MIT student Drew Houston developed one of today’s largest and most useful services, Dropbox. Officially launched in 2008, Houston’s creation now boasts over 50 million users worldwide and the company is speculatively valued at over $1 billion. But, what does that mean if you’re not a big corporation or a high dollar investor? Nothing. However, Dropbox offers 5 GB storage and anywhere access to individual users for free.
So you’ve arrived at the meeting, ready to show your client the presentation that’s going to make the deal. You rushed out the door so your laptop got left, but that’s not a problem. You’ve got the presentation loaded on a USB drive in your briefcase. Or, do you? Suddenly, it’s just you with no visuals. What about that time your stayed up all night finishing a project for work and then it was too big to email?
The way Dropbox works is that the client application creates a folder on your device. Whenever you add files to it, the files are uploaded to the Dropbox servers. Anytime you edit the files, the portion of the file changed is uploaded so the two are always synchronized. It also means the files are available to you wherever you have web access. If you modify a file while “on the road,” it’s synchronized when you access it at home and vice versa.
Another Dropbox convenience is that the client software is available on multiple platforms. The client runs on Windows, Mac or Linux. There are even applications that you can add to your iPhone, Android or Blackberry mobile device. In fact, some mobile devices come pre-loaded with the application. You don’t even have to use the client software. You can access Dropbox through a web interface.
Another nice feature is the ability to share your files with family, friends or coworkers. You don’t have to worry about the file-size and file-type limitations of email attachments. Files are instantly shared by simply adding them to your “Public” folder and sending the other person a link. You also don’t have to worry about multiple versions being passed back and forth wasting time since a shared file can be edited by multiple users at the same time.
Dropbox is truly what being in the “cloud” is all about. Why don’t you “drop” in on your personal cloud today?