Have you ever heard of dropbox? It is one of the most popular cloud storage services in the world, that is a kind of online hard disk that allows you to keep any type of file and folder on a web space and automatically synchronize it on multiple computers and devices. It is available for all major operating systems for computers (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux), smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android) and in its basic version with 2 GB of storage it is completely free. How do you say? It all sounds very interesting to you but now you would like to understand How use Dropbox? Well, fear not: I can provide you with all the explanations you need.
Before you can get scared and think about who knows what I want to point out right away that to use all the basic features of Dropbox it is not necessary to be an IT expert. It is a highly efficient service but at the same time extremely simple to use. In a nutshell, you too - not exactly practical in terms of new technologies - can therefore use them without problems, really.
But now let's not get lost in chat! If you are really willing to find out how to use Dropbox, I invite you to take ten minutes of free time or a little more and concentrate on reading this tutorial. I am sure that in the end you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied and that at the first good opportunity you will also be ready and willing to explain to all your friends in need of receiving a similar tip how to proceed. What do you say, we bet?
Let's start with a brief overview of Dropbox's plans, their pricing, and the amount of storage they offer.
- Dropbox Basic - 2 GB, free.
- Dropbox Pro - 1 TB, 8,25 euros / month.
- dropbox Business - starting from 10 euros user / month for 2TB of storage.
In short, Dropbox's Basic plan is usually able to meet the needs of the common user, the one who needs a minimum of space to store their files in the cloud and be able to access them anytime and anywhere. The Pro plan, on the other hand, is intended for those who need a greater amount of space for storing their data, while the Business plan is specific for companies and work groups. As you can see, there is a plan for everyone.
For more details you can consult the specific information web page attached to the Dropbox website and which you can access by clicking here.
If you have no special needs, the Basic plan should be more than enough. Also keep in mind that it is possible to expand the 2 GB of free space on Dropbox by subscribing your friends to the service through personalized links (called ref links) or complete the operations that you find listed on this page, such as sharing a folder or installing the service app on your mobile. For more details you can consult my tutorial on how to increase Dropbox space.
How to Sign Up for Dropbox
If you want to find out how to use Dropbox you must first sign up for the service by creating an account. To do this, click here so that you can immediately connect to its website. Then, fill out the form on the right by typing in the appropriate fields your name, your surname, your e-mail address and the password you intend to use to access your Dropbox account and then tick the box placed next to the item I accept the Dropbox terms.
Then click on the button Register. If you have a Google account and want to speed up these steps you can click on the button Sign up for free with Google.
Then click on the button Free download located at the top right to download the service client to your computer. It shouldn't take long, don't worry.
How to Use Dropbox on Your Computer
When the client download is complete, open the file you just downloaded and then follow the simple wizard that is shown to you on the screen to first start the download of all the components necessary for installing the software and then the actual installation of Dropbox.
When installation is complete, wait for the program window to be visible on the screen (and if not, make it appear by clicking on the icon that appeared next to the system clock) then click on the button Open my Dropbox.
At this point, a short introductory guide to using the service will be shown on the screen. So press on the button Getting started guide attached to the window that is shown to you then click on the button forward three consecutive times and then click Ends.
Mission accomplished! You have finally installed Dropbox on your computer and logged into the service with your brand new account, congratulations! To confirm this you should see on the desktop the window relating to the caution of the service that has been added on your computer, this is the path where you will have to store the files and folders that you want to synchronize with the other computers and devices on which you will install the client of the service.
To add files and folders to your Dropbox, all you have to do is copy them to the service folder and wait for the upload to be completed. To check the progress of the operation, place the mouse cursor on the icon of the white box (if you are using Windows) or black (if you are using OS X) located next to the system clock and you will see an estimate of the time it will take to complete the upload.
In addition to using Dropbox to always have your files synchronized, you can take advantage of the famous cloud storage service also to publicly share a file previously uploaded to it. To do this, right-click on a file in the Dropbox folder and select the item Copy Dropbox link from the menu that appears. Once this is done, the link to the file will be automatically copied to the operating system clipboard, ready to be shared online as you see fit (pasting it into an e-mail message, via a messaging client, etc.). For more details you can check out my tutorial on how to share files on Dropbox.
