Better Products Tips

DropBox, cool free online backup and file share solution

Posted on: January 19, 2010

Dropbox is a newcomer still in beta testing that has some welcome features despite its simplicity. Like other synchronizers, it requires that you download and install software; but it is easy and fast and un­-like the others, it has almost no user interface. All it has is a tray icon that you click to see a pop-up window with one command for launching the Web site and another for opening an Explorer window to the Dropbox folder installed in your Documents folder.



The majority of your file syncing and sharing happens through the folder. You drag files and folders there to have Dropbox automatically upload them to the servers (beta testers get 2GB of free storage; in the future only 1GB will be free). You can also share files by transferring them to and from the Dropbox folder. If you upload a file that isn’t in the Dropbox folder directly to the Dropbox site, a copy will appear–you guessed it–in your local Dropbox folder.

Although having a single place to drop your files for syncing can be conveni­ent, Dropbox makes it mandatory, not an option like SugarSync‘s Magic Briefcase folder. Being required to keep all your shared, backed-up, and synced files in a single folder is an annoyance that Dropbox’s makers promise to correct in a future version.

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