Backing up files and keeping data in sync is important, especially since now we don’t stick to a single device for our computing needs.
We have mentioned file backup and sync using Syncback, Windows backup and restore method, and apps like Back4sure for your data backup and sync needs. But today, we’ll talk about a tool which is “almost” the ultimate solution for file sync and backup. Known as Dropbox, it is an online backup solution which creates a “My Dropbox” folder on your PC and backs up and syncs whatever you put in it. All of the data is kept secured in the cloud and can be accessed from a browser anywhere (provided internet access is there).
Dropbox has versions for Windows, Mac, Linux and popular cell phones.
Let’s see how to set it up.
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How To Set Up Dropbox
All you need to do is, go to Dropbox website, download a small Dropbox desktop application and run it on your computer. Setup screen will appear. Click on “Install” button.
In a few seconds, installation will be finished. A dialog box appears prompting you to make a new Dropbox account. If you already have an account then go for the second option, “I already have a Dropbox account”. Otherwise click on first option.
Now signup for a new account. Fill up the form, check the box next to “I agree the Terms of Service”. After filling up the form click on “Next” button.
Now select the account you want to start with. If you are a new user then go with the free account. You’ll get 2 GB free space to start with, and later upgrade anytime you want.
After you are done with the signup process, “My Dropbox” folder will appear on your computer. Its location should be at C:\Users\Computer Name\Documents\My Dropbox.
During the setup, you could change the default location of that folder too. Check the second box next to “I want to choose where to put my Dropbox folder”. Change the location of Dropbox folder and click on “Finish” button. ( You could also later cut paste the folder to a different location, so no big deal here)
Now go to the “My Dropbox” folder through the shortcut on the desktop. You can also visit it by clicking on the Dropbox icon given on the system tray and selecting “Open Dropbox folder”.
Here’s the screenshot of Dropbox folders. By default there are two folders: Photos and Public. There is a “Getting started” PDF document too which consists of instructions on how to use this tool.
You can drop any file inside this folder. One thing you have to take care of is that when you drag and drop something in this folder then it is moved permanently from that location. Hence, if you intend to copy the data then you should apply “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V” keyboard shortcuts to do it.
Also, you can always make a new folder according to your choice. Suppose you want to add videos to your Dropbox account then make a new folder inside it and give it the name “Video”. Similarly you can create other such folders.
What Is File Sync Function Of Dropbox
Let’s say you are using this tool on multiple computers and a mobile phone. It means all the devices should have a My Dropbox folder inside it. And whenever you’ll move or copy any file inside the My Dropbox folder of that device, it will automatically appear in the same corresponding location on all the other devices instantly. This is what Dropbox can do. Instant file backup and sync across multiple devices.
Also, whenever you drop a file in the given folder, it automatically gets backed up on the Dropbox server. So if you lose your device, you don’t have to worry about the Dropbox data.
Open Dropbox official website. On the top right, fill your login credentials and click on Login button. You’ll see all the files you put on your computer’s My Dropbox folder present on the web interface.
You can take actions like sharing, downloading, renaming folders and much more, by clicking on the dropdown next to each folder.
File Sharing Feature
There is a Public folder inside the My Dropbox folder. Whenever you move a file to this folder, it will automatically be available to everyone. You can right click on the file and select Dropbox –>Copy Public Link.
Now share this link via IM, email or any other medium.
How Much Space Is Available
Basic version having 2 GB space is available free of cost. If you want more space then you can purchase 50 GB space for $99.00 / year and 100 GB space for $199.00 / year.
Overall, Dropbox is probably the best tool for file backup and synchronization. It comes with plenty of features. File sync, file sharing, online backup, web access, security and privacy, mobile device access are some of its well known cool features. In future, we will elaborate its other advanced features in more detail.