DropBox - Introduction
Dropbox is cloud storage with the ability to sync cross-platform to multiple machines. This software enables you to do a lot and is a must have for me.
Michael N. From Dropbox supports puts it this way.
Well it's the file synchronization/backup service that you have been thinking/dreaming about. The most basic use of Dropbox would have you install the Dropbox client on 2 computers and the contents of your Dropbox folder would synchronize automatically between them. No need to remember to upload or download the latest copy. No forgetting your thumb drive, or forgetting to burn that file to CD/DVD. The latest version of your file will be on any computer attached to your account, automatically.
So what happens if you delete a file in your Dropbox, well it gets deleted from all the other computers on your account too. "OH NO" you say, "I accidentally deleted that file". No worries, the Dropbox website has the ability to undelete your file, just login to the website, and find the deleted files link. "Well I have my file", you say, "but my cat apparently took up typing while I was out, and somehow saved over my doctoral thesis". No problem here either, Dropbox keeps the revisions of you files so you can revert to an older copy, just go to the Dropbox website and click the little arrow next to your file and choose revisions. There you will see all the previous versions of your file.
If that was all there was to Dropbox, then it would be an amazing service, but there is more. Pictures, you have lots of pictures right? The kids, the pets, parties, whatever, well Dropbox can store these in folders within it's "Photos" folder, right-click any folder in the Dropbox Photo folder and choose "View Gallery" and you'll see your pictures, click on one and it starts a slide show. Cool huh, but pictures are for sharing right? On the gallery page there is a URL (web address) that you can email or post on your website so other people can see the gallery and slide show too.
Then there are shared folders. Sharing can be done between Dropbox users, right click a folder in your Dropbox and choose share and you can then invite another user to share it. Each one of you can put files in the folder for each other, and you each have full access to the files. So you can each edit, delete, add files etc. The only thing to be aware of is that files in the shared folder count against the quota of all people sharing it. Does the person you want to share with not have a Dropbox account? Invite them, you'll find invites in your account homepage on the left.
WOW, what a cool service, but wait, there is still one more thing. Want to share a file with anyone? Don't want to bother with them having a Dropbox account? Well then drop the file in your "Public Folder", then right-click and choose "Copy Public URL". E-mail this link, or post it on your web page for people to use, no fuss to it.
So that's Dropbox, you've been dreaming about a service like this, one that makes it so easy you almost don't have to think about it.
Ok so lets dive right in.
There are 3 different Dropbox packages
- Basic: 2gb - free
- Pro 50: 50gb - 9.99 month
- Pro 100: 100gb - 19.99 month
You also have the ability to get more free space by invites. Here is my invite link For every friend who joins Dropbox you will get an extra 500MB's and even the friend gets a bonus of 250MBs up to a max of 16gb's (nice deal if you ask me)
Dropbox is cross-platform and has a client for Windows, Mac, Linux OS's along with mobile clients for Iphone, Ipad, Android and Blackberry
Once installed on your client you will have a Dropbox directory this directory is where all the files you want synced are stored, There are also preset folders in their "Public" and "Photos".
This is where the fun starts.
Public Folder: This is where you want to store files/folders with other people. Drop box gives you the option to email people a link to this file or folder where they can then view or down them.
Photos Folder: This is where you store you photos, you would want to put them in their own folders. This folder produces a gallery for you images. This way you can email a link to the folder/gallery or just a link of one specific folder.
In coming posts we will discuss how to sync things like Firefox bookmarks, 1Password, WorldofWarcraft Plug-ins using things like symbolic linking.