Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dropbox - your online sharing tool

I read about Dropbox over at the swedish IT-newspaper site Well actually Love did. He liked the idea and so we tested it out, and it works really well!

Dropbox is an online sharing tool, but not like youtube or the like. Dropbox doesn't share with everyone, it shares with whomever you give the access. Dropbox is more like a personal folder than an online billboard. Only difference to having the items stored on your own computer is that they're stored over at the Dropbox Company's servers instead. So why would you want that?

Alot of people run around with USB-memory stick nowadays. Anyone who has any kind of digital files they need to carry along with them, for funs or for business, usually uses this kind of device. I don't own any USB-device so my solution has been to simply mail text-files to myself to always have them handy wherever I go (as long as there is a computer with internet). The problem with my solution is of course that most mails won't let you send very big files. So it works for text-files, but not for videos or even maybe pdfs. To share it with someone you have to mail the files to that person.

Dropbox works sort of like this, but with easier accessability and shareability, and more space to store stuff than the usual mail offers. Instead of mailing, Dropbox works like a folder where you simply drag-and-drop whatever you want to share with other computers. Now to access your particular Dropbox folder you need either a password or a certain domain-name-address, depending on where in the Dropbox you've placed the file. There are "public" folders in the Dropbox that don't require as much as a password to be accessed, only a certain address. That way anyone with a Dropbox can access those files as long as you give them the address to them, which is sort of like a short-term password.

There is a free version and a pay- for- it version. The free version offers 2gb storing space, which allows you to share most kind of files (except perhaps Blue-Ray files). As long as you continuously empty your Dropbox whenever you're done with a file it won't fill up.

Like I said, me and Love have tried this out, I've also shared some files with my dad, and it works really well. You drag a file into the dropbox, let it load onto their server (speed depending on your connection of course), and it is ready for anyone whom you give access to your dropbox to use.

The only drawback with Dropbox, as compared to a USB-memory stick, is that it needs internet access to work. So if you intend to run off into the woods and work some days on something without internet access, this won't work unfortunately.

To get started, all you have to do is jump over to!

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