Dropbox FTW


I heavily rely on the various cloud services to keep working documents, and helpful things available wherever I happen to be, on which of my devices.

I have a 100G Dropbox account, a 25G Google Drive account, and, being an Apple person, I have an iCloud account as well. All of these do a pretty decent job of keeping files synchronized around my devices.

Dropbox remains king of the cloud storage/sync world.
Dropbox remains king of the cloud storage/sync world.

But, the one that I couldn’t live without is Dropbox. They weren’t quite first to the market, but they started with a strong offering and have enhanced it as time has gone on. Now, if you are using a program that supports cloud file synchronization, it is going to support Dropbox. Dropbox has aggressively opened their platform to developers, and there are now tons of great applications that share and exchange data via Dropbox. This evolution was highlighted last night when I got an email from O’Reilly Media telling me that I could sync my ebook purchases with my dropbox account. Cool. Also, something that I enabled without thinking is that the Dropbox application on my computer will know when I put a camera memory card in, and it will copy all the files to a “Camera Uploads” folder. So, it is like the Apple Photostream feature. Pretty cool option.

Google Drive is in second place. While you can use their service to share data between programs, it is not as straightforward as Dropbox. It is a bit more granular so for about $2.50 a month I get 25G of storage. The fact that it is now the Google Apps repository is nice as well. I do some work for a non-profit, and we often collaborate via Google Docs files, so my Google Drive gets a fair amount of access from that.

Apple is a distant third. I never expected it to replace Dropbox, and I am sure Apple wasn’t planning on that as well. But for apps on my mac and my iOS devices that support it, it is really a pain free to keep your data sync’d. I haven’t explored the options for collaboration, or sharing, and frankly, I will probably use Dropbox or Google Drive for that anyway, since most of the people I work with are PC people.

While I still have a couple of USB thumb drives, Dropbox has pretty much made them irrelevant. I only use them when I need to run a PPT presentation on a computer that isn’t mine. Other than that, they really don’t serve a purpose in my workflow.

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  • I am also a fan of Dropbox, had it since it came out. Google drive is my 2nd go-to option. Unfortunately, the government does NOT appreciate the use of external cloud storage on any production devices. The two times I actually installed them on my work PC …. they had disappeared by the next morning thanks to scan & remove policies. I suppose they think everyone is a potential Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden, and in that light I can understand it. My only option is to use the approved 2GB IronKey data stick that I carry around my neck on my badge lanyard. The use of USB ports (except mice and keyboards) and CD/DVD drives is also blocked all for users unless they are members of a special AD security group AND the device is on the ‘approved’ list.

By geoffand


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