There is a lot of talk about the upcoming “cloud” and the benefits it offers. The most practical use for the “cloud” for most users is as a storage system. Cloud storage allows users to store files and media on a virtual, external hard drive. This virtual hard drive can then, in theory, be accessed on any system anywhere via the Internet. While Microsoft already offers some cloud services, they run exclusively on Windows products and this makes them less than ideal for collaboration. Dropbox is a cloud solution that works on every platform and is very cheap and easy to use.
How Dropbox Works
Dropbox works like a lot of the other more popular cloud services but with a convenient twist. It has a client for almost every system including Windows, Mac, Android and IOS. In order to use Dropbox, you first have to install the client. On computers, the client can be found via their website and on mobile devices, Dropbox is available via the application store. Once installed, an icon will appear in your status bar. Right-clicking this icon will bring up an option to show the folder. Once the folder is open, simply drag and drop what you want on the cloud into the folder. It functions like any other folder on your desktop and allows you to cut, paste and even create sub-directories. You can now access these files by logging in on any device with Dropbox installed. This is ideal for collaboration projects where some users are on Mac and others on PC. All you have to do is give them the log in and everyone has access to the cloud folder to share files. Dropbox is also ideal for those who have a lot of different devices. While the Windows cloud services work on PCs and Windows Phones, Dropbox works on everything including iPhone and Android.
Dropbox has three different pricing options to suit your needs. The first is the 5GB plan and as the name implies, it offers 5GBs of cloud storage across your devices. The best thing about the 5GB plan is that it is completely free. There is also a 50GB plan for $10 and a 100GB plan for $20 a month respectively. Those who need the extra storage may find the monthly fee to be a worthy investment, others can make use of the 5GB plan for free. No matter how you plan to use the cloud, at a starting price of free everyone should give Dropbox a try.
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and recent graduate of Elon University. She is currently a resident blogger at online degrees, where recently she’s been researching different exercise & nutrition programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.