In this article we talk about free cloud storage. Here is a list of the best services of this type, to be used to store many types files online.
What Consists in the Cloud
In the last few years you could have heard a lot of talk about cloud, but not everyone knows exactly what it consists of and what advantages it offers. The term cloud, in English, means cloud.
The concept can be simplified just like that, a set of data and services, accessible from any device and from anywhere, when you have a connection to the network.
Storing data in the cloud therefore means saving your files on servers provided by the service provider that are always accessible via the Internet.
The advantages of cloud storage, data storage in the cloud, is therefore evident. In this way it is possible to make sure that your files are always accessible. Services of this type can be used for backup, but also to share documents with other users to collaborate with.
How to Choose a Free Cloud Storage Service
Before analyzing in detail what are the best cloud storage sites, it is important to understand the most important parameters to evaluate when choosing a service.
Space available – The first parameter to consider is the amount of free space made available.
Almost all the services of this type offer a limited amount of free space, which can be increased with the purchase of paid plans.
The free space can vary a lot, from a few Gb up to tens of TB, offered by some Chinese services.
The choice must be made according to your needs, considering the possible costs if you then need to move to a paid plan to increase the space.
Reliability – The space that is made available is certainly important, to choose the right cloud storage service is however very important to evaluate the reliability.
When we talk about reliability, we refer to the ability of the service to be always available.
It is therefore important to choose serious companies, which do not disappear from one day to the next with their own data and do not have offline servers every day.
Security – Speech linked to reliability is that related to security.
Not all services offer the same level of security with regard to access and file transfer.
In particular it is important to verify that the site uses a secure protocol, such as SSL, for uploading and downloading data.
File encryption is also very important, some services allow to perform the operation automatically before uploading.
Functionality – Another key feature to evaluate is the functionality offered by cloud storage services.
Some are dedicated in particular to the backup of the files, then provide the ability to automate this type of operation, others offer tools for viewing and editing files, useful for working online without downloading documents.
Then we find features such as the ability to share files with other users and collaborate by editing the shared documents, not always present.
The choice of the right service must therefore be made according to the intended use.
Best Cloud Storage Services
After this brief introduction, we can see in more detail what are the best cloud storage services available on the net.
For each service we will examine the available space, features and functionality, in order to help you make the right choice.
Let’s start with Dropbox , the best known cloud storage service.
The basic version, available for free, provides 2 GB of cloud space for storing your files. The limit is increased by 500 MB for each user registered on the site, up to a maximum of 16 GB.
The interface, available in Italian, allows you to organize files in folders in a very simple way.
It is then possible to download and install the customers on the computer, the files moved to the Dropbox folder on your PC are saved in your online space. Alternatively, uploading and downloading can be done via the site.
Among the features we find the ability to view files, share folders with other users and the availability of iPhone and Android applications for use via smartphone. Instead, features that we find in other cloud storage, such as support for mail, contacts and calendar are missing. This is a very reliable service, one of the first of its kind, and that guarantees the security of its data.
Of note then that there are numerous programs that offer integration with Dropbox, making the use very simple.
2) Google Drive
Google Drive is an alternative to Dropbox very interesting, especially for those who already use the other services offered by the company. Who has a Gmail account, in fact has access to Google Drive and other integrated services, such as Google Docs.
The free space available in this case is 15 GB, customers are available for Windows and Mac and applications for iPhone and Android. Of course, access via the browser is also possible.
Uploaded files can be shared with other users and integration with Google Docs allows you to edit documents such as Doc and Xls files online.
Gmail also offers integration with this service