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Would you recommend using Dropbox (free version)?
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sep 13, 2010

Hello,

My situation:

1) I have a desktop at home.

2) I use a laptop for work between courses when I am working as a language trainer.

3) I spend most of the summer at my caravan, where I share a desktop computer with my husband.

So, I need my data in three places. At the moment, I keep everything on a USB key and try to ensure that the data there is always the most up-do-date version. Often, though, I get confused and I get two (or more) versions of a directory, one containing the most up-to-date version of some files, the second containing other files updated more recently. Result: I can't call either one the most recent directory - I have to go through each with a fine-toothed comb, overwriting (hopefully) the older with the newer version.


The solution?:

I think that Dropbox may satisfy my requirements, but I'm not sure.

My son uses Dropbox and will help me implement it if I choose to use it, as I am completely useless in this area. For this reason, the only choice is:
Use Dropbox ... or continue to keep copies of data on a USB key

Please do not suggest other software but if you use Dropbox, I'd really appreciate your input.


Possible drawbacks?:

1) I worry about storing my clients' texts online - obviously that could present confidentiality issues. Is that concern valid or is the data just as safe (or perhaps as unsafe) there as on my hard disc?

2) At the caravan, I only have a slow, expensive internet connection. Do you think that would be a problem?


TIA for sharing.

Sheila


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
English to Russian
+ ...
I would Sep 13, 2010

I would.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Sergei Sep 13, 2010

Sergei Tumanov wrote:

I would.


Short and to the point!icon_smile.gif

Thanks very much for that vote of confidence.


 

Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 10:28
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
definitely yes to Dropbox Sep 13, 2010

I use the paid version for two reasons - of course the data volume, but above all the "pack-rat" feature - unlimited history of all versions of your Dropbox files for a flat fee (nor included in the data quota) - it is a real life saver.icon_smile.gif

I keep my files on four machines (home desktop, work desktop, small-and-easy-to-carry laptop, and a large laptop) and my general workflows before and after adopting Dropbox are very different from each other.

Not speaking about sharing files with different people in dedicated folders and sending by e-mail just links to large files put in the "Public" folder instead of the files themselves.

I don’t think having your data on their sever is a real issue. You can encrypt the files if you are really concerned.

Antonin


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Used free version on two occasions Sep 13, 2010

One professional and one personal.

The first was to receive a file for translation early this summer: a big pdf and it was easy to download from the system. Must check to see how I sent it back...

The second was to send a large number of large photos to a friend - too much space for hotmail.

Don't think my system is either particularly large or small...

Not wildly useful info for your context, but so far I haven't had any problems. From my experience I am inclined to use the system.

Best wishes

Noni


 

Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:28
French to English
+ ...
Dropbox is great Sep 14, 2010

'Nough saidicon_smile.gif

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting! Sep 14, 2010

I've rarely seen such unanimous agreement in this forum!icon_smile.gif

Thanks everyone, I'll think I'll take your advice, particularly as it's free.

[Edited at 2010-09-14 06:53 GMT]


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:28
German to Spanish
+ ...
Would you recommend using Dropbox (free version)? Sep 14, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I've rarely seen such unanimous agreement in this forum!icon_smile.gif

Thanks everyone, I'll think I'll take your advice, particularly as it's free.

[Edited at 2010-09-14 06:53 GMT]


How do you want this not to be the case as you already had a decision taken?
At your input you said you did not want suggestions about other software. Then, why to bother answering or contradicticting you?

In behalf of my own experience, free dropbox was by far too slow at synchronizing a set of multiple large files, despite having a broadband connection of 20 MB. Of course, as so many people agree to like it, perhaps I was just only unlucky at the moment.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Your input is valuable, Pablo Sep 14, 2010

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

At your input you said you did not want suggestions about other software. Then, why to bother answering or contradicticting you?


I can assure you I had not made a decision before posting, Pablo. I was looking for people's views on whether it was a good or not so good product and whether they thought it would be suitable for my needs.

I asked people not to muddy the waters with other product names only because I am so dunce at anything to do with computers that I will either accept my son's offer to install Dropbox or carry on with my obviously unsatisfactory system of copying files between computers.

In behalf of my own experience, free dropbox was by far too slow at synchronizing a set of multiple large files, despite having a broadband connection of 20 MB. Of course, as so many people agree to like it, perhaps I was just only unlucky at the moment.


That's exactly the type of response I was looking for. Thanks, Pablo.

