Monday, February 23, 2009

Web Secret #40: Dropbox

Imagine that you had a magic folder in your "My Documents" folder and any time you dragged a document or a photo into that magic folder, it was instantly backed up to a magic online account that you could access from anywhere. In addition, the files would magically appear in a similar folder installed on your colleague's computer or your iPhone.

Magic? No, Dropbox!

After installing Dropbox, (which takes seconds), there is a folder placed in your "My Documents" named “My Dropbox”. To sum the service up in 1 sentence: any files placed into this folder will synchronize and be available on any other computer you've installed Dropbox on, as well as from the web. Also, any changes you make to files in your Dropbox will sync to your other computers, instantly. After the installation, there is nothing to manage.

If you have a single computer, this Dropbox folder is effectively a backup solution. If you have more than one PC (or Mac) in the account, any files placed into this folder on one computer will automatically be synchronized onto all others running Dropbox in the same account.

This creates a nice way to send files to and fro to a colleague – you just share the same Dropbox account - effortlessly.

There are two other great DropBox features.

The first is that Dropbox features a versioning system. Huh? For those not familiar with versioning systems, it allows you to keep multiple versions of a file. This helps in case you need to roll back to an earlier version of a document, or just for general use and tracking of updates.

The second is a built-in photo gallery. Drag photos to the “photos” folder and they are automatically available for viewing on the web in a simple manner.

To truly appreciate the power of Dropbox, I encourage you to watch their highly entertaining 10 minute online video.

And all this can be yours…for FREE! That’s right, 2GB of storage is yours for ZERO dollars. Nice in these recessionista times. But if you need more, 50 GB of storage is available for $9.99 per month.

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