5 Best Free Cloud Storage Providers
Cloud storage is a useful way to ensure you can access your files from anywhere. If you’re short on money, there are free cloud storage websites on the internet that let you upload files at no extra cost.
Let’s explore the best free cloud storage solutions for storing your files on the internet.
1. Google Drive (15GB Free Storage)
If you use Google’s services often, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Google Drive. Not only does it have a generous amount of space for no additional cost, but it plays well with other Google services. If you’ve used Google Docs in the past, you’re already using Google Drive!
Google Drive is a great way to keep all your business and work files organized. When you use Google’s online office suite, all the files you create are stored in Google Drive for easy access. If you have an Android phone, you can download the Drive app and stay up-to-date while you’re on the move.
Google Drive is the best free cloud storage solution for collaborating with other workmates.
You can use Drive to create a folder full of word documents and spreadsheets to work on, then share a link to the folder with your colleagues. Anyone with the link can hop in and make their edits on the documents within.
Do note that the 15GB space is shared among all Google’s programs including Gmail, Docs and Photos.
2. pCloud (10+GB Free Storage)
pCloud is a simple, easy-to-use entry on this list. Just enter an email and password on the front page, and you’re ready to go. You then have 10GB to play with at no extra cost.
pCloud is generous with its bonus space. At the time of writing, verifying your email with pCloud nets you another 1GB to use, and uploading a file gets you another GB. You can get 5GB total from doing simple tasks and then 1GB for referring a friend.
This makes pCloud an easy way to get 15GB+ of storage without paying anything.
There’s a chance you’re looking for free cloud storage services because you dislike the idea of paying a subscription. It’s not great to have all your data stored on one service, then “forced” to pay monthly to maintain that storage.
pCloud is unique as you can make a one-time purchase to get a permanent boost to your storage. The price is quite high, but if you plan to use online storage for a few years, it’s cheaper in the long run than maintaining a subscription.
The pCloud Crypto service is an additional security layer that’s also offered as a subscription.
3. MediaFire (10GB Free Storage)
From its generous storage space alone, MediaFire is an excellent service to use for storing data. However, using MediaFire purely as a file storage website isn’t tapping into its full potential.
MediaFire’s sharing capabilities make it one of the best ways to share files for others to download. Hover over the item you want to share, click the arrow on the right, and click Share. You then get a link you can share for other people to download from.
MediaFire limits uploaded file size to 4GB per file.
Unfortunately, when you try this with a folder of files, MediaFire will prod you to purchase their premium service to batch-download files. Thankfully, you can skirt around this restriction by zipping up the folder you want to share on your desktop, then uploading that.
4. OneDrive (5GB Free Storage)
OneDrive isn’t too generous with its storage space, but it earns points for requiring the least amount of installation and setup than the other entries on this list.
For instance, if you have a computer that runs Windows 10, you’re already fully equipped to use OneDrive.
When you open Explorer in Windows 10, you should see OneDrive on the left sidebar. Any files dragged into here will automatically upload and sync up with the OneDrive server.
You need to have the OneDrive app running for it to sync up, so look for the OneDrive icon in your taskbar. If you don’t see it, click the start button and type “OneDrive” to start it up.
If you don’t use Windows 10, you can still use OneDrive to store your files.
You do need to create a Microsoft account before you can use it, but once you do, you can use the website interface to upload and share files.
OneDrive also has a special Shared folder which keeps tabs on which files are being shared and to whom, so you can keep track of who can see your data.
5. Dropbox (2+GB Free Storage)
One of the older entries on this list, Dropbox, specializes in syncing your desktop files with the cloud. You can use Dropbox as a traditional cloud storage service, but its true power unlocks when you set up a special Dropbox folder on your desktop. You can do this by downloading the Dropbox client.
When you drop files into this particular folder, Dropbox will automatically notice the addition and upload it to the cloud. This is also true if it notices a file has changed. As such, you can place a text document into the folder and edit it over time, and Dropbox will automatically update the cloud version of the file every time you save.
You can also set up a shared folder and invite others to use it. When other people upload or edit files in said folder, Dropbox will update it on your end. If you have the Dropbox client, your friend’s edits will automatically update the folder on your PC.
If you’re disappointed at Dropbox’s 2GB offering, you can complete tasks and refer friends to get more room.
Referring a friend gives you 500MB per referral to a maximum of 16GB, and completing tasks gives you 250MB up to around 1.5GB extra space.
Why Not Make Your Own Server?
If you’re cost-conscious about your cloud storage, you can cut out the middle man and create your own. The upfront costs are high, as you need to purchase a server and set it up at home. However, once you’ve paid up, you have full rein over a considerable amount of storage without paying anything more.
There are plenty of reasons why you should make your own server. The next time you’re nervously watching your free cloud storage space fill up, consider putting down the cash for a more long-term solution.
Choosing the Best Free Cloud Storage
If you’re looking for a free way to store your data on the cloud, there are plenty of great options—including making your own. While there are no free unlimited cloud storage services on our list, the top choices still give you plenty of room to upload images, documents, and videos.
If you opted for a Google Drive account from the above list, why not learn the essential Google Drive keyboard shortcuts and make life easier for yourself?
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