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Updated: February 6, 2013 6:01 AM

Review: Use online data store Pastebin from the desktop with this handy portable app



Review: Use online data store Pastebin from the desktop with this handy portable app

Review: Use online data store Pastebin from the desktop with this handy portable app

PasteBin.com has been in the news quite often, and mostly for all the wrong reasons. It’s where many hackers, such as Anonymous, go to store all the massive data dumps obtained by hacking Web sites. But PasteBin is also used for legitimate purposes; programmers use the site to copy and paste programming code, while others may just want to keep an online cloud copy of their text files or other data. Whichever category you fall into, the free PasteBin portable appwill help you manage your pastes from your PC desktop.

Being a portable app, you can keep PasteBin inside your Dropbox folder or your USB stick, because it doesn’t need to be installed to run. When you start it up, you will be presented with a plain easy-to-use box where you can copy and paste your texts. You can quite easily use the app as a guest without logging in, but logging in with a free PasteBin account will allow you to use some extra features not available to guest users. So it is worth the extra effort. But you have to make the account from the website. The portable app doesn’t allow you to do it from there.

When logging in, you will see a blank area for your pastes, and you will be logged out (guest account). Just click the sign-in button to sign into your PasteBin account (but not required).

One word about creating an account. Since the site is sometimes used by hackers, the site itself comes under occasional DDOS (distributed denial of service) and other hacking attacks. This means that, even if your data is protected with a password, any information on the site could potentially be compromised, including your email address. Therefore to protect yourself, make unique account details which are not connected in any way to any of your other online accounts. Use a different username, a different password, a different email address, that sort of thing. This also means it isn’t suitable for holding confidential material, but it’s a great resource for public data or stuff you don’t mind sharing with the world.

Once you have copied and pasted your text into the PasteBin portable app, you then have a few more options if you are logged in. Decide when the paste expires, ranging from 10 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month up to never). You can also choose a privacy level (public, private and unlisted), and the title of your paste (essential if your paste is public and you want it to be found via search). Then click “submit” and a few seconds later, the site will show your paste under your account name.

After pasting your text into the box, add a title, set the privacy level and how long the paste will last for, and then click “submit”

If you are logged in, further features available include being able to delete pastes from the app, copying the URL of the paste to the clipboard and seeing how many hits you have on your PasteBin page (good for analytics and seeing if your pastes are going viral).

Considering that the app is free, this is tremendously good value. The developer could easily have commercialized this, but instead he put it out for free and asked for donations. If you use PasteBin on a regular basis, this is one to include in your portable apps collection.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.

Copyright (c) 2013 PCWorld Communications, Inc.

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