Travel Product: Dropbox

(stealing from DrG over at

Dropbox isn’t new, but it is new to me.  As someone who travels frequently it is nice to be able to transfer files easily from my home computer to my phone, nook, or work computer.  Now I have access to certain files wherever I am.  I was just e-mailing files to myself or using Google Docs before.

Dropbox shows up as a folder on my desktop.  I place a file in there.  It uploads it to dropbox land.  I go to dropbox on my phone or nook and download the file and transfer it where I need it.  This is great for files like many of the free .epub books out there in the public domain.  I can browse on my computer, download, place it in dropbox (I don’t care much about covers and other meta data so I skip Calibre if the file didn’t come with that).

Dropbox comes with 2 gb of cloud storage in their free plan and they have the ability to purchase more.  2 gb is adequate for me for personal use since I don’t need to share a lot of pictures and I view it as more temporary than something like Google Docs or photo hosting.

There is a feature to share files with others.  I haven’t tried that yet, but it may come in handy when my husband wants to share files with me since he’s a Mac and I’m a PC and I like to keep my flash drives formatted to NTFS because I need to keep large virtual machines on them for work.


    1. A View From the Wing brings up a good point: it’s a good place to store copies of your passport. According to Life Hacker you can also set up an encrypted folder in Drop Box. I always tell myself I need to keep my credit card number, phone number, and expiration date stored somewhere. Encrypted on Dropbox is probably a good place to store it. I’ve never dealt with much encryption before, but I would not want to put my CC numbers out there without some file protection. I’d probably store copies of my passport and drivers license the same way.

  1. Graces’s wording originally came from my post on mile point. It’s exciting to see something I authored on these blogs!

    I understand the concern for added security on sensitive documents. There is a clever technique for securing such files which I mention on the discussion at mile point ( I have also cut-n-pasted my post on encrypting sensitive files below:

    Firstly, I want to point out that Dropbox encrypts all files with AES-256 before being sent to their servers over an SSL connection (similar to when you make a credit card purchase online). This however may not be enough, especially if your laptop is lost or stolen.

    For added security, I rely on TrueCrypt ( found at )

    TrueCrypt allows you to create a virtual encrypted disk within a file which can be mounted on your computer as an ordinary disk. This virtual encrypted disk mounts is stored in your Dropbox as a standard file that can be mounted as a drive when needed or automatically with the Truecrypt software. The encryption adds to the read/write times (depending on the level of encryption), but it is worth it for the added security. There are also some tricks for hiding undetectable encrypted disks within a TrueCrypt volume.

    Lifehacker has a good tuturial on TrueCrypt at –!178005/geek-to-live–encrypt-your-data

    Gary is also correct in pointing out that you would receive the .edu bonus as long as you had an .edu address to verify – no student status necessary.

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