I’ve written about the concept of an external brain before, and I glossed over a few different storage systems including Dropbox. Back then I was using Dropbox as a one size fits all location for any large files I had, plus the usual day to day items. With storage of up to 100GB, Dropbox is essentially a way of making your entire My Documents folder accessible on any PC or Smartphone. The main competitor of Dropbox is another cloud storage provider called SugarSync. There are pros and cons to both of these services. On the one hand SugarSync costs less per gigabyte than Dropbox, and has international language capabilities. On the other, Dropbox is compatible with Linux and has an unlimited time file recovery system called Pack-rat.
The Best of Both
Recently I have started using both storage systems in conjunction. I use the Dropbox folder as my main documents folder and I keep everything there, including my photos and iTunes library. Lifehacker.com provides a useful step by step guide on how to sync iTunes with Dropbox. I also use SugarSync to sync those folders within the main Dropbox store. The result of this is that I get to make the most of the two separate service’s best features. I can take advantage of SugarSync’s more flexible file and folder sharing for collaborating with remote workers and clients. I also have access to all of the great add-on web apps for Dropbox and benefit from added security, in the form of a double redundant back up with revision history.
A Possible Alternative
The Pogoplug is a hardware device that to an extent provides the basic functions of Dropbox and SugarSync without you having to pay monthly fees. As well as being affordable, when it comes to doing less it is hard to beat. I had mine up and running in about fifteen seconds.