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Dropbox – How To Access Your Files From Any Computer

written by John Chow on March 18, 2010

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I guess you can call this part three of my post on how I run my business from a web browser (read part two here). Being able to access my blog, docs, photos and emails from any computer is cool, but how about files stored on my home computer? How do I access those files from another computer or a web browser? The answer is Dropbox.

Dropbox is my favorite online storage service. Dropbox allows me to access my home computer files from any computer, anywhere in the world. Dropbox acts just like a network drive in the cloud. Drag a file from your computer to Dropbox and it’ll transfer to the Dropbox online storage service. Any updates to the file will auto update the file on Dropbox. You can access your Dropbox from any computer where you have Dropbox installed. If you’re on a public computer, you can log into your Dropbox account from a web browser. There is also a Dropbox iPhone app so you can access your files from an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Dropbox offers 2GB of secured online storage for free. If you need more space than that, they have a Pro50 account with 50GB of storage for $9.99 per month and a Pro100 with 100GB of storage for $19.99 per month. The video below explains Dropbox in plain english.

Access Your Files From Any Computer with Dropbox

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{ 45 comments }

Michael Kwan March 18, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I use Dropbox too and I love it. Fantastic for sharing larger files that can’t be sent as email attachments. Also referrals give both you and the referral an extra 250MB of space (up to 5GB total, I believe).

John Chow March 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Well that would explain why I got 2.25GB when I signed up. :)

Michael Kwan March 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

Yup, I’ve already maxed out at the 5GB. I wrote about Dropbox last year and got a few referrals that way. Very useful service. Too bad it’s capped at 5GB for the free account.

Garen Thoms March 19, 2010 at 11:09 am

Why not upgrade

John Chow March 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Because Kwan is too cheap! I don’t have a Pro account either but I’m only using 1.2 gig of space right now.

Dana @ Blogging Update March 20, 2010 at 12:44 am

You should upgrade it Kwan.

Net Age | Web Design March 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Dropbox is definitely both a superior backup system and a service that enables you to access your files from anywhere. I always have privacy concerns about cloud computing, but imo the advantages way outperform the potential disadvantages.

Jack | Online Marketing Blog March 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Love Dropbox, been using it for amost 2 years and I love sharing files from my pc to my macbook.

jtGraphic March 18, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Does anyone know of similar software that can be bought? I have plenty of servers and cloud accounts. It’d be cool to just spend like $200 on some software and use my own servers…

John Chow March 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

If you want to store stuff on your server why not use FTP? Or you can a service like Jungle Disk http://www.jungledisk.com They won’t sell the software but you can use it for $3 per month plus S3 storage cost.

jtGraphic March 19, 2010 at 5:41 am

I do use FTP right now. I actually use Filezilla and PortableApps. It just ‘seemed’ like the dropbox interface is better.

John Chow March 19, 2010 at 7:44 am

The Dropbox interface is way better. That’s why I use it.

Net Age | Web Design March 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

That solution will really address the privacy issues that is my only reason for hesitance with this kind of an application.

jtGraphic March 19, 2010 at 5:45 am

True – although I doubt they’re interested in stealing your info. That would get leaked and make them look like shit at some point I’m sure. For me it’s a long-run cost savings.

PeerFly Affiliate Network March 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I have been using dropbox for a few months now. I really like it.

Diabetis March 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Got any free storage site?

John Chow March 18, 2010 at 11:21 pm

MS Live Skydrive offers 25GB of free storage. However files are limited to 50MB max size. http://skydrive.live.com

Dev | Technshare March 19, 2010 at 1:40 am

dropbox looks interesting :)

Mathew Day March 19, 2010 at 2:58 am

Cool, first time hearing about Dropbox. I like how they give you free storage and there upgrades are really inexpensive.

ParisGirl111 March 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

I like this concept. I only fear that security is not good enough and someone may gain access to my files. Can they guarantee that it’s secure?

John Chow March 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

Can anyone guarantee your security? :) The information is secure but with any system, hackers can break into any system if they are determine enough.

John Paul Aguiar March 19, 2010 at 6:46 am

Great heads up. Nice to be able to access my files without having to take my external.

