Alternative to iDisk for your file syncing and management: DropBox

I came across this nifty solution not too long ago and thought I’d share it with you all. Its called DropBox :

 

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If you are looking for an alternative to paying for iDisk, with DropBox you get 2GB for free, which is a great way to gauge how much online disk space you need. So why jump ship? OK, here are some points to add to your pro column:
  • You can work from home and your office, using a really elegant plugin that will add to your MAC menu bar, a sync daemon, and a folder on your desktop. Anything you drag in there is synchronised on the spot (as opposed to iDisk which doesn’t seem to be as responsive immediately). 
  • Whether you have a Mac or Windows, you get an installer that will add this feature, so wherever you are, you are always in sync. 
  • You can backup, or share your files and folders, share entire photo albums (will actually put them in a presentable album format). So you have a secure location for your files, in case there is a nuclear meltdown in your area (touch wood).
  • You get a free iphone application so you can view your files and manage your files on the go. How cool is this. And you still get your 2GB free, so try it out!

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The Official Features

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File Sync

Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.

  • 2GB of online storage for free, with up to 100GB available to paying customers.
  • Sync files of any size or type.
  • Sync Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
  • Automatically syncs when new files or changes are detected.
  • Work on files in your Dropbox even if you’re offline. Your changes sync once your computer has an Internet connection again.
  • Dropbox transfers will correctly resume where they left off if the connection drops.
  • Efficient sync – only the pieces of a file that changed (not the whole file) are synced. This saves you time.
  • Doesn’t hog your Internet connection. You can manually set bandwidth limits.

File Sharing

Sharing files is simple and can be done with only a few clicks.

  • Shared folders allow several people to collaborate on a set of files.
  • You can see other people’s changes instantly.
  • A “Public” folder that lets you link directly to files in your Dropbox.
  • Control who is able to access shared folders (including ability to kick people out and remove the shared files from their computers).
  • Automatically create shareable online photo galleries from folders of photos in your Dropbox.

Online Backup

Dropbox backs up your files online without you having to think about it.

  • Automatic backup of your files.
  • Undelete files and folders.
  • Restore previous versions of your files.
  • 30 days of undo history, with unlimited undo available as a paid option.

Web Access

A copy of your files are stored on Dropbox’s secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device.

  • Manipulate files as you would on your desktop – add, edit, delete, rename etc.
  • Search your entire Dropbox for files.
  • A “Recent Events” feed that shows you a summary of activity in your Dropbox.
  • Create shared folders and invite people to them.
  • Recover previous versions of any file or undelete deleted files.
  • View photo galleries created automatically from photos in your Dropbox.

Security & Privacy

Dropbox takes the security and privacy of your files very seriously.

  • Shared folders are viewable only by people you invite.
  • All transmission of file data and metadata occurs over an encrypted channel (SSL).
  • All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password.
  • Dropbox website and client software have been hardened against attacks from hackers.
  • Dropbox employees are not able to view any user’s files.
  • Online access to your files requires your username and password.
  • Public files are only viewable by people who have a link to the file(s). Public folders are not browsable or searchable.

Mobile Device Access

The free Dropbox iPhone app lets you:

  • Access your Dropbox on the go.
  • View your files on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
  • Download files for offline viewing.
  • Take photos and videos and sync them to your Dropbox.
  • Share links to files in your Dropbox.
  • View interactive photo galleries.
  • Sync downloaded files so they’re up-to-date.

A mobile-optimized version of the website is available for owners of Blackberry phones and other Internet-capable mobile devices.

A little tip:
I use Things, a task-management app for the Mac, and using Dropbox, I set up the Things library to point to the library I relocated within the DropBox folder alias, and do the same at my work desktop, pointing it to DropBox alias, and now you can synchronise your Things tasks between computers automatically! Check out this wiki note for instructions.

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