Blog Post

How to sync Dropbox with a Chromebook (it’ll cost you)

I still believe that Google’s Chrome OS devices are great for the right type of user, even with their limited use cases. After all,  if you need a native software application of any kind, Chrome OS(s goog) isn’t going to cut it. I work all day in a browser though, so my Chromebook is ideal for what I do. Even so, I don’t like the limited support for cloud services in the Chrome OS File Manager: You only get to access your Google Drive. Or do you?

Turns out there’s a service called CloudHQ that can help. It’s a pay service — with a limited, free trial — that synchronizes data between various cloud storage services. That means you can keep data in sync between Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Basecamp, SugarSync, Box and Microsoft SkyDrive(s msft). Since Google Drive is already natively supported on Chromebook, CloudHQ is the missing link to pull in Dropbox data to a Chromebook.

Dropbox in Chrome OSThe Pocketables blog pointed out the directions for this solution and I’m strongly considering it, save for one thing: CloudHQ costs a minimum of $49 a year.

I have to figure out if having direct Dropbox access in my Chrome OS File Manager is worth that cost. The other option is how I use Dropbox today: Access it on the web and download files as needed on to my Chromebook.

For those interested in using CloudHQ to add Dropbox — or any of the other supported cloud services — to a Chromebook, it’s a simple process. After setting up the CloudHQ account, just create a Dropbox folder on your Google Drive and sync that folder with your Dropbox account using CloudHQ.

5 Responses to “How to sync Dropbox with a Chromebook (it’ll cost you)”

  1. quickasfoxes

    If you’re using both as free services, one option is to just place your Dropbox inside your Google drive folder. Redundant, for sure, but it makes all my dropbox items easily accessible on the Chromebook.

    • To do so just increases your surface area of attack from the Bad Guys ™, and you are making one of your services mostly meaningless. The one reason of which I can think, that you would argue for this system, is because your business uses one and you use the other for personal files… let me guess Dropbox for work? The problem is that if you are doing it for that reason, a vulnerability exploiting either one of the services grants access. So if either service was a 1/2 chance of gaining access, you’ve now made it a 3/4 chance. If those were work documents, you’ve now made them even less secure.

  2. I’ve never been a fan of paid storage solutions like these because, while they do work, they never become viable long-term. And for the price of a Chromebook plus that $50 annual fee ($150+ over just 3 years), you could have purchased a normal 11.6″ notebook that doesn’t have the limitations of Chrome OS.

    An inexpensive NAS does far more, being available for not just notebooks and netbooks, but slates and smartphones, both at home over wifi and while on-the-go using 3G/4G. It’s one reason why I’ve not bothered upgrading the hard drive capacity in my netbook or touching the microSD card in my smartphone, because with 6TB available to me via remote access I have no need to carry it along – it’s just there.

    • I think the chromebook cannot access network shares at all – no NAS, no shared folder on another PC. This is what’s keeping me from getting one. If I’m wrong please let me know…