We’re really keen on backing up our files at Site Diesel. A huge amount of information is now stored digitally and many businesses would really struggle to recover if they lost a lot of data (either through accidental deletion, malicious damage like hacking or physical damage of equipment).

In a previous article I wrote about two great ‘set and forget’ backup services – Crashplan and Spideroak. Both do an amazing job of continually backing up your computer but are less user friendly when it comes to sharing or accessing files on a regular basis.

That’s where our favourite service steps in – Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to get all your files from anywhere and on any device. If you wish you can also easily share these files with other people.

Because of its popularity it is tightly integrated with a huge number of everyday IT services like email, CRM’s and more.

So how do you use it? For starters you’ll need to sign up. Dropbox offer a free plan which allows you to store up to 2GB of data. This can be increased a modest amount if you recommend it to a friend but for serious business users you’re either going to want to upgrade to their Pro account or a Business account. A Pro account is a very reasonable £7.99 a month and Business plans (for more than one user) start at £11/month per user.

dropbox-screenshot-fw_With a Pro account you’ll get some additional features but more importantly 1TB of storage which is more than most need unless you want to upload a lot of photos and music.

Once you’ve signed up you’ll see you can upload files for storage via their user friendly web interface. This is fine but where Dropbox starts to shine is when you download the Dropbox installer to set up their file sync software on your computer. It’s quick to do and you’ll be able to designate a folder on your computer as the default ‘Dropbox’.

As soon as this is done go ahead and ‘drop’ some files into this folder. The sync functionality provided by Dropbox is incredibly quick. In no time at all you’ll see these files being uploaded. If you log back into your online Dropbox account you should see them there.

Now you can really get started. Download the app for your phone and tablet (available for both Apple and Android devices), add the Dropbox software to a second computer (a laptop etc.). Once you’ve logged into your Dropbox account you’ll see all your files sync across these multiple devices. Change a file on your laptop and those changes are quickly reflected right across your other devices. It’s a brilliant system and close to essential today where we find ourselves working on multiple devices.

Dropbox even keep files revisions allowing you to ‘go back in time’ if you find you need to recover a previous version of a file.

At Site Diesel we put ALL our files into our Dropbox folder. This not only means that we have access to every file whenever we need it on any device but that Dropbox acts as a backup service for our files adding another layer of redundancy should the worst happen.

I really can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve not given it a try then go to www.dropbox.com and sign up!