DROPBOX ~ What it is and how to maximize its use.…
© 2015 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
While Dropbox is a popular service, it still amazes me how few people know about it, what it does or how to maximize its use. So, if you’re a user, bear with me, as I’m sure you’ll pick up a little insight into what makes it tick.
Most of us at some time or another have the need to email or in some other manner send files containing documents, photos or PDF’s. Email might sound like the logical option, but most often its file size limitation prevents its use. Most email accounts limit the file size to less than 5 megabytes while others may allow up to 10. Beyond that you’re just out of luck! That’s where Dropbox comes in. Dropbox is a service that utilizes the cloud to allow you to transfer files of almost any size from one Dropbox to another. It not only allows you to send such files to others, but from one of your own computers, iPads or smartphones to another. In the latter, it allows transferring this data without the use of a memory stick.
So, what’s needed? First you must subscribe to the Dropbox service. As a private individual you can do this at no cost and have access to a free 2GB Dropbox account. This probably would satisfy most needs, however, additional memory is available as an upgrade with a monthly or yearly subscription to a Dropbox Pro 1TB plan. You can also obtain additional 500MB increments at no cost for each person you recommend that actually signs up. There is, however, a 16GB cap on this offer. Commercial or business users can sign up too, but with a monthly or annual fee.
Since Dropbox is a for-profit business it aggressively promotes its use by its users. You’ll receive notices about having many files and photos automatically stored in your Dropbox. While this may seem handy and nice, it comes at a price. Your Dropbox will soon be full and you will be asked to sign up for a subscription. To avoid such charges you should limit your use to an actual transfer. When you know the transfer was successful and completed remove the file from the Dropbox. This frees up space and makes room for future transfers. Chances are you’ll never run out of space.
(TIP: You’ll know that the recipient has accessed the material in the folder as Dropbox sends an email notice of this activity to you automatically.
When you wish to send someone a large file, you must create a folder with the file(s) in it, and then drag the folder into your Dropbox application. Once in you can click on this folder, select what you wish to do, enter the email address of the recipient and send it. The recipient may not need to be a registered Dropbox user, however, I have experienced that this is not always the case based simply on past usage. Therefore it’s highly suggested that they become s user if at all possible since it is free. They will receive notification that you sent them a file(s) and can then access it. If they drag it to their desktop they will always have access to it.
Dropbox is used by thousands of corporations and individuals alike. It’s fast, safe, economical and an extremely useful tool in this world of on-demand communications. To subscribe simply go to dropbox.com or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you an invite. It couldn’t be simpler.
GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★
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Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at email@example.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.