Tag-Archive for ◊ dropbox ◊

Cloud Storage
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 | Author:

I saw a few articles recently, including this one and this one, that talked about Dropbox reducing its pricing structure so I thought it was worth looking to see how they stack up against what I was already doing.

For those of you that don’t know, and there are many out there, Dropbox is a way of saving your files online. I blogged about it back in 2010(!!). The way that it works is that you install the software on your computer and then add files into it. Easy. You can install it on multiple computers, you can share files and folders and you can sync from you phone too. I have my phone camera set to upload to Dropbox when it finds WiFi. The thing that I love about Dropbox is that when you open the software on your PC, it doesn’t look like you are using different software. It just comes up as a drive in Windows. I can drag, drop, create new files and do everything else I am expecting to do in Windows. Then it saves it all to the cloud.

Free users get 2Gb and there are various different ways of boosting this by tweeting about Dropbox or by asking friends to sign-up via a link (like this one) Through these methods I now have just under 19GB of free storage. But with the costs so low, surely paid options are worth looking at?

In 2010, 50GB on Dropbox would cost £6.50 a month. It is now 1TB/1,000GB for £7.99. That’s progress! Think about your photos, your schoolwork or any useful document you need. If you have never had a USB drive or Hard drive break on you, then you will know someone that has. I still have people at school occasionally that have had USB errors and have lost their work and ask for me to magically fix it but all too often, it’s gone forever. When I ask about backup, they always say it’s something that they meant to do. I used to copy my USB stick to my hard drive every now and again. This is an easy way to make sure that your files are saved no matter what happens.

At school, we have remote working. This means that we log in to the school server, see our Teacher Resources file as if we were in the building and then log off when we are done. This is all backed up and we can even print to school if we want and then collect it in the morning.

Not everything that i do is online, I still save some things offline, but everything is backed up in at least one other place.


This chart, taken from Gizmodo, compares some of the current cloud storage offerings. As well as Dropbox for my schoolwork, I also use Google Drive.

Their current pricing gives 1TB for $9.99 which is pretty much the same as Dropbox but it’s the one below this that I am currently using. They offer 100GB (although I get 125GB) for $1.99 a month. I use this purely for photos. I have folders setup on an external hard drive which means that they get picked up by Picasa on my computer, this syncs with private Google+ albums (that took some time to find!) and then they automatically sync, at full size, to Google Drive storage too. Around two years ago I lost a holiday’s worth of photos so paying £1.50 a month is well worth not having to go through that again! Edit (June 2016) I now use Google Photos for photo backup. We have an Android camera and two phones. Every picture we take is automatically sent to Google Photos and yes, it means we get lots of random photos we probably never need, but it also means that every photo is backed up should we lose a device.

So what do you use to backup your files? Have you managed to convince others that it is a sensible way to go?


PS: Before anyone mentions it, yes there are privacy issues with storing some things online. Who owns your data? Where does it go? Will they modify the data when I give it to them? But for those of us that are already signed up to the fact that Google knows more about us than our partners do, cloud storage is a no-brainer.

PPS: Prices correct as of 28th August 2014

A (drop)box of tricks
Monday, April 12th, 2010 | Author:

How many memory sticks do you own? I’ve got about 6 and I’d say they have all been used regularly. My first was 128mb and I got it in my first year at Uni and loved it, I then gradually went up in size and my current 8gb has been used constantly for about 2 1/2 years. Well…until now. Now it sits on my desk as I have a new way of storing files instead. Dropbox.

Have you tried it? It’s fantastic. You sign up to a free account for 2gb of storage which is plenty for most people unless you start using pictures in bulk or videos. Once signed up, you install it on your PC/laptop etc and link the machine to your account. Dropbox will then synchronise the files on all machines. This is great for me, I have some files stored in my Dropbox and I can access them from my PC in the study, my laptop while watching football or if I am in a random school doing some training, I can also access them online from Dropbox.com – I used it at BETT for my presentation instead of taking/remembering my memory stick.

So far, so Google. With Google Docs I can access files from anywhere, so what’s the difference?

With Google, I’d have to log in, upload my file to Google and then work on it. If I want it to be a .doc or .xls then I’d need to export it. With Dropbox, you have 1 folder within Windows that works like a normal folder and you just drag files to it, save them in there or just right-click and add new doc/xls/ppt or whatever. Like I said, it behaves as a normal Windows folder which is great for beginners. There isn’t the collaboration of Google Docs, but I don’t always want to collaborate, sometimes I just want to have access to certain files wherever I am.

For me, the best part of Dropbox is the Public folder. I make a lot of ‘How-to’ guides for our VLE. I have a lot of them stored in my Public Dropbox folder. I can create the guide, get a URL for the file and put this into our VLE or share it with people. If I then change the document, the URL remains the same and I don’t need to keep uploading the new guide with every update. Very useful for me at the moment!

Ok…so it’s cool, but what could schools use it for? How about planning? What if there were a number of teachers in the same school/year group that all used the same Dropbox account. They could then access the planning docs for that term on their laptops, in the suite or wherever they wanted. They can all add their planning when they are ready. I don’t know about you, but I used to get to school after a weekend or evening of planning, then upload the documents into the shared drive and have to tell most people where they were (despite a sensible folder structure). With Dropbox, they wouldn’t have to wait until Monday morning. Most schools I know can’t access their server remotely, so why not store the useful stuff like planning on Dropbox?

With the above example, Google Docs would be the ideal, but most schools are not at this stage yet, so Dropbox could be a small step before the large leap into the Cloud! In Hampshire we enter the Cloud in a big way from September 2010, but I’m not sure how many schools will be ready for this, but that is another blog post.

So why not give Dropbox a go? If you sign-up using this link, we will both get an extra 250mb of space on our accounts. If you already use Dropbox, please leave a comment below so others can see the benefit. Or…do you use a different/better system? Let me know!

NB – If you are in a Hampshire school, we have tested Dropbox on an Edict and an Agile system and it will work, but you may need to contact Edict or your provider for a bit of help setting it up to go through the proxy servers etc.

Just out of interest, 50GB on Dropbox is £6.50 a month. a 16gb Memory Stick is £20 (www.7dayshop.com)