032: Other Backup options: Dropbox

Hey there YouTube! Another Christmas has come and gone and here we sit in the in-between. That lovely holiday time between Christmas and New Year. Time to enjoy the holidays for most people and plan the New Year’s party and resolutions we make for the year ahead.

But, 2019 isn’t quite here yet, so I thought I’d continue on with the backup theme of the last couple of weeks and introduce you to Dropbox as well.

Why introduce Dropbox when I’ve said I prefer Google Drive? Well, because a lot of people do use Dropbox and it’s quite common for people to share files using Dropbox, so it’s worth knowing how it works.

Failing that, if someone asks, at least you know this episode is here and you
can brush up your skills when you do need them.

Other reasons to like Dropbox include space. Lots of space. They have much larger storage options than Google, starting with 1Tb or a 1000Gb for around AU$150 per year.

Another is excellent multi-way sync. You can connect multiple
computers to a Dropbox account and a file added on one computer will begin to download on your other computers as soon as it’s finished uploading.

To get started with Dropbox, you need to sign up on their home page at Dropbox.com you can even sign in using your Google Account, which is handy because it’s one less password you need to remember. All you have to do is sign into the pop-up with your Google account and allow the Dropbox integration with Google. Then you put in your name and agree to the Dropbox Terms of Service.

The next screen gives you a tour of Dropbox but what we want is the download button behind it, which takes you to the download page where you can download the stub. Once you click this, the mini installer downloads. When you run it, it goes through and downloads the full installer and installs itself into windows. At the end of the install, click “open my Dropbox” and the Dropbox for Windows tool will start.

One of the differences between Dropbox and Google Drive is that Dropbox simply sets up its own folder and anything you put into that folder is synced to Dropbox. It does not backup your existing Documents, Pictures etc like Google Drive does.

At the next screen we selected Dropbox Basic and were rewarded with the message that our computer was now linked to Dropbox. Like Google Drive, the system tray icon gives us access to the Notifications and the Preferences Window.

The Preferences Window has several panels: dealing with your account, the
ability to import any photos from USB drives and memory cards you insert,
bandwidth limitations, proxies, notification settings and the sync options.

I particularly like the selective sync option as it gives you the ability to have a folder sync to your Dropbox and then turn it off on your computer to remove the files from that computer but still have it available in Dropbox and on any other computers that are synced. This is particularly handy if you have a device like a laptop with limited amount of storage space. The files are always available, if you need them, you just have to add them back in to that device’s selective sync and It will download and then untick them when you’re finished to make them disappear from your local storage.

The other great feature is sharing: you can right-click on any file or folder in your Dropbox and select from a variety of dropbox options, including the “share” and “copy Dropbox link”. Clicking “share” will give you a box where you can add someone to share this document with you. If they don’t have a Dropbox account, or don’t have one with this email address, they’ll be asked to create an account with this email before accessing the file.

The second option in the Dropbox section of the drop-down is “copy Dropbox link” which will give you a link that you can simply email to anyone to access and download that file.

I think that’s about enough for now. At The Tech Doctor Network our goal is to help you negotiate the technology maze. Come back every weekend for new videos or subscribe and ring the bell to be notified. I’m here to help. Thank you so much for watching. Have a safe and Happy New Year! Bye!

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