DropBox: Making Things Easy!
If you have never heard of DropBox then you have been missing out. It is a file synchronization service which allows you to have 2GB of free space on their servers. The BEST news is that it has clients for Windows, Mac and Linux. When you install DropBox on your computers it reaches out to their servers and synchronizes your computer with the server. I am not exactly sure how all of the internals work this is just from my perception. The more computers you add the better things get. For me I have both computers at home linked and also my work computer. When I add a file to my DropBox at work it is synchronized with my other computers so when I get to them the files are just there.
There are many reasons why you would want to use this service. What if you wanted to have all of the books you bought that came with digital copies accessible by you from any computer you install DropBox on. What if you have files that you need both at home and on the go? A mock-up for a client that you created at home or work and when you go there with your laptop you don’t have to worry about making sure it’s on the laptop, no fumbling with cd’s etc. The files are synchronized and you are all set to go and show the client on-site.
There are a few things I think they could do better with the service and I will outline them here. You can share folders with other DropBox users however you cannot share a sub-folder. This should be corrected, if I wanted to share a single file with another user I have to create a folder and share that folder with them. Why did they not make a shared folder under your user account that would have sub-folders for the users who are sharing with you? I could see something like /Shared/User1/[files here], /Shared/User2/[files here]. When you share a folder with another user they also have the ability to delete the files. I don’t want to share a lot of files with a friend to find out they got mad one day and deleted all the files now I don’t have them. They could work on this sharing system and I would hope that one day they will implement a permissions system. UserA has the ability to read/write and UserB has the ability to read only. Something like this would boost my interest in the system even more.
When you share files with a friend it also consumes space in their DropBox account. So let me get this right the files are stored on the server once but if you share the folder with 5 people all 6 of you are taxed for the space those files take up on the disk. This seems bad to me because the files are in my account. I shared them with the other 5 users, why are they getting billed for the space as well?
Even with the few things mentioned above they have the VoteBox which is where you as a member can go vote on features that you want the developers to work on next. Whatever features are ranked the highest is what they work on next. I love this idea as it brings the community into the development process.
I have personally been using DropBox Since March of 2009 so I am not just blindly asking people to sign-up for a useless service. This is a service that I really find useful and would like to have all of my readers at-least try out.
If you have not tried DropBox yet I urge you to get an account and install the software. If you don’t like it I would love to hear why. I love using DropBox personally but even if you don’t please at-least install the software and link it to your account. I will get 250MB of free space for each person that does so. YOU will also get 250MB extra free. Sign-up and invite your friends you can increase your storage space up to 5GB from the 2GB that you get for free.