Dropbox is a freemium cloud service that provides integrated file synchronization, backup and sharing. It offers free cloud storage of two gigabytes and you can pay for more space in case your space requirements exceeds the two gigabytes limit. You can use the Dropbox service through a web browser or through a platform specific client. The Dropbox client is available for all the major platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry etc.
You can download the Dropbox client for Windows or other platforms from its website. The client for Windows is a little over 30 megabytes in size. After the installation, you are asked if you already have an account. If you do not have any Dropbox account, then you can create a free account through the Dropbox client. After you enter your full name, email address and password, you are asked to choose a Dropbox size. The 2 GB file storage comes free with every account but you can choose the paid plans if you want to have more storage capacity.
After the installation, the Dropbox client is integrated seamlessly into the File Explorer. By default, it syncs a folder %UserProfile%\Dropbox on your hard disk with your Dropbox account. For me this folder is : C:\Users\Trisha\Dropbox. You can choose a different path for Dropbox folder during the setup by choosing the Advanced Setup type. Any file or folder you copy to this Dropbox folder would be automatically synced to your dropbox cloud storage. If you overwrite a file in this folder, then Dropbox keeps previous versions of that file too – just in case you need them. If you want to share a file in this Dropbox folder, just right-click on a file and choose Dropbox → Share link. This would generate a sharing link and open it in your default web browser. You can copy this link from your browser’s location bar and share it with your friends.
Dropbox desktop client also installs a notification area icon using which you can open the Dropbox folder, launch Dropbox site, view recently changed files, pause syncing and choose Dropbox preferences. In the Dropbox Preferences, you can choose to show desktop notification, auto-start Dropbox with Windows, enable/disable LAN sync etc. You can also choose to automatically upload the movies and pictures from your digital camera to your Dropbox account as soon as you attach it to your computer. In the Advanced section, you can move your Dropbox folder to a different path on hard disk and also add more folders to be synced with your Dropbox account.
You do not need the Dropbox desktop client to work with the cloud storage. You can just visit the Dropbox website, log in to your Dropbox account and start working on your files. The Dropbox web interface allows you to upload new files, create new folders, share the uploaded items etc. Dropbox never completely deletes your files, it always keeps a backup copy on the system and allows you to restore the older versions of the same file. The backup of deleted files is saved for a maximum of 30 days for the free account. You can view deleted files by clicking on the Show deleted files icon and then click on one of the deleted files to see the restore options.
The Links section on the Dropbox website shows the links of files that you have shared with other people. It also allows you to remove the links that you have shared through a simple interface. The Events section displays all the events related to your Dropbox account like file addition, file deletion, new folder creation, adding of a new device etc.
Dropbox is very simple, easy to use and versatile cloud storage, file synchronization and file sharing service. It makes file syncing and sharing so easy that even beginners can do it. Even if you accidentally delete or overwrite files in the Dropbox folder, it keeps the older versions on the Dropbox server – making your data safe and secure. It offers free 2 GB storage and works smoothly on all major platforms without any hassles.
You can sign up for Dropbox account and download its desktop client from https://www.dropbox.com/.