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Like many of you, I too have found myself wooed by the convenience of using Dropbox. It’s cross platform, simple to setup and provides a cloud storage option for those who might otherwise be less inclined to store files off-site. In this article I’ll explore alternatives to Dropbox for Linux users.
When BitTorrent Sync first became popular, I loved it. I found it was faster than competing technologies and I could sync huge files on my LAN very quickly. I loved the fact that syncing to a third party service (a cloud) was never part of the equation. WAN syncing also works well, for those needing to sync over the Internet.
What I liked: BitTorrent Sync is simple to use, doesn’t sync to the “cloud” and has no folder size limits. The UpnP port mapping worked flawlessly with my router.
What I didn’t like: BitTorrent Sync doesn’t offer selective sync with their free version. It also doesn’t allow me to change my folder access permissions. Not having the ability to sync to the “cloud” also means any backup of your files is on you. The strong encryption is also nice, although we’re talking about a proprietary application.
Summary: If you’re a heavy Dropbox user and are willing to pay the one time fee, you could save yourself some cash overall.
Sync your files between computers over your LAN or across the web, using strong encryption and open source software. When BitTorrent Sync first mentioned their new premium version some users felt betrayed; they felt it should have remained completely free. Instead, the free version lost features to the paid version. For some, switching to Syncthing was the natural course of action.
What I liked: Syncthing is open source, has packages for every sort of platform you can imagine and is relatively easy to setup…usually. I also love the ssh support in case you’re needing to avoid the web UI when away from home.
What I didn’t like: Despite Syncthing providing options for UpnP, I’ve never had much success with it. I’ve read that this could be the result of a timeout issue or perhaps the router doesn’t know what to do with the discovery service. I did eventually have it working with UpnP after changing out the router with another one. So be aware, UpnP can be hit and miss.
Summary: If you’re able to iron out or avoid the issues with UpnP, Syncthing is a very strong contender to replace Dropbox. Like BitTorrent Sync, there is no cloud storage in the equation.
I decided to include SpiderOak with these Dropbox alternatives as it provides device syncing in addition to data backup. Most people use SpiderOak as a secure means of backing up their files. I’ve found it’s also useful for syncing between PCs running SpiderOak.
What I liked: SpiderOak provides a zero-knowledge storage platform. This means your privacy is fully respected as your data is encrpted at all times except when you decrypt it on your own PC. I’ve also found that their storage (like Dropbox) is cheap. You can get upto 1 TB of data storage for $12 USD per month.
What I didn’t like: SpiderOak uses some open source components. Unfortunately, there are still some aspects of SpiderOak that are not fully open source. The software for Linux feels a bit bloated. Great UI, but the flow of the application can bring an older computer to a screeching halt.
Summary: If you want end to end encryption with better privacy options than Dropbox, then SpiderOak is for you. This is also a great option if you’re needing to backup your files in addition to simply syncing them.
The next option is a bit of a rough spot with many Linux users. Despite years of empty promises, Google has yet to deliver on a working Google Drive client for Linux. Thankfully this is not a big deal– there are alternatives. Both the latest Gnome desktop and Insync provide great Google Drive access for Linux users.
What I liked: Google Drive offers free storage up to 15 GB. An additional 100 GB is only $1.99 USD. Syncing is easy, simply run one Insync or Gnome desktop to keep your files accessible. Most people waiting on Gnome to make this happen will end up using alternatives like Insync in the meantime.
What I didn’t like: Cost aside, the lack of commitment from Google to Linux users in this space is frustrating. Bundle this with the fact that Google is famous for completely dumping products makes me hesitant to rely on Google Drive for anything terribly important.
Unlike the other options listed here, Tarsnap puts Linux first. Going even deeper, Tarsnap doesn’t support Windows. The rates are very reasonable, as it uses AWS for its storage. Setting aside its geeky nature, Tarsnap is a big hit among a number of Linux users.
