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How DropBox can change your life

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If you’ve been looking for low- or no-cost online storage that also simplifies life and work, DropBox is a great solution. LAURENCE SEBERINI explains how it can change your life.

Has your PC ever crashed on you and you have lost everything?

Have you worked with people remotely on a project and found it a major pain?

Have you ever wanted to quickly locate a certified copy of your ID?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, DropBox is going to blow you away.

DropBox is a free application, which comes pre-installed on the Colpad tablet, but is available for almost any computer, laptop, or smartphones.

How does it work and what’s all the fuss? Art heart, it’s an online storage service. But it’s also a lot more.

First, you need to create a DropBox account.

Go to www.dropbox.com and register. It will give you free software to install on your computer. Install it.

A DropBox folder will appear on your computer in your ‚Documents‚ or ‚My documents‚ folder, called ‚myDropBox‚ . It is easily identifiable, as it has a little greenish/blue open box icon on the folder.

Now for the fun part. Create folders. Start with Private and Work. Then create sub-folders. In my case, under Private I have ‚banking‚ , ‚guarantees & receipts‚ , Insurance‚ etc.

Then start scanning important documents, like a purchase receipt for a television set, your TV license, ID book, proof of address and so on, into these folders. There are tons of documents you should consider DropBoxing: insurance documents, scanned copies of guarantees, scanned copies of your cards and more!

Now, if you go to your Colpad or other tablet or smartphone on which you have DropBox installed, log in to DropBox and, presto, you will see all your folders and documents!

Want to use it for collaboration?

Under Work, create a folder under which you and a few other people are working together on. Go to the DropBox web site and invite these people to the folder. Then, whenever any of you need to add a document or update the folder, everyone will automatically have the content updated on their DropBox.

Now you are sorted the next time you are at the airport and want to buy Forex, and they ask you for your proof of address. How many of you carry such a document when you travel overseas?

I simply log in to DropBox on my Colpad and have access to my FICA documents!

The good news is that DropBox is free, up to a point. You get 2GB of free space and, above that, you pay a modest subscription. The good news is that every friend you invite to DropBox results in you getting an extra 250MB of space. Truthfully, unless you are storing movies and music, it will be difficult to go over 2GB in a hurry.

DropBox is cloud computing. It works well. It will change the way you store and access your data and they way you work with other people.

Try it out and let me know, on laurence@luckymobile.co.za.

* The Colpad is South Africa’s first sub-R1000 tablet computer. It can be ordered from TabletWorld.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @gadgetza

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Don’t get me wrong I am not a dropbox hater. Personally I don’t use it and certainly wouldn’t upload anything even remotely sensitive without adequate encryption measures, which your average ‘joe user’ wouldn’t have the slightest clue about. Dropbox is great! For uploading music, photos, basically stuff you wouldn’t mind others seeing..

Less then one hundred out of 25 million accounts were affected. If you use Gmail, you are equally vulnerable. Hackers are able to hack the Pentagon, Sony and banks, so if you want to be absolutely safe don’t even e-mail documents.

Soon Apple will provide iCloud with similar risks.The future is clear. Cloud computing is the future. Big companies get hacked, but because they are big, they can quickly fix the problem with minimal damage. I would take my chances on Dropbox, just as I do with Google and Apple.”,”body-href”:””}]

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