Sep 24, 2008


I had this in my "almost-finished-near-ready-to-publish" folder for some time already. Past week was again a little crazy in my personal life, so no real time to finish this small piece until now... :)

Do you frequently switch between two computers not connected with local network? If so, I guess you wanted to share data between them at least once before. It used to be a hassle. Now it's easy. Dropbox started public open beta-testing of their service few weeks ago. If you haven't heard of Dropbox here is my little intro. Dropbox is essentially centralized version tracking accessible from anywhere without need to configure anything. You copy files you want to share with other machines to your Dropbox directory and they are automatically uploaded to Dropbox server. If another machine on the other end of the world is running with same Dropbox account, it is automatically synced. If it sounds confusing, I encourage you to read the introduction tour on their website. Free account enables you to use 2GB storage and unlimited bandwith, so it's not that bad. Most of all, it "just works(tm)". And you can later upgrade to Pro versio with 50GB space for $9.99/month or $99.99/year. I am not sure about availability outside US, but I guess that's not gonna be a problem.

You can synchronize files between Windows, MacOS X and Linux machines.There are still a few rough edges, but I guess that's why it's beta :)..It would be really nice if the protocol for communication with Dropbox server was made public, but I guess I am asking for too much. At least the Nautilus interface in Linux is GPLed and there are already alternative "clients" for  retrieving status of your Dropbox account.

Good thing is that you can also share files with the rest of the world. Just like you would with for example Rapidshare account. The difference? No limits on file sizes (so far, as far as I know). I just wonder how will they fight sharing of illegal data.

With services like this privacy is always a concern. You give up certain amount of privacy by uploading your files to 3rd party server. So whatever you do, be sure to encrypt your private files. Happy sharing.



Post a Comment
  1. Hi,

    I just wanted to let you know about nomadesk.

    Imo it is better suited for the things you are describing.

    Why do I think it is better?, well, NomaDesk integrates with windows.
    It gives you a drive letter in your explorer. There is also a dashboard(client application) that lets you easily manage everything.
    It also uses delta syncing, that way if there is a change in a 100mb file it won't sync the 100mb but only the bytes that were changed(comes in really handy when bandwidth becomes an issue)

    Also, for now NomaDesk is free. It's beta, just like dropbox. Ofc it won't stay free forever, but a couple of days ago the free trail has been extended indefinitely.

    Your data is also secure, all trafic to and from the server is done with a secure connection, there is even a way to delete your data when your laptop is stolen or something(first time coming on-line after reported stolen it delete everything). + all data on your local drive is encryped anyway :)

    Just like dropbox you can share your data, send filelinks(an email that lets other ppl dll a file), invite guests(a public one allows you to invite unlimited guests etc)

    Just check it out :), it's worth giving it a try. It's different then dropbox, but if it's about syncing between computers, or working in team, NomaDesk will beat Dropbox any day ;)


  2. Nomadesk seems ok. For windows users. But I use different operating systems (currently switching between Linux and Windows). As long as Nomadesk is windows-only, I will use Dropbox.

    I also could not find space offered in free service and prices for "pro" accounts. The site itself seems too advertisementlike for my taste too :)

    I still plan to review security features of Dropbox, and I guess it's not gonna be anything spectacular. But I don't plan to sync "private" files and the rest will be encrypted.