Mac Tips: Backup, Sync, and Access Mac’s Data from Anywhere with Dropbox

Dropbox Overview

Dropbox is a free application available at that provides online storage of files from your Mac. Besides being an application for OS X, versions are also available for Windows and Linux. After installing Dropbox and signing up for a free account, a Dropbox folder will appear in Finder’s home folder. Files added to the this folder will be automatically backed up to the Dropbox servers once your Mac connects to the Internet.

The basic Dropbox account is free and includes 2 GB of storage. For additional storage, a Pro 50 account for $9.99 per month provides 50 GB of storage and a Pro 100 account for $19.99 per month increases the limit to 100 GB.

Backup and Sync Files Across Multiple Computers

Since files added to the Dropbox folder are stored on your Mac and on the Dropbox servers, using this free application provides a quick and easy way to backup important files offsite. If your computer is lost or stolen, recovering these files is as simple as logging into the Dropbox website or installing Dropbox on another computer.

Dropbox also provides a free and easy way to sync files on multiple computers. Simply install Dropbox on the other computers and link your account to the Dropbox folders of those machines. Changes made to files stored with Dropbox on these computers will automatically be synced to the server once the machine connects to the Internet. The next time you login to your Mac at home, changes made from another machine will be downloaded from the server and your files will be updated.

Access Files While on the Road

The Dropbox website also allows for access to files from any computer or smart phone with a web browser and an Internet connection. Simply login to your account and download the files to the computer or smart phone. To make changes to documents on the Dropbox server, save the document and upload it using the web interface with the same name the original file was saved as.

For iPhone and iPod Touch users, a Dropbox App was recently released and is currently available for free at the iTunes App Store. The app has a useful Favorites feature that lets you mark certain files as Favorites. Doing so adds the files to a Favorites tab for quicker access and downloads the file to your iPhone or iPod Touch for offline viewing.