Backing up important files is one of the simplest actions a person can take to avoid massive headaches in the event of a computer virus or a crashed machine. Unfortunately, no matter how hard companies like Microsoft or Apple work to build stable, protected machines, there are always threats, even if they take the form of a spilled cup of coffee or a dropped laptop. Storing extra copies of important files online is an easy way to be prepared for just such a calamity.
Storing files online is worth doing for a number of reasons, the first of which being security. If you are not storing online, the other routes to take involve digital storage on a personal level, such as burning a cd or purchasing an external hard drive, both of which can have problems of their own: cds easily become scratched and can become unreadable because of the scratches; external hard drives can be very expensive and, though they are increasing in quality, still have the potential to be corrupted. While no single method is 100% safe, choosing to store your important files online is the safest, easiest and cheapest available.
Storing online also has the added benefit of accessibility. Anywhere there is an Internet connection, files stored online can be downloaded, shared, edited and re-uploaded. With the wide availability of Internet, this means transporting files will never be the same again. Typically, to transfer files, they must either be emailed or, as with personal storage, be put on some form of digital media, be it a cd or USB flash drive, which cost money and can be lost or broken. By storing online, you never have to worry about having that item with you.
When searching for ways to store files online, a quick Google search shows that there are numerous options to choose from, the majority of which pale in comparison to Dropbox. Dropbox operates on a freemium business model, which offers customers significant features at no cost with more features available for a fee. Dropbox allots 2 gigabytes for its free users, which is a substantial amount of space. For those not familiar with these numbers, one three- and a half-page document is 25 kilobytes, which is 0.0000238418% of one gigabyte. For even more space, 50 gigabytes is available at $9.99 a month or $99 a year and 100 gigabytes can be purchased for $19.99 a month or $199 a year.
Aside from space though, Dropbox also offers a wonderful interface that makes it very easy, even for the casual computer user and Internet surfer. A small program is downloaded, also known as a client, which is available for a number of operating systems, such as Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, as well as in app form for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. The client creates a folder on the user’s computer that automatically uploads all of its contents to the secure storage space online. In addition to the clients, the Dropbox website can be used if one is not installed on a computer. Also, within the storage space allotted to a user, extra folders can be created with the option of being made public and therefore shared with other Dropbox users. This feature makes the sharing of files even easier.
Though there are many other options out there that still get the job done, Dropbox offers unmatched ease and simplicity, as well as a very decent amount of space. By storing important files there, you can be sure of their safety and never need to worry if your computer has any problems of its own.