Free Picks March 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

currently i am using team viewer but Dropbox looking much better than it

fas March 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

This is really unique. I never thought some one would make a business out of storing stuff for you.

Edgar March 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm

thanks John. I just sign up and I am already loving it. Downloaded to my iphone as well..

millionaire secrets March 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

that’s cool a lot thanks

Jovan March 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm

That’s got to be the dumbest thing ever, why the hell would I pay for this “service” monthly, when I could access any of my files on my computer or on an external drive connected to my home/work computer via remote desktop connection that is available on any windows computer, and its free?! Remote desktop lets you connect to your computer and use it and the programs and files on it from a computer with an internet connection and nothing else installed.

John Chow March 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Ya and I guess your home computer is as secured and safe as enterprise level servers in a locked down data center. I have home backup and remote access too but it’s nice to have a backup to the backup.

Jovan March 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm

True, but likewise you’re allowing some distant server/person to have full access to you’re files at anytime, vs. remote desktop you can physically disconnect that computer from the internet. The backup service is like cloud computing, anyone at anytime can access your files, I know this is possible with remote desktop as well but the opportunity of time isn’t there.

–reader of this blog since 2006—

John Chow March 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

If your desktop is connected to the Net, which I’m sure it is, then the opportunity is the same as if you are on the cloud. Are you going to stand in front of your comp 24/7 looking for hard drive activity?

You should have local backup but I think you should have offsite backup as well. It’s just one extra layer of protection. If your house burns down and your laptop falls in water, you’re gong to wish you had another backup else where.

Nick March 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Great article John! I’m using Dropbox to sharing larger files. I think is really unique like service.

Brian March 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Thanks for the info John, I signed up for Dropbox.

tablet chairs March 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Pretty slick, that 2 GB is all I need for now, so I can slide through for free. Thanks John.

Dana @ Blogging Update March 20, 2010 at 12:41 am

It is always useful to have online backup which allow us to get our data from any where.

Soares March 20, 2010 at 2:23 am

Im going to try…and safety…not even in our homes its safe if a hacker want to!

Thank you John

Steve @ 2008 Taxes March 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

Dropbox looks nice. I might need this pretty soon as they are talking about blocking usb ports on the computers where I do some work.

Harsh Agrawal March 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Dropbox has become one of my fav software for sharing file…
After dropping few referral I have almost 4.5 Gb of space..Most of the time I use it to share files and folders with my friendly quickly…

Chris Jacobson March 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I’ve been using Dropbox for a couple months. I love it. It comes in handy when you have to share files with a colleague and they’re too big and slow to send via e-mail — including with Gmail. 2GB of free space is perfect for me.

Estanislao Chapel March 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

I discovered Dropbox for one year ago and I really liked it from the very beginning. So easy to use and so powerful. I’m happy there are entrepreneurs out there that come with such brilliant solutions.

My question is if there is a team version for it. I outsource many activities to other people and I need to provide them with the extra storage space I have subscribed to myself.

All the best
Estani

Scott0 March 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

As a long time user of Jungle Disk for online back up and sync, I find dropbox much more user-friendly and intuitive and I have now replaced “My Documents” with “My Dropbox” in windows explorer, no need to have the two folders and drag files into the other.

If anyone else wants to use my referral link for an additional free 250MB of storage (for both of us) please sign up through my link

https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU0ODUxNjY5

Thanks!

Sharninder March 23, 2010 at 1:04 am

Dropbox is fantastic. As a tech blogger I use various computers and operating systems. Earlier I used to have to email myself documets when working on different computers, and now I just use dropbox for this sort of thing. So much easier and simpler.

ByzHubOwen March 26, 2010 at 8:56 am

I was introduced to Drop Box just last week by @mattsmedia what a great tool.

Muxx March 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I’ve been using Dropbox for the last few months now and it’s a godsend.

I normally would carry my flash drive but after I lost it one day, I completely went mental. Luckily I found it a few days later but it really kicked me in the rear how valuable the stuff I have was that didn’t need to be tethered down to a physical device.

Dropbox all the way!

College To Careers March 31, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Wow…that would make things quite a bit more convinient…I wonder what the security issues are like?

S Ahsan March 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I dont think you will need so much space at least not for another year or 2 :)