When informed by my boss that I was to write a blog, no brilliant ideas presented themselves to me. Scraping my brain for days on end yielded no exciting topic of which I could inform you about. It was only with a suggestion by a witty co-worker that the idea of discussing the wonderful features of Dropbox was formed. However, I digress from my actual discussion. I am here to tell you about Dropbox, and not about how I am inept I am at making decisions for myself.
Without further delay I will begin. You might ask, “What is Dropbox?” Is it a mythical creature? Hardly. Is it a hybrid car? Perhaps. Is it the nickname of a politician? Not in the least, it can actually be trusted. On the contrary to these points, Dropbox is an intuitive piece of software for all of your file sharing and backup needs. Dropbox is a program and service that allows you install a simple application on your electronic devices what will sync files to all of your devices at once. It can be used on your PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, tablet, net book, and pretty much every other device you can think of that connects to the internet and has data storage. It will greatly simplify your data storage needs.
To get started with Dropbox all one has to do is visit http://www.dropbox.com/ , create an account and then download the application to every device you want to connect to your account. Once you have created an account and have the application installed, on say your PC, there will be a folder located on computer that becomes you virtual “Dropbox”. Everything you “drop” in your Dropbox folder is not only saved on your local computer hard drive, but it is automatically synced with your Dropbox account, stored online in a safe place. Therefore your data is automatically backed up as you load things to your Dropbox folder. This feature, in and of itself, does not make Dropbox that special. Google has had similar features using their Google Docs application and add-ins such as Google Cloud Connect to make syncing and backing up files easier for a much longer period of time. Dropbox has other features that make it more useful, and for that matter, helpful than other programs. When a file is loaded to your Dropbox on one device, such as your PC at home, it saves and automatically syncs to your account online. If you then access Dropbox from another device on which you have installed the Dropbox application, such as your Android phone, the file is automatically download to that device. In fact every file saved in Dropbox is automatically downloaded and updated to every device you have connected to your Dropbox account. Therefore as long as you have a stable internet connection you can add, delete, move, modify, and save files to your account knowing that it will be backed up and accessible from other devices. You can even access all of your files directly by going to the Dropbox website and logging in to your account. It makes saving and sharing files between your devices extremely simple, no more uploading files to Google Docs, no more flash drives on your key chains, no more emailing yourself files.
Just as you thought the deal could not get any better, I will outline more of the features of Dropbox for you. The next feature I present to you is one of my personal favorites. It is the ability to share your Dropbox folder with others. This feature makes Dropbox an ideal way to share pictures with friends, share documents with colleagues, or just to make sure your project team has all of the same information available. I personally use Dropbox with my Senior Design Project team. It allows us to all edit different documents and be able to view and access the same information in our team Dropbox account, all at the same time. We can all be on different computers working on different documents, but Dropbox will actively sync from each computer to our account. Therefore every document you work on is backed up automatically to your online storage, and then it is downloaded to every device connected. Also if you are working on your computer, and someone else is working on something in your Dropbox account you will see notification in the corner of your screen indicating what document is automatically being synced. In the event someone else tries to open the same file you are working it Dropbox won’t corrupt the file, or give the standard “this file is in use by another user” error, but instead it will rename the second copy of the file that was opened, adding “(Steve’s conflicted copy”) to the end of file, where Steve would be second person to attempt to open the file. This allows both persons to be working on the same file, but unfortunately from that point on they would be working on separate files which would have to be merged together if one single file was wanted again. The ease of sharing files and backing up files with this system is second to none in my humble opinion.
I could probably ramble on about more benefits of Dropbox, but hopefully you have already learned how awesome it is by this point. If you would like to learn more and read less I would suggest visiting the aforementioned link to Dropbox’s website or check out the work of one of my colleagues at: http://dormnet.blogspot.com/2011/10/savvy-storage-solution.html.
I will conclude with this little caveat. Stop having file storage frustration, Dropbox your files, Roll through life without worries. See what I did there? I tied in my ridiculous title to my closing remarks. Until next time! Shalom!