Dropbox for Beginners (2015)
Dropbox for PC
Dropbox is a file sharing and synchronizing software that is available for both personal computers and various mobile platforms as well. Here in this chapter, we will talk about the Dropbox on personal computer and several tips and tricks that can be used to use Dropbox much more effectively.
If you have downloaded Dropbox and installed it on your personal computer by following the simple set of instructions that come along with it then you must be looking at a Dropbox folder on your computer. This folder will let you upload your documents, pictures, music, videos and any other sort of data to be uploaded to Dropbox cloud storage and will automatically synchronize it with all other accounts that you might have on other devices like your Smartphone etc. The Dropbox however, isn’t just a simple file sharing or storage software. Dropbox can be used for many other various things that would otherwise be very difficult to do. Here is a list of tricks and various other things that you can do on your personal computer to use your Dropbox for more than just simple cloud storage. Keep in mind that all these tricks can be used on all personal computer platforms like windows, Mac etc.
Dropbox as a Music Box
If you are a fan of music and you listen to music whenever you have free time or you just simply can’t find a reliable music app that can be used on all your devices then Dropbox can solve your problem. This trick however, will only work if you’re on iTunes. You can use your Dropbox to sync your iTunes music to all your devices and you can listen to whatever you want whenever you want whether you’re on your desktop or using your cell phone. Using this technique you can sync all of your music playlist to all your computers and you can use the same list to listen to your favorite music on your smartphone using a web player app or an app like BoxyTune.
Keep in mind that you will need a lot of storage space for this technique to work so make sure that you have at least a pro version of Dropbox because otherwise the space that comes along with the basic version won’t be sufficient enough for this technique to work.
Dropbox as My Documents
One of the most effective and widespread use of Dropbox is as My Documents folder. Usually the things we store in our My Documents folder are light-weight documents and other important things. Dropbox can be used as a My Documents folder which will definitely make your work life a lot easy.
Using Dropbox as My Documents folder will automatically sync all your important documents, pictures or presentations on all your other devices. This way you will be able to get the most updated version of your documents on all your devices no matter what. This may not sound a lot but it’s quite an effective technique to handle your data, there will be no need to use data traveling devices. For this to work you simply have to save your documents or other kind of data that you want to be available on all your devices in your Dropbox folder rather than My Documents folder. This way your documents will be synced automatically and you can access them via your Dropbox folder from any one of your logged-in devices. Also, if you sometimes forget to put your documents in the Dropbox folder then you can always change your My Documents folder to be your Dropbox folder, this way you won’t ever have to worry about forgetting where to save your documents.
This is a cheap yet amazingly effective technique that can be used to save you time and a lot of effort as well. This trick can easily be used along with any of the versions of Dropbox because of the fact that your documents usually don’t take up a lot of space so you won’t need a really huge amount of storage space for this to work. Even the basic Dropbox version can be sufficient to hold all your important documentation.
One of the most useful and unique features of Dropbox is its version history. This feature allows the user to get back the previous versions of their documents. So let’s just suppose you accidentally saved a new modification in your file and you’re thinking you shouldn’t have saved the last change you made in your document then you won’t have to worry about anything. If you’re using Dropbox you can easily get back the previous version of the file and you can download it as any other simple file or document. And this feature isn’t just limited to the files that were changed just at that specific moment. The version history of a file is stored for at least 30 days so you can get back the original or previous version of your file even after a couple of weeks later as well. This feature can come quite handy in many cases so don’t forget to check your previous version if you accidentally saved any unwanted modification.
The version history feature combined with using your Dropbox folder as your My Documents folder can make your life much easier than before. Using your Dropbox as your latest documents folder will guarantee that you always have the newest and latest version of your important document no matter where you are and if you accidentally saved a modified document then you won’t have to start all over again. You will simply have the previous version of your document available in your Dropbox.
Using Dropbox to Keep Track of Your Computer
If you are looking for a way to keep an eye on your computer while you’re at work or some other place then Dropbox can do the job for you. Dropbox can easily be used as a tool to keep track of what’s going on on your computer while you’re away. This technique is quite useful to handle your downloads while you are away or in keeping an eye on your kids while you’re out of the house.
To use your Dropbox as a spying tool you might need a couple more tools as well. Basically the idea behind this is to take a screenshot of your screen after a fixed but short interval of time and then upload that screenshot to your Dropbox folder so you can access and see what’s going on your computer from anywhere else. This is fairly easy and a straight forward method which can come in handy in many situations. All you need for this to work is a tool for screenshots and another tool to automate it. The first tool will keep taking screenshots and another tool (Autokey script) which will automatically upload them after a specific period of time to your Dropbox which can then be seen from any other place. This way you can periodically check your Dropbox to get a look at the timeline of everything that happened to your screen at home.
This is a cheap but very useful technique that all Dropbox users can use to check what’s going on behind their back on their personal computers while they are away. You can use the basic Dropbox version for this technique because those screenshots won’t take a lot of space and other tools can be downloaded from the internet for free, so essentially this trick won’t cost you a dime.
Add Torrents on Your BitTorrent Using Dropbox
Most of the world population is familiar with torrents and although it’s illegal in many countries but it is still common to download torrents in many other countries. If you live in one of those countries where torrents are legal and you constantly use torrents to download your favorite things then you can use Dropbox to download any file on your computer even if you’re on another device. You can simply change the options of your torrent client to check for torrents in your Dropbox folder. So now even if you’re in your
office and you find a nice torrent that you want to download then you won’t have to wait till you get home to download it, you can simply add the torrent to your Dropbox file from your office and your torrent client will automatically start downloading the torrent from your Dropbox folder. This way you won’t have to come home and wait for the download to finish.
Dropbox as Your Data Traveler
Although it’s really easy to connect your cell phone to your computer via USB cable and share data but sometimes you find yourself in situations where you don’t have a USB. In situations like these Dropbox can be of great help. You can use your Dropbox to serve as a data traveler between your phone and computer. This way you won’t even need a USB cable for your phone so you won’t have to worry about buying or finding a lost USB. Whether you are flashing your ROM or installing an APK file to your phone you can simply upload it to your Dropbox via your computer and simply download it from your Dropbox app on your phone. It’s as simple as that. No need to connect your phone via USB or do any other thing and in many cases using Dropbox as a data traveler between your devices is much more effective and faster than using a USB cable.
This is only a glimpse of what Dropbox can do if used correctly. Obviously you can do a lot more things with the help of Dropbox if you want to but these tricks are the most essential ones that almost everyone should know. These tricks will make your everyday use of Dropbox much more fun. This is for this chapter. In the upcoming chapter you will be introduced to the tricks that can be used on your mobile phones to make your Dropbox app much more effective.