Dropbox is a favorite in the cloud storage world because it’s reliable, easy to use, and a breeze to set up. Your files live in the cloud and you can get to them at any time from Dropbox’s Web site, desktop applications for Mac, Windows, and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, or compile your own), or the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire mobile apps.
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You can store any kind of file in Dropbox, by either uploading to the Web site or adding it with the desktop apps. Those apps live in your file system so that you can easily move files from your computer to the cloud and vice versa by dragging and dropping them into your Dropbox folder. The service automatically and quickly syncs your files across all of your devices, so you can access everything, everywhere. There is no size limit on files you upload to Dropbox with the desktop or mobile apps, but larger files can take several hours to upload, depending on your connection speed.
Dropbox gets a lot of praise for its clean design, and rightfully so. Though I am not a fan of Dropbox’s Web site because the design is very basic and it doesn’t give you many options to view and organize your files, its mobile apps and desktop apps are beautiful and easy to navigate.
Dropbox gives its users plenty of opportunities to get extra storage to beef up the paltry 2GB you get when you sign up. If you participate in the quick Getting Started tutorial, you get 250MB. Turn on the automatic photo upload feature on any of the mobile apps to get 3GB of extra space (you can get only 3GB total, not per device). You can earn 500MB for each friend you refer to Dropbox who actually signs up for the service, up to 16 GB total, or 32 referrals. If you have a brand-new HTC or Samsung phone on select mobile carriers (T-Mobile and Sprint, to name a few) with the Dropbox app pre-installed, you can earn up to 48GB of additional storage for up to two years, depending on the device.
Dropbox’s greatest strength is that it works equally well on PCs and Macs, Android and iOS. The service is so simple and elegantly designed, that it’s easy for anyone to master. Its desktop applications seamlessly blend with your computer’s file system.