For folders, you can follow a similar procedure. Right-click on the folder you want to share and select the entry Share… from the menu that appears. A window will open in which you will have to enter the email address of the person with whom to share the content of the selected path. Then he presses the button Share to confirm everything. Keep in mind that shared folders are ideal for group work, as anyone involved can view them and add files within them. If you want to learn more, check out my guides on how to share a folder.
Please note: the first time you try to share a folder you will be asked to verify your email address. Then click on the button Revive e-mail, log into your e-mail box and press the button Verify your email address present in the message received from Dropbox.
If you want to delete a file or folder, all you have to do is select the item you want to act on and drag it to the trash. Stop!
In any case, keep in mind that, regardless of whether you have uploaded files to Dropbox that only you can access or not, all changes made to the items in the service folder, from any synchronized computer or device, will be immediately reported. on all other devices.
Automatic Upload of Photos and Screenshots
Dropbox also includes a feature for automatic uploading of screenshots taken on the computer and for photos imported from devices connected to it. To enable them, right-click on the Dropbox icon next to the system clock, select the item Preference ... from the menu that is shown to you and click on the tab Import in the window that opens.
At this point, put a check mark on the box next to the item Share screenshots using Dropbox to activate the function through which to share the screenshots, then use the menu that you find next to the options for uploading from camera and choose whether to use the function for both photos and videos or only for photos depending on what they are your needs and preferences.
If you are interested in excluding a path from synchronization, you can go to the client settings by selecting the appropriate item from the menu that appears by clicking on the white or black box located next to the system clock, click on the icon in the shape of gear wheel , select the item Preference ..., click on the tab Account and press the button that you find corresponding to the item Selective synchronization. Then, remove the check mark from the folders you want to exclude from the synchronization procedure on your computer and confirm your choice.
If you see fit, you can also make sure that the bandwidth used for sharing files through Dropbox is limited. To do this, click on the Dropbox icon attached next to the system clock, click on the item Preference ... present in the menu that is shown to you and then select the tab Band (if you are using Windows) or Network (if you are using OS X) from the new window that opened on the desktop then use the appropriate commands that are shown to you to limit the download speed and / or the upload speed and to choose whether or not to keep synchronization via LAN active .
How to Use Dropbox on Smartphones and Tablets
Like any self-respecting cloud storage service, Dropbox is also available in the form of an app for smartphones and tablets. It is compatible with Android devices and with iPhones and iPads. On some Android smartphones and tablets it is made available “as standard”.
The application interface varies slightly depending on the operating system used, but in all cases it is always quite intuitive. By pressing the icon of a file you can view it, share it, download it to the device memory or keep it for offline access directly in the Dropbox app. Keep in mind that, unlike what happens on a PC, the files are not automatically downloaded locally.
By pressing the icon of a folder instead, you can immediately view its contents.
By pressing the down arrow that you find next to each file and / or folder on your Dropbox account you can carry out further operations including the condition, copying and moving.
By accessing the application menu located at the bottom of the screen, it is possible to view recent files, quickly view all the files added to your account, view only the photos, view the files you have chosen to make available even offline and add new items. . As you can see, it's all very simple.
How to Use Dropbox on the Web
In addition to using Dropbox as I indicated in the previous lines, keep in mind that you can also take advantage of the famous service directly via a Web browser, adding and viewing your files online and sharing them with other users from any computer or device. To do this, just connect to the site www.dropbox.com (there is no need to install the client for this) and log into your account.
To view a file directly from the browser window, just press on its name, to add a file instead click on the button depicting a sheet which is located at the top while to create a new folder click on the icon in the shape of folder which is always placed at the top. If you want to delete a file or folder, select the item you want to act on and then click on the button in the shape of basket present at the top.
As for the sharing procedure, you have two ways at your disposal: create folders shared with other Dropbox users or create public links accessible by anyone.
In the first case, you need to create a new folder inside the Dropbox folder, select it with the right mouse button and click on the item Share… in the menu that appears. Then you have to fill in the form that is proposed to you with the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share the folder and click on Create a link but I will complete the operation.
To create links accessible to all, simply select the files to be made public with the right mouse button and click on the item Share… present in the menu that appears. The links will be saved in the clipboard.