"Store, Sync, and Share your files online."
Would you like a file syncing, sharing, and online back-up solution, all rolled into one utility? If the answer is yes, then meet Dropbox, a multiplatform solution that allows you to sync files across PCs with relative ease. In fact, it is one of the easiest tools I’ve ever tried! Being an online storage service, security is imperative and you should be happy to discover that Dropbox doesn’t disappoint in this regard, as it offers SSL and AES-256 encryption. Let’s find out more about this very useful tool as we analyze its features. Can it really shine in all departments?
Dropbox is a lightweight tool and at 14 MB in size, you should download the setup kit in a few seconds. What is more, simplicity defines the smooth and fast installation process of Dropbox. An account can be created after the installation is finished. It is a vital step in the process of syncing your files with this tool. A new folder will appear on your HDD that will act as the main graphical tool that connects you to the Dropbox servers. In addition, you can always use the icon in the toolbar for quick access. Dropbox doesn’t come with adware/spyware or other programs and it is a multiplatform tool. Thus, whether you’re a Windows, Linux or Mac user, you can enjoy the many benefits Dropbox has to offer.
Dropbox is a very easy to use tool. The Dropbox folder can be placed anywhere on your PC and anything that is put into this folder will be synched with the online servers of Dropbox. The Dropbox web interface can also be used for the management of your files. Your files can also be viewed and accessed from your smartphone, as Dropbox also provides you with an iPhone and Android app. Novice users who have never used an online syncing service before will find out that it is a joy working with Dropbox.
Dropbox focuses on three main areas: file syncing, file sharing and online back-up. And of course, all of these are glued by the security features of Dropbox – transport of your files via SSL and advanced file encryption methods. Firstly, as a file sharing tool, Dropbox really shines, as you will soon find out that collaborating with your work colleagues and sharing files will become an absolute breeze. You can share files both with Dropbox users as well as non-Dropbox users. A registration invitation via email will be received by the latter. After their registration is complete they will have full access to your files. What is more, through Dropbox you can also specify which users can have access to certain files.
File synching is another major component of Dropbox. Basically, it is flawlessly implemented. Imagine that you are at work and haven’t finished that Excel report. Just drop it to your Dropbox folder and when you get home you can continue working. The main advantage of Dropbox over other web-based tools is that it doesn’t require an internet connection for it to perform. Working in offline mode is allowed because as you go back online, Dropbox will automatically sync your files.
Lastly, Dropbox can be used as an online back-up service. In this regard, you get 2 GB for free and if you want more you will have to pay a fee. In this regard, Dropbox lacks some needed customization. The fact that all of your files to be backed up automatically must be present in the Dropbox folder is a big disadvantage. What if you have a tool that saves its contents to another folder by default?
50 GB for $9.99 per month is a bit expensive. For your primary back-ups I recommend using another online back-up utility.
Let’s have a look at some alternatives to Dropbox. These include the following tools: SpiderOak, SugarSync, Wuala, Syncplicity, Nomadesk and many more.
All in all, Dropbox is the best option you have for the sharing and syncing your files across multiple computers. It boasts great functionality in this regard but it falls short as an online back-up solution. If you’re a regular PC user, you have a lot of content on your HDD, from MP3s to videos, images and a lot of different programs that use their default folder for saving. Moving all these files in your Dropbox folder isn’t exactly a real pleasure. Go ahead and use Dropbox for your syncing and sharing needs but if you’re looking for an online back-up utility, look somewhere else.
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