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I'd like utilize Dropbox as a backup however I have some syncing-specific questions.

Explorer | Level 3

Hello,  

My goal was to use dropbox to backup the stuff on my computer, but need more clarification on how the syncing works. I'll list my questions below: 

1. Can I upload a folder from my computer to dropbox,  and then delete the folder from my computer without it also be deleted from dropbox? My goal is to use dropbox as a backup. 

2. If folders are syncing between my computer and dropbox, and my laptop were to crash, would I lose all of the content in dropbox? 

3. Is it possible to save content from my computer on dropbox without syncing, and still have it be visible on the dropbox on my computer? 

Thanks in advance!

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

Super User II
Super User II

First, Dropbox isn't a backup solution and shouldn't be used as one. It's a file synchronization service, meant to keep a copy of files in sync across multiple devices. Anything you do to the files on one device happens on all of them. Yes, it has some backup-like functionality, but there are far better backup services out there. Many here have used CrashPlan.

 


1. Can I upload a folder from my computer to dropbox,  and then delete the folder from my computer without it also be deleted from dropbox?

Yes, if you use Selective Sync.

 


2. If folders are syncing between my computer and dropbox, and my laptop were to crash, would I lose all of the content in dropbox?

If the laptop were to crash then Dropbox wouldn't be running, so it couldn't sync any changes. If, somehow, the crashed wasn't total, Dropbox remained running and files in your Dropbox folder were deleted or became corrupt, then Dropbox would sync those changes. In cases like that (which I've never seen an actual example of) you could always recover your files within 30 days.

 


3. Is it possible to save content from my computer on dropbox without syncing

If you're not syncing files to your computer, then you can upload files using the Dropbox website.

 


and still have it be visible on the dropbox on my computer?

No.

View solution in original post

10 Replies 10
Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

Super User II
Super User II

First, Dropbox isn't a backup solution and shouldn't be used as one. It's a file synchronization service, meant to keep a copy of files in sync across multiple devices. Anything you do to the files on one device happens on all of them. Yes, it has some backup-like functionality, but there are far better backup services out there. Many here have used CrashPlan.

 


1. Can I upload a folder from my computer to dropbox,  and then delete the folder from my computer without it also be deleted from dropbox?

Yes, if you use Selective Sync.

 


2. If folders are syncing between my computer and dropbox, and my laptop were to crash, would I lose all of the content in dropbox?

If the laptop were to crash then Dropbox wouldn't be running, so it couldn't sync any changes. If, somehow, the crashed wasn't total, Dropbox remained running and files in your Dropbox folder were deleted or became corrupt, then Dropbox would sync those changes. In cases like that (which I've never seen an actual example of) you could always recover your files within 30 days.

 


3. Is it possible to save content from my computer on dropbox without syncing

If you're not syncing files to your computer, then you can upload files using the Dropbox website.

 


and still have it be visible on the dropbox on my computer?

No.

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

There is some conflicting information on the website. There is a long list of businesses, big and small, listed as using Dropbox as a "backup solution"

 

https://www.dropbox.com/business/customers#&solution/backup

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

Super User II
Super User II
That just states they use Dropbox Business as a tool, not backup.

However, I will reiterate what Rich said. Dropbox isnt designed, nor intended, to be a backup tool. Its a function it does really badly. Yes you can get data back within 30 days (or longer if you've paid for the add ons), but, human intervention is needed which can take a few days. No backup system should EVER work like that!

 


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Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I'm still a little confused... If you click on the "Solution" drop down box, it has "Backup" listed as the very first solution. Is it Dropbox saying they are a backup solution and you are saying they just aren't a good one?

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2
Also:

"The radio jingle company uses Dropbox Business to share recorded jingles and other assets, making it easier to share and Backup key files."

https://www.dropbox.com/business/customers/reel-world-case-study
Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

Super User II
Super User II
Yes. I'm saying Dropbox is not a good backup solution. In fact I'm saying its a bloody awful one. Because it is NOT a backup solution. A backup solution would never, ever, delete your data (this one does after 30 days/longer if paid), it would also never need human input to recover data which included more than 1 or 2 files and it wouldnt replicate the issue with the backed up data across all devices (so a virus on one machine will replicate across all your devices). Oh and lets not forget it will only backup what is inside the 'Dropbox' folder - so want to back up your desktop automatically? You cant.

If you want to use it as a backup - then thats fine, but it simply isnt what it is designed or intended for. It does backup, as has been said as a sideline, but thats it.

I use it to *compliment* my backup (I can restore single files easily, rollback versions etc.) but it is NOT my backup solution and I bet my life savings not one of those companies use Dropbox for backup as its primary focus. They use it to sync and collaborate. Backup just comes with it.

 


- - -


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


 Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Understood. Dropbox is a cloud storage/sharing solution with backup features.

 

Thank you for your clarification and passion.

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

First of all, sorry for returning to an old thread.
I think it is an ideal complement to facilitate backups. And I think they should promote it as such by targeting small and medium businesses that can not afford to have a backup tape robot.
Many times the request to restore files starts before an accidental deletion, therefore you have to restore the latest version.
Other times it is due to corruption in a file on which they had been working in the last week and may require the version of 1 or 2 days before.
Therefore the restoration should be carried out by the person in charge of Systems.
Imagine this scenario: In a medium-sized company, you have 2 physical servers, one contains a file server and a database server (both virtualized), the other physical server contains the mail server and a web server (also virtualized) .
Monthly virtual disks are copied between the servers, leaving a copy of the virtual machine unused.
Upon a request for restoration of files such as those discussed above, the Systems man only has to enter the WEB and restore the correct version of the lost file.
Before a problem with a physical server, you just have to turn on the virtual machines and wait as the data restoration would be automatic.

Highlighted

Re: Using dropbox as backup

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Been researching the backup part. It looks like Backblaze have some integration ability to use Dropbox as backup.

An even better option is Zinstall's FullBack; claims to be able to backup the entire computer including programs.

Evaluating their product now, will respond with results.

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