Easily store, sync and share all of your files, photos and media with a dedicated cloud server
- Basic, Pro and Business plans tailor to all users
- Store and sync all files, images and media quickly and securely
- Create shared folders or links other users can access
- Web dashboard for Files, Photos, Sharing, Links and more
- Enhance security, encryption and more with Business features
- Dashboard not accessible from application version
Dropbox is a free cloud storage program for Mac, developed by Dropbox Inc. Store and sync files, documents, images, and media between all of your compatible devices with this highly functional cloud storage tool. The program is available to download in its full version, completely free.
A Revolution in Data Storage
For decades, computer users were accustomed to their data being tied to the machine it was on or, failing that, to some form of external storage. In each case, this was irreducibly physical. If such a device was lost or damaged, all data therein would be irrecoverable, which was quite the inconvenience for a lot of users. More recently, though, we have been blessed with cloud computing, an innovative system which stores and syncs all of our data on 'cloud servers', with no physical form whatsoever. In effect, this means that whatever we upload or sync with the cloud will not only be more permanent but will be accessible from any device which can access the server. Dropbox was one of the first great examples of this.
Overview and Features
Setting up Dropbox is a simple process. After creating your free account, you will be given access to a limited amount of storage which can be upgraded from Dropbox Basic (2GB) to Dropbox Pro(1TB), the latter of which will cost approximately $13 per month. For everyday purposes, though, the basic version is more than sufficient. Dropbox can be accessed either online through its website or as a regular folder in your 'Applications'. For those who aren't familiar with cloud technology, Dropbox effectively allows you to store and sync all of your files, images, and media with Dropbox, so that no matter where you are, you can access them at your leisure. The most obvious benefit of this is that the risk of data loss is minimal. Furthermore, you need only have an internet connection, since there is no physical entity to interact with.
Dropbox is packed with features. On its web version you can view a compact dashboard interface containing a variety of options. 'Files' and 'Photos' are fairly straight forward. One neat feature about photos is that Dropbox will automatically scan and sync photos from your devices as they appear (if permissions are given). For most users, particularly those collaborating on bigger projects, the most important feature that Dropbox offers is its 'Sharing' feature. This will allow multiple users to access, edit and contribute to a shared folder. The dropbox from which it originates must allocate permissions by sending invitations, a quick enough process. You can also create links to files or folders which will be accessible outside of Dropbox. If you want to review any changes you have made to Dropbox, you can use the 'Events' menu.
For most users, particularly those collaborating on bigger projects, the most important feature that Dropbox offers is its 'Sharing' feature. This will allow multiple users to access, edit and contribute to a shared folder. The dropbox from which it originates must allocate permissions by sending invitations, a quick enough process
From your desktop, you can access Dropbox using an icon in your toolbar and it will open as an ordinary folder. This seamless integration with your Mac's interface makes accessing and using Dropbox a simple matter. When you open the Dropbox folder, you will notice several symbols on the folders within. These determine whether they are individual or shared folders. Adding a file to them will trigger a syncing operation which varies in length depending on the size of the file(s). The one notable downside to the Dropbox folder is that it has no dashboard like its web counterpart, and thus any changes you wish to make have to be done online. If you are just sharing and syncing files, it's not a huge drawback.
The Business End of Dropbox
In addition to the two Dropbox plans available for home users, Dropbox also offers a highly sophisticated business-focused version of the program. It has all of the same benefits of a regular Dropbox account, but with some added features. This includes far better security when storing and syncing files such as audit logs. Restrict access to specific folders or remotely wipe them if needed, encrypt files and folders and provide two-step access and single sign-in options for added privacy. One final noteworthy feature is the number of apps available to extend the functionality of Dropbox (well over 300,000). Whether for finance, productivity, analytics, or communication, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Dropbox is a simple and highly effective cloud storage program, allowing you to organize, store and sync all of your files quickly and easily. Whether using the basic, pro or business versions, the mentality of plentiful, secure storage space is always there. The program is accessible via an online dashboard and a regular applications folder, although making changes is only possible from the dashboard. Despite this, it's still easy to sync and share folders in both versions. If you are someone who is always on the move and hopping between devices, Dropbox is likely compatible with all of them, so why not give it a try and see how it can work for you?