Data Backup and Sync Strategies #3: Why You Should Use Dropbox


Dropbox isn’t a new entrant to the backup and sync scene. It’s been sometime since it was introduced, and has already received rave reviews and accolades from various technology sites and journals.

I knew about the tool since the day it came into existence. But I didn’t jump on the opportunity to try it out. That was probably because I had my own backup and sync system which included various tools, and I was quite satisfied with that. Hence I didn’t feel the need to try a new data backup solution.

But the other day, I decided to finally check it out. It was when, at Guiding Tech, we were working on an article on getting started with Dropbox. And boy, was I impressed! The tool has some seriously cool features and I found myself regretting the decision of using it so late.

So, if you are using any other backup and sync tool, or method, it’s time you keep it aside for a moment and take a look at some of the features of Dropbox , which, in my opinion, make it the best personal data backup and sync solution.

Simplicity

Yes, Dropbox’s simplicity, right from their site’s design to the way the tool works, is probably the most amazing feature. The entire backup and sync process is easy to understand and implement.

Multi-Platform

Yes, it works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even on mobile phones. It has got cool apps for iPhone and Android too.

No File Size Limits

You can backup and sync files of any size and any type with Dropbox. The cool thing is that when you make changes to a file and then add it again to your My Dropbox folder, it only syncs the changes made, thereby making sure that it doesn’t eat up your bandwidth.

Easily Share Data Privately or Publicly

This is one of my favorite Dropbox features. It makes sharing incredibly easy. You can create a shared folder and give access to selected people. And there’s a public folder where you can put a file and create a public link to that, which could then be shared.

Undelete files and Restore Previous Versions

So you’ve deleted a file by mistake and now you need it back. No worries. Dropbox lets you undelete files that were added to it. You could also undo any changes made to a document and restore it to its previous version.

Excellent online dashboard

Dropbox boasts of a really nice online dashboard which lets you search for files in your backup, make changes to them, share them and even create photo galleries from the photos you’ve got in your backup.

Work on Files Offline

If you are not connected to the internet and working on a file that’s backed up to Dropbox, when you come online it gets synchronized automatically.

Sudden Connection Drop Creates No Problems

I have tried some online backup solutions in the past which would go haywire if your internet connection drops suddenly, and resume the upload from the very beginning when the connection is restored. Imagine if it was a 100MB file and the connection dropped at 80%. It would be frustrating, right? And it doesn’t make it any better if you’ve got limited bandwidth. With Dropbox this won’t be a problem. It resumes uploads right from the point where the connection dropped.

Set Bandwidth Limits Manually

In one of the points above, where I talked about file size limits, I mentioned that it only syncs the changes and saves the bandwidth. If bandwidth is an issue then you could also set limits manually in the tool.

Great Set of Addons and Third-party Tools

The good thing about a tool that works well and becomes popular is that a community of users and developers work altruistically to add features to the tool and make it better. Same is the case with Dropbox. You’ll find a huge list of Dropbox addons to choose from. And when it comes to third-party tools and other tips, there’s no scarcity of them either.

In fact, you’ll be surprised to see the kind of things Dropbox is capable of. Here are some tools and tips which are my personal favorites.

1. Use Dropbox as the ultimate password syncer

2. Easily sync a folder outside My Dropbox

3. Sync Firefox With Dropbox

4. 15 Awesome Dropbox Tips and Tricks

There are many more such Dropbox tricks and tools available.

Decent Free Plan

And finally, Dropbox has a pretty simple pricing structure too – 2GB for free, 50GB for $9.99 per month and 100GB for $19.99 per month. Getting 2GB worth of storage and all the features of this tool for free is pretty good in my opinion.

Have you tried Dropbox? Do you prefer using any other tool? Share your opinion in the comments. And stay tuned for the final article in this series that’ll talk about backup and sync tools for your mobile phone.


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Abhijeet Mukherjee is the editor of Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes in-depth articles and tutorials on all things tech, including mobile news and tutorials. He's been into web working since 2008 and continues to enjoy each day of it. He loves to interact with people so hit him up on Twitter.

Discussion

  1. Jonas on the 31st August

    I’m using CrashPlan and it’s by far the best backup solution I’ve tried so far. Dropbox is good when you are sharing a lot of files, but when it comes to Backup as the main purpose – I’d choose CrashPlan any day!
    http://www.crashplan.com

    • Thera on the 31st August

      $54.00 for 1Tb, that could be interesting indeed, thanks for the link.

  2. Thera on the 31st August

    It’s a great service with interesting features, thanks for the article, but unfortunately even 100 GB is too small for my needs, so I’ll stick with SVN instead :/

  3. Ammon on the 31st August

    I love DropBox! One of the most useful things I use it for is to sync 1Password across my Macs and to my iPod Touch.

  4. David Garbacz on the 31st August

    As a student, Dropbox has saved my skin on more than one occasion. Usually anything that I need to work on for classes or files that I think I might need I toss into my Dropbox so if I”m on campus and remember I need to print off a paper or if I want to work on something in between class I can easily do so without forgetting my flash drive in a computer.

    Also Dropbox works great as a way to share files through the use of the Public folder. I’ve used Dropbox numerous times to have a friend listen to a song that I like or to share a quick document or photo. Also works great for hosting a hosted web page. As a computer graphics technology major I was always sending people links to my pages for testing and feedback.

    Works great for group projects too where you can share a folder between users and have one dedicated space for materials that syncs across everyone’s machines. With built in versioning and file delete recoveries, it makes any disasters pretty painless.

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