A Review of Dropbox Mobile File Storage

by Aeyne Schriber on June 3, 2012 in Internet Access

Dropbox is a service which allows you to store your files and data in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere and from any device that has a connection to the Internet.  Many of these types of cloud storage services have been popping up all over the Internet to provide a way for individuals as well as businesses to access important files and documents without having to carry around a storage device.  Many of the cloud storage services cater to individual users and range as far as serving large organizations with disaster recovery solutions.

If you are not familiar with cloud storage systems or you have heard of them but you have never used them, Dropbox is one of the cloud storage and collaboration solutions which is being used by many individuals and companies.  The service also comes preinstalled on many mobile devices, tablet PCs, laptops, and desktop PCs.

Understanding Dropbox

Dropbox is an online service which securely stores data, files, documents, multimedia and much more in a remote location where you can access it at any time and from any location.  The service is web-based which is why it is also commonly referred to as data storage in the cloud.

When you use Dropbox you simply connect to the service via an interface and an Internet connection and retrieve the files you want to use.  The data is securely stored on a remote server using military grade encryption and allows you to retrieve your files and data at any time of day and from any device or location.  If you forget to bring your files with you when you go to the office you can retrieve them by logging into your account with Dropbox or accessing the folder on your desktop.  If your PC crashes and you lose all of your files and data it only takes a matter of minutes to retrieve your lost files and data.

You can store any files you like on the Dropbox server as well as share your files with people you designate for the purpose of collaboration, sharing photos with friends and family, and much more.  Dropbox also provides a way for you to sync your files and data across multiple devices so when you perform edits the files are automatically updated on every device regardless if it is your home PC, tablet PC, laptop, smartphone, or other type of mobile device.

How Dropbox Works

Dropbox offers a variety of accounts which are both free and paid and vary according to the amount of data storage space you require.  If you choose the free account you receive 2GB (gigabytes) of storage space which you can increase up to 10GB according to the number of people you refer to Dropbox that actually sign up for an account.  For each person you sign up you get an extra 250MB (megabytes) of free storage space. If you choose a paid account it is relatively inexpensive with a $10 monthly fee for 50GB of storage and $20 per month for 100GB of storage space.

Once you sign up to use the Dropbox service it is necessary to download and install the Dropbox software to your PC or mobile device.  Once the software is installed anything you add to the Dropbox folder on your desktop will also save to other devices you have synced with the service.  You can also configure permissions for other people to share Dropbox folders for collaboration which makes it convenient to share documents when you are meeting with colleagues or photos and files with friends and family.

Dropbox also provides a mobile app which is offered free for the iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry and allows you to access your files from your mobile phone.  Dropbox will keep your files for a history of 30 days to provide you time to retrieve files which may have accidentally been deleted.

Dropbox Features

When you save your files and other data using Dropbox it will automatically save the same information to your other devices, in addition to storing the saved data on the Dropbox secure remote server.  This way you are covered if your computer crashes or you experience any other type of data loss.

Because the Dropbox folder is manipulated from the desktop of your device you can also work even when you are offline by accessing necessary files from the desktop folder.  Once you are finished working with the files Dropbox will save the parts of the file that you modified to ensure efficiency and to save time.  Instead having to save documents in full, Dropbox will simply update the documents with any existing changes you performed while working with the document.

Dropbox is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems which include the Windows operating system, Mac OS, and Linux.  The service is also compatible with the iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and the iPhone.

You can also setup multiple folders in your Dropbox folder and then set permissions according to the individual you wish to allow access.  This keeps other documents private while you easily share documents with colleagues and personal data with family and friends.  Any changes that are made by the people you allow to access the folder will be reflected across all devices which share that same folder.

In terms of mobile features, you can access Dropbox files using the Dropbox mobile app and perform edits to your files directly from your mobile phone.  You can also access files, photos, and data to share with your family and friends.

Dropbox maintains a 30-day history of your files and documents so any changes can be undone or files which have been deleted can be retrieved again.  When your files are uploaded and stored on the Dropbox server they are encrypted during transmission and then again when they arrive in server storage.

Dropbox was started in 2007 and now has more than 50 million users.  The Dropbox service saves one million files to its servers every few minutes and serves customers in more than 170 countries.  Dropbox is offered in five different languages which include English, German, Spanish, Japanese, and French.

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