On its surface, Dropbox is simply cloud storage, your hard drive in the sky. But with a little bit of elbow grease, you can watch it unfold into so much more than that.
You’ll be starting BitTorrent downloads remotely. You’ll be syncing your iTunes libraries across multiple computers. You can even track thieves that might steal your computer.
So why settle for your simple and straightforward 2 GB of cloud storage? Make that free resource work twice as hard for you.
Don’t have a Dropbox account yet? Sign up here. You get 2 GB for free, but some of our suggestions will require more storage. You can get up to 100 GB of storage for $19.99 per month.
Some Bittorrent clients will watch a designated folder for any new .torrent files that appear there. With your BT client (we recommend uTorrent for PC and Transmission for Mac), make a new directory in your Dropbox to be the monitored folder. For example, it could be something like D:My DropboxTorrents. Download a new .torrent file and save it to your appropriate Dropbox folder. Your home computer will start cranking the download!
This actually serves three purposes. First of all, your music is backed up online. Second, you'll be able to sync your iPod with multiple computers. Thirdly, you only have to rip your CDs once. You will have to wait a while for all your music to upload, and it's quite likely that you might have to shell out the cash for a 50GB or 100GB Dropbox. The steps involved in doing this can get a little complex. Lifehacker has solved them quite gracefully here.
IM clients like Pidgin and Adium will let you save a log of every chat you've ever had. Store it remotely with Dropbox. A password extension like Keepass lets you remember one passphrase and then uses it to access your list of correct passwords. You can store this list on Dropbox. This lets you use Keepass across multiple computers without a USB key that stores your sensitive data.
Between the Kindle app, the Nook app, and iBooks, if you're still looking for a way to read books on your smartphone try this - use Dropbox's smartphone-optimised site to browse to a PDF or other text file that you've uploaded. Open them in new Safari tabs and read them at your leisure.
If you install a keylogger on your computer and set it to upload its logs to Dropbox, you'll always know who has your computer and how it's being used. Imagine if your thief logs in to his Facebook profile - not only do you have his password, you have his name as well. Keyloggers get into dodgy territory, so we'll leave it up to you to figure out how to make it happen.