Have you ever sat down at your laptop and thought, “Oh no, my important file is on my desktop computer!” Or looked at your smartphone and said, “Sure would be nice if I could access my critical work files on the phone, but that’s impossible!”
Of course you haven’t. Because you’re not an idiot. You most likely have installed a cloud storage and file synchronization service that does all that. If you’re like most people, you picked the one with the most buzz: Dropbox. The service has 500 million users and 150,000 businesses using Dropbox Business).
Major companies like Google and Microsoft are in the same business, but always have their sync/storage offerings tied to other products (Google Docs and Microsoft Office, for example). In some ways, Dropbox’s simplicity—it works with any of your files—makes it all the more attractive. More importantly, it just works—and even directly works with Google Docs and Microsoft Office! Of course it is not only a program for the desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) but is also accessible via the Web and on mobile devices running iOS, Android, Kindle FireOS, and Windows Phone.
Fine, Dropbox is a service lots of people like, but it isn’t perfect. Many see it as overvalued; it’s had some bad press, by adding people like Condoleezza Rice to its board and changing terms to force users into arbitration when there are legal disputes, and it killed a couple of beloved single-use mobile apps: Carousel for picture backup and Mailbox for getting your inbox to zero.
Maybe worst of all for consumers: Dropbox is absolutely stingy with doling out space for free to customers: it offers only 2GB of online storage for free, compared to Google Drive’s 15GB (shared with Gmail and Google+), Microsoft OneDrive’s 15GB, and Box (Personal)’s 10GB. Dropbox gets away with it by pushing users to pimp the service to get more space (as you’ll see in the slideshow). An upgrade to Dropbox Pro costs $9.99/month or $99/year (both plus tax) and upgrades your space to 1TB (1,000 gigabytes).
So why use it? Like I said, Dropbox just works. Plus it does a lot more than just syncing. It’s the perfect digital suitcase. It ensures you’ll never be without your files wherever you need them, assuming you utilize Dropbox to the fullest. Just how do you do that? These tips spell it out.