Posted by: Moses | June 11, 2010

Freedom to Roam: The Omnipresent Dropbox

Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy. Ever left a file on one computer and needed it on another? You probably ended up burning it to a disk or sticking it on a USB drive. Or you would have, if you happened to always keep those on hand to transfer files. So instead you ended up cumbersomely attaching it to an e-mail, which you sent to yourself. I hope it wasn’t more than a few MB or you may be a bit late for your next appointment as you wait for it to upload before you can click send. However, even after the file is sent you still have problems. If you edit the file on the new computer you then have to eventually send it back where it belongs and deal with different versions of the same file. Anyone who has ever accidentally deleted the wrong version of a file just joined me in a collective groan. If you’re a bit tired of this rigamarole, Dropbox may be for you.

What IMAP is for e-mails, Dropbox is for files. In short, it automatically synchronizes files across multiple computers: Macs, PCs, or Mobiles. It also gives you two gigabytes of space (a small USB drive’s worth) that you can access anywhere that you have the internet. You can pay for more space if you like, but 2GB is free.

Synchronization is sweet. If I update a work file at church it will automatically synchronize the same file on the Crapintosh (my home, Frankenstein desktop), Molly’s computer, and my iPod. No more old versions popping up across computers with files I use at different locations. No more VPNing into a secured network to fetch a file I left. No more accidental deletions of the wrong version resulting in repeating a week’s worth of work.

Dropbox also has some time-machine functionality (just in case you want a previous version), preserving multiple drafts of documents that have been updated for 30 days. These can be accessed through the dropbox website. You can even share folders full of files with other people who can download them similar to MobileMe or iDisk, only without shelling out another 100 bucks to Apple.

If you would like to check it out, click below. Install the app, and create an account. Happy file sharing.

Click to get Dropbox.


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