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So yesterday, I went and bought extra space in my DropBox because I was running low on space on my laptop hard drive. I'm storing data that requires 40GB of memory. Because of the way DropBox works, ie it syncs your computer, it turns out that in order to use that extra space, I have to have extra space on my laptop. But the reason I bought the extra space was because of a LACK of space on my computer.
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Go to preferneces-->advanced--->selective syncing. There you can control what gets sync to individual computers.
I did that. But if I want to download a data file that is huge to say an external drive, I need to sync the computer. There doesn't seem to be a way around the limitation of the computer's hard drive.
What's the use of Dropbox? The syncing! I can install Dropbox on multiple computers and all my files are always there. No emailing myself files, or jump drives to lose. No multiple versions nonsense.
The primary reason I use and love it is for cloud based backup. I used to back up my PC to an external hard drive. Then that hard drive stopped working. Luckily my PC was still working so I didn't lose anything but Dropbox means all of my files are always (up to the minute) backed up. I've come to the realization that someone could straight up steal my laptop and I would be OK. I mean, it would suck to be out $1,200 but once I got a new one, all of my data would be back.
Extra storage is not Dropbox's purpose, in my opinion. For that check out Microsoft SkyDrive. 25GB, FREE, no need to sync. Or, if you're in love with Dropbox for some reason, have you tried just downloading the file through the web interface? That way you could download it right to your external and not have to sync anything.
@Nick I guess that's a good point. The reason to use Dropbox is to be able to share data files with collaborators easily. But I hadn't hear of Microsoft SkyDrive. Thanks I'll check it out.
@Tidelar yeah i ended up resorting to that, it still makes it difficult to share raw data files.
Could you install your dropbox folder directly to your external harddrive?
@wallace - i tried to download directly to the external drive but it doesn't recognize that as a valid location. any suggestions on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.