Thursday, May 3, 2012

Upgrade your Dropbox storage by 16 GB for free using Google Adwords

You can get 3 GB extra Dropbox space for free, by using their photo upload feature. But, through referrals, you get 500 MB for each new user you get to sign up.

Someone got the ingenious idea to use Google AdWords as a cheap way to max out your Dropbox referral bonus space. That means 16 GB on top of what you've already got (excluding existing referrals).

Simply create ads using your personal Dropbox referral link, which you can find here, on Dropbox' website.

But, you can apply for a free $75 (or 650 Danish kroner) Google Adwords voucher, which should be more than enough to max out your Dropbox. Have patience. It took me about a month to get my voucher after applying

The process is also described by Lifehacker. It took me about half an hour to get to know the Google Adwords website and setup my campaign. That's all.

Remember to pause your Adwords campaign when Dropbox is maxed out.

Campaign Stats

Here's a few stats regarding my Adwords campaign, from start till my Dropbox was maxed out:
  • Campaign running time: ~2 days
  • First referral after campaign launch: ~8 hours
  • Ads served ("impressions"): 97.750
  • Clicks: 454 (0,46% average "clickthrough ratio" or CTR)
  • Least effective ad CTR: 0,28%
  • Most effective ad CTR: 0,67%
  • Total cost: 170 Danish kroner or about $30 (out of my 650 kroner voucher)
As you can see, my simple text ads were not equally effective. My most effective ad was this:

By completing Dropbox' Get Started guide, the 3 GB photo upload bonus and maxing out referrals, you can get 21.25 GB of Dropbox goodness - for free!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Upgrade your Dropbox storage by 3 GB for free

Dropbox is awesome, but I quickly ran out of the 2 GB space you get for free.

Now Dropbox is introducing a new feature, letting you upload pictures directly to Dropbox from your Android smartphone.

This is great for automatic backup of your snaps, but Dropbox will also add up to 3 GB of extra space to your account.

A similar feature exists in the beta versions of the Dropbox app for Windows or Mac, but haven't tried either of these yet, but they will also increase your storage.

See also how to upgrade Dropbox by 16 GB using Google Adwords.

Enabling camera upload on Android

It's quite simple to enable in the Android Dropbox app:
  • Ensure the Dropbox app for Android is installed an up-to-date
  • Open the settings menu in the Dropbox app and scroll down to "Camera Upload"
  • Press "Turn on Camera Upload"
  • Select wheterver you want to sync on both Wi-Fi and mobile data or just Wi-Fi. If you don't a have a flatrate data plan, you probably want to select "Wi-Fi only". You can also if the pictures currently on the phone should be uploaded
  • Press the green "Turn on" button
You will get 500 MB extra space just by uploading the first picture and up to five increments of 500 MB as you upload pictures.

Speeding up the process

I didn't have many pictures to upload, but didn't had much space left for my other Dropbox data. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to get your 3 GB extra space with little work. Here is what I did:
  • Configure Android to leave Wi-Fi on while charging
    • In Android settings goto "Wireless & networks", then "Wi-Fi settings"
    • Press the menu button on your phone
    • Press "Advanced"
    • Press "Wi-Fi sleep policy" and set it to "Never when plugged in"
  • Connect your smartphone to your computer via the USB cable
  • Copy about 3 GB of random pictures to the DCIM folder on your smartphone
  • Disconnect phone from the computer and connect it to the charger
  • Leave it charging, e.g. over night, waiting for it to upload the pictures your Dropbox, expanding your storage as pictures are uploaded
  • Cleanup the random pictures from the "Camera Uploads" folder in Dropbox

Optional: Making cleanup easier

Since the Dropbox app renames all pictures it uploads, it can be a bit cumbersome to clean out your random pictures from your not-so-random pictures.

If you select random pictures from a proper camera, you can easily sort the pictures by camera make or model on your computer. Here is how to do it in Windows 7:
  • Open the "Camera Uploads" Dropbox folder in Explorer
  • Press Alt+V to open the view menu
  • Select "Details"
  • Press Alt+V to open the view menu again
  • Select "Choose details"
  • Check "Camera maker" and "Camera model"
  • Click "OK"
  • Click on either the "Camera maker" or "Camera model" header to sort files by that column
  • Select and delete your random pictures by looking at camera maker/model