How to use a simpler, less invasive version of Dropbox

Remember Dropbox syncing your files? Today, Dropbox does more than just sync files, it wants to alert and upsell you at every turn. Maestral (which I found via App Addict) is an open source app for Linux and Mac that restores the sync-only experience. Even better: Using this app doesn't count toward the free version's three-device limit.

Setting up Maestral on your Mac is easy. Just download the app, install it, and open it. You'll be asked to connect to your Dropbox account via your browser. You will be given a token that you can copy and paste back into Maestral from there.

After that, you will be asked in which folder you want to store your Dropbox files. Note that unlike the default Dropbox app, Maestral can place your files wherever you want.

Afterwards, you can choose to exclude files and folders from synchronization if needed. Don't worry too much about this - you can adjust it later.

Maestral will then start syncing your files. You can check the sync status at any time by clicking the menu bar icon. You can also change local folder and selective sync preferences by opening Settings, which also offers bandwidth limits.

I've been using it in place of my usual Dropbox client and find it works very well. It also has a smaller footprint than the default client. Having said that, something is still missing. You can't view the sync status of files in the Finder like you can in Dropbox, and you can't right-click on files to share them - you need to use the web version of Dropbox. None of this is a problem for me, especially considering that Maestral is much lighter than the official Dropbox client.

I haven't even mentioned the command-line version of the application, which uses fewer system resources and can be used to connect multiple Dropbox accounts to the same computer. You'll have to dig into the command line documentation to figure this out.