4 March, 2010
Online/cloud storage is becoming more popular with many services available, to store and sync my documents I have been using dropbox for around 4 months now and find it’s a great service which has never once failed.
I discovered dropbox via my Personal Learning Group on twitter.
Basically, Dropbox is a web based storage facility which allows you to drop files/folders/stuff into your dropbox on one laptop, and then access the same stuff via the dropbox on your other machines. The stuff in the dropbox auto-sync and immediately appear in the ‘box’ on any other laptops you wish to sync with.
I use it in quite a simple way. On both my school laptop and home laptop, I downloaded the dropbox install package and it placed a shortcut on my desktop. Open the shortcut and you can place files and folders inside and they will appear within a minute on the other machine also. Each time you save a version of a document, that new version is saved on you other machines too. It’s just like placing a file in folder on your desktop.
There is also a web login which means you can access your files which are saved inside dropbox on any machine with internet access, even if it hasn’t got the ‘box’ downloaded and on the desktop.
Dropbox is free for 2GB of storage, which in 5 months has proved ample storage for me (and is similar to many pendrives) and you can upgrade to 3GB by getting your friends to sign up. If you need more storage, you can upgrade to 50GB for $9.99 a month or $99 for a year. Or you can upgrade to 100GB for $19.99 a month or $199 a year. I would certainly consider upgrading if my current storage got used up. It can be downloaded onto more than two machines if you need to.
For collaborative working, you can share a folder with a colleague who has a dropbox account also. Again, this is a very simple, efficient process (and can earn you a bit more storage).
To read about the other online storage options, have a look at Doug Belshaw’s excellent blog which has a posting about what else is available.