Dropbox – What is it? Why do you have to have it?

By Sandra Clitter  

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately…I have a cartoon hanging on my refrigerator which says ‘Summer – where laziness meets respectability’. Somehow, while I’ve been busy all the time, I haven’t been as concerned about meeting non-client related deadlines…until Labor Day hit…now I’m trying to get back into the saddle and get going!

Anyway, you don’t care about that…you care about Dropbox – or want to find out WHY you care about Dropbox.

In a nutshell (and to use Dropbox’s own words), “Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Any file you save to your Dropbox will also automatically save to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website. This means that you can start working on your computer at school or the office, and finish on your home computer. Never email yourself a file again!” Additionally, you can quickly and easily share folders or files with anyone you choose. Maybe you won’t email large files again, either!

I don’t know about you, but there are many a time when I don’t have my laptop with me and I want to access a particular document. Maybe I’m at a client’s office and I need that ONE document I failed to bring with me. Maybe I’m with friends and I want to show them photos of my High School reunion. Whatever the situation, it is sooooooo hard to keep what files are where straight. Enter Dropbox.

I will admit it…I resisted setting up Dropbox. I don’t know why, I just did. Then, a friend of mine from High School put a bunch of ‘stuff’ up on Dropbox to share with the Class (our 35th reunion – YIKES – is next weekend). When I saw how easy it was to use (I could view files just by clicking on the link in the email. I could download files easily…I didn’t even need an account), I was thrilled. When I clicked on the link that I was emailed, I got to a page that listed all of the files/folders and I could see ANYTHING in there that I wanted:

Viewing Drop Box Files

It was the 70's - don't ask!

(Once I saw some of the photos, I questioned why I wanted to see them in the first place :-))

If I want to download the files to my computer (again, without creating any account whatsoever), I can just click and download:

So, because Dropbox was ‘nice’ and didn’t force me to create an account to get to the files I wanted to see, I decided to actually set up an account (just go to www.dropbox.com to get started). It was sooooo easy to do:

Enter your name, email and a password and away you go. The setup steps are clearly laid out:

They literally walk you through each step…with pictures and descriptions that are EASY to follow! NO techno-babble at Dropbox.

Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage – for FREE – initially. You can then ‘earn’ additional space. I’m up to 50GB by simply doing a 15 minutes ‘training’ and setup on various Dropbox features. To get more space, click on the ‘Get Free Space’ button – you’ll see the steps/alternatives clearly laid out. You can earn bunches of space…for free. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

Once you’ve set Dropbox up, putting a file in the Dropbox folder on your computer will sync it to your Dropbox account which can be accessed by signing into Dropbox from ANY internet connected device. If you want to SYNC the files between devices, just install Dropbox on each device (I’ve installed it on my smartphone and iPad) and you’ll have current files on each device…no more wondering which is the current version, or forgetting the file at the office.

The first thing that I did was upload the photos from my phone to Dropbox, so that I can access them on my computer. The files were available virtually instantaneously.

THEN, on top of that realize what you’re doing…you’ve got OFF-SITE BACKUP for important files. Make sure that those ‘I’ll be dead if I ever lose this file’ files are saved to your Dropbox folder…they will be automatically backed up each time they change.

Mac or Windows or Android…Dropbox has a place in your life!

Stay tuned to find out how Dropbox will assist you in maintaining Microsoft Office files on an iPad or iPhone…It’s pretty cool!


  1. Posted September 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sandy- Thanks for the tip! I love the photos!

  2. Posted September 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, Sandy. I use Dropbox all the time. I also use Cubby which basically does the same thing. Thanks for getting back in the saddle. I like going for tech rides with you!

    • Posted September 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Wait’ll you see what Dropbox can do for Microsoft Office!!!! Stay tuned (never thought you’d get a cliff-hanger on tech tips, huh?)

  3. Posted September 10, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Sandy!
    Thanks for this tip. I pay yousendit to send files to their cloud. Will try this too. Just got a new laptop. Had to. Working on getting it set up. Paying Adobe Creative Cloud monthly for all the programs. Seems like the most cost-effective and cash-saving plan. Our 40th high school reunion is the 22nd. I’m on the committee. It’s been fun planning it. I’ll miss it when it’s over. I’ll also miss summer too. I love the heat. But I won’t miss the bugs!

    • Posted September 10, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey, Becky!

      There are a TON of cloud storage systems available these days. I find it interesting that DropBox is being integrated into so many other things…making it very desirable to use. Since you’re a design firm, using Adobe’s Creative Cloud probably makes alot of sense (I’m not all that familiar with it). Whether you should pay for cloud storage or not really depends on how much space you use. If one uses alot of space, then you are always going to need to pay – regardless of the service you pick.

      Enjoy your reunion!!


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  1. […] (If you don’t know what Dropbox is, or why it’s important, please check out this post: http://www.yourtechtamer.com/blog/2012/09/dropbox-what-is-it-why-do-you-have-to-have-it/), but that doesn’t handle having to license the programs themeselves multiple times to […]

  2. […] with the online storage BOX and Google Drive). For more information on DropBox, please read this Blog Post from […]

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