Dropbox – The Basics (Part 1 of 2)

by | May 27, 2011 | Quick Skills

As nerds, we scout out any and all tools that might make our tech lives easier.  Why hoard these tools?  Here’s just one of the gems that we love to use…

Using modern terminology one might describe Dropbox as storage space in “the cloud”. If one wanted to use it just for storage the cost is already justified (2GB is free). Install the Dropbox agent on your home computer and dump important files into it and you have free online backup. Not only does Dropbox store your files it will also keep a one-month history. That means you can undelete a file or revert to a previous version at any time.

Now you’ve got free online backups of up to 2GB of your data. This already sounds like a pretty sweet deal. It gets better. Say you’re on a trip and desperately need access to a file you know is in your Dropbox. Not a problem. Get on any computer with internet access and log into the Dropbox website. From there you can access all of your data. You can even add more files. Have a computer at work? Check with your friendly IT department and see if you can install Dropbox. Have an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry? Dropbox has a mobile app as well. There is no limit to how many devices you can use to access your data.

This came in handy for me a few weeks ago. I was the best man at my brother’s wedding and had to prepare a speech. I started working on it at home and saved it in my Dropbox folder. In the weeks leading up to the wedding I made small changes while at work and rehearsed the speech from my iPhone. No matter where I was, I always had the latest version of the speech available.

Worried about keeping sensitive documents on the internet? Don’t be. Dropbox uses SSL encryption (the same encryption used for online banking) when transferring your data and stores it on their servers using AES-256 encryption. That’s 256 possible keys to crack the encryption.  That’s 256 more secure

Stay tuned for Part 2.