Dropbox: Practical Web 2.0

mac Jul 26, 2008

Web 2.0 is the buzzword for the next generation of web applications that interact directly with users at the system level. The term has been bandied12714197-D730-4ACC-954B-408C96844840.jpg about for the last couple of years but no one has really developed anything that crystallizes the idea. Until now.

The folks at Dropbox have come up with a novel way to solve an age-old Internet problem: secure file sharing with yourself, your friends and family.

By combining web services, Amazon’s S3 storage clusters and some clever programming, Dropbox plugs into Windows Explorer and Mac Finder to create a drag-and-drop interface for easy file sharing. Create shared folders between yourself and your friends/family, drop files in and a Mac-like sync occurs between all parties involved. Have to collaborate with a group of people? Add names to the share folder and when you drop the file in there, all participants get a copy.

dropbox in finder

dropbox shared folders

Best of all, Dropbox is free. Currently in beta, you can surf over to the Dropbox website and apply. If you know someone already on it, they get 10 beta invitations. The free accounts are limited to 2GB of data so don’t get any wild ideas about using it to create the next Napster. Also there are plans for a Linux client as well.

The current client does not support proxies, but that is in the cards before the final release. There is a forum where you can find a list of upcoming features.