What is Dropbox and How Does it Work?

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Dropbox is a cloud storage tool that you can use to store your files on a remote server (Dropbox server), and access and sync them (in real-time) on your PC or Mac.

Saving your files on a remote cloud server is similar to saving it on your computer. The only difference is that saving the file on the “cloud” allows you to access the file from any computer. Moreover, if your PC crashes, you do not lose your files.

How Does Dropbox Work

How Does Dropbox Work

To further understand this cloud storage technology, here is a summary of how it works:

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  1. Sign up for a free Dropbox account. Though this cloud technology has paid plans, you can start with the free plan. To create a free account, click here.
  2. Once you have created an account, the next step is download and install the client app. Download the client for Windows or Mac. Follow the steps in this link to download and install the app.
  3. Open the installed client app and configure your account. We have some useful Dropbox guides – open this search link for a list of all our Dropbox guides.

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Feature & Benefits of Dropbox

Feature & Benefits of Dropbox

This final section outlines the key feature of this productivity tool. It also discusses some benefits of this tool.

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Safe Remote File Storage

The first major benefit of Dropbox is ability to save your files remotely. This is particularly beneficial in 2 ways: 1, if your computer crashes or is stolen, you can easily restore your files to a new computer. 2, you can access your files from any computer with internet connection.

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Auto File Sync and Selective Sync

Another benefit of this tool is its ability to automatically sync files saved on your computer to your account on the remote server. When you update a file on your computer, it automatically updates on Dropbox.com – if you are connected to the internet. If you are not connected to the internet, the next time you get connected, the files will sync.

Files or folders updated on Dropbox.com are also automatically synced to your computer.

Moreover, Dropbox also offers Selective Sync – this saves hard drive space on your PC by allowing you to specify folders that will be synced to your computer. Any folder not saved on your computer is set to be an Online-Only folder.

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Selective Sync is set on a per computer basis. Meaning that if you configure Selective Sync on PCa, only the selected folders will be saved locally on the PC. However, if you install Dropbox on PCb and sync your files, Selected sync will NOT be transferred from PCa to PCb. You have to manually configure the files you want to selectively syn to PCb. To overcome this limitation, sign up for a paid plan and configure Smart Sync.

Notifications & File Sharing

Dropbox also support notifications. When changes are made to your account on Dropbox.com or on your PC or Mac, you will be notified on the client app, unless you disabled notification.

You can also share files and folders with other users.

For more about this tool, read our Ultimate Guide to Dropbox.

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