Sync Files Between Computers and Phones

If you’re like me you need access to files from two (or more) computers AND a phone. I hate carrying around a USB flash drive all the time! Besides, I can’t plug that into my Droid Eris!

THEN I have the problem of getting all the pictures I’ve taken off my phone. Don’t get me started on that!

Well, the solution that fits me is a software download called “Dropbox.” Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers.

Go to www.dropbox.com and download the version you need (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android or BlackBerry).

I downloaded and installed it to my Windows, Mac and Android devices. A folder was created on my computer during the install process. In my case it was C:\My Dropbox. When I add a file (picture, video, etc.) to that folder it immediately synchronized it to my space on the Dropbox website as well as my other computers that have Dropbox already installed.

The Dropbox Android app doesn’t download the files to your phone like your computer does; that would take up too much space on your phone. Instead the app connects you to your space on the Dropbox website and allows you to download the files individually.

You can also (and this is really cool) take a picture on your phone and immediately save it to your Dropbox. If you save music in Dropbox you can even stream it to you phone. WOW!

There’s a public folder in Dropbox where I can save files I intend to share with people. Each file can have its own publicly accessible link that you can forward to anyone. There’s another sharing feature that allows you to lock it down to someone with a Dropbox account. This is a great way to quickly share files without e-mailing them. It also cuts down on multiple versions of the same file.

Dropbox pricing: Dropbox has a free version that gives you 2GB of space. I’ve yet to see if that’s going satisfy my need. If I used it as my primary backup plan then absolutely NOT. For casual file sharing though it might actually be sufficient.

If you need more space you can upgrade to Pro 50 or Pro 100. Pro 50 gives you 50GB for $9.99 per month and Pro 100 gives you, yep, 100GB for $19.99 per month.

There are certainly other solutions out there like Microsoft’s Live Sync or Box.net but I really like the functionality of Dropbox. Comment on the post and let me know what file sync tool you like.

(These opinions and comments are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®).

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