I only use this laptop at home, and I would like it to stay connected when the lid closed so my dropbox and crashplan will continue to work during this time. How can I keep it from disconnecting when I close the lid?
Disable lid close actions in all of the power management profiles:
System Settings > Hardware > Power Management > Energy Saving
and, in each tab, under "Button events handling" set "When laptop lid closed" to "Do nothing".