What I liked: Cost. Tarsnap is setup to provide reliable backup at a fair cost. If you set it up to do so, Tarsnap can be used to sync files between machines. Tarsnap also provides excellent security and is open source software.
What I didn’t like: It’s pretty difficult to use for a casual Linux user. If you’re comfortable reading documentation and using the command line however, this is a great fit.
Summary: If you are dead set against using more mainstream options or simply would prefer to stick to using the command line, then Tarsnap is a fantastic option.
Unlike the other Dropbox alternatives listed here, ownCloud is more of a Google Apps replacement. Collaborate document editing, calendars, galleries and more – ownCloud is a full software suite designed to run on your own server. Like Google Drive, you can also use ownCloud to sync files between machines.
What I liked: Once installed, ownCloud is dead simple to use and provides a great open source experience. It feels a lot like Google Apps. You can share your files with anyone you wish and ownCloud offers you decent encryption and security.
What I didn’t like: You need to install the software on your own hardware to act as a server. Not a big deal to geeks, but it could be confusing for a casual user expecting a Syncthing like experience. In the past, I’ve had ownCloud choke a bit on larger files. Though I’ve heard this has been resolved but I’d urge caution until you feel comfortable with it handling your most important files.
Let’s face it, there are a ton of solutions out there. And there may even be some options available I’ve never heard of. Using the Comments form below, share your favorite Dropbox alternatives. How do you use them and do you rely on cloud based storage or direction solutions like Syncthing. Hit the Comments, share your ideas and experiences in this arena.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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If you are a writer, you would have used tools like Final Draft or Scrivener to create your work. What if you are a Linux user and those tools are not available on Linux platform? What choices do you have to create your novels, scripts, or screenplays. Well, you are not totally lost. Here are some Linux-based creative writing applications for you.1. Celtx
One of the main features of Celtx includes index cards you can use to brainstorm and organize your thoughts by plotline, the ability to arrange scenes into chapters and parts. There are two versions of the application available: a free version, and a premium version that provides extra features such as the ability to arrange index cards into plot and timeline views (they are displayed in a flat list only in the free version).2. Plume
In contrast, Plume Creator is focused on prose-based creative writing. It also maintains your writing in scenes and chapters (with early support for an outliner), but in addition to characters also helps manage places and items, which are key features for writers of fiction. Plume lets you maintain a collection of these elements and associate them with your work(s) as appropriate for easy reference in the right-hand panel.
Plume also features a fullscreen (i.e. distraction-free) interface, and the ability to attach a synopsis and notes individually to the novel as a whole, or at the chapter or scene level. It is available for download as a .deb file.3. Storybook
Don’t let tools like the Final Draft and Scrivener fool you… Mac and Windows aren’t the only creative writing platform in town (although Scrivener has been testing a Linux beta for some time now). If you’re a Linux user with an idea for a novel, you’ve got access to all the tools you need.
Let us know if you are using other writing tools not mentioned in the above list.
Image credit: write
Aaron is an interactive business analyst, information architect, and project manager who has been using Linux since the days of Caldera. A KDE and Android fanboy, he’ll sit down and install anything at any time, just to see if he can make it work. He has a special interest in integration of Linux desktops with other systems, such as Android, small business applications and webapps, and even paper.
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Steam is no longer just for Windows, Mac, and Linux users
We all know Steam as our go-to PC gaming platform and store.
Now, Ellon Musk is trying to integrate Steam into Tesla vehicles.
The Tesla CEO actually promised support for the Steam titles.
Most of us have used Steam at least once, and the platform is undoubtedly the most popular online gaming platform/store in the world.
As you know, Steam is available to all Windows, Mac, or Linux users for free. The only thing you pay for when you use Steam is the games themselves.
In fact, Steam has become so popular over the years that it’s pretty much impossible to mention PC gaming without at least saying the app’s name at least once.
And, since you use Steam on the Windows OS, we can show you what to do if an update is stuck or not downloading, or how to add Microsoft Store and Xbox Games on Steam.
The company has always made efforts to collaborate with the Redmond tech giant, even providing Windows drivers for its latest Steam Deck device.
