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Dropbox

I can’t imagine anyone that might stumble across this blog to not use or at least know what Dropbox is at this point. But in case you don’t, as one of my absolute favorite utilities it deserves a special slice of the limelight. Dropbox came about in 2007 by an MIT student named Drew Houston and some of his MIT buddies. It was created to provide a cloud-based storage solution with the intimate user experience of user local files/folders in your computer’s file system that sync back and forth. To this day, few of Dropbox’s competitors can do this at the super affordable price point of…free. Dropbox leverages Amazon’s S3 cloud storage solution as well as local space on your computer. Since starting, Dropbox has grown to nearly 50 million users and continuously adds new features and clever ways to get additional free space.

Plans

Getting started is simple. Just follow my referral link here or at the bottom of this entry and we’ll both get additional bonus space on top of what you get for free, just for signing up! Smile In it’s base form they give you 2GB of storage for free. You will need to create an account then download/ install the Dropbox client on your computer (Windows, Mac, Linux). You can get up to 25GB free if you really try but if you want more you can optionally pay for it.

Web

100% of your Dropbox can be managed via the web. Uploading/ downloading/ deleting files and all account features. 

A very cool and compelling feature of Dropbox is its management of deleted files . If you accidentally delete something or delete then change your mind later, restoring deleted files is easy. All changes to files are replicated everywhere, cloud and all computers connected with clients.

Folders anywhere in your storage hierarchy can be shared with anyone for collaboration efforts.

A running log of everything going on is captured in the Events tab: file/ folder changes, space increases, invitations, etc.

Multiple computers can be linked to the same Dropbox account which ensures that you can keep your files in sync easily across all platforms. Additionally, if you leverage certain Dropbox-aware applications on your mobile platform, these can be managed here as well.

Client

With the client installed on your computer(s), all files and file changes are immediately replicated up to the cloud and all other connected computers in your account. A shortcut to your Dropbox is automatically created in the Windows Explorer Favorites section in Win7/ Win8 and all files stored in the cloud are available in your local file system.

The client itself does not provide near the functionality that the web does. It’s primary purpose is really to control how that specific computer interacts with the cloud. Upload/ download limits, proxies, and root folder locations can be specified here. A compelling feature that comes enabled by default in the client is “LAN sync.” LAN sync will control how your files replicate between Dropbox-linked computers on the local network by providing client to client syncing. No need to pull from the cloud locally if you don’t need to!

Right-clicking the Dropbox icon in your system tray allows you to quickly see what your space consumption is, pause syncing, and a few other options not found within the UI of the client itself.

 

Free Space

As soon as you log in to the website for the first time you will see your first opportunity to gain additional free space.

The Dropbox team is constantly coming up with clever ways to give you more space through referrals (which double if you are a college student), linking to Facebook/Twitter, participating in annual “Dropbox Quest” challenges, and most recently just for testing a new beta function. Right now if you install beta 1.3.12 and auto-upload pictures/ videos, you can earn up to 4.5GB of additional, free, and permanent storage. Awesome!

Add the Dropbox client to your mobile platform of choice and you now have a well-connected ecosystem of files available to you anywhere. I’ve been using Dropbox since before it went 1.0 and it only gets better. Check it out! If you do please use my referral link below so we can both enjoy even more free storage! Smile

My referral link: http://db.tt/ISx8N0LF

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