Can I ask what you mean by a set of multiple large files? The files I would like to share between computers come to about 500Mb. I doubt that that's very large as it's almost exclusively text with very few images, not that many PDFs and absolutely no videos.


 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Paid version Sep 14, 2010

I cannot comment on the free version as I only use the Paid version, which was provided by a client.
I use it mostly to share files with clients, as I prefer to store files on MySQL when needed, but I think it is a good idea. I would definitely encrypt them, though.


 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:28
French to English
+ ...
Absolutely Sep 14, 2010

I use Dropbox to do exactly what you need to do: synchronise my work files between my office computer, home office computer and laptop. I was concerned about security too, so I turned my Dropbox folder into a Truecrypt volume (Truecrypt is a free and effective encryption tool) which means that a strong password is needed in order to see the contents of my Dropbox folder. It's an excellent tool and when I reach the limits of the free version (2GB limit on the size of the folder) I won't hesitate to pay for more space.

The first time you synchronise a folder (i.e. put it on the Dropbox server) it can take some time, as most broadband connections are slower to upload than to download. After the first time, though, synchronising speeds up, as only changes to existing files and new files need to be uploaded.


 

xxxNMR
France
Local time: 10:28
French to Dutch
+ ...
Another solution Sep 14, 2010

I understood that you don't want opinions about other software, but how if Dropbox closes its services?

As someone who uses several computers (2 at home, 1 in my house in Auvergne, 1 in the Netherlands where my mother lives), I installed everything on an external USB harddisk and move the harddisk from one computer to another. It's like a backup solution, but the original files are on the harddisk and the backups on the computer(s). It works very satisfactorily and I don't need a high bandwith internet connection for using my own data.


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:28
German to Spanish
+ ...
Would you recommend using Dropbox (free version)? Sep 14, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

At your input you said you did not want suggestions about other software. Then, why to bother answering or contradicticting you?


I can assure you I had not made a decision before posting, Pablo. I was looking for people's views on whether it was a good or not so good product and whether they thought it would be suitable for my needs.

I asked people not to muddy the waters with other product names only because I am so dunce at anything to do with computers that I will either accept my son's offer to install Dropbox or carry on with my obviously unsatisfactory system of copying files between computers.

In behalf of my own experience, free dropbox was by far too slow at synchronizing a set of multiple large files, despite having a broadband connection of 20 MB. Of course, as so many people agree to like it, perhaps I was just only unlucky at the moment.


That's exactly the type of response I was looking for. Thanks, Pablo.

Can I ask what you mean by a set of multiple large files? The files I would like to share between computers come to about 500Mb. I doubt that that's very large as it's almost exclusively text with very few images, not that many PDFs and absolutely no videos.



It was a mixed set of 10 files between 400 and 800 MB, but as I said before may be I was just unlucky with a folder synchronisation at the moment. By the way, so far I may remember available free space was 2 GB at that time, that mean that you will be able to save and sinchronize at mostly 4 files of 500 MB at the same time.

I guess the best will be you try it yourself, as on the other side it is very easy to install, to synchronise and and to use. Good luck!



[Edited at 2010-09-14 13:11 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dropbox it is, then. Sep 14, 2010

Hello again,

It really does sound as though it's a good product.

@ NMR - I'm always ready to consider the old pen+paper solutions, it's just that people here on ProZ (and elsewhere) often advise you to "download this, reformat that, edit your inis and bios, execute the other and Bob's your uncle!

I do keep physical backup copies of my data and I think I'll keep doing that - after all, I doubt whether Dropbox has found the secret of eternal life any more than any other company.

Thanks again, everyone!icon_smile.gif

Sheila


 

Dragomir Kovacevic  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:28
Italian to Serbian
+ ...
differential backup - why not? Sep 15, 2010

Differential backup is the exact backup of a current situation. If you hold 50.000 files in your transl dir, and tommorrow add 3 and delete one, you'll have 50.002 exactly, without increments. But, if tomorrow you delete 49.000 thousand, your differential backup will be at 1.000 files.

Try Cobian open source backup software for Windows: http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

Do some experimenting. Insist on obtaining clean identical directories like in your calculator.

Make separate backups for each important directory, in order not to expose one single backup task on searching through the complete tree of your works. One backup for the jobs till 2009, one for 2010, one for TM-s, for Gloss, for documents, etc.

Make these backups on an external drive, suitable for re-attaching onto your secondary machine and vice-versa.

And meanwhile do continue all on some USB keys, one never knows!icon_smile.gif

Dragomir

Sheila Wilson wrote:


[Edited at 2010-09-15 16:16 GMT]


 
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