Dropbox.com is an online file storage system that allows you to keep files/folders synchronized in the cloud or across different computers.
It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of cloud computing. Dropbox is one of the tools I use that makes working in the cloud a little easier. The concept is pretty simple: install the Dropbox software on any computer or smart phone you own, and the files/folders will be synchronized whenever those machines have access to the internet … automagically. You don’t have to remember or tell it to sync–it all happens in the background. Here are some of the ways I use it:
- Move files around on the network without Mac/Windows issues or permission problems
- Make sure I have a backup copy of a presentation when I’m traveling to a client or conference
- Make sure I have access to any recent reports or other deliverables while on the road and not at my desk
- Send clients link to deliverables to get around any email firewalls or attachment blocking
- Transfer files to/from my iPad or iPhone that I can view anywhere
- Work on files on my iPad remotely (see Getting Things Done on an iPad)
A basic account comes with 2GB free. You can upgrade to 50 GB for $9.99 a month or 100GB for $20 a month. Those upgrades might come in handy if you want to upload files/pictures while on vacation to make sure you don’t lose them before you get back. I’ve tried a few other online file syncing applications and have met with limited success. Windows live sync was complicated to configure and too buggy. I once had it eat my vacation pictures from Yosemite. Box.net has a lot more features but, for a single person, it’s a little too expensive (see my Box.net review).