Dropbox offers 5GB of free cloud storage


(CBS/CNET) - Popular cloud storage utility Dropbox is offering 5GB of free space for users who test the company's latest beta software.

The news was shared in a forum post yesterday.

"During this beta period, we are also offering additional free space to test automatic uploading of photos and videos. For every 500MB of photos and videos automatically uploaded, you'll receive another 500MB space bonus, up to 4.5GB total," the post said.

"You can get up to 5GB of free space with this feature, if you count the initial 500MB space for the first photo import."

Dropbox works by syncing folders on your computer with a disk drive in the cloud and mobile devices. A free membership comes with 2GB of space. This is a great offer for people who use a lot of cloud storage.

The beta software automatically imports photos and videos from cameras, mobile phones and SD cards. Don't forget to back up your files before switching from a stable version to the new test version. More information can be found at Dropbox.

CNET's Stephen Shankland published a list of things to consider before making the switch.

1. To import from iPhone, make sure to unlock your phone and enter your passcode before importing, otherwise it will claim to find no photos.

2. If importing from your iPhone on Mac gives an import error, try hard resetting it--hold down the power and the home button for 5 seconds. This will reboot the phone; it shouldn't change your settings or delete data.

3. On Windows, this feature relies on Autoplay. Please enable Autoplay to use this feature if you have disabled it.

4. On XP and Vista, it relies on the Windows Image Acquisition Service. If this service is not started, please start the service and reinstall Dropbox to use this feature. On WIndows Server, you may have to install the Desktop Experience feature.

5. On Windows 7, newer devices that rely on Device Stage (in the Control Panel) will not show Dropbox as an import option until you select "Change Program" for the default.

6. The Galaxy Nexus takes a lot of time to connect on OS X because it likes to pretend that every image on the device is a photograph. We now estimate how long it's going to take and show you that in the progress bar but it's usually in the order of minutes. We're working to see if this can be improved.