Trying Out: Online backup, file sharing and syncing with Dropbox

Dropbox - Tour

Recently there’s been a lot of discussion in our house about external harddrives and backing up. The boyf keeps is on his second replacement this year and I…er…haven’t been backing up… The bambino cracked my 30GB drive when I left it plugged into my laptop and I find USB keys annoying especially when they go AWOL at crucial moments. Now it’s not all bad, because I use Google Docs for a lot of my admin stuff, but that still leaves music, photos, and all sorts on my precious Macbook unprotected.

Cue Dropbox, a software that lets you drag files of any size and type to the Dropbox folder which then syncs with the server and keeps a copy of the files on your account. When you update the files it syncs with the one stored on the server. Of course by having your files online it means you can access them on mobile devices (iPhone app too), plus if you install the software on any of the other computers you work on, your files will instantly be available there too.

Suitable for Mac, Windows, and Linux users, you can sync you can share files easily, have an instant backup, and by default they keep the last 30 days of undo history on the files, plus for the hardcore, they have a ‘pack rat’ function which is basically the unlimited undo option.

It automatically creates photo galleries from the photos in your Dropbox and it’s really efficient with the syncing so it only works on the part of the file that’s changed, saving time and no doubt energy too. Oh and did I mention it will work on files you’ve dropped if you’re offline and then sync when you reconnect to the internet? Oh and you can link to files too saving you from doing weighty attachments.

Feature rich, you get a free 2GB account and then there are paid options starting from $4.99 for 10GB up to $19.99 for 100GB.

Image courtesy of Dropbox

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  1. says

    Interesting article!

    I’ve been trying out Dropbox too, as the casing on the external hard drive I set up so I would never lose my data got broken just before Christmas, and it took four months to get a replacement casing from the manufacturers and reaccess all my information! It seems like a great service, like Google docs it’s fantastic to be able to put information in ‘the cloud’ and access it later, but personally I would adopt a ‘belt and braces’ approach and back it up to a hard drive (mine is set up to back up every day, otherwise I would never remember to do it myself), and to an ‘online’ storage service too. I’ve had times when I can’t access information stored remotely.

    Thanks! Tabitha

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