File hosting services are all over the web. It is perhaps one of the most common conveniences of the Internet that you can have as an official service. Dropbox is one of the most popular examples of such official services, and you are about to learn how it can change your workflow.
As an Internet-based service, Dropbox, at its very basic level, is a type of cloud storage, providing extra digital space for your data in the cloud. Like most typical file hosting services, access to these files can be properly controlled and set, enabling file synchronization on any device that is compatible with the service’s developed software or apps. What’s great about this is that it is designed to look and work as if it is a normal file explorer or like a standard directory when using its web client mode. Setup is simple, and you only need to visit its website (dropbox.com) or download the appropriate app on your mobile device to start using it.
In terms of work and productivity, Dropbox gives a two-step convenience factor. First, as mentioned earlier, file access. With file synchronization, any data stored on your account will automatically be accessible from all devices and computers that have access to the same Dropbox account. Second, it acts as a highly reliable backup data drive. If you have sensitive files, or very important ones that you need protect, then saving them in your Dropbox account may be the best option for you.
Aside from its cloud-based accessibility across many hardware platforms, Dropbox is even integrated into a few important productivity apps that can make use of its features and functions. Android’s ES File Explorer file management, for example, has an option to directly access your Dropbox account much in the same manner as its PC or Mac version would. Any mobile version of Microsoft Word would also be able to directly access documents that are saved in your Dropbox account as if it were included in the access directory menu of the local app. And, of course, PDF viewers and document tools such as Kami can also directly access the files on your Dropbox account.
As for the Dropbox folder itself, there are also nifty icons that let you know the files’ sync status. A spinning circle or disk indicates an upload status, telling the user that the file is still on its way to the cloud. A plus sign indicates that the file is already properly saved and accessible in the cloud, ready for syncing. Such added convenience might simply be a file hosting service standard, but it is integral to the efficiency of Dropbox as a cross-platform data access tool. For instance, folders with a significant number of separate files (e.g., archives, reports) might not instantly be available for syncing, even if the individual files are small enough to be saved almost instantly when uploaded as separate files. These status indicators can help the user determine if the folder can already be accessed on another unit.
A free Dropbox account has a maximum storage capacity of 2GB. This may be adequate for your most important files and folders and for a few emergency digital things that you might need. If you need more, there are also other paid premium services, which are presented and offered on its official website as extended capacity packages.