By the way, if you ordered yourself a Steam Deck handheld gaming PC, here’s a calculator to help you anticipate when your device will ship.
Why did we say that the app will no longer be only for Windows, Mac, and Linux users? Because, get this, it’s going to be an integral part of Tesla cars as well.
We’re making progress with Steam integration. Demo probably next month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2023You will be able to run Steam and play games in your Tesla
Some of you might think this is a joke, but Tesla is apparently looking to expand its collection of in-car games by integrating the Steam app.
In fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally said that the company’s making progress with Steam integration and that we can expect a demo probably next month (August 2023).
If you know only a little bit about these cars, you surely found out that Tesla already offers a number of games through the built-in Tesla Arcade.
That being said, you have to realize how big adding Steam’s digital storefront to the car’s software could actually be.
Such a move could give users access to the entire Steam gaming catalog, which means that you can take a break from your drive, pull over, have a sandwich, and play Cyberpunk 2077.
Keep in mind that, even though this information is out, it’s still unknown if the integration will go so far as to allow users to make purchases on Steam while sitting in their cars.
Another question is if the car’s software can support all games in the Steam catalog and if this will affect the car’s performance at all.
People that kept a close eye on this matter remember that Ellon Musk still hasn’t delivered on promises to bring Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher to newer Model S and X vehicles.
Before you ask how can these cars run such complex and demanding games, know that they come outfitted with an AMD Ryzezn processor and a discrete AMD RDNA 2 GPU.
So, it’s safe to say that we can imagine our Tesla vehicles as extensions of our gaming dens, provided we don’t bring other devices on our trips.
Things are moving so fast technology-wise, that it would be surprising to see Windows 11, or even the upcoming Windows 12 running in these vehicles.
We remind you that recent details point to Microsoft moving back to a three-year release for new Windows operating systems.
This means that newer versions of Windows could end up being the official OS for quite a number of cars, provided Microsoft creates new partnerships in that direction.
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With so many payroll software and service options out there, it’s challenging to choose a solution that fits your business’s current needs as well as its potential requirements as it grows.
Gusto is a popular automated payroll management system that draws customers with features like benefits management, HR functions, customized reporting and employee self-onboarding. But Gusto lacks integration with popular applications, and you can’t use it to pay international workers. Plus, even though it was founded in 2011, it lacks a competitive mobile app for employers and employees.
Fortunately, there are several Gusto alternatives with features and pricing that may suit your business. We’ve compiled our top six Gusto alternatives for their practical features, affordable pricing, and ability to automate your payroll services no matter your business’s size.
Read our full Gusto Payroll review to learn exactly what the service offers so you can compare pricing and functionality.
HR best practices
Library of crucial government forms
Annual background checks (up to five)
One-on-one help from ADP’s HR team
Time tracking: Employees can use ADP’s mobile app to clock in and out, request paid time off (PTO), and log overtime. Managers can use the app to create schedules and verify hours.
If you’re looking for even more Gusto Payroll alternatives, check out our reviews of the best online payroll services.ADP pricing
ADP does not offer transparent pricing. Just like Gusto, the payroll software offers a tiered service plan structure: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro.
Editor’s note: Looking for the right payroll software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
For all tiers, pricing is based on your business, the features you need, and the number of employees you have. You have to contact ADP directly to receive a price quote.2. Patriot Payroll
Patriot says its average client can run payroll in less than three minutes. In addition, the full-service plan features federal, state, and local tax filing and deposits, a solid feature if your business has less than 100 employees.
However, if you need benefits administration (HR) and custom reports, look elsewhere. This stripped-down payroll software doesn’t offer any extras.
Here’s a look at Patriot Payroll’s key features and pricing options.Patriot Payroll key features
Unlimited pay runs: Patriot offers unlimited payroll scheduling, so you have maximum flexibility when paying employees and contractors.
Multiple states: Have employees in multiple states? Patriot Payroll takes care of taxes and deductions.
