Have You Heard of Dropbox?


Do you have trouble keeping files backed up? Do you work between multiple computers and have to constantly transfer stuff by flash drive, wondering if you’re accidentally saving an older version over the one you just worked on? I found a solution. My friend Susan turned me on to this online storage system called Dropbox.

Dropbox keeps your files safely in cyberspace using the same secure technology that allows you to make credit card purchase or do online banking. The obvious advantage to this is that if your house burns down you don’t lose your files. If you put your flash drive through the wash, you don’t have to panic (though I’ve learned from personal experience that they can survive such abuse with files intact).

Beyond that, Dropbox makes it possible to sync files between computers. My husband and I work together on a newsletter for the Oregon Region of the Classic Car Club of America. This feature makes it simple for us to exchange large files without messing with flash drives or email. Dropbox puts a little icon in your taskbar so, among other things, you can access your account easily. If you have shared files, a little bubble pops up updating you every time changes are made.

Dropbox also adds a folder to “My Documents” on your computer so you don’t have to go online to back stuff up. It’s just like having an additional hard drive, or using a jump drive or other storage device. You can drag and drop files into Dropbox, or you can copy and paste if you prefer redundancy. It’s super easy to use, and you can organize your files inside the folder just like you would with any other storage device.

You get 2GB of storage space free, but you can buy additional space as well. If you sign other people up, you get as much as 8 GB free. As a matter of fact, that’s why I’m telling you about this. I’m hoping some of you will use this link to get your own Dropbox account.  I receive 250 MB  for every person I send their way.

It’s very easy to sign up, and once you do you’ll find a PDF within your Dropbox file that will tell you all about the service. I’ve been using Dropbox for several weeks now, and I’ve got to say that even if I didn’t get free storage space, I’d still highly recommend them.

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20 Responses to Have You Heard of Dropbox?

  1. Beth says:

    Just did it. Susan let me know about it, but didn’t send a link, so thanks for that. Beth

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  2. Roxie says:

    Dropbox is cool! And it’s easy enough for me to use.

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  3. katharine says:

    Ahh- I JUST joined last week, or I would totally join and give you the MBs. I don’t use it to back up everything yet, I’m just using it for one specific work project. That being said, I should use it more. I could probably fit everything in there. I just need to make it part of the routine.

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  4. I email important files to myself. I used to have an external hard drive. But it died (it was only 8 months old).

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Bummer about your hard drive, Stina. I have one, but I’m too lazy too hook it up more than a few times a year. 🙂

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  5. Faith says:

    I have a DropBox invite, and I need to set it up so I can reformat my computer… and I love the idea of accessing my files from anywhere, since I tend to switch computers a lot. DropBox FTW!

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Faith, my sister found Dropbox very helpful when her computer died and she had to transfer files to a new one. I highly recommend it.

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  6. I just heard about Dropbox from my web guru, but I wasn’t really sure what it was. Nice explanation!

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Chris, it’s really easy to use. So much better than wrestling with a flash drive. Though I tend to be redundant and use one of those, too. 🙂

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  7. Barb says:

    Hey great explanation, Lisa. So would work well with critique/workshop groups? Although, I don’t quite get the sharing part. Does your beloved have a password and can access your dropbox from his computer?

    In other words. if you dropped a chapter you’d like for me to read in your drop box, is there a way I could access it? Or should I simply think of it as off-site storage?

    Oh..heck, I’m a semi-intelligent woman. I’ll go there and read for myself. Thanks for the info.

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      I was all set to answer your questions, Barb, but I guess you don’t need me to. For others who are curious, you don’t need a password. The person who wants to share the folder sends an invitation to the other person through Dropbox, and after that the folder appears in both computers under “My Documents.”

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  8. I’ve been using Dropbox for quite a long time (or I’d definitely follow that link and get you the free mb’s) and it’s just really reassuring to know that I have online backup (y’know, in case both my laptop AND my external hard drive get stolen!).

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Well, thanks for the thought, Rachel. 🙂 I’ve had a laptop stolen, so I know the reality of that one. I tend to be very redundant in my backups, too. Even though I’m saving things it Dropbox, I still put them on my flash drive.

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  9. Joy says:

    I love Dropbox’s usefulness and have been using it since late last year. I had a few mishaps with conflicting files while I was using it with a team of other folks, but soon got over that. I highly recommend it.

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