There are many ways to collaborate and share files online, be it spreadsheets, docs, presentations, or photos. However, there are some types of files, like analysis files (e.g., ANSYS files and Workbench projects) that don’t fit very well in these categories. Dropbox is a nice way to share as well as synchronize these types of files, even on multiple platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac).

Basically, Dropbox designates a folder on your PC to synchronize files. You just drop files in this folder, and it syncs up with the copy on their server. Folders can be shared with other Dropbox users, or you can make it ‘public’ where a URL can be given to non-Dropbox users to access particular files.

Dropbox comes with 2 GB of space for the free account, and you can ‘undelete’ or get previous versions of files which are stored up to 30 days with the free account. (The ‘previous version’ capability isn’t a diff-like capability but just stores copies of previous files, so you may still wish to use other services like Google Docs for collaborating on regular documents.) Security is not a concern with Dropbox (see info here).

I’ve used Dropbox to share files as well as to sync files between numerous PCs (Linux, Windows, Mac), and it works quite well. Other services may be specific to a platform or have a web-only interface, so Dropbox provides a lot more flexibility in this regard.

Signing up via a ‘referral’ lets you get 250 MB more of free disk space in addition to the 2 GB:
Referring others lets you get up to 3 GB of extra free space for the free account (I’ve almost maxed out with this on my end).

All-in-all, Dropbox is a pretty nifty service and one I like over other similar services since Dropbox supports both a web interface as well as Linux with nice features like keeping previous versions and ability to share folders with other Dropbox users.