Dropbox is a software developed by Dropbox, Inc. founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, that offers its users a way to upload their files into a cloud storage, keeping all documents placed there for all sorts of different reasons. Dropbox is available for many OS systems such as Linux and Windows for PC, Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone for mobile systems, and even on their website.
Why use it?
Long ago, people would depend on flashdrives, CDs, DVDs, and so on to save or transfer their files in case their PC failed to start or someone else needed that information, yet these weren’t reliable because as anything physical, they decay and stop working, and these files wouldn’t have been up-to-date for any of the users sharing the information. This is why cloud storage has been so popular after its creation. Now we not only keep our important documents safe from physical harm, but any kind of unwanted deletion.
There are many reasons to use it, and the most common are:
- Safety: as stated above, Dropbox keeps everything you put there in their cloud servers, being clouds digital, they will remain there until you choose they’re no longer useful. Also, no one else can go through your stuff without your consent, unless of course they have access to your computer or phone.
- Auto-synch: because you have to log in, it’ll automatically synchronize all the files you’ve uploaded to any OS you use in the future. Meaning, if you need to go on a trip, you can use your mobile device to check any file in there. It is also a perfect tool at work because you can use it on multiple computers and they’ll all have the information updated as it’s changed without having to physically copy the files and transferring them or using emails.
- It saves previous versions: something you don’t get in many cloud storage servers, if you make a mistake you have a month to correct it for free. If you want to go back even further you’d need to get a paid version of Dropbox.
- Share your documents: it allows you to copy a public link to the files you chose so anyone with it can see those specific files. They don’t even have to have a Dropbox account.
Download and Installation Dropbox
You have two options on what you can do first; however you have to do both either way.
- You can start by registering you need to register through any of the OS systems and their website, you can create an account from scratch, or you can use your Gmail credentials, it makes no difference whatsoever.
- You can also start by downloading the software into the Operating System –or systems of your choosing, if you choose an OS for PC, it’ll download a small installation file and then download the rest.
- If it is CentOS, you need to have Architecture x86 (32-bit) or x86_64 (64-bit), wget, vi (text editor), Python 2.x and a web browser in your PC, then you install it in your current user, run the program and download the CLI interface, synchronize the folders if you want to and then create a linux service daemon.
Once you’ve downloaded it and registered, you have to log in.
- Dropbox login through PC: after the download, a small window will open, where you can write down your email account and password, as well as create an account if you haven’t.
- Dropbox login through mobile phones: once the download is completed and you open the app, you’ll see a single big button to register and underneath, in blue font, the one to use your account.
- Dropbox login through a web browser: you don’t have to download anything for this one, just go to https://www.dropbox.com/ and log in.
Dropbox offers different features depending on the device.
Dropbox On PC
It looks just like a regular computer folder, just open it and drag the files or folders you want to copy in there.
If you want to share a file, simply right click on it and hit the “share” button, a window will pop up so you can write their email address and a message, keep in mind all they can do is see it. However, if you create a folder and share it, your collaborators will also be able to edit it.
Dropbox On mobile phones
In the main screen of the Dropbox app, there’ll be a “plus” button, there you can select to upload pictures or videos, files, create a new folder, a new text document and take pictures to store them directly in the cloud.
If you swipe to your right, you’ll see a small menu where you can select to see either recent files, all the files, just pictures, files without synching and notifications. Also, on top of it you’ll be able to see a settings icon to modify the account’s photo, connect to a computer, exit your session, invite friends and much more. While hitting on the arrow icon next to the file’s name will allow you to share that file with your friends and collaborators.
Dropbox On the web
Upload and create files, folders, and share them using the buttons next to the search function, change your settings by clicking on your user name, and share documents by clicking on the really big share button that appears next to the files and folders. Nothing gets simpler than this.