How did I live without it? Just the ability to work on stuff at home and work or where ever I am, is great. It has been especially helpful with any modelling I do that is useful at work and I have a great idea at home and want to update that spreadsheet. Yes, I could carry around a usb drive and I do, but mainly for large and media files. As these files are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Initially I have been sceptical of the cloud, privacy and back up need to be considered. Positives are ease of use and access. If I want to share a file I’m working on with a friend I can do so quite easily by sending them an invite to the file or folder. Which is great for collaboration. I could you web apps, but that’s not the same as opening up excel and word and using them as you normally do, with the only exception everything must be stored in the “My Dropbox” folder.
I guess I would never put anything extremely sensitive into the cloud, but that’s just common sense. For working on text files, I could use Google docs/office live etc, but just having the comfort of installed software is refreshing. The simplicity of dropbox just makes so much sense. Sync files across all your computers. Even if the server is down you can work on your files. If you are not connected to the internet you can work on your files.
The other option would be to share a folder on your home network with the rest of the internet and you have the password. This should keep out most nasties, but some people are persistent. Opening up your home network is a nice idea, but if you don’t know anything about security its just too dangerous. This is offcourse something I would like to look at in the future, to build a private cloud. But for now dropbox is providing the functionality and some (neat backup feature means you never loose anything) right now, did I mention it was easy to use?