Since I am already somewhat familiar with Google Docs and Wikis I decided to learn more about Dropbox. It's been discussed quite a bit on genealogy blogs as a way for family history researchers to save their databases, share them and sync them between computers. One of my greatest fears is that I'll lose my database even though it's always backed up to a flash drive and an external hard drive, all the while knowing that it should be backed up off-site as well. What if something happened to my house and I wasn't there to grab either the computer or one of the backup drives? All that work lost....doesn't even bear thinking about.
So, I signed up for the 2GB free version, downloaded the software and installed it on my laptop. Following the directions, I moved the file with my database to the Dropbox folder and logged into the site. All the data in that file was automatically uploaded to Dropbox where I can access it from my computer or any other computer with access to the Internet. One fear relieved. Now I just need to install it on my desktop and sync the files. Another problem solved...I no longer need to worry about having something added to the database on one computer but not the other. Sneaker net doesn't always work as well as you'd think!!! LOL
While I had read about Dropbox on the genealogy blogs this exercise gave me the kick in the pants I needed to actually make the move to using it. I also have lots of other files that need to be backed up off site but some of the off-site storage options are a bit pricey, including Dropbox. I'm thinking one called Carbonite might be an option since for one price storage is unlimited. In researching I also came across one called SugarSync that works much like Dropbox, but again, it might be too pricey for me. More research needed.