I’ve been using Dropbox (this is a referral link, as I get extra space, and so do you!) for a few months, and it is just pure awesome! The basic idea of it is, it’s 2GB of free disk space on a web server. Why would I need free web space since I run a web hosting company? I don’t, but Dropbox is much more than just free web space.
A more detailed description of what it does would be, to allow you to sync and share files with other people and computers. Sure this could be done through other means of hosting. I’m web savvy enough to make my own site to do this, but it definitely wouldn’t be as cool, and why would I reinvent the wheel? One of the things that make Dropbox so great is the ease of use across platforms. There are clients for Windows, OSX, and Linux. I currently have it installed in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Fedora Linux. All of them work great!
You install the client, give it your username/password, and tell it where to mount. That’s it! Think of it as a network drive. Once you have your client setup, you simply save files to the mounted folder. If you add, remove, or edit files, the client syncs them to the web. As soon as you connect another client, it will re-sync the changes to that computer.
Don’t have the client installed on a computer? No worries. Log into the web interface, and you can download and upload files. Even better, it has built in revision control! So you can not only view a history of changes to a file, but you can even revert to a previous revision! So you can setup a shared folder, give people access to it, upload files, and have an instant revision control system!
By default, all files are private to your login. There is a public folder, which is exactly what it states. Any file placed in that folder will be viewable by anyone, as long as they know where it is. As stated above, you can also create shared folders and give access only to certain individuals.
Some other neat uses have been documented on their wiki. One cool ideas I like, is using it to download torrents to a remote system. I’m sure that you’ll find there are numerous things this is useful for. If you need more than 2GB of space, you can upgrade to a “premium” account with 50GB of space for $9.99/mo or $99/yr. Additionally for the free account, you get 256MB for every referral giving you up to 3GB additional space. With the premium account you get 512MB for every referral. There are other services out there that are similar, but I just think that Dropbox is the most refined. So check it out!
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