Thursday, 2 February 2012

DropBox

Yes, we all know that making regular backups is essential, don’t we? And for work stuff that’s probably done as a matter of course. Sometimes personal documents aren’t treated quite so diligently and run the risk of being lost in the case of a disk crash or the laptop accidentally falling off the desk.

Lately I’ve been trying out DropBox as a means to help backup certain documents, but also to gain various other benefits.

When you sign up, DropBox gives you a free 2GB of online storage. The way it works is that you install DropBox onto your Mac or PC and it sets up a DropBox directory, which is then monitored. Any files you put into this directory (subdirectories therein) will be automatically backed up and mirrored to the online DropBox storage.

Moreover, if you have DropBox installed on several machines (physical or virtual) changes to files in a DropBox folder are automatically and instantly synchronised to those machines as well (based on the size of files and Internet connection speed).

If you are disconnected, the changes will stack up and be applied to the online version when you reconnect.

If you change a document from two machines, DropBox doesn’t bother trying to merge the changes – it stores two separate versions.

Additionally, DropBox keeps a record of previous versions of your files, which can be restored at will, and which do not eat into your storage allocation.

If you need access to these stored documents when not at your own machine you can access them after logging in to the DropBox web site.

Additionally you can share folders of files within your DropBox storage to specified people.

I’m finding DropBox a really convenient way of working on documents and projects from wherever I happen to be working, with whatever machine, with the peace of mind that things are automatically backed up.

If you feel like trying DropBox, please sign up and install via this referral link, which means that you will get an extra 250MB of storage on top of your initial 2GB (as will I <g>).