Five Tips to Using Dropbox
Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman
Vacations are usually pretty exciting, but if you end up being stuck at your parent’s house in a different country your daily routine can get messed up quickly. Not to speak of your day time job. Fortunately, I am very lucky to work at an amazing company that understood my dilemma and tried everything to put me to work thousands of miles away and seven hours ahead of time.
I must say the whole undertaking would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the wonderful technology of file sharing with Dropbox. Since I did not carry my personal computer with me on my two week – what turned out to be two month – trip to Germany and I had absolutely no way of accessing our server, my well appreciated co-workers and I used Dropbox in order to share content and keep me busy on the other side of the world.
A Quick Dropbox Tutorial
Dropbox functions pretty much like a USB drive that is always accessible and has infinite room to store documents, photos, music, and more. You can also share folders with family, friends, and co-workers. To sart using Dropbox, you can easily sign up for 2 GB of free space in the cloud at dropbox.com. You can also sign up for a Pro version for $9.99, having access to 100 GB or more.
When you sign up, you are installing a desktop client of Dropbox onto your computer, while you are also able to access the web client. Whenever you are packing files into the desktop client it will automatically sync with the web client, giving you access to those files from any device, anywhere in the world (even in Germany).
There are a couple of tricks I would like to share.
- Save Your Files from Disaster
Dropbox can serve as a backup storage of your files. Not only can you save all your files to Dropbox and access them even if your computer crashes and burns, but you can access all saved versions within the last 30 days. So if you accidentally lost a file through “drag and drop” you can go to “Show deleted files” in your Dropbox account and restore a previous version of the file. This comes in handy when someone who you shared a folder or file with, accidentally or purposely, makes unwanted changes or deletes the file.
- Share Your Files with Anyone
If a person with whom you would like to share a file does not have access to Dropbox, it is easy and safe to just share a link to that file with the person. Just right click on the file you would like to share, select “Share File” and enter the person’s email address. They can then access the link and download the file.
- Get a Unique Dropbox Email Address
At sendtodropbox.com, you can sign up for a unique email address that is tied to your Dropbox account, which will allow you to directly send files to your Dropbox via email. Once you signed up and sent an email with an attachment to that unique address, your attachment is automatically stored in your Dropbox account. This application is great if you are using your smartphone or tablet and do not have the space to store a file.
- Get URLDroplet to Save More to Your Dropbox Account
With Url Droplet you can upload target links to your Dropbox. If you are browsing and come across a PDF that you would like to save in your Dropbox account, you can copy the link and past it to urldroplet.com. When you click “Save” the PDF will automatically be uploaded to your Dropbox account.
- Use it as a Photo Stream Too
You can use Dropbox as a photo stream. When you are out and about taking pictures with your smartphone you can upload the images directly to your Dropbox account or even take pictures with your phone from within the application.
Other File Sharing Options
Similar applications to Dropbox are Google Drive, Microsoft’s One Drive, and SugarSync. Google Drive and One Drive can be tied directly to your Gmail or Microsoft account which may be a smart choice for syncing your email account with your backup hard drive, while SugarSync is a more professional version with more features for a monthly charge.