I think this is a basic, embarrassingly simple question. Don't laugh.
In Finder, I have, under Favourites, the usual home folders like applications, desktop, documents, downloads, photos, music, etc. I have also installed Dropbox (with 2 TB of storage available) and have a Dropbox folder there too. In Dropbox, I created some folders with some of the same names as in my home folder (why, I don't know) - e.g. documents, downloads, applications, etc. It is confusing when I download something or store something - which download folder or documents folder is it in. What I was thinking of doing was putting all my home folders (or at least applications, desktop, documents, downloads and photos) into my Dropbox folder (and get rid of the current ones there with those names). I'm thinking that will mean that any folders with those names that appear in Finder will be Dropbox folders - and so safely stored in the cloud. Right? My question is whether, if those folders appear in Finder that means means that anything in them will also be stored and available on my desktop machine, which is what I would like in case I don't have an internet connection and want to access the contents of the folders. It is part of a backup plan, if it means my records will be stored both on my machine and in Dropbox. I have sufficient storage available on my desktop that I am not worried about taking up space on my machine.
Does this make sense? I don't want to have my only copy of the records in Dropbox - just in case something happened to Dropbox or I wan't able to access it.
Yes, the intention of Dropbox' "Computer Backup" is to keep in sync your local special user folders (Desktop, Download, Documents, etc) as moving them into Dropbox folder. To avoid further confusion, take in mind that this is not true backup! It's sync representing some sort of something like backup. Many people get confused of this.
@mwduffy wrote: ..., if it means my records will be stored both on my machine and in Dropbox. ...
As mentioned, the backup is sort of sync, actually, so like everything else in Dropbox folder can reside in both places (cloud and local) if you are not using any of the features preventing this. I.e. features like "Ignore", "Selective Sync", and "Smart Sync". When you are not using mentioned features (or not for your special user folders, at least, but better don't use them at all), all your relevant data will reside both on your machine and in Dropbox cloud. 😉
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. I read about Dropbox's new "computer backup" feature and it seems to be just what I want, without the need to move key folders from my computer into Dropbox. As I understand it, once I mark the folders for sync by Dropbox, they will remain on my computer but also appear in Dropbox and be accessible on any other computer where I can access my Dropbox account. So simple!
I realize Dropbox isn't a true backup service. I just meant my files will appear in two or more places (in Dropbox as well as on my desktop computer, my laptop), so I can access them in more than once place if there was a problem.
Thanks again for your helpful and quick response. I really appreciated it.
..., without the need to move key folders from my computer into Dropbox. ...
It looks like you are going to be the next confused (like many other). As I mentioned, all folders you select for "backup" gonna move into Dropbox folder!!! The same is mentioned within referred topic. Without move your folders can't be keep in sync! That's why the application moves them. I don't know where you read that it will be "without the need to move key folders"!? 🤔 It's just opposite!!! Dropbox application (its current realization) can NOT keep in sync anything outside Dropbox folder. You don't need to move selected folders in Finder, explicitly, but they get move anyway. 😉 When select a particular folder for backup and confirm your choice, you are moving it actually. It'll no more be on the old place (your home folder typically). Keep this in mind! There will bring up some links as an replacements of the moved folders.