Our lives are becoming increasingly digital. As with Evernote and Google Docs, Dropbox, a file hosting service, provides an online space to store our digital lives.

Here are a few tips for a more productive use of the service.

Sync files faster

Dropbox automatically limits your file upload speeds to avoid taking up too much bandwidth. On Windows, Click Dropbox in the system tray, then Preferences > Bandwidth; on Mac, click Dropbox in the menu bar, then Preferences > Network > Bandwidth > Change Settings. Change your Upload rate to “Don’t limit”, or choose an upload limit that you’re comfortable with in the Limit to field. (hat tip to LifeHacker)

Share your documents, photos and videos with a link

You can now send a link to the files or folders in your Dropbox. Anyone with the link gets access to a page where they can view documents, photos and videos – with no download required. They can’t edit the content but can download it to their Dropbox for later viewing.

Get files into your dropbox

Need large files from non-Dropbox users? Services such as Send to Dropbox and DropItToMe, allow you to securely receive files from anyone to your Dropbox. For a further discussion on this, check out Tom Mighell’s Inter Alia technology blog.

Add another layer of security

Security is often a concern, as it should be. Alleviate your fears with SecretSync which allows you to easily share proprietary, sensitive information. With SecretSync, your dropbox files never leave your possession without being encrypted first. SecretSync uses client-side encryption to give you absolute privacy and control over your data. TrueCrypt is another option.

Drag and drop

You can, of course, drag and drop files to the Dropbox folder on your computer. But did you know that the Dropbox user interface also allows you to drag and drop to the web interface? Cool stuff.

Dropbox has become an essential application for me as I store more of my information in the cloud, collaborate with distant colleagues and access documents on the go. If you haven’t tried it, give it a test drive. The first 2 GBs are free!