Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dropbox - Simple Data Backup and Synchronisation

If there is one thing that customers tend to put on the long finger it's data backup. Time and again we've come across cases of lost data through crashed hard drives where the user has an external hard drive for six months that they just never got around to setting up. Now we've spoken before of how we like to use Cobian Backup with our external hard drives to automate our backup. But if your backup requirements are simple consider Dropbox.

Dropbox is an internet file back up/sharing system that gives you 2.0GB of backup storage for free - over that amount and you have to pay for it at a reasonable price. The mechanics of using it are simple.

1. Create a Dropbox account
2. Download and install the Dropbox installer
3. Copy the files you want to back up to the Dropbox folder created by the installer.

And that's it. Files copied to your Dropbox folder are uploaded automatically to Dropbox's servers for safe storage. But there's more. If you have a second desktop or laptop you can synchronise the files between your two PCs. Simply run the Dropbox installer on your second PC, login to your drop box account and the files in your first PC will appear in the Dropbox folder on your second PC. Thereafter, files added to either Dropbox folder will automatically replicate to the other, keeping your files synchronised between the two PCs.

Not recommended for backing up your 30GB music or photo collection, but if you want to keep those important Word and Excel files safe you'll be hard pressed to find a simpler solution.

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