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Dropbox is a great, free file sharing software which is quickly gaining popularity. Many tech-savvy folks are already using this handy software, and most people who are just hearing about it, can think of at least a couple ways to use this free service. It is great software for comprehensive, real-time file sharing.

Accessible Backup

It's hard to believe how quickly technology arrives and is made obsolete. Newer, better ways of doing things are constantly being developed. Some people still don't own a home computer, but that doesn't seem to slow down innovation. It used to be that if you wanted to keep your data safe, you would need to periodically back up your data on an external hard drive. The idea is that if your computer crashes, which they tend to do, your files will still be safe, which can be accessed by loading the external hard drive to any working computer.

This can be a bit tedious to remember, but forgetting to backup files, particularly if one's income is dependent on those files, can be disastrous. As usual, innovative entrepreneurs identified this problem and a number of backup services were introduced on the market. Services like Mozy, CrashPlan and Carbonite use remote servers, which periodically backup your computer's storage for a monthly or annual charge, usually based on how much data is being saved.

Dropbox does all this and more. Dropbox starts users off with a free account, which allows them to store up to 2GB of data. More free space is available for completion of different tasks, such as sharing with friends. This is a perfect file backup solution for people with a limited amount of important files.

More space is available for a premium, if needed. Files are synced to all the user's computers and mobile devices, for quick access to files anywhere. The data is also stored online, so users can access data from the dropbox website, even when they don't have access to their computer or mobile phone.

Easy File Sharing

One of the best, and most used feature of this software is easy file sharing. For people who already have a trusted method of backing up their data, the free 2GB of storage space can be used solely for file sharing with friends, family and coworkers. It is so easy to use and works in real time.

Both parties must have dropbox installed before they can share a folder. Shared folders are created via email address, and any number of people can share the same folder. Super secret projects can be protected by only allowing certain people access to the shared folder.

There are a number of ways to share files, included email and instant messaging services, such as Skype. These services have limitations, however. Sharing files over email can take a long time to download, and some email services have a limit on the size of files being shared.

Instant messaging services have similar problems and can be confusing. Dropbox is very simple to use, offers plenty of space, and files are instantly accessible. The dropbox software also provides a sort of virtual workspace, where documents can be stored for reference, and/or edited for peer review.