Dropbox: Access your files from anywhere

DropboxIf you haven’t heart about Dropbox yet, today will change the way how you handle your data forever. Dropbox is a free service that lets you store your data in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection using a web browser or its mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

The free account gives you 2 GB of cloud space, and you can increase your free plan to up to 16 GB if you invite friends to Dropbox. If you need more space than that, Dropbox offers paid services for up to 50 GB ($10 per month) and 100 GB ($20 per month).

There are a couple of other cloud service that offer more free space (e.g., Sugarsync gives away 5 GB for free), and depending on your individual needs you might be better off with one of the other services if you decide to purchase a monthly plan (that’s another post, though!).


However, there are two things that make the free Dropbox account a must have:

First, Dropbox is baked right into the operating system (OS) of your Mac (or PC). That means that you can upload content to the cloud by simply dragging the files into the Dropbox folder in your Finder (or Explorer). Whenever you change a file in this folder, it is automatically updated to the cloud. At the same time, you can access your files in the local Dropbox folder even if you are not connected to the internet.

The mobile apps guarantee that you can access all your Dropbox files on the go through your iPad and iPhone.

The second good thing about Dropbox is that it has become something like a platform that improves and enables many different apps and workflows. For example, PDF readers such as iAnnotate and note taking apps such as Penultimate let you access your files from multiple devices via Dropbox integration. You can even use Dropbox to power a private social network to exchange files and messages with your Mac-based friends or co-workers.

This diversity of uses for Dropbox makes the free basic account a must-have, even if you are using other cloud services as well. For example, iCloud and Dropbox are not mutually exclusive services. You might want to use iCloud for smoothing your writing workflow, and Dropbox for collaborating with co-workers.

So get the free Dropbox today! If you don’t mind, please use this link to sign up with Dropbox (so my own account can grow a little bit). Once you have created your account, don’t forget to integrate it with your computer and to download the mobile apps. You can do this all by following the Get Started tour in Dropbox.

Dropbox getting started

Don't forget to install the desktop client to fully integrate Dropbox into your OS.

There is a ton of other great uses for Dropbox and lots of little tips & tricks that adds additional thunder to the Dropbox cloud. A huge list is coming to academiPad soon, but in the meantime, please tell us: What is your favorite use of Dropbox? Show off your Dropbox skills in the comments!

Disclaimer: All images by Dropbox.

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  1. Yann says:

    Note that Google Drive has just ben announced and will be rolling out this week for everyone. Check drive.google.com, it is very similar to Dropbox and has 5Gb of free storage. Let’s see how drive will interact with other apps and will integrate with iOS.

    • Jo says:

      Good point, Yann! Competition is always good, isn’t it? Lets see if Dropbox bumps up its free basic storage. Would make sense, they look rather small in comparison to most others.

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