Dropbox was, at least for me, the best app of 2009. This was my favorite app of 2008 as well. It’s just that cool.
Dropbox allows you to share & sync files between multiple computers. Each machine has a folder and any additions/deletions or modifications are instantaneously synchronized across all machines. All files are also stored ‘in the cloud’ and accessible online at the Dropbox website.
In my case, it allows me to share documents with other web workers even though we’re not on the same network. Email is useful for sharing, but if you’ve got a large number of files, or files that are over the filesize limit of an mail server, sharing that way is cumbersome…especially when trying to keep track of revisions.
The day to day usefulness is in the shared access to these files, but an important feature of Dropbox is that snapshots are taken of your files and stored at the Dropbox site. So, if you accidentally delete something, it’s easy to recover.
By signing up, you get 2GB of online storage space for free, and they have an affiliate program. If you get your friends, family and co-workers to signup, you get 250MB for each referral (up to 3GB total)…and the person using your affiliate link gets an additional 250MB as well. It’s a win-win situation.
For those with even more storage needs, they do have paid plans that are very reasonable.
Lastly, if you’re concerned about the long-term safety of your files, you should know that Dropbox utilizes the Amazon S3 service on the backend for ‘storage in the cloud’ and is probably one of the safest solutions you’ll ever find.