Free online file backup and synchronization

How nice would it be to have your important files synchronised with an online storage space to access them anywhere anytime.

For those who never needed a file that was on your home computer at work or vice-versa, or never lost an important file because of a deficient memory stick, this may not seems as of first importance, but it might still save you some time or prevent some bad surprises.

To solve this problem, there are a few online web storage services, I personally used box.net since its launch to store important files. A good thing about this service is the possibility of linking it to a Zoho account to create and edit files, but you still need to manually upload/download your files to ensure that the server version is the same as the one on your computer.

However, a little revolution took place in the last months with the arrival of a new innovative online storage service: Dropbox. After creating an account you will be asked to download a small application (available for Windows, Linux and MacOs) that will create a “My Dropbox” folder on your local hard drive.

The magic is that all files on this folder will be automatically synchronised with you online space, so you will now be able to access them anywhere. But it isn’t all : you can connect any number of computers to the same dropbox account, meaning that they will all have the last version of your files available locally.

Furthermore, you can share folders with other users, creating a workspace where every member has the latest version of all files. If you delete a file by mistake, want to go back to a previous version, or see who last edited it, a nice web interface allows you to track the last 10 modifications.

You can also share files individually with a direct download url, or use your public directory to share files with anyone.

Opening a free account gives you a 2Gb storage space, with up to an additional 3Gb by a referral process (250Mo per invited referee).  The 50Gb pro account costs around $10 a month, while 100Gb will cost you $20.

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