and listen to music while you are at it.
- Print Files From Anywhere
- Listening to Music (DropTunes turns folders of MP3s into playlists)
- Use Dropbox to Auto Recover From MS Word Crashes (setting auto-save your Word documents to the Dropbox folder and have them synced online)
- Trace a Stolen or Lost Mobile / Laptop (Using the Security tab, My Devices to discover the IP address of somebody using your device after it was lost/stolen).
- gaming to the cloud along with his BitTorrent downloads.
- and a lot more using a IFTTT hacks to extend usage. Checkout IfThisThenThat for dozens of other recipes..
Dropbox is incredibly easy to use and will change the way you store and share files. If we had to guess how many files people were adding to Dropbox on a daily basis we would you guess something lie a million or even five million, but no, Dropbox apparently is even more popular and we are in fact talking about a freaking billion. In a speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CEO Drew Hudson said, in addition to that impressive factlet, that 100 million people are using the cloud storage service across 500 hundred million mobile devices. And by the end of 2013, Dropbox expects to hit 150 million users.
So what are you waiting for, signup and find out for yourself how you can integrate this in your life. For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox on their computer, we’ll give you both 500 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 16 GB)!