Dropbox Beta Review (and invites give-away)

dropbox In the past I was using two products from Microsoft - FolderShare and SyncToy for keeping my files in different places up-to-date. And I was rather happy until FolderShare started having downtimes and bugs that killed people’s files while SyncToy decided to require .Net Framework and SQLServer while messing my directories structure at the same time. Now that I think about it they are products from Microsoft. :)

I use different software now (which is sure to be reviewed) but I remembered that FolderShare discussions in Internet were often filled with rumors of some upcoming Dropbox service that is going to own all other competitors.

Yesterday Martin of gHacks reviewed Dropbox Beta and sent me invite so I managed to check those rumors personally. :)

Downloading and installing client was smooth until the point when I registered and was told that my account is linked to computer and is ready to use. All was fine except my computer wasn’t linked to anything and local client clearly wasn’t working.

After few retries and sudden idea that it might hate Opera I tried same in Internet Explorer and it immediately worked. Epic fail - if your registration process is browser-dependant at least code it to open link in browser needed, not default one.

So what is Dropbox exactly?

It is local folder in windows documents folder that (with the help of local client) is kept constantly in sync with online storage. Working with it is as easy as with any local folder and there is actually no special interface - you can use whatever file manager you want.

Key points

  • only binary difference is transferred if file is changed
  • beta account is 2Gb (and you keep them after release), free accounts are going to be 1Gb, more is going to cost money
  • online storage keeps deleted files and overwritten files revisions (I assume as long as free space for them is available)
  • you can create public http links for files in special “public” subfolder (but not to directories :( )
  • you can share folders with other Dropbox users
  • everything is encoded bla-bla-bla for the sake of nervous people who think someone is interested in photos of their cat :)

Basically service works with anything (I can imagine plenty ways to use it) as long as it fits in storage size. It is good for anything document-size and bad for anything more than bunch-of-photos size (unless you pay for additional storage whatever it is going to cost).

Shall I use it after final release? Maybe for collaboration on documents only. I tend to carry enough devices capable of data-storage to freak people out and my home machine has private http server with access to whatever I may need (and that “whatever” clearly won’t fit in 1-2Gb of Dropbox).

My overall opinion - concept is size-limited but perfect in it’s niche and very easy to use. Also some additional features might appear by the time it reaches release. Home page has nice video up that shows everything Dropbox is capable of at current stage.

I can give away 10 invite codes so drop a comment if you need one. First batch gone, but kind Dropbox developers supplied me with 25 more to give out. :) Invites no longer needed! :)

Dropbox home page https://www.getdropbox.com/

Dropbox download page https://www.getdropbox.com/beta

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  • Harry M. #

    Hi there! I was looking for a dropbox invite for quite a while now. Would love to get one: hardy.mardy (at) gmail.com THANKS... Nice blog, btw! Love freeware... :)
  • Rarst #

    Invite sent. >Nice blog, btw! Love freeware… :) Thanks and who doesn't? :) Stay tuned for more sites and apps.
  • Tiago Souza #

    Can you give me an invite?! Thanks!
  • Rarst #

    >Can you give me an invite?! Invite sent. :)
  • Andi #

    Hi there! I hope I'm not too late, but I'd love one as well! Thanks in advance! Regards, Andi
  • Rarst #

    >I hope I’m not too late, but I’d love one as well! Invite sent. I only give them out here so still have some remaining. :)
  • Steve #

    Hi - hope I'm not too late either - cos I'd love an invite also if you still have any left - thanks in advance!!!
  • MrM #

    if possible id love an invite too :) tia! MrM
  • Rarst #

    @Steve invite sent :) @MrM email you used looks like no-spam one to me. Please confirm that it is valid or mail me contact@rarst.net address you want invite sent to.
  • Frank #

    I would love to have an invite! This is the BEST app I'v seen. I can't wait to try it Thanks!
  • Rarst #

    @Frank Invite sent, have fun. :)
  • Frank #

    Thanks Rarst! I spent the whole day today looking for a sync app like this! You made my day...!! signed up, and looking forward testing it ;)
  • Rarst #

    Just don't rely on it too much. :) It's still beta so bugs are very possible.
  • flerick #

    Nice blog post. Thanks for bringing my attention to DropBox :) If you have any left, please send me 1. Thanks
  • Ken #

    I would like an invite if you have some left. Thanks. PS Interesting blog. Saw your comments on FreewareJunkie
  • Rarst #

    @flerick, Ken Invites sent. :)
  • flerick #

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Needed it just right about now to move some screenshots from one pc to another. I'll be coming back Rarst. :) Thanks a bunch again!
  • Rarst #

    @flerick Have fun and see you again. :) Syncing files (both online and ofline) is interesting topic and I have few posts on this in writing queue.
  • Ken #

    Thanks for the invite. Had the google gadget for it, but was doing me no good without an account.
  • Rarst #

    >Thanks for the invite. Have fun. :) Almost out of invites, may need to try to poke Dropbox developers if I can get more (Martin pulled that of I think).
  • Idae lisco #

    Can i get one plz?? i'll be veery thankful
  • Rarst #

    @Idae lisco Invite sent. :)
  • crazyfox #

    Can you give me an invite? Am I in time? THANKS. Nice blog!!!
  • Rarst #

    @crazyfox Invite sent. :)
  • Nihang Shah #

    Can you send me an invite? Thanks in advance.
  • Rarst #

    @Nihang Shah Sent. Was my last one, need to try to get more. :)
  • Rarst #

    Arash of Dropbox kindly gave me 25 more invites to give out so ask if you need one. :)
  • Jenny #

    Hi - I'd like an invite! Thanks. J.
  • Rarst #

    @Jenny Sent! :)
  • Chad #

    I'd love an invite, Thanks in advance!
  • Rarst #

    @Chad It says "They're already on Dropbox!" when I try to send invite to email you used in comment. I was too slow? Have to sleep sometimes. :) Edit: got email from Chad, too slow indeed. :)
  • David #

    Hello Rarst, I Would really appreciate an invite. Thanks David
  • Rarst #

    @David Sent! :)
  • andi #

    You have any invites left? Would love to get one! Thanks in advance!
  • Rarst #

    @andi Sent! :)
  • Ethan #

    Hi, if you have invites left, can I get one please?
  • Rarst #

    @Ethan Sent! :)
  • Ethan #

    Thank you very much. Appreciated that :)
  • Mark #

    Hi If you have an invite going spare I'd love to have one. Thanks M
  • Rarst #

    @Mark Sent! :)
  • Mark #

    Wow! That was quick. Many thanks. M
  • ramooonas #

    If you have any free invite plz send it to me
  • Rarst #

    @ramooonas Sent! :)
  • Matthew #

    Hi, I would love to try out dropbox if there are any invites left. Thanks in advance
  • Rarst #

    @Matthew Sent! :)
  • Jim Sefton #

    Interested to hear how you get on with this and how effective it is. I have been looking for a good sync utility between my Mac and PC for ages. Would this work if I put the client on my Mac and PC?
  • Rarst #

    @Jim Sefton Yeah, it would totally work. :) As of yesterday you don't even need invite just go to http://www.getdropbox.com/ and grab a client software. Only it's still beta so don't rely too much on it. I mean it's fine as tool to exchange files between computers but not as backup or storage for important stuff.
  • shane #

    can someone please send me an invite for drop box thanks
  • Rarst #

    @shane Invites are not required for a long time already. If you are looking for some extra space on signup you can use referral link like mine https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU4OTAwOQ