How Does Dropbox Work?

Cloud-computing has become very popular within the last years. There are so many providers of “cloud-based services” out there which offer you a wide range of services, like file-storage, online-editing of documents and much more.

One of my favourite provider is Dropbox, which offers an online-storage for your files. It also can help you to keep your directories and files in sync between multiple computers in a very simple way.

How does Dropbox work?

First of all you must register at Dropbox. At the moment they offer a free account which gives you 2 GB storage. They also offer paid plans which give you more storage space. Then you must download the Dropbox software, which is available for several operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, etc. Under Windows, e.g. this software creates a new “Dropbox folder”.
After installation, each file that is placed within the “Dropbox folder” is now automatically copied to your Dropbox account. Even if you change a file, the updated file is sent to your Dropbox account. So you will always have a “copy” of your local Dropbox folder in your Dropbox account. If you log in to the Dropbox website and change files in your account, they will be updated on your local computer as soon as the local Dropbox software synchronizes with the server.
By the way, Dropbox provides SSL for security and AES-256 bit encryption on the server.

Synchronization

You can also synchronize the data of the Dropbox folder with another computer by installing the client program there. This also connects to the Dropbox server and downloads all new or changed files.

File Sharing

With Dropbox, you can comfortably share files or folders with others. I think this is very practical. You can share a folder with another Dropbox user. After sharing, he will see the folder in his Dropbox account and can access the files within. If he changes the files now, they will be synchronized with your Dropbox account. Cool!
You can also create a direct link to a file. You can e.g. send this link to friends. The link contains some kind of “crypted” characters, which makes it difficult for others to find it out.

Conclusion

For me, Dropbox is a great solution to provide files on different computers or share them with others.

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