Support for up to 100 employees: Unlike competitors in the same feature and price range, Patriot Payroll can support up to 100 employees, letting you scale your workforce affordably.Patriot Payroll pricing
Basic Payroll: The base price is $10 plus $4 per employee per month.
Full-Service Payroll: The base price is $30 plus $4 per employee per month.3. Paylocity
Paylocity provides a wide range of services, including payroll, HR, tax filing, benefits management, time tracking and talent administration. Paylocity also has a self-service portal that allows employees to update and edit personal information and withholding details and to sign up for direct deposit.
When using Paylocity, each payroll is verified before it’s run to reduce human errors. Plus, you can run reports to monitor employee turnover and labor costs either through the desktop or mobile app.
Here’s a look at Paylocity’s key features and pricing options.Paylocity key features
Employee portal: Workers can sign up for direct deposit, view pay stubs, edit personal information, and access company updates.
Taxes: Federal Forms 940, 941, W-2 and 1099, as well as state unemployment tax and withholding forms, are e-filed on your behalf. Paylocity offers a 100% guarantee for any IRS fines due to its error.
Geofence time tracking: Employees can clock in and out using the app. In addition, the app has built-in geographical points to prevent worker abuse.
Recruiting and performance-based reviews: You can recruit applicants and track their status. Create custom performance reviews, improve employee engagement with feedback surveys, and monitor raises to align with the overall budget.
Did You Know?
When a small business uses direct deposit to pay its employees, it saves money and time while supporting employees’ financial health and security.
If you’re a small business owner who wants to accept credit cards in person and online, you’ve probably considered using PayPal. PayPal is a payment facilitator – a company that simplifies the credit card acceptance process. PayPal places its business customers under its master merchant account, so businesses don’t have to apply for and deal with separate merchant accounts.
Many businesses accept card payments with PayPal, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s a look at the best PayPal alternatives that might work well for your business, along with an overview of precisely what PayPal offers.
If you’re considering a credit card processor for your business, check out our reviews of the best credit card processors, compare their features, and decide which is right for you.What to consider when choosing a PayPal alternative
When looking for the best PayPal alternative, consider how your business operates and what it needs (and doesn’t need). You want to avoid paying for features you won’t use and find a payment gateway that offers the functionality you need.
Consider the following factors when evaluating PayPal alternatives:
Quick access to your money
High security level
Integration with other websites and software tools you use
POS hardware types and cost
Great customer service
Support for international transactions
Easy integration with your website
There’s some confusion about the difference between a payment gateway and a payment processor. A payment processor facilitates transactions between your merchant account and a customer’s bank account, while a payment gateway authorizes your customers’ payments.1. Best PayPal alternative for in-person transactions: Square
While PayPal got its start enabling cashless payments online, Square was a mobile payment pioneer, introducing the first widely used card reader that plugged into a mobile phone. Square’s strongest presence is in the in-person retail transaction space; more recently, it has branched out into e-commerce payments with its Square Payments service. (You may want to check out our comparison of PayPal and Square.)
Here’s a rundown of what Square has to offer.Square’s e-commerce functions
To distinguish itself, Square offers merchants a free online store that incorporates its payment system. Businesses can choose from a variety of site setups with industry-specific features. Like PayPal, Square websites can accept donations and membership fees.
A Square online store is a good option for both startups without a website and brick-and-mortar businesses adding an e-commerce option.
If you don’t need a website, you can still use Square for your e-commerce payment processing with Square Online Checkout. Square Online Checkout is comparable to PayPal Checkout’s button generator. (We’ll explain more about PayPal’s features later.)
With Square Online Checkout, you input information about each product, including its name, image and price. The service accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay cards, as well as prepaid, debit and reward cards with those logos. Square Online Checkout also takes Apple Pay and Google Pay, but not Venmo, PayPal or PayPal Credit.
You can also use Square for your e-commerce shopping cart by connecting with one of its partners, including GoDaddy, Wix, WooCommerce, Magneto, Weebly and 3dcart. However, If you have a custom-built website, you’ll need a developer to help you connect Square payments.
