Download of the day: Dropbox

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When it comes to protecting your files from a catastrophic hard disk failure, there are simpler options than backing everything up to CDs. Cloud computing is the answer, and Dropbox is one of the frontrunners.

Why you need it

It's been a good year for Dropbox users. Competition from Google Drive and iCloud saw Dropbox slash prices and increase storage – 1TB now costs £7.99 a month, almost half the price iCloud users pay for the same amount – and in November, Dropbox users gained the ability to edit Microsoft Office files from within the app for the first time.

The changes that rolled out in 2014 therefore make it a prime contender if you want to keep your most important files safely backed up. A free account starts with 2GB – plenty for most users – and you can earn up to 16GB more by referring your friends and getting them to sign up.

It's great for collaboration, too, enabling you to share large files with your co-workers that would be too big to send over email. That makes it especially useful if you're working from home or in a different location to your co-workers.

One of the most useful features of Dropbox is its ability to store multiple versions of the same file. This can be a life-saver if you make changes to a document, then later realise that you needed the old version. Just browse to your Dropbox account online, right click on the file in question and click 'Previous versions' to bring the desired version back from the dead.

Key features

  • Works on: PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and more
  • Versions: Free, Pro (£7.99 a month for 1TB storage space)
  • Backup: Keep all your vital files safe by backing them up to Dropbox, then recover them wherever you are
  • Restore: Bring back old versions of your files, great for when you think you've overwritten important details
  • Collaborate: Share tasks with your co-workers without the name for lengthy email trails

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