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Free File Storage From Dropbox.

12.7.2009

I've been using Dropbox, a free online file storage system, for a couple of months now and I'm quite pleased with the service. For me, this service solves the problem of managing files between my laptop and desktop computers. I've ditched my flash drive, and I won't have to email myself updated files anymore.

I have 3 different computers - a home desktop (WinXP), a work desktop (Windows 7), and a personal laptop (MacOSX). I use my Dropbox to keep a variety of files synced between all of the computers - such as .PDFs with bookmarks, web pages I'm coding, half-written blogs, or even web links I want to check out later when I'm home. I don't have to worry about losing any of the Dropbox files; they're stored on 3 different computers, and on the Drobox servers.

Each computer that I've authorized for the Dropbox stores all of the files on its hard drive. When one of the computers is online, it checks for updates to the Drobox files, and if so, updates the local copy. Because the files are stored locally first, I never have to wait to open a really large file, but the Dropbox service keeps all the files nicely synchronized.

Dropbox offers a Pulic folder for file collaboration, and I've used the Dropbox photo album sharing without a hitch. There's even an free iPhone app for Dropbox. The Dropbox iPhone app lets you access your files from your iPhone (or iPod Touch) and can read a sizable number of file types. This could be quite handy for accessing all your recipes while shopping for dinner.

Bear in mind that, even though Drobbox has all kinds of security, there's always the chance they could get hacked. Don't store sensitive financial, legal, or business information in a Dropbox. Also, don't install this sort of thing on a public computer (such as those at the library or a cafe); stick with just accessing your files through the Dropbox web interface in those cases.

If you need more than 3 gigs of space, Dropbox offers 50 or 100 GB for monthly service fees. (Though it can't offer off-site storage unless you keep it in another building, an external hard drive may be cheaper in the long run.)

Dropbox is fast, reliable and works without any effort on my part. If you do sign up, be sure to use my link. Both you and I will get some extra free space.

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