Dropbox is a great way to store files in the cloud and access them easily from devices big and small. Today we’re taking a look at how you can supercharge your Dropbox experience with free space upgrades, app integration, and more.
What Is Dropbox and Why Should I Care About Supercharging Anything?
Dropbox, for the unfamiliar, is a cloud-based storage service. You install an application on your computer or mobile device and the files on that device—within your Dropbox directory—are synchronized to the remote storage on the Dropbox server as well as with other devices that are linked to your Dropbox account. With Dropbox, for example, you can save a Word document you’re editing at home and then open that document from your Dropbox when you get to the office. You’ll need a Dropbox account to follow along with our tips, so you might as well visit Dropbox’s site, check out the intro video, and grab a free account.
You might already be a Dropbox user and not sure why you should bother with all this fancy supercharging business. If all you do with a Dropbox account is sign up, save some files, and forget about them, sure you’ve got a nice cloud storage arrangement with syncing (if you use it on more than one machine) but you’re missing out on a ton of functionality. Read on as we highlight ways you can, for free or very cheaply, vastly enhance your Dropbox experience.
Score Free Dropbox Space
The basic Dropbox account is free and comes with only 2GB of storage space. That’s not awful if you’re only syncing some documents between computers, but it starts to feel real cramped real fast if you start adding bigger files. You could upgrade your Dropbox account ($99 a year for 1TB) but you can easily score up to 16GB of extra space with referrals and additional space beyond that 16GB of referrals with other techniques. So how can you score this sweet, sweet, free storage? Let’s take a look.
Refer friends (up to 16GB). This was the original way to score more space and still the way to score the largest amount of free space. Go to this page and either invite your Gmail contacts on the left or enter names or emails of people you want to invite to use Dropbox on the right. Every time one of your friends signs up, you each get 500MB of extra space on your accounts. You can also click “Copy Link” Everybody wins in the game of Dropbox Referral.
Note: As much as we’d love to help you and your quest to gain referrals, please refrain from spamming our forum with your referral link. Thanks!
Link your Dropbox account to your social media accounts (up to 512MB). If you go through all the steps on Dropbox’s free space page here, you can score up to 512MB. It takes a few minutes tops and you get half a GB of storage for free. Incredibly simple things like following @Dropbox on Twitter scores you free space.
Access Dropbox From Your Mobile Devices
As mobile devices increase in power the types of files they can handle also increases. Don’t overlook the utility of accessing Dropbox from your Android phone, iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices.
Use the default mobile interface. The easiest way to do so is to simple visit the Dropbox mobile portal located at Dropbox.com/m. You don’t have to be logged in on your mobile device to test it out, take the updated mobile interface for a spin right at your desk.
Install the Dropbox app for your mobile platform. While visiting the mobile portal is the fastest way to access your files, installing the official app for your platform is a better long term solution (and allows for syncing of files on the actual mobile device). Check out the official Dropbox apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
Use mobile apps that sync to Dropbox. Numerous applications include Dropbox support. Search the app store of your respective mobile device with the keyword “dropbox” to turn up applications that will sync/backup to Dropbox.
Tips and Tricks for Desktop Machines
Syncing your documents and MP3s across your devices is a great trick and all, but you can do so much more with Dropbox. Rather than limit yourself to simple file syncing, try out some of the following tips.
Keep copies of your favorite portable apps in Dropbox (all platforms). A rather handy trick, and one that I use all the time, is storing your favorite portable apps in Dropbox. By doing so, your favorite portable browser, text editor, and more, will always be available and in-sync across your computers.
Run Dropbox as a portable app (Windows). You can, courtesy of DropboxPortableAHK, run Dropbox as a portable application with additional features such as selective sync and multiple accounts.
Sync any folder to Dropbox (Windows/Mac). Although you can easily move your Dropbox folder (look in the Dropbox application preferences to do so) what if you want to sync a folder outside of Dropbox? Mac users can check out MacDropAny to sync any folder. Windows users can check out either SyncToCloud or Boxifier.
For more add-ons, including web browser add-ons and applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux, make sure to check out the add-ons page on the unofficial Dropbox Wiki.
Visit Dropbox’s official blog for more information about the many ways you can get the most out of Dropbox on the many platforms it supports.
Dropbox has amassed quite a following with quite an array of add-ons and applications. What’s your favorite Dropbox tip, trick, or app? Sound off in the forum to share the wealth with your fellow readers.