Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox
Dropbox is an awesome service. You can back your files up to the cloud, sync them between computers, and share them with your friends. That’s not all it can do, though. Here are our top 10 favorite clever uses for our favorite file syncing program.
10. Monitor Your Computer for Running Tasks or Unauthorized Access
If you’re at work and want to keep an eye on your home machine—whether it’s keeping track of a download or making sure someone else isn’t trying to use it—you can do that with Dropbox. All you need is a screenshot tool (like one of our favorites) and some way to automate it (like this AutoHotkey script). Then, just periodically check your Dropbox folder, and you’ll have a chronological timeline of everything happening on your screen at home. You can also use Dropbox to check your home computer’s IP from afar, and even locate your laptop if its been stolen.
9. Securely Share Files, from Saucy Pics to Paperwork
We all know Dropbox is great for sharing files, but it’s particularly good for sensitive information, like tax returns, passwords, or saucy photos (note: saucy photos not recommended). Dropbox encrypts everything you upload, and downloads it over a secure HTTPS connection, meaning that file is secure from start to finish. Of course, you can also encrypt it in a ZIP file first for extra protection, too. Just don’t be reckless!
8. Manage Your BitTorrent Downloads
7. Quickly Install Android Apps and ROMs
6. Print Documents to Your Home Printer from Any Computer
If you have a document you want printed back at home, Dropbox can make it happen. All you need is a script running at home that monitors a Dropbox folder for incoming documents and prints them. Then, you can add a document to that folder from any remote computer or smartphone, and a hard copy will be waiting for you when you get back. You can check out the cross-platform script here, though we’ve also written a simpler Mac-specific tutorial here as well.
5. Host a Web Site or Start Page for Your Browser
4. Create Your Own Cloud-Based Music Library
3. Launch Applications and Run Commands on Your Home Computer
Similar to the remote printing method, you can also run applications and commands on your home computer with a clever setup in Dropbox. We’ve shown you how to do it with Windows and AutoHotkey, but Dropbox also has a tutorial for Linux users, which is pretty handy. It’s perfect for starting up your favorite remote desktop program so you can get full control of your computer from afar.
2. Convert, Share, and Automate Your Files
1. Keep the Same Apps, Settings, and Passwords on All Your PCs