Please note that this review was written in September 2009 for the Boagworld site. Some of the details may no longer be correct.
If you’d like you can view the post directly on the Boagworld site
Lyle Barras has been kind enough to send us an audio review of Dropbox
Hi Paul and Marcus, my name is Lyle and I’m a hobbyist web developer. I’d like to give a quick review of an online tool called dropbox and a little about the way I use it.
Dropbox is an online storage device. You simply sign up for an account at www.getdropbox.com; the free accounts give you 2GB of storage, and then download the little application. You can download as many copies of the application as you want so that you can sync up as many computers as you want and the really great news is that it’s Mac, Windows and Linux compatible. I have tried it on all three and it works seamlessly. There is also a pretty cool web interface if you happen to be on a machine that doesn’t have the app installed.
As soon as you place a file or folder into the dropbox then it sync’s to the other machines you have set up and the file is there almost immediately. If 2GB isn’t quite enough you can upgrade to one of the two paid accounts. Pro 50 gives you 50GB for $9.99/month and Pro 100 gives you 100GB for $19.99/month. I think the Pro 50 is pretty good value if your storage need is big enough. At any time you can refer the tool to your mates. If they then sign up, even for a free account and download the app then you get another 250MB of free storage and so do they. To date I have referred two of my mates and got 500MB free.
I have found one problem with dropbox. When I upgraded my iMac and MacBook I found dropbox to be a bit glitchy and crashy. I did a bit of Googling and found that dropbox had already released a new fixed version of the app.
To pinch a bit of the advertising guff from the site, Dropbox replaces:
- Emailing file attachments to yourself and other people
- Using USB drives to move files between computers
- Renaming files to keep a history of previous versions
- Complicated backup software
- FTP servers, system-specific sharing methods, Network Attached Storage (NAS)
As I said at the beginning I’m a hobbyist web developer. I had been using a memory stick to carry round my work as I can’t really justify one of these posh versioning tools. I was sick of thinking “Right I’ll do a little bit” and find that I have left the drive at home or in the office. Dropbox replaces all that. I just use it as my memory stick and it’s always there I don’t even need to be connected to the net as long as I have sync’d the machine recently. I’m utterly sold and couldn’t imagine not having my dropbox now.