Dropbox review

We’ve covered just about every online backup and file syncing tool going, from comprehensive, automated systems such as Carbonite (Macworld June 2009) to media-oriented applications such as Syncables (Macworld Autumn 2009). Now it’s Dropbox’s turn – the cross-platform tool that shines because of its simplicity.

Sign up for an account and install the Dropbox application. You’ll get a new folder in Finder called Dropbox. As long as you’re connected to the Internet, you can use this like any other folder on your system; adding files, creating and deleting directories, saving documents and so on. The difference is that the folder’s online – stored on the Dropbox servers. The free version gives you 2GB of space to play with – which makes it ideal for office documents, but less useful for big media files. The $9.99 (about £6) a month option buys you 50GB of secure and guaranteed storage.

Here’s real beauty of Dropbox. Once your files are online you can access them from anywhere with a web connection, on any computer. All you need is a web browser and your login details. Want to sync files between machines? No problem. You can install Dropbox on as many computers as you like – whether they’re running OS X, Windows or Linux – making your Dropbox folder accessible on all your machines. To sync and share your files, just drag them to Dropbox.

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OUR VERDICT

Still in beta, Dropbox is evolving. While we were reviewing the service, the site rolled out several new features – including an overhauled web interface, bulk file operations, keyboard shortcuts and file search. We think it’s well worth keeping an eye on.

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