Dropbox is an online or “cloud” storage option that allows you to host your files at a third party location so that you can view them from wherever you are, share them, synch them with many Internet enabled devices, or just plain make more space. Dropbox comes with a software to install to your PC as well as a web based portal which makes it convenient for when you’re at home and accessible when you’re out.
Video: Watch The Dropbox Video Tour Below
Using Dropbox to Share Files For Online Collaboration Or Sending Big Files
Whether you’re using Dropbox professionally or personally or both, you have a plethora of sharing options that make it super simple for you to share content in an instant.
You can update your Dropbox folders and subfolders live and have the person or people that you’re sharing with see your updates with a simple refresh. Depending on their Operating System they should see alerts in their system tray when files are updated, removed or added.
You can also share secure links to individual files rather than sharing complete folders if desired.
On Your Machine, A Dropbox Folder Behaves The Same As Any Other Folder
On your computer Dropbox functions as its own folder allowing you to add sub folders, plus drag and drop the files, photos, music, etc. that you need in and out of it with ease.
Scenarios where Dropbox is a great asset to your workflow:
- Sharing work documents – Dropbox is a great tool for sharing and collabbin’ on documents for work like spreadsheets, articles, letters, etc.
- Sharing personal photos – Maybe you need to share with extended family or friends, you can use Dropbox as a private arena for photo sharing as opposed to Facebook where not everyone (believe it or not) wants to be part of.
- Music sharing – Whether you’re sharing personally or professionally, you can save and share your playlists all in one place so that it’s easy to work with in groups of people.
- Move large files – If you provide work on large files like video, this is a great way to send files to customers and clients to overcome the limits that email provides.
- Synching files between devices – We live in a multi-device world. Keeping things in the cloud gives us the distinct advantage of gaining access to it all from whatever device we are on.
Alternatives to Dropbox
If you run out of free space on Dropbox and don’t feel like paying for more (or getting more free space by referring others) there are plenty of alternative options that exist.
In general, they all have the same distinct advantages.
There may be differences in speed and security. There are certainly differences in what is offered for free. Other features might offer different storage capabilities for certain file types. And the prices for Pro versions will all vary.
Below are a few of the cloud sharing alternatives to Dropbox. To achieve similar benefits you can use service like:
- Google Drive
- Sky Drive
- Amazon Cloud Drive
All of these have different pros, cons and feature sets but it’s mostly a matter of taste.