Monday, May 25, 2009

DropBox lets you share and sync files online

I have just discovered a great little gem called Dropbox. I work with a number of guys that have a machine at their office and a different machine at their home. It never fails that one of them will complain that a file they need is on their machine at home when they are in the office. Dropbox allows you to sync files on two different machines, share files with other users, or even access those files from a web browser when you are away from your machines. It is compatible with MAC, Windows and Linux machines, and the best part is the price - you can have 2GB of online storage FREE. There are paid versions that allow for greater disk space, but 2 GB should be enough for most casual users.

How it works...
Basically once you start an account with Dropbox a folder is placed on your harddrive. As you drag and drop files or folders into the Dropbox folder they are automatically and immediately synced to your account online. If you have a second computer linked to your online account, the Dropbox folder of the second machine is also updated automatically. That is cool!

Say you are working at home on a sermon, Bible class outline, lectureship manuscript or even some photos from a recent mission trip. You save the files into your Dropbox folder on your computer and your done. When you get to your office you realize that you forgot to put the files you needed on a jumpdrive, but never fear - simply open the Dropbox folder on your office machine and your files are there. Make whatever changes you need to the files and your home machine is updated automatically as well. This can really be a lifesaver!

Another feature that is worth noting is that you can share files and folders with other people as well. Collaborate on a project. Share your presentation files with a colleague. Or place files that need to be accessed by a group of people in your Dropbox. When one person makes a change - all files on all the machines sharing that file are updated!!!

Get to your files from a web browser...
Your are also able to access your files from any web browser. Simply sign on to your online account (this is part of the FREE account when you first sign up) and access your files. The online tools allow for full file versioning (you can go back two or three versions) and recovery. If you delete a file from your computer, you can recover it from your online account. Accessing these files from basically anywhere in the world would be a great benefit for traveling missionaries and lectureship speakers. Update your PowerPoint presentation while you are on the road and know that those changes appear on your home computer as well.

There are a number of great uses for this tool. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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