How do you share files between computers that you own? Say you have a Word document on your desktop that you want to bring over to your laptop. Do you e-mail it to yourself? Put it on a thumbdrive? That's what I used to do until I discovered a really cool web 2.0 serviced called "Dropbox".
Basically what Dropbox does is create a folder on your computers that is shared in real time between all of your computers. Drop a file into your dropbox folder on your Mac and it appears magically in the dropbox folder on your netbook. Update a spreadsheet on your laptop and it gets synced automatically to your desktop.
There are some other places that offer this service, like Apple's MobileMe. But Dropbox has several things going for it:
- Blazingly fast. I'm in Tokyo and my work computer is in New Haven. I've dropped a file into my dropbox on my New Haven computer (using a VNC connection) and it literally popped into my laptop computer here in Tokyo within two seconds. I was absolutely gobsmacked by how fast it is.
- It actually syncs. This is one of the reasons why I've come to hate MobileMe. My gorrham iDisk is constantly failing to sync and plays havoc with my files.
- It backups. Dropbox keeps 30 days worth of archived versions on its servers, so if you accidentally overwrite a file with the wrong contents, you can retrieve it. Many places can handle deletes, but not overwrites, so I'm very happy.
- They have Mac, Windows, iPhone, and Linux versions.
- They are free: They'll give you 2 gigabytes free as a matter of course but....
- They also have a great referral program: if you sign up with my referral code, https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTcwMjMyMjI5, they'll give both you and me an extra 256 megabytes free.
You can get up to 8 gigs of free cloud space just by referring your friends. Which is what I'm trying to do.
So.... if you need a great file sharing / syncing program -- or you just want to help me out -- please sign up for DropBox! It's absolutely free and the referral bonus will mean a great lot to me in the long run.