If you’re comparing Square to PayPal, note that Square accepts fewer payment types than PayPal and doesn’t have a responsive button display.
Like PayPal, Square enables customers to buy from merchants via link or QR code to drive sales from social media, landing pages and printed materials.
Editor’s note: Looking for the right credit card processor for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
Did You Know?
Restaurant payment processing has some unique considerations. You should consider your average sales ticket size, monthly sales volume and processing needs before signing a contract with a credit card processor.Square’s money-moving abilities
Square has its own bank, Square Financial Services, which can integrate seamlessly with the Square Payments online payment-processing solution, giving merchants instant access to their money with no fees, minimum balance requirement or credit checks.
If you have a bank account, Square allows you to send up to $10,000 per transfer instantly, with unlimited instant transfers per day. Instant transfers cost 1.5% of the transfer amount. Standard transfers are usually sent within 36 hours (one to two business days) and are free.
Square is an excellent choice for in-person retail and restaurant businesses because of its specialized software. Square is less likely than PayPal to freeze merchant funds, it’s easy to integrate, and its free website tool is a nice addition. Read our in-depth Square review for more information.
Did You Know?
Even if your e-commerce transactions are considered riskier, there are ways to protect your business when taking payments online, including using two-factor authentication, using a personal verification system, and ensuring your hosting provider has safeguards in place.Stripe’s mobile and point-of-sale functionality
Stripe’s handheld reader, the BBPOS Chipper 2X BT, is comparable to Square’s contactless chip reader. It’s currently Stripe’s only available card reader, connecting via Bluetooth to a mobile device. It costs $59, and each transaction is charged 2.7% plus 5 cents.
The company will soon be rolling out the BBPOS WisePOS E, a hybrid countertop and handheld card reader, for $249.Stripe’s recurring billing and subscription features
Stripe can generate invoices, schedule subscriptions, schedule email reminders for missed or overdue payments, and handle billing proration. It can also trigger actions based on upgrades, payments and cancellations. Stripe integrates with other tools like Salesforce, DocuSign, NetSuite and Xero.Stripe’s marketplace operations
If your business is a marketplace where you provide a platform for service providers to sell, Stripe may be a good solution for you. Its software helps marketplaces instantly onboard and manage service providers, split revenue from transactions among multiple recipients, and control expenses. It also allows you to retain your sellers with instant payouts and balance cards.Stripe’s money-moving abilities
When you first get set up with Stripe, it takes seven to 14 days to transfer your money to your bank account. Once you’re established, payouts to your bank account arrive on a two-day rolling basis. If you’re in a high-risk industry, however, your money will take 14 days to arrive. Companies based in countries other than the U.S. and Australia will also have slower transfer times.
Stripe is best suited for e-commerce and marketplace businesses, especially those planning to scale quickly. It has excellent security features, and its transaction-retry protocol can increase sales that otherwise would have been declined. Read our in-depth Stripe review for more information.
Authorize.Net is best suited for e-commerce businesses, especially those with web developers on staff. It has excellent security features, but it’s not tailored to retail or restaurant businesses. Transaction costs will be high for businesses that process many smaller purchases.Upcoming PayPal competitors
Keep an eye out for these up-and-coming players in the payment facilitation space:
Stax by Fattmerchant
Flagship Merchant Services (read our Flagship review for more information)A primer on PayPal
In case you’re deciding between PayPal and a PayPal alternative, here’s a quick primer on PayPal’s pricing, setup, equipment, technology and customer service. PayPal lets merchants accept payments from e-commerce sites over the phone with a virtual terminal, by subscription and on demand with invoicing.
Here’s a look at PayPal’s payment processing services.What is PayPal Checkout?
PayPal Checkout is PayPal’s e-commerce and app payment solution. It offers contextual checkout button options so you can display payment buttons relevant to the individual customer. For example, Venmo users will see a Venmo checkout option. Paying with major debit and credit cards is also an option. Offering these relevant payment options increases conversion because it makes paying easier.
Customers authorize payment in a PayPal pop-up window on the merchant site, and then PayPal automatically fills in the customer’s name and shipping address on the merchant checkout page. PayPal Checkout includes PCI compliance.
There are three levels to PayPal Checkout, depending on your business’s complexity and needs. (The fee for receiving domestic transactions via PayPal Checkout is 3.49% of the purchase price plus 49 cents per transaction.)
Button generator: This is PayPal Checkout’s most basic checkout option. The button generator eliminates the need to set up shopping cart functionality since you can just copy the code and paste it into each product page on your website.
Standard integration: This requires you to use a web developer. It enables customers to aggregate purchases in a shopping cart and pay for them all at one time using a variety of payment types.
Advanced integration: This gives you all the standard integration features and adds the flexibility of customizing the look, feel and placement of the debit and credit card payment fields. More importantly, it has security features, including fraud protection tools.What is PayPal’s Store Cash?
Store Cash is an optional feature for PayPal e-commerce merchants to help increase sales from abandoned shopping carts. PayPal can track about 40% of people who leave your site without purchasing. It can also identify customers who have purchased from you within the past 12 months, but not within the past three months.
PayPal then sends these people an email notifying them that Store Cash is in their PayPal wallet to spend on your site within seven days. You pay a fee to PayPal of 8% of the purchase amount only when a customer returns to your site and makes a purchase using Store Cash.How does PayPal handle subscriptions?
With PayPal, you can enable recurring and subscription payments. The option has customizable trial periods to encourage customers to subscribe, and it can handle fixed or quantity-based pricing. The fee for this type of transaction is 3.49% of the purchase price plus 49 cents.What is PayPal Here?
PayPal Here is PayPal’s mobile in-person payment solution; it includes a mobile credit card reader and processing, monitoring and reporting through an app.
PayPal offers two types of readers, both of which connect to the business owner’s mobile device via Bluetooth. The readers can’t accept PINs for debit card transactions, but they do accept both debit and credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, as well as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. Card readers can integrate with other POS hardware, such as receipt printers and cash drawers.
The app software is merchant-friendly and easy to use. It can calculate sales tax, apply discounts, send invoices, run sales reports and track inventory.
There are no monthly fees to use PayPal Here. The transaction fees are as follows:
Card present, PayPal account and Venmo: 7%
Keyed-in card numbers: 5% plus 15 cents
These are the PayPal Here card reader equipment fees:
Chip and Swipe card reader: Free for new PayPal Here customers; $24.99 for existing customers
Chip and Tap card reader: $59.99 or $79.99 with a charging standWhat is Zettle?
Zettle is PayPal’s fixed retail POS solution. Signing up for Zettle is a bit more involved than signing up for PayPal Here, PayPal Checkout or Virtual Terminal; merchants must meet eligibility requirements, apply and be approved.
Like PayPal Here, Zettle includes an app to help you take payments, track sales and manage your inventory. It can integrate with your online sales as well as popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks. Download the Zettle app on a smartphone or tablet, or use it with a Zettle POS cash register. Zettle hardware includes a cash register, card reader, receipt printer and handheld scanner.
There are no monthly fees to use Zettle. The transaction fees are as follows:
Card present and QR code transactions: 29% plus 9 cents
Keyed-in card numbers: 49% plus 9 cents
The costs for Zettle equipment are as follows:
Cash register and card reader: $249
Cash register, card reader and receipt printer: $499
Cash register, card reader, receipt printer and handheld scanner: $699
Card reader and receipt printer: $339
Card reader: $29 for new users; $79 otherwise
Card reader dock and charger: $49
Stand for iPad: $159
Cash drawer: $119
Handheld barcode scanner: $229What is the PayPal Virtual Terminal?
The PayPal Virtual Terminal is a secure payment gateway site that you can access via web browser on a phone, tablet or computer. It’s suitable for companies that do most of their transactions over the phone; it requires no hardware, coding or software.
After the PayPal Virtual Terminal is set up, you’ll enter customer contact information, purchase amount, and credit or debit card information on the screen. Because the risk of fraud is higher for transactions in which the payment card is not physically present, the fee is higher for virtual terminal transactions: 3.09% of the purchase price plus 49 cents.What is PayPal’s invoicing option?
The PayPal invoicing option is most often used by freelancers and independent contractors. It allows business owners to create, manage and send invoices, and there’s no charge for these functions. The only time you’ll be charged is when a customer pays an invoice online using a credit card, debit card, PayPal account or PayPal Credit. The fee for these online payments is 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction.What are the pros of using PayPal?
If you’re considering PayPal payment services, here are some upsides:
It’s easy to set up and use.
Customers are usually already familiar with it.
Since there are 325 million active PayPal accounts, giving users the option to pay with PayPal may increase your conversions.
It’s in 200 markets worldwide and more than 100 currencies, so it supports international sales.
It integrates with several popular shopping cart systems.
It’s secure and PCI compliant.
It offers PayPal Credit, which provides seamless financing of customer purchases, increasing conversion for higher-ticket items.
It supports invoices, subscriptions and recurring payments.
It has a high withdrawal limit for instant bank account transfers – $25,000 per transaction.What are the cons of using PayPal?
PayPal also has some downsides to consider:
PayPal may freeze your account. Since all business clients are under the PayPal umbrella, PayPal is more sensitive to potentially fraudulent transactions. If PayPal suspects a problem, it can freeze your account, putting a serious crimp in your cash flow until you definitively prove your identity.
PayPal may hold your money. Due to its fear of fraudulent transactions, PayPal may decide to hold your money for up to 21 days. In the meantime, you won’t have access to that money for buying inventory or covering other business expenses.
Your bank may charge you to receive money transfers from PayPal. Some banks charge a fixed fee for incoming transfers, regardless of the transfer amount.
PayPal’s fee for chargebacks is high ($20 each).
When I made the switch to an Android phone from a Blackberry, one of the deciding factors was how I could easily share files with clients and club members. I am usually not at my office and do much of my work remotely. While Dropbox was accessible from my Blackberry, it was less than convenient to use regularly.1. Share a folder or link
This is probably the main use for me. It is really easy to share files via email or other methods. During certain times of the year, I am emailing the same set of forms to different people all the time. I keep all of the files in a folder in my Dropbox. When someone calls or emails me, I can send them the forms in a zip file.
Open Dropbox for Android and navigate to the folder you want to share.
Press and hold on the folder name. In the pop-up window, you will see Open or Share a link. In this case, select Share a link.
The share menu will appear asking how you want to share the link. Choose your method and send.2. Save or share app APKs
If you download applications from places other than the Android Market, you will likely have the APK file on your SD card or computer. Well, if you make a folder for these files in your Dropbox, you can uninstall the applications you do not use all of the time. When you need the application again, download it from your Dropbox folder.
In the same manner, if you want to share an application, you can send a link to a friend so they can download the APK file and install the application.3. Basic text reader and picture viewer
A nice feature of Dropbox for Android is you can open certain files without downloading them to your SD card or Android phone. If you have a picture stored, you can open it within Dropbox. The same is true with a .txt file like you would use in Notepad.4. Resume and portfolio
Another really handy thing to be able to do is share your resume at a moment’s notice. If you are looking for a job or freelance work, you need to respond to opportunities as soon as you see them. If you see a bookkeeping gig on Craigslist, you can shoot them a resume right away.
If you are a designer or photographer, you can quickly email a folder with all of the information such as a resume, sample pictures, references, links or anything else you’d like to send.
There are many other uses, what it comes down to is access and sharing. Be creative and I’m sure there are lots of ways you can find to use Dropbox for Android to make you more efficient.
Tell us your tips for being efficient while using your Android.
If you want more general tips on using Dropbox, here are a couple previous articles Part 1 and Part 2.
Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world’s greatest game… Soccer.
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