Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Computers and Dropbox

After Thanksgiving, I finally got a new computer. And then finally over Christmas break, I got around to moving all of my files and actually using my new computer. I took my time because my new laptop runs Windows 7 and I wanted to get a feel for it before I moved my "life" onto it.

I still have to use my old computer. (HAVE is probably not the right word, but I still use it for many tasks.) I have been continuing to do my newspaper indexing on the old laptop. I also still have Family Tree Maker 2009 on my old computer and am still in the process of organizing all my oddly named files as I add the media links to Roots Magic 4.

I have found that Dropbox has been a great utility to transfer my files between computers. I am using the free plan, which includes 2 gigabytes of storage space. This is more than enough space for me because as I find a file that needs to be on the other computer, I only need it in my Dropbox for a short time.

If I want to share files between two or more computers (or even my iPhone) I just put the file that I want to share into a folder on my computer named "Dropbox". Then Dropbox will sync that folder with the same folders on other computers. It is very easy and fast (as long as you don't add a very large file, like my husband does.) You can even add folders within the Dropbox folder to keep your files organized. I find using Dropbox to be a lot faster than putting files on a USB stick and moving them between computers.

You could use Dropbox as your online backup system, but I don't recommend it due to the price. You can get 50 GBs for $10 a month or 100 GBs for $20 a month. It is much cheaper to use another service for your backups. I use Mozy and it is only $5 a month for unlimited backups. I also don't recommend Dropbox for your online backups because you need to put all files you want backed up into the Dropbox folder on your hard drive. If you want everything on your computer to be made available on multiple computers, then this might be a good choice for you, but it is not how I want my files organized.

Disclaimer: I was not contacted or paid by Dropbox for this review. But if you click on this referral link and sign up, we will both get an extra 250 MB of free storage space.

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