As you probably already know, Dropbox has achieved its reputation by providing a simple solution: as long as you have an internet connection, you can get almost instant access to your files on any device, anytime, anywhere.
However, even today, some people are still unaccustomed to storing their personal data in the cloud. Your precious documents and photos may seem like they’re safe on your computer, until it’s stolen or your hard drive crashes. By then, it’s probably too late. Sorry.
Having your files backed up in the event of an emergency is an obvious Dropbox advantage, but the service has evolved into much more than a digital storage box in the cloud. Here are a few tips on how to master your Dropbox service:
Make the most of the free space Dropbox provides
Every Dropbox account gets 2GB of free space, but there are several things you can do to earn more free storage without paying a monthly subscription. You can get up to 16GB of free space by inviting friends who haven’t yet signed up for Dropbox. Each successful referral gets you 500MB. To receive an additional 3GB of free space, download Dropbox’s free photo management app: Carousel. And if you link your Dropbox account with its email app (Mailbox) you’ll get an additional 1GB of space.
Enable two-step verification to protect your account
If you want to protect your files from being hacked, make sure to enable two-step verification. This means whenever you try to log into Dropbox on a new device, a secondary code will be sent to your phone number. You’ll have to enter that code along with your main password in order to log in. Two-step verification can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s a great way to increase the security of your account and rest easy knowing your data is protected.
Use Selective Sync to control which folders sync across devices
Dropbox has a feature called Selective Sync that lets you manually choose which folders to sync. This can be helpful if you have a particular folder on your desktop that you don’t want showing up on your smart phone, or vice versa. We all need our privacy at some point, right?
Work on Microsoft Office documents
Dropbox is integrated with Microsoft Office, meaning any Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file stored in Dropbox can be edited directly in your web browser using Office Online. To begin editing, click the “Open” button while previewing a document on the web in Dropbox, and any changes that are made will be synced back to your Dropbox.
Anyone can upload files to your Dropbox (even if they don’t have an account)
Thanks to a feature called “file requests,” someone doesn’t have to be a Dropbox user to upload files to your account. This is useful if you’re someone like a teacher who initiates homework requests from students, or maybe you just need a document from a co-worker. Files can be up to 2GB in size, which makes it a more effective delivery method than email for larger files.