In my last posting I mentioned a online service called Dropbox, which is a way to sync files between your different PCs and store them on a online server. I just installed their software and tested it for a bit, and I have to say I really like it. It’s very simple to setup and use, and the syncing process is automatic. You basically have one folder called “My Dropbox” that is setup on your PC system, and all files in that folder are uploaded and synced to Dropbox’s online server. Now, if you install the DropBox software on a 2nd computer system, you can sync all the files in your “My Dropbox” folder to it, and vice versa. The syncing is done automatically by a service running in background on your PCs via the Internet. Aside from syncing, your files are also stored (and thus backed up) online, so they are safe in case your hard drive crashes, house burns down, etc. In addition, you can access these files from any PC using a standard web browser connected to the Internet.
This auto-syncing feature is very similar to the online backup services offered by Carbonite and Mozy. The only difference, is that those services are strictly for backing up files, not syncing across multiple PCs.
So far as security, the Dropbox web site states the following:
“We take utmost care to ensure Dropbox is secure. All transport of file data and file metadata occurs over SSL. All files are encrypted with AES-256 before being stored on our backend.”
So from this, it appears that files stored on Dropbox’s online servers are encrypted.
The Dropbox service is free for up to 2 GB, and if you need more space you can pay a monthly fee. For myself, I think I can get by with the 2 GB limit. What I plan to do, is carefully think what files I really need to share across my computer systems, and just sync those files. Of course, this may add a level of confusion for me, as I may forget what files I have synced and not, but I guess I can stretch my brain a bit for progress.