A Tip on Using Dropbox on Multiple Computers

Dropbox is pretty cool. From Wikipedia:
“Dropbox is a file hosting service…that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. In brief, Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of the computer it is viewed on.”
For me, this is a great thing. At work, I have to bounce around between three computers, and since one of those computers (my laptop) is an MacBook while the other two are PCs, they don’t network well with one another and I used to have to carry around a flash drive constantly. Now, I can just use Dropbox as a flash drive—I put the file I want in the Dropbox folder on my computer, and soon, it is available on the other computer I need to use (I say soon rather than immediately, because the file does have to be uploaded from my computer to the Dropbox server and then downloaded by the destination computer—not a big deal though).

The only problem with this is that if you have multiple people who use a computer where your Dropbox is installed, they could potentially access your files or clutter up your Dropbox (you get a limited amount of free storage) with their own files.

I never worry about the first problem (none of the files in my Dropbox folder are secret or particularly important), and the second was never an issue until recently. I noticed over the last couple of weeks that a ton of files were being added to my Dropbox without my knowing, and finally I realized that a setting had been changed where Dropbox had become the default means of importing pictures on one of the computers at the church building. Basically, anytime someone would plug a flash drive into the control booth computer at the church building, it was automatically importing all the pictures from that drive to my Dropbox folder.

The fix was simple—I just went to Dropbox’s Preferences box and unclicked a few options—and now I don’t have to worry about have hundreds of strange pictures mysteriously appear in my Dropbox. If you use Dropbox on several computers like I do, and especially if (for whatever reason) you connect a lot of USB drives to your computer, you might want to make sure that your Preferences have been set up properly.

(If you don’t have Dropbox yet I highly recommend it: click here to get your own Dropbox for free!).


Alex Nelson 7/16/12, 12:17 PM  

Dropbox also has the ability to act as a file-sharing system. You can host files publicly and dropbox will give you a link to that particular file(read-only), or you can share folders with other dropbox users so that anyone with access can manipulate files. The second could be detrimental if you don't want someone changing your work, but each time your document is saved, dropbox keeps a version number and you can revert back to it if you didn't like the change.

In other words - Dropbox is legit.

Luke 7/17/12, 9:07 AM  


Thanks for the tip! I didn’t know about that feature and can see it being useful in a lot of ways.

You are definitely right—Dropbox is legit.

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