Dropbox as a backup of your files: useful or stupid?

Dropbox is useful for syncing your files across devices. But is it wise to use Dropbox exclusively as a cloud service, with no local storage?

Dropbox is commonly used to keep files synced across devices. You can of course also use the service to back up your files in the cloud. Also read: 17 tips to get the most out of Dropbox.

And if you want to free up space on your devices, you could delete the local versions of the files and only use the online versions with Dropbox's Selective Sync option. But is that wise?


To access your files that are exclusively stored in the cloud (i.e. without a copy on your hard drive), you must have an internet connection. If you already have a connection, it may be slow or insecure. Cloud-only storage forces you to access your files over the internet. So if you don't have internet, such as on a plane or on vacation, you can't access your files.

It is also possible that the cloud files are not backed up properly. You depend on the backup functions that Dropbox uses, and something can always go wrong – just like on your own system.

Cloud storage is more expensive per TB than a hard drive, and with a hard drive you have control over your files and backups. Cloud storage is great for syncing and if your computer gets stolen, but it's safest to use Dropbox only as an additional backup and sync service.

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