Dropbox Cloud Backup

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

Thank you for all of your kind, clear answers in your newsletter! I have one more:

I would like to use a cloud back-up system for my files and photos and audio recordings, but I am not sure how to select one that would work in my situation. I use two PC laptops for my work, a larger one and a smaller, more portable one, both with Windows 7. I save files identically to both computers by a rather laborious process: When I edit File A on one computer, I save it manually to a folder on Dropbox, from which, the next time I use the other computer, I copy it into the other computer, overwriting the older version of File A. I then delete File A from Dropbox so I won’t be confused.
In effect, each computer acts as the back-up for the other now. I would like to have an automatic cloud back-up as well, for greater security. But I don’t know how to use the cloud systems and still keep downloaded up-to-date copies of each file on each computer so that I can work with my files offline. I worry that automatic backup systems will confuse me, and that I won’t be able to keep track of whether I am working on the latest version of a particular file.

Can you advise me?

Thank you, Jo

Dear Jo,

I was going to suggest that you save your files in a OneDrive folder on your hard drive so they would automatically sync, but when I did a little bit of research on Dropbox, I found that they have the same kind of automatic sync feature.

When you install the Dropbox desktop application on both computers, and login with the same username on both, any file that you save in the dropbox folder will automatically be saved and updated in the Dropbox folder on the other computer.

This actually saves your file in three locations. One on each computer, and one on Dropbox servers. Essentially a built in cloud backup.

Dropbox is programmed to check the folder and automatically make sure your files are the same on each device you use.

Since you are using Dropbox for your work, I would suggest that you upgrade to the business edition of Dropbox. That will provide you with increased security and file recovery options.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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