Online storage solutions seem to be popping up all over the place thick and fast. Each featuring it’s own good and bad points. One of my favourite’s is Dropbox. As with many online storage solutions drop box features it’s own feature rich desktop client. The client is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and some mobile devices. Some of the clients features include: File Sync, File Sharing, Online Backup and Web access. For a complete list of features check out the website.
One of the best points of the Dropbox client is it’s ease of use. The local Dropbox file system is just like your native file system and fits in seamlessly with it’s surroundings. The only give away being the slightly different icons and different context menu.
The context menu (right click) gives you access to some of Dropbox’s main features from inside your local Dropbox location. Features include ‘grabbing’ the public URL, navigating to the Dropbox webpage and reverting to a previously backed up file.
Each file stored inside the local Dropbox folder contains an addition to it’s icon, in the form of a tick. This is a quick and easy way of checking the status of files in your local and remote Dropbox locations.
For example, Dropbox has the ability to make files you place inside the ‘Public’ folder available to download by anyone who you pass the link onto. So if you copy a file into you local DropboxPublic folder, wait for the green tick to appear then right click on the file and click ‘copy public link’. Your clipboard will now contain a link to a public version of the file you have uploaded. An example of this is a PDF file stored in my public dropbox: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4204803/burgerking.pdf this is a collection of promotional vouchers for a popular fast food chain. This method works with almost any file and on any version of the Dropbox client.
The Dropbox service also offers a web-based front end to your ‘Dropbox files’, thus giving you the ability to access your files from anywhere in the world with an active internet connection. This combined with the ability to Sync the contents to as many devices as you want creates quite a powerful collaboration solution, for groups of people who work on large numbers of files.
The sync’ing also gives you a seamless background backup solution, ensuring that all your critical data is backed up without you having to do a thing!
The online storage can even be used to host a simple website which you can share with your friends and family.
Dropbox accounts are completely free if you are happy with the 2GB’s of storage, however if you are hungry for more you can upgrade your account to either 50GB or 100GB’s of storage space for a small monthly fee.
If you are interested in finding out more information about Dropbox, or in signing up for an account you can find their website here.