Keeping your documents safe and secure can be a tedious task. There are quite a few options to have the data backed up securely:
- Use an external disk drive for backups
- Write important files to a blank CD/DVD disc
- Backup to a local NAS
- Use cloud storage services
Local backup options do not protect from a physical theft, therefore cloud storage is a much more secure way to have your documents backed up. There are some points you should be aware of, however:
- Your data is secure as secure is your password. If a hacker gets hold of your email address and password, it may lead to a risk of your documents being exposed. If possible, use a two-factor authentication to make sure your online account is secure even if your credentials are compromised.
- You need to have an active internet connection to both back up your files and access them later.
- It may take long to back up large files or a large amount of them, especially if you’re on a poor connection.
- Cloud storage is usually a paid service, so it may cost you a lot to have your large files backed up. Most of the cloud storage services offer a free plan if the amount of data to be backed up does not exceed a certain amount of gigabytes (5, 10, 20 etc).
- If you decide to use an untrustworthy company to store your personal data, it may lead to a loss of your backups if the company shuts down.
Despite these drawbacks, cloud storage solutions have been getting more and more attractive lately, with some major companies joining the game, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox etc.
In this article, I will explain you how to use Dropbox as your data backup solution.
What Is Dropbox?
Dropbox is an online storage service that was first introduced in September, 2008. Over the years, it has grown quite a large userbase by having current users recommend their friends to join, rewarding with a bonus free space for both the user and the invitee. Also the company behind this service made several significant deals with major phone manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC to have Dropbox app pre-installed on their phones.
What makes Dropbox an appealing backup solution is that it works nearly on all devices and operating systems, including Windows/Mac/Linux desktops and laptops, iOS/Android/Windows phones and others. The initial free space that comes at no cost is enough to have your most important documents stored, and you can receive bonus free space by inviting your friends, setting up a “Camera Upload” feature on your phone and participating in various promotions. If that is not enough, you can simply purchase an additional data plan for a competitive price.
How Does Dropbox Work?
If you want to have your documents backed up to Dropbox, you have to install a Dropbox app on your PC. It automatically creates a “Dropbox” folder inside your Documents folder and everything that you copy to it automatically uploads to the cloud. If you have a laptop and a desktop PCs, you can have Dropbox app installed in both. This way, everything that you place inside your laptop’s Dropbox folder is automatically synchronized to your desktop’s Dropbox folder and vice versa. This is a convenient way to transfer files between your PCs without setting up confusing network shares.
What is more, you can even edit your documents inside the Dropbox folder, and all changes are automatically uploaded. It even has a versioning system, meaning that you can always revert to a previous version of the file, in case you mess something up in it.
How To Set Up Dropbox On Your PC?
First, you need to create a new account at Dropbox.com. You will automatically receive 2 gigabytes of space for free. Once you have an account, download Dropbox app to your computer. If you have other devices, install the app in each of them to access your documents. Please note that Dropbox apps on mobile devices do not support automatic uploading of files. You will have to upload them either manually, or use a 3rd party app for an automated upload.
Dropbox has a handy feature that allows you to restore deleted files from your Dropbox account. That means, if you accidentally delete a local file from your Dropbox folder, you can always restore it by going to Dropbox website.