10 Reasons Every Online Student Should Use Dropbox

When Dropbox was created, it heralded a new turn in the digital age: no longer would anyone have to be stuck downloading files onto a USB stick to ensure they had it with them all the time, or email documents to themselves so they could access it anywhere. Instead, they could easily access it from any computer they ever sat down in front of, so let's take a look at the best reasons for making the switch to Dropbox.

1. Cloud Storage is the New Way of Computers

You've spent countless hours over the last several weeks perfecting your essay, making sure every sentence is as grammatically flawless as possible. But because you're an online student, you have life, family and job obligations that carry you around. However, you can't just put school on hold while everything else calls, but Dropbox is a way to avoid that. Upload your essay to it, and have it ready to work on wherever you are.

2. You Get Plenty of Storage

When you sign up for Dropbox, you're automatically given 2GB of space. Your computer can hold a lot more than that, but think about how much space an essay actually is: roughly 50KB. You can create a lot of essays with 2GB of free storage, and upgrade if necessary.

3. It's Super Easy to Install Anywhere

One of the hesitations people have about installing programs is that they take up a lot of space, which can cause problems on a slow connection. But with Dropbox, that's avoided, as the installation is about as easy as you can get. And if you don't want to install, just use the web app and you're still good to go.

4. Your Files will be Secure

Business people have cited Dropbox as not being secure enough for confidential files, but Dropbox has rebutted that with solid security measures to keep you safe. They use a US-based S3 web server (with AES-256 protection), which is good because it's covered under the umbrella of a safe harbour agreement. For students who study outside of the US, this translates to equal status under the Data Protection Act in the European Union, still leaving you safely covered.

5. The Encryption Adds Another Level of Security

Most people will upload their documents without a second thought, happy enough that Dropbox uses a secure server. But for those who really want to know their documents won't be seen by prying eyes, you can use Dropbox's standard SSL encryption and security in combination with an encryption program like TruCrypt to really cover your bases.

6. Deleted Files Can be Recovered

We've all been there: accidentally deleted a file and thought it was lost forever. That's a thing of the past with Dropbox, as the program will let you recover deleted files, see earlier versions, and track the history of actions. Of course, you still can permanently delete files, but that accidental click isn't the same as it used to be.

7. There's No Downtime on the Servers

That dreaded message that pops up on other programs (e.g. system down for maintenance) is gone from Dropbox, leaving you free to work on your schooling whenever it suits you. The servers are super reliable with no downtime, which means there are no gaps in usage.

8. Share Your Files Easily with Classmates

Say you're working on a group project with students in your class, only they don't live anywhere near you. Instead of taking the time to email them, always making sure the documents are on the computer you're using, just use the group file-sharing feature and get everyone involved instantly. All you have to do is send out an invite and once the others accept, everyone has access.

9. Problems are Easily Solved in the FAQs

Customer service is an integral part of any program and while Dropbox only has an email feature you can use to contact them, their FAQ section is quite extensive. You can find answers to just about any problem you can think of, and use Google to supplement the rest.

10. It Holds All Files

You probably won't be using Dropbox just for essays and text documents, and you have the ability to upload photos and videos, too. Plus, with a Dropbox app available on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android devices, you can view all files everywhere, any time you want.

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