When it comes to virtual file sharing systems, Dropbox is, undoubtedly, one of the market leaders. A big factor in its success is its simple, user-friendly design, which requires minimal product knowledge to get started. Dropbox allows you to upload your files for storage on remote, encrypted servers, commonly known as “the cloud”. Storing files in this way means that you can synchronise them across multiple devices, as long as they are connected to the internet. Handy, as more and more of us use a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, sometimes simultaneously!
At the basic level, you get 2GB of storage at no cost. However, if you find that you quickly surpass this minimum allocation, Dropbox also offer additional storage through a tiered pricing structure, with standard packages starting at $9.99 per month for 100GB and ending at an annual investment of $795 for 1TB and 5 users, aimed at business customers. Equally compatible with Apple, Microsoft and Android products, this really is a product that you can tailor to your needs.
Getting set up is straightforward; all you need to do is visit www.dropbox.com or your favourite app store and click “download”. Once you have installed the software you will be asked to create a Dropbox account and will then be able to access your files from a dedicated, synchronised folder on your desktop. A new shortcut icon will appear in your system tray or menu-bar, which enables you to access your new Dropbox folder with one click. Alternatively, you can access your account through your web browser by logging into the website, allowing you to reach your files from anywhere.
Dropbox also features the ability to share your files with others, either privately or through the “public” folder with a unique url. This is particularly useful when sharing large or sensitive files, unsuitable as email attachments. You can initiate sharing with specific people by inviting them to access a particular folder by email (in order for this to work, they will also need a Dropbox account), or simply pass on the url that takes them straight to the document.
All in all, a great online product that I certainly couldn’t do without, as a virtual service provider and business owner.
What’s your favourite online product or service? Leave a comment!