MediaFire Takes Aim at Dropbox

MediaFire Dropbox option

mediafire-logoHosting company MediaFire has decided to take aim at Dropbox. MediaFire is now offering an OS X and Windows application that lets users upload files to the MediaFire cloud and share those collaborators – so, it's basically Dropbox. What's different? Why is MediaFire better or worse?

MediaFire V/S Dropbox

The best way to break this comparison down is to go point by point.

Synching Features: same as Dropbox

File Sharing: 50 GB of free cloud storage – yikes, Dropbox, that's hard to compete with!

In comparison, Dropbox offers the same synching options, but this cloud favorite only comes with 2GB of free space – 16 if you refer out to friends and get other bonus space.

MediaFire Extras

For a company to really compete with the likes of Dropbox, though, that company has to offer more than Dropbox – a lot more.

With a MediaFire account comes the following features:

  • Social Sharing: share simply from your desktop on all your favourite social media networks.
  • Activity Tracking: keep your activity feed under a close watch with automatic activity tracking updates.
  • File Synching: automatic file synching options.
  • File Organizing: you can organize and keep track of your files all at once – doesn't that sound nice?
  • File Support: MediaFire can support more than 200 different file types. That's a lot of support, and it's one way to win over Dropbox users.

What About Security?

Dropbox has had some security issues in the past, so how does MediaFire stack up? The company claims that MediaFire's cloud options are more secure than most, and it also looks like MediaFire plans to back up that claim with some pretty decent cloud options.

So the question is: is it all over for Dropbox? MediaFire is, after all, the only other cloud storage and sharing solution looking for a bit of Dropbox's space. There's another (lesser known) company out of China called ‘Tencent' that's aiming to snag a piece of that cloud sharing pie.

It Was Only A Matter Of Time…

…before another company came in and grabbed some of Dropbox's thunder. Still, Dropbox has a solid social and marketing plan – one that's simple, but still has a good amount of impact. It will be tough for any company (no matter how much free space is given or offered) to compete with what Dropbox has.

If you are looking for a Dropbox alternative, though, MediaFire may be the way to go. This company has all of its ducks in a row, has a newly revamped website, is surprisingly simple to use and set up, and might be the new Dropbox. Or, Dropbox might still reign supreme for just a little while longer. What do you think? Would you make the switch to MediaFire, or are you a loyal Dropbox fan? Let us know below!

How To Use Dropbox: A Simple Tutorial

How To Use Dropbox
How To Use Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most popular file sharing services available. Not only does the company have a great marketing plan in place, but Dropbox's reputation and services speak volumes. If you're new to Dropbox, you may be wondering how you can get started – the good news is that it's really simple!

Here's how to get started with Dropbox.

How To Use Dropbox: First Steps

  1. Sign up for a Dropbox account.
  2. Note the little Dropbox icon on the top of your screen.

How To Use Dropbox: Adding Files to Dropbox

Now that you've installed Dropbox, you will have the option to add files to your Dropbox folder at any time. Whenever you save a file now, you will see a Dropbox option becomes available.

To save files to Dropbox:

  1. Select Dropbox from the list of ‘Save' options.
  2. To save photos, music files, and other bits to your Dropbox, all you have to do is drag and…drop! Just select a file, drag that file to your Dropbox icon, and drop it. That's it!
  3. You can also right-click to save a file to Dropbox.
  4. Dropbox handles all of your synching, so you don't have to worry about this.

How To Use Dropbox: Finding Dropbox Files

Now that you've saved those files to Dropbox, where have you put them? Finding Dropbox files is simple too.

Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Dropbox icon
  2. After clicking on the icon, you can select your folder from the Dropbox menu.
  3. Your Dropbox folder will open, and you can then open up any files that are included in that folder.

How To Use Dropbox: Other Dropbox Bits

Those are the basic steps to setting up a new Dropbox account. Dropbox can be used at this very basic level, but it can also be used for a number of additional things like sharing with team members, sharing music, and many other interesting bits.

Right now, go ahead and get started with creating your Dropbox folder. Once that's set up, come on back and we'll take you through creating a more sophisticated Dropbox folder, and finding those things that you didn't even know you could do with Dropbox! You'll quickly see why this file sharing service is one of the most popular options available, and why Dropbox rakes in a hefty revenue daily.

How To Use Dropbox: Questions and Comments

Do you have questions about Dropbox or what you can do with it? Do you need help setting up your Dropbox account, or figuring out how to share a file? If you need any help with this service, please feel free to let us know. Dropbox is simple – and you'll love how easy it makes storing your files, sharing your files, and communicating with your team!

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How to Encrypt Dropbox Files

Encrypt Dropbox Files

dropbox-logo Encrypt Dropbox FilesPrivacy is the one word on everyone's mind. It all began with the NSA leak, but it definitely doesn't end there. It's now more than obvious that any company based on U.S. soil is susceptible to government scrutiny, and that includes the possibility that the government may take a peek at your private files.

It's also obvious that cloud hosting companies and companies based in the cloud like Dropbox are not immune from spying – or hacks, for that matter.

While we like to think that the cloud is relatively secure, it never hurts to add an extra layer of protection to your Dropbox files. This protection comes in the form of encryption. Surprisingly, setting up Dropbox encryption isn't hard to do either.

Here's how to add extra padding to your Dropbox account.

Encrypt Dropbox Files: The TrueCrypt Option

TrueCrypt is a disk encryption software tool that is really your best line of defense when it comes to making extra sure that your files are safe. Why? TrueCrypt lets you encrypt your own files, so you aren't trusting them to another company. Here are the steps to creating a TrueCrypt folder for Dropbox.

  1. Install TrueCrypt.
  2. Launch the service.
  3. Chooose ‘Create Volume.'
  4. Select ‘Create An Encrypted File Container.'
  5. Choose ‘Standard TrueCrypt Volume.'

You will now be asked to choose a location for your TrueCrypt Volume. Choose Dropbox.

Follow the rest of the steps to set up your TrueCrypt account.Save your TrueCrypt Volume by entering a password. Now, you will have to mount the Volume.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select a drive letter.
  2. Choose your TrueCrypt file from the Dropbox folder.
  3. Select ‘Mount.'

From now on, you will be able to copy and paste documents to the TrueCrypt Volume as you would any other Dropbox document. There are other encryption options available, but TrueCrypt is one of the few that lets you encrypt your files without the help of an automated encryption program.

Encrypt Dropbox Files: Why Not Use Something Like SecretSync?

Technically, you can use SecretSync to encrypt Dropbox items (a Windows program). However, this means trusting Microsoft to encrypt your files for you. Yeah, that might be defeating the purpose, right? If the point of encrypting your files is to prevent a company from accessing those files openly, letting a company like Microsoft access your files at will is relatively silly.

But, if you must (and you really hate TrueCrypt for some reason), you can use SecretSync simply enough. Just install the SecretSync app, and put files you want to store in Dropbox in the SecretSync folder. Voila! Anything you put in that folder will be encrypted. Sure, it's simpler, but it's really not the best option – especially these days!

As mentioned, there are some other encryption tools out there, but TrueCrypt is the easiest one that I've come across thus far. It's user-friendly and works really well. If you are going to use Dropbox to store sensitive files, set up an extra layer of Dropbox protection.

Need help with these steps? Ask away!

Dropbox VS. Zip Cloud: Which One to Choose?

Project collaboration can be a tiresome task. Especially if everyone involved in a project works from a different location. How can you share ideas, files, and concepts clearly? The best way to work on a shared project is to use a cloud file sharing option like Dropbox. But, Dropbox isn't the only game in town.

There's another file sharing service called Zip Cloud that doesn't get enough attention. Zip Cloud is a lot like Dropbox, but the two have enough differences that result in two very unique services.

Zip Cloud Features

Zip Cloud
Zip Cloud

Zip Cloud has one feature that stands above what Dropbox offers. That feature is the file storage option. Not only can you drop files into the Zip Cloud synch folder, but you can also backup any files on your hard drive simultaneously. Did I mention that Zip Cloud lets you back up files that are not in you Synch folder? Well, it does, and that's a great feature to have on your side. Here's a closer look.

Feature Comparison

Dropbox: Dropbox comes with a simple Dropbox folder. To share files, simply drop files into the folder and they are shared with anyone you decide to work with.

Zip Cloud: Zip Cloud's ‘Synched' files act the same way that Dropbox's Shared Folders do. Just add files to the synched file folder, and share away.

Verdict: both Zip Cloud and Dropbox work well when it comes to sharing files. Is one better than the other? Zip Cloud does have that whole “back up a file that's not part of a shared file” feature, so it gains an extra point in this category.

Pricing

Pricing is, perhaps, one of the most important elements of any cloud sharing company. Both companies offer free versions, but this article will compared the paid versions.

Zip Cloud: $71 per year for 500GB.

Dropbox: $120 per year for $50GB.

If Zip Cloud is so much cheaper than Dropbox, why does Dropbox get all the glory? You might chalk it up to a better ad campaign, or you may decide that one is better than the other based on overall purpose.

The Main Differences

Zip Cloud … was designed for people that have a ton of files to backup, and need to backup files across a number of devices. While not a way to synch devices (you have to pay per device used), Zip Cloud provides an efficient way to back up a massive amount of files on numerous devices. Zip Cloud's Synch file is free to use and share, and you can pay for extra storage space.

Zip Cloud … uses a file manager to share synched files without actually moving those files from a docked place on your computer. This is not the same as Dropbox's drag and drop feature.

Dropbox … was created to help you share a number of files across a number of devices too. The difference? You have to pay a premium price to add more Dropbox storage. There's a difference as far as sharing files goes too.

With Dropbox, you drag and drop files into shared folders. This means that files are no longer on your computer, and this might be a problem if you need that extra copy.

The Verdict

Which file sharing service should you choose? Zip Cloud is definitely the smaller of the two companies. But, that doesn't meant that it's a lesser option. In fact, Zip Cloud has received stellar ratings across the board for pricing, usability, and overall design. If you haven't had a chance to check out Zip Cloud yet, it's worth taking a closer look at.

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15 Unknown Dropbox Tips

Dropbox Tips

Think you know Dropbox? The cloud storage service is quite popular for file storage, but the site allows so much more than that.

How is this possible? Dropbox gives developers the ability to submit apps and services just for Dropbox users. From hosting a website to streaming music, here are some handy Dropbox tricks you may have never thought of.

Dropbox Tips: Phone Backup

dropbox-logo Dropbox TipsJust as iCloud exists for your Apple device, Dropbox can be used to backup your Android device. Simply use the free app DropSpace, and the entire contents of your device are stored in the event you lose important data or pictures, or your device ends up sitting out in the rain all night.

Dropbox Tips: Offline Viewing

There is this hilarious video you just can't wait to show your significant other, but you know that when you catch up with him or her later on, it will be at a restaurant with no internet connection available. No problem! Just tap the star to select the file as a favorite, and you'll be able to view it whether you have internet connection or not.

Dropbox Tips: Photo Backup

Just as with the entire contents of your Android device, Dropbox can back up the pictures automatically as well. Just connect your device to your computer, and as long as you have Dropbox on your PC, you'll be asked if you want these photos sent to Dropbox. With just one simple click, all of your photos are sent to Dropbox for storage.

Dropbox Tips: Share, Share, Share

Did you know you can share files with your friends? Use the Dropbox mobile app to share music or photos with your friends by tapping the chain link icon. Through your PC, you choose the file you'd like to share and click the chain link icon. Tap or click the “Email link” icon, and email away.

Dropbox Tips: My Documents

Lets say you get to school and realize you forgot to bring in your poetry paper that is due that day (kind of like my teenage daughter did yesterday.) If she had a Dropbox, she could have saved it there rather than the “My Documents” folder on her PC here at home. This would allow her instant access from a school PC, saving her from losing points towards her final grade.

All you need to do for this handy Dropbox trick is right-click on your Documents folder, choose “Properties,” and then specify the new file path on the “Location” tab.

Dropbox Tips: All Your Music In One Place

Of course, this depends on how much space you have available. If you can, it is handy to have your music backed up to Dropbox.

Dropbox Tips: Stream Music

From the desktop app on your PC, all you need to do is drag songs and drop them into your folder. That's all it takes to enjoy music anywhere, from any device linked up to your Dropbox.

Dropbox Tips: WordPress Backup

There is a WordPress-specific plugin available for download for your PC that will back up your entire blog called WordPress Backup to Dropbox. It may reside on your PC, but the data it collects goes to Dropbox.

Easily schedule your backups by selecting day, time, and how often you want the app to perform a backup. It's simple to choose exactly what files are being backed up, as well as what directory they'll be stored in on Dropbox. Support is provided by WordPress.

Dropbox Tips: Back Up Email Attachments

We've all deleted an email accidentally and then realized we need to access the attachments at a later date. If you make it a habit to clear your “Trash” folder often, you might have lost it forever. Not so if you have backed up all of your email attachments by choosing “send to Dropbox!” This service gives you a unique email address that is linked up to your Dropbox so you'll never lose an attachment again.

Dropbox Tips: DROPitTOme

If your email account won't allow you to send enormous files, use DROPitTOme. This handy service enables you to send and receive large files using Dropbox. Just create a unique upload address and choose a password.

Dropbox Tips: Dropbox File Protection

Use BoxCryptor to encrypt up to 5GB of your Dropbox for free. There are paid accounts offering additional sizes, up to $39.99 for an unlimited amount of data.

Dropbox Tips: Website Hosting

Yes, you can host a website through Dropbox with the Pancake IO app. It's easy: create a text file, drop it into the Pancake folder, and boom. Website. The app takes care of formatting for you, and supports Word, Excel, PDFs, PowerPoint, and images.

Dropbox Tips: PDF viewing in iBooks

Ever wanted to read a PDF document in iBooks? Well, if you've added PDFs to your Dropbox, all you have to do is open one on your iPad using the Dropbox app, choose the PDF file you'd like to read, and tap “Open In.” Choose iBooks, and enjoy swiping your way through the PDF!

Dropbox Tips: Keeping An Eye on Your Computer

Here's a great Dropbox tip to monitor activity on your home PC. Let's say you're downloading something big at home, but you have to go to work before it finishes. Just snag a screenshot tool (Screen Grabber and Snagit are pretty good) and an automation tool that will snap screenshots at predetermined intervals, and set these shots up to save to a synced folder. There is a great tutorial here for completing this process, which is great for not only checking the status of active downloads, but also ensuring no one is using your machine while you aren't there.

Dropbox Tips: Send Print Jobs

It may not occur often, but it does happen: you read a document somewhere, whether at work or on the subway, that you really want to print. Check out these instructions to make it happen, and enjoy coming home to a document all printed out for you.

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