About two years ago I was introduced to two file sharing services have that saved my life: Box.net and Dropbox.com (formerly GetDropbox). As a traveler, I’ve had to deal with countless number of files lost after computers hard drives simply crashed. If it wasn’t that, I had to deal with laptops being stolen, or even external hard drives going bad (or, honestly, going out of date!) Then I found Dropbox.
Dropbox is a service that allows you to store your files online. I pay for their 50 gig service, which runs me only about $100 a year. Much better than having to replace laptops and external storage drives, and I never have to worry about anything going out of date.
Best of all, with Dropbox, you can synchronize your folders online with your local folders. It’s a seamless experience! You use your folders like you normally would, then when you connect to the Internet everything syncs up to the server and stored automatically. If your laptop is stolen, as mine was, you can en-sync that computer just by going onto the website.
Why wasn’t this invented sooner? It’s breath of fresh air! You can get Dropbox here—you’ll be helping me out by giving me extra storage if you sign up using my link, and you get more than the average amount of space for accepting my invite. Another reason to love Dropbox—a great affiliate program.
Box.net is another great service I use, but it’s less suitable for the independent traveler and more so for the corporate group looking to share files. There’s no desktop component (as of this writing). The biggest plus to using Box.net, in my opinion, are its easily shareable links to files. As a company, we store information both on Dropbox and Box.net. Both handle information in a way that is accessible, editable and secure. We can even share the information with others we work with outside of the company.
The shift to mobile file storage makes it possible to be working from a desktop computer in an internet cafe in Argentina, from your iPhone in NYC, or your laptop in Seattle… and stay on top of it all. It’s so important to have a virtual file system in place!
What are your favorite tools to use to manage files while traveling?