Dropbox has been around for quite a while. I tried it out initially back in 2008 and had no use for it. I used a laptop everyday and so always had my files with me. After my move to DC and taking a job in which I’m extremely mobile and supporting users across the world, Dropbox has become invaluable. Dropbox syncs the contents of your Dropbox folder with the Dropbox servers and then back down to any other computer you have linked with your Dropbox account – essentially cloud storage. The difference between Dropbox and a service like Google Docs (which just enabled any file type upload) is it stores the files both locally and on the server so there is no lag time when trying to use the files on that computer. I personally sync my home Mac and primary work PC with Dropbox allowing me to always have access to the files I need everyday.
Another great feature of Dropbox is the ability to quickly and easily share files with other people. To do so you simply move the file to the public subfolder in Dropbox and right click to get the public URL. Then just email the link to whoever needs the file. Super slick for delivering files that users need access to any where in the world.
Speaking of firewalls and security – according to Dropbox, “Your files are actually safer while stored in your Dropbox than on your computer in some cases. We use the same secure methods as banks and the military to send and store your data.”(How Secure is Dropbox) On that page they provide a detailed explanation of their security procedures which are pretty impressive.
Some added benefits to Dropbox are the cool workarounds that can be configured to allow syncing across multiple computers. For example, I use Notational Velocity on my Mac for quick and easy note taking. With Dropbox I can sync the text files that NV creates to anywhere I may need them, including other Macs running NV. A final example is the ability to sync iTunes libraries across multiple computers. All you have to do is move your iTunes library to your Dropbox folder (give it time to synchronize) and then point iTunes on any computer to the correct location of the library in your Dropbox folder. Library synchronization done easy. (obviously the limitation here is how much space your music occupies – for those of you with 100+ GB libraries Dropbox isn’t an option)
Now as for price:
Dropbox Basic – 2 GB of storage – Price = Free (Awesome deal)
Dropbox Pro 50 – 50 GB of storage – Price = $9.99/month
Dropbox Pro 100 – 100 GB of storage – Price = $19.99/month