What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a free on-line storage place for all your photos, documents, etc. Anything you add to the Dropbox folder on your computer or device will automatically show up on all your other computers, phones.
It’s like having an on-line ‘lock-up’ store where only you have the key. This store is then available to you from wherever you can log in.
The beauty is that it runs on Windows; Mac OS and Android systems, plus all your tablets and smartphones as well.
You can even share some of the files if you wish.
How do I use Dropbox?
First you have to download the Dropbox software from the website at dropbox.com or the App store of your device. Once installed, you set up an account where you decide your username and password.
This creates a folder on your computer or device that you can add files to. So imagine you need to have access to some files whilst traveling and you can’t take your PC with you. Or, you need to transfer stuff from one machine to another. Or you can use the space as permanent storage for the files you select.
Simply add a copy to that folder and immediately these files start to upload to your Dropbox storage place. When you log into Dropbox from another device or location, all those files are there. This is great for syncing your devices.
Sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch? Actually there isn’t one unless you need loads of space. The first 2 GB of space is free but after that you have to buy more.
For most people 2 GB is good enough but you have the option to buy more if needed or simply clean out what you don’t need to be stored on-line and reclaim some space.
There are few things to be aware of in using Dropbox and these will be discussed next.
Don’t lose your originals
When dragging your precious files from your Documents folder for example, this will MOVE that file to the Dropbox folder thus eliminating that original copy on your PC. So if you want a copy of that file, be sure to RIGHT drag it and select the Copy option.
If you want to share some files from your Dropbox folder that’s easy too. You can keep your stuff private and only share some of them. First log in to your Dropbox account on the website.
Best to make a new sub-folder in your Dropbox folder for the files you want to share. This option is in the top right of the window. Give a name for your folder when prompted and press enter. (That folder now will appear in your local computer Dropbox folder as well.)
Drag any file you want to be shared onto that folder icon. Once you are ready to share that folder simply RIGHT click it select ‘Share link’. Then fill in the details of the person(s) you want to send a link to so as to access that folder. You can even add a short message about the files if you like.
Next just click the ‘Get link’ button to generate the link you can send to your colleagues/friends.
You will see that at the top of your browser a long address is generated. Just highlight and copy that link to send to whoever you wish to give access to that folder. Simply create an email message and paste that link into the message.
There are other features you can use and enjoy if you look through the Dropbox site options.