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I currently use Git to backup my things in DropBox but I haven't found this easy enough. I am not going to create cron hacks. Does there exist some built-in way for DropBox to do backups?

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Why would you want to backup Dropbox? Its supposed to be a cloud storage & hence backup/sync solution. However if you wish to backup, you can use Microsoft Sync Toy to sync your Dropbox folder to another folder, possibly in some external storage. – AbhishekGirish Oct 31 '12 at 0:27
cron is not a hack, it is an automation tool. Automation tools are ideal for things you want to happen automatically. – Paul Oct 31 '12 at 1:53
@AbhishekGirish I can see lots of reasons for wanting some files to be both shared via Dropbox, and also kept under version control. – Aaron Miller Nov 14 '13 at 5:42

Dropbox saves a history of all deleted and earlier versions of files for 30 days for all Dropbox accounts. If you purchase the Packrat add-on for your account, Dropbox will save your files for as long as you have the feature, so you'll never lose a folder or file again.

See Dropbox help : How do I recover old versions of files?

Otherwise, the simplest form of backup is to, besides Dropbox, register also to other services such as SkyDrive and Google Drive and specify the same folder to be shared between all of them (or make one a sub-folder of the other).

That way you will have several copies of your files on several servers at exactly zero cost.

For a discussion of this method see
Use SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive Together For Uber Backup Security.

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I think this is the best answer here, should be appreciated and accepted. Thank you for your answer and the tip to use Dropbox Pro and Packrat. They work beautifully! – Masi Nov 23 '13 at 18:36

A "builtin" way to locally backup Dropbox contents is to use it on more than one machine...

If you want to have reliable, local copies of the data in your Dropbox, use a system that follows a backup regime, and have it sync your Dropbox. For the example of a Linux server which is backed up to tape regularly:

  • install dropboxd on the machine: Dropbox daemon for Linux
  • associate it with your account, configure it to run as a daemon, and let it sync

bonus points: pimp that by using rdiff-backup to create a mirror of the directory under the control of dropboxd

even more bonus points: use rdiff-backup-fs to show the history in a convenient abstraction

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Install one of the many services similar to DropBox (Google Drive client comes to mind).

  1. If you create a symbolic link in the Google Drive folder that points to the dropbox folder, this should result in the contents of your dropbox getting uploaded to google drive. This should happen WITHOUT making another copy on your computer of the thing you are trying to back up (in this case, the contents of the dropbox folder). Try linkshellextension for this if you have no other easy way.

    • Full disclosure, the way that I do this is I put symbolic links inside my dropbox folder and it works perfectly. So I'm assuming it would work similarly if you put the link in your google drive folder and point it to your dropbox folder. I can spell out exactly how this works with examples if the way I have explained it is not specific enough.

1a. As an alternative to (1), you could try setting the dropbox folder an the google drive folders to the same folder. This might work perfectly but it also sounds like it might be a tad more unpredictable.

Regarding the initial feature request, dropbox is NOT for creating a second copy of your stuff on your computer. The whole point of DropBox is to put the second copy of your data on their servers (the data is versioned going back a number of days, which is kind of cool). In fact, if dropbox DID let you make a second copy on your computer, it would undercut the entire business model of dropbox where you NEED to access their service in order to get your data if it is ever lost.

If you must have the second copy on your computer, there are many solutions, I recommend SyncBackPro for its staggering list of features and ability to automate everything.

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