At first sight it is just one online storage service amongst many, offering 2GB free with a couple of paid options for more space if you need it. So, why is it so good? Firstly, it just works. Install the software, create an account at www.dropbox.com and let it run. Any files stored in the Dropbox folder on your PC or Mac are synced into the cloud, any subsequent changes get synced too. Voila: simple offsite back-up. Great if you use only one computer.
Now that you files are in the cloud things get interesting. You can access your own files from anywhere (with the password of course). You can create a folder to share with another Dropbox user (or users), both have a local copy of any files within the folder and changes are synced back; I use this to share a file on his university costs with my son. You also have a public folder from which anyone can download a file if you give them the link; recordings of my son’s radio show are shared this way.
If you use several computers, each with Dropbox running, your files will be synchronised between them. This is the feature that makes Dropbox so useful: send work files home, check your home budget file at the office, show your latest holiday snaps to co-workers, whatever. That is just the start. WIth a bit of work you can share passwords (1Password), program settings, even entire programs (using Portable Apps). There are loads of creative uses for Dropbox, some of which can be seen here, that people keep adding to all the time.
Dropbox themselves are adding new functionality: there is an already an iPhone app, yesterday they released an Android version and announced one for Blackberry too.
Have I convinced you? If so, please sign up with Dropbox using this link. If you do, we will both get an extra 250mb on our accounts.
If you have any questions, ask them below.