Maximizing Dropbox | Mobile News
Cloud Storage at its Finest
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Dropbox is, hands down, one of the best cloud storage services out there. Here's our tips on how to make sure you're maximizing this service to its fullest potential.
Do you despise carrying around flash memory sticks? Sure, their purpose is wonderful and the portability aspect couldn't be simpler. But Dropbox introduces a much better solution, one that not only makes more sense, but is one thousand times more practical.
After creating an account on Dropbox, you'll install their software on to your computer which will create a defacto Dropbox folder somewhere on your computer's harddrive. This folder is then linked to your Dropbox account online, meaning whatever you put into that folder you'll be able to access from any computer, tablet, or mobile device that can connect to the internet. All you need to do is log in online to your Dropbox account and you'll have access to it.
Need to work on a term paper on campus? Don't want to lug your laptop around? Simply drop a copy of your term paper into the Dropbox folder and head to class. Once you're on campus, hit up the library, log in to a computer, and sign in to Dropbox. It's that simple.
Another amazing use is the fact that group projects can now all access a shared location. Whether for work or for school, groups of people working together can drag and drop documents to shared folders that an entire group can have access to. No need to mass email group members every time you update a document.
As we've covered before on GotchaGear, there's also the ability to implement DropTunes with any .mp3 music files you currently have stored in your cloud as well. That's full playability of all your music where ever you have internet access.
One of the great things about Dropbox is the fact that it comes with 2GB of free space just for opening your account. You can opt to pay a monthly fee for more space (50GB for $9.99monthly or $99.99 for the year and 100GB for $19.99monthly or $199.00 for the year), but those options mainly exist for hardcore users.
But there are several ways in which you can maximize your Dropbox account to receive much more space than just the initial 2GB.
Here's our suggestions on how to maximize your Dropbox account.
1) The first thing to do, if you haven't done so already, is to complete six of seven simple tasks for an additional 250MB. By clicking the 'Get Started Tab' once you'll logged in, you'll be taken to a list of seven Dropbox 'quests.' By completing six of the seven, the service will automatically update your account by 250MB! Each of these will be pretty simple for most people, and we highly recommend completing options #1, #2, #3, #5, #6, and #7 as the easiest ways to complete this task. The fourth option is only viable if you have a secondary computer and not needed to get the free upgrade.
2)Head on over here to see another list of tasks you can do to increase the size of your free space. Each of these options will give you an extra 128MB of free space, so completing them is well worth your time. You might need to create a Facebook account or a Twitter account if you don't have one already, but deleting those accounts immediately after is pretty straightfoward. You can also remove any of the posts or tweets the list has you do, and you'll still qualify for the free space.
3) Once you're done with the second list, head on over here for even more space. This section allows you to both refer friends via email and refer friends via Twitter or Facebook (which you've probably already done via Step 2). However, adding these links to your Social Media accounts can never hurt, and just yesterday I introduced two friends to Dropbox and scored free space as a result of one of my posts. If you want to create your own post on the social sites, just use the link at the bottom of that page. Your friend referrals are a really big deal, as you score 250MB free for each person who signs up AND installs the service on their machine. You can get a maximum of an additional 8GB (32 referrals) this way.
4) If you have an .edu account from your school days (or are currently a student), you can link/associate that email address with your Dropbox account. By doing so, Dropbox will give you 500MB for each referral instead of the 250MB listed above. That's a huge boost, and well worth doing if you still have a .edu account.
5) This last option isn't a very ethical option, so we won't go into much detail here. Suffice it to say that Dropbox doesn't allow you to refer yourself via a fake email address, and then gain free space. The service checks which computers you've installed Dropbox on, and you have to install the service to receive the referral bonus, so installing twice on the same machine won't work. However, there are work-arounds for this online and if you're crafty enough with Google you can find ways to abuse this. We won't list them here, but I did try these steps out yesterday and it absolutely works. Again, this isn't a suggestion but more pointing out that if you're crafty with computers, you can certainly abuse the referral policy.
So there you have it, our full list of ways to maximize your Dropbox account. If you are new to Dropbox, or simply haven't tried these easy steps, use the guide above to get started on all sorts of free Dropbox space. The service is great, and well worth your time.