I have written often about Dropbox, a great service for copying files from one computer to another, or even to multiple computers. Dropbox also can perform backups of your most important files. DropBox also has many other features, including the ability to make files in a PUBLIC folder available on the World Wide Web, should you choose to do so. I wrote about that feature at length last year, even showing how to publish an entire genealogy web site on Dropbox. The article is still available at http://goo.gl/QGc3I.
Dropbox will soon stop the PUBLIC folder service for new users although it is replacing it with a new feature. Existing users will continue to be able to use PUBLIC folder for some time; only new users will be blocked from using it.
Last month, Dropbox added a new feature that reduces or eliminates the need for a PUBLIC folder in the first place. The company launched the ability to quickly create links to any file stored in a Dropbox account. In other words, the Dropbox user can make ANY file in ANY folder publicly available on the Web, should they choose to do so. Publicly-available files no longer need to be in the PUBLIC folder.
I see this as a mixed blessing. The new method is more flexible than the old. However, it is also a bit more complex, requiring the user to be rather knowledgeable about how the process works. The old method was really simple, able to be used by most anyone with limited computer skills.
Those who have Dropbox accounts before July 31 can use both the old and the new methods. Only accounts added after July 31 will be limited.
HINT: If you haven't done so already, now is the time to sign up for Dropbox. The company will no longer be creating PUBLIC folders for new users starting on July 31. If you sign up before that date, you will be able to obtain and keep a PUBLIC folder as well as use the new features being added. Those who create new accounts after the cutoff date won’t be able to simply place files in a PUBLIC folder to simplify sharing.
Dropbox is available free of charge with up to two gigabytes of file storage space include. Larger amounts of storage space are available for a fee: 50 gigabytes costs $9.99 a month while up to 100 gigabytes is available for $19.99 a month.
Details may be found at https://www.dropbox.com/.
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