I’m a Dropbox fan boy; I admit it, and am going to weekly meetings. Not really, but I have sincerely drunk the Dropbox Kool-Aid. There are many services that do the same thing Dropbox does (Sugar-Sync, SpiderOak, etc.), but none of them do it nearly as elegantly and efficiently. Dropbox isn’t as cheap as other solutions (though there is a free, limited version), but the extra expense is well worth it, to say nothing of the increasing number of vendors that utilize and integrate Dropbox into their framework. It is taking me a while, but soon I will have my entire music collection, photos, and all personal financial documents in Dropbox.
Here are five cool things I’m doing with Dropbox:
- Encrypted mountable file with a portable version of TrueCrypt – I keep a portable version of TrueCrypt in my Dropbox, along with a 1 GB encrypted, mountable file in which I keep all of my sensitive financial documents. I can mount the volume on any computer, access the data, and save it back, all the while keeping it completely encrypted in the cloud.
- 1Password’s password management database synced with Dropbox – I use 1Password (www.1Password.com) to store all of my web logins, credentials, financial information, and software keys. 1Password integrates their database sync technology directly with Dropbox. From any computer, including my smartphone, I can access my 1Password database.
- Collaborative workspace – When I need to work on some documents or projects with my family, we create a directory in the Dropbox folder for that specific project and can then fill it with documents related to the project. Not only does it back up the data to the cloud, but it keeps fresh copies of the documents on all computers.
- Technical lifeboat – I keep copies of all of my critical ISOs used for technical support in the “Public” folder in my Dropbox. The public folder is unique in that I can right click a file in that folder and obtain a “public URL” that I can then email or send to anyone if I need them to have access. My Universal Boot CD ISO gets downloaded quite a bit from this folder.
- Bit torrents from afar – Sometimes during the day, while I’m at work, I discover that I’d like to bit torrent a freeware application, such as a new Linux distribution. Because I’d rather have the large files directly downloaded to my home, I have my bit torrent client on one of my home machines “watch” a folder in my Dropbox. When I drop the torrent file in that folder on my workstation at work, it is immediately transferred to my home computer, where the client then picks up the torrent and begins the download.
While Dropbox might not have the full features and options for business or enterprise use, it’s a solid option for your home back-up needs. With these applications, you can get even more out of it. Check out even more at www.dropbox.com.
Submitted by Jarrod, Systems Engineer