I didn’t discover Dropbox myself, it was Tom Riley who showed it to me, so I should first off say thanks to Tom.
Ever since I’ve become aware of it however, I’ve been a huge fan, and have recommended it at every occasion. I’ve got 6 other people using it so far, that’s worth 1.5 GB (I’ll explain why later)!
You install Dropbox on your PC/Mac and/or iOS/Android device, and start saving files (photos, videos, documents etc) into it, and each devic that you’ve connected up has access to that file, instantly!
This is assuming you’ve got Internet access of course. I think Dropbox still caches local copies on your device/computer and then syncs them up when it gets access back.
Anyway, just using it like that is brilliant, being able to use, create and view files across all my devices is very useful. I don’t have to copy and paste between emails or use USB sticks or attach things to email. I just save a file, then read it later in in bed away from my PC!
But you can go so much further with it, you can share folders with people, I use it a lot to work on collaborative documents, or share photos with Holly. I sorted out my brother with an account and backed up his important docs before reinstalling windows on his PC, then we just put Dropbox back on and BOOM! all his files were just there.
And another good thing, is you can use it through a web browser, to upload and download, or just view files. You can even make files public to anyway if you want to.
Oh and there is built in version control, so if you change or delete a file by mistake, you can always go back to the previous version and restore that one, or the one before, or the one before…
There are a couple of snags though. Saving a big file or a complex folder structure can take a while to sync, as when it ‘saves’ it’s uploading to the Dropbox servers, and as all upload speeds are stupidly slow, this can take a while sometimes.
The other issue is it’s only free for 2GB. You can 250MB extra everytime ou refer someone, but that’s capped at about 8GB – this is where those referrals I mentioned really pay off, I’ve gone up to 3.5GB. You can pay for more space, but it’s a bit pricey and doesn’t get you that much, I think 50GB or 100GB are the 2 options at the moment, or very expensive enterprise accounts for hundreds of pounds.
You can work around it, multiple accounts help and it integrates well with the OS (at least it does with Windows 7) to tell you when it’s run if low on space so you can free some, so it’s not terrible.
But these two flaws in it are not that bad at all, and they are both easy to overlook or get around.
I couldn’t live without Dropbox now though. Well I could, but I’d just be spending all my time releasing my own version.
You could steal my hard disk now, I wouldn’t care (well i would, I be pissed right off, but that’s not the point). I’d just put a new one in, put my Windows install back on, download all my free software and Dropbox would have all my docs!
I love Dropbox, I love it so much I barely even think about the fact that someone else somewhere in the world has access to all my work and personal documents.
Fingers crossed they don’t go bust/get hacked/explode. If they haven’t, then get it here: http://dropbox.com