Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dropbox - A Backup Solution

Dropbox as an off-site backup

There are now a number of cloud storage services available for free. Amongst them are Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. I have used and had good experiences with several but today I'd like to talk about Dropbox and using it as an off-site backup.

Dropbox is a service that will store up to 2GB of your files on line for free. If you need more space you have to pay for it. The service allows you to synchronize files between difference PCs and to access them via a web browser. I’m going to look at how we can use Dropbox as an online or cloud backup service. Out of the box Dropbox does not store your files securely, it does transfer them securely using encryption but once on Dropboxe's servers they could be accessed, for example, by a Dropbox employee. 

I’ll look at adding encryption to the mix in another Blog.
So lets get started by downloading the Dropbox installer from
Click on “Download Dropbox” on the bottom right of the web page


  Once downloaded run the installer, accept the user account control warning and follow the prompts given by the installer.

Leave the radio button on its default “I don’t have a Dropbox account” and click next.

Fill in the details to complete the form

Click Next

Chose Typical

Unless you want to access Dropbox on your phone click Next.

Step through the tour, it’s a good introduction to Dropbox

That’s the installation completed. You now have a Dropbox folder on your PC. The default location for Windows 7 is C:\Users\<your-login-name>\Dropbox .
There is also a new icon in your system tray for Dropbox. Double clicking on the icon will open your Dropbox folder. Any files you put in this folder are copied to the Dropbox servers giving you a backup in the cloud.

You can access your Dropbox folder from any web browser anywhere.
Open your email client and look for mail from Dropbox. Open that email and click on Get Started in the email.

This will take you to the Dropbox web site where you need to enter your email address and password to login.

You can retake the Dropbox tour anytime, it's accessible from you Dropbox web page and well worth it.

In a future blog I'll look at encrypting Dropbox files using Cloudfogger.


1 comment:

  1. Having a backup is only of value if the data is usable, so daily checks are needed to verify this. The best data rooms make use of an email notification system to inform administrators of the status of the backups.