Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dropbox - a cool tool

Ok, I have been a firm addict of Dropbox for about 6 months now, ever since my son introduced me to it.  I liked the idea of having my photos, videos, music etc. stored somewhere away from my home, I also loved the functionality that I could get to any of my files from any computer connected to the internet, my Blackberry and my Archos.
So what is Dropbox? Think of it as a file storage solution in 'the cloud'; it can be accessed by any web browser, and there are clients for Windows, MAC, Blackberry, iPhone and Android; they have really thought of everything.

I have the client loaded on my Windows7 Laptop, which creates a Dropbox folder in my user area, I then use the W7 library function to 'twin' the My Pictures folder and the Photos folder I created in Dropbox, the Dropbox Photos folder is now my default save location, so any pictures I move from my camera to my laptop are automatically syncronised to Dropbox - for me this is really cool - I have also twinned up my Documents and Video folders.  It is so good, I even paid to upgrade the 2GB free storage to 50GB.

A couple of weeks ago I needed to re-build my laptop, did I bother to back anything up? Nah, everything I do now is in 'the cloud', e-mails, blogs, websites etc. - I don't keep anything local if I can help it, but I do like to have my pictures and videos close, due to the download times - anyway I rebuilt the laptop, re-loaded Dropbox and left it to syncronise about 20GB of data - it took about 10 hours, but at the end everything was there - a doddle!

This weekend, the Local Village Store had a fete to celebrate their 1st birthday, I have done a blog on that too - here, anyway, the organiser ran up to me asking if I could take some photos as the local paper photographer could not make it, I had my new camera with me and started snapping away.  Once home I downloaded the photos and of course they started syncronising up to Dropbox, I had no idea which photos the organiser would like and as each one was 5mb there was about 400mb of photos in the folder - no way to just e-mail to her...  then I remembered that I can share out specific Dropbox folders, magic!, I just popped onto the website, shared the folder and put in the organisers e-mail address - job done - she just logged into Dropbox (after setting up her account) and then had access to all of my photos from the day.

So if you are currently one of those people who have an external hard drive connected to your computer, but never remember to copy your files to it as a backup - then have a look at Dropbox, set your default saves to the Dropbox folder and sit back :)


  1. I highly recommend http://views.fm if you want to share out dropbox files and folders. It makes it really simple.

  2. You're right James - it does make sharing out files and folders a lot easier - thanks for the tip.

  3. Here is a great way to encrypt your files within Dropbox.