Everyone is faced with the problem of sharing/accessing large files without having to depending on thumb drives, writing DVDs or using a remote login to download the file from your computer. I have found a solution to this problem in something called the Dropbox, and it is free.
You can download the application on to your Windows, Mac or Linux PC, or even on your iPhone or iPod Touch from dropbox.com and start using the application. Once installed, a menu will pop up for you to sign in. You can choose the 2GB free account or go for the 50GB or 100 GB paid version at a monthly payment of $9.99 and $19.99, respectively.
After you fill in your contact information, key in a strong password as your files will be stored on a remote server. The next step is to name the PC that you are installing the programme on — use a descriptive name such as My iPod or My Home PC.
All you have to do now is to save files you want to share into the Dropbox folder created on your PC. The programme works behind the scenes and sends a copy of all the files to the Dropbox server. So the next time you boot up your other PC where the application is installed under the same account, your files are downloaded there too.
But if you make a habit of saving files directly to your Dropbox folder, you will soon run out of space on the cloud and might have to explore the costlier paid options. This might be expensive, but makes sense if you are using the application for business.
Dropbox has worked very hard to ensure full compatibility to Windows and Linux Platforms and it also works seamlessly on the Mac. I am glad they have an iPod, iPhone and an iPad app, and would love to see an app for the Android and Brew platforms which are gaining ground. Till that time you can access Dropbox from any browser.
I also don’t like the fact that Dropbox currently does not allow to share a file, you have to share an entire folder with files in it. But the sharing still works wonderfully well.
Its best feature, however, is a paid one. It allows you to do unlimited undo on a file for 30 days from the last save. If you use the iPod, iPhone or iPad application, you can look at your pictures as an interactive photo gallery and even download files for offline viewing on your handheld. If you have the latest iPhone 3GS that shoots video, you can directly upload these to the account.
So if you too are faced with file sharing problems, check out Dropbox at dropbox.com
The Above review appeared in the Indian Express, on Sunday, May 2nd 2010