Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Dropbox is a utility that allows you to instantly share files between machines, and even with other users elsewhere on the internet. Up to 2GB is free.
I've been using Dropbox for a quite some time now and recently came across perhaps the most compelling reason to finally recommend it to you.
One of the common questions I get is "how do I share [files, photos, documents, whatever] with my [friends, business associates, contacts] without using email, and without having them show up on the public internet?
Dropbox solves that, and a lot more.
Here's the basic idea: I create an account on Dropbox and install the Dropbox software on two machines - A and B. On each, I point the Dropbox software at a folder to keep synchronized between the two machines.
Fundamentally it's that simple.
Files I place in my Dropbox folder on machine A shortly appear on machine B's Dropbox folder. "Shortly" depends on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the file, but that's the fundamental operation: update a file on machine A, and Dropbox updates it on machine B. Add a file to B it shows up on A. Create a folder on A and the folder appears on B.
That, alone, is a very powerful concept if you have more than one machine. Imagine simply keeping your documents automatically copied between several machines.
Now, based on that simple concept, we start adding features:
You don't need machine "B". Dropbox also makes the files you place in that folder accessible via your account on the Dropbox web site. It's a great way to backup, off-site, important documents.
The machines need not be in the same place. Dropbox works across the internet, so if machine A and machine B are in two different places but connected to the internet, then Dropbox continues to keep the folder contents in sync.
The machines need not be PCs. Of course there's a Mac version available, but more interesting is that there are versions for Linux as well as for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. One of the ways I use Dropbox is to keep podcasts (mp3 files) and reading material (pdfs) on a variety of machines I might choose to use - like my phone.
They need not all be your machines. You can share folders within your Dropbox with other Dropbox users. Place a file in a shared folder, and only those users you give access to will have access to those files in their Dropbox.
It's that last item that brings me here. I found myself collaborating with individuals in an organization, and Dropbox turned out to be the perfect solution for the file sharing needed.
Dropbox is free for up to 2 gigabytes of storage. That's typically more than enough for sharing photos with family, documents with coworkers ... or mp3 files with your phone.
Additional storage is available for a subscription fee, should you need it.
Dropbox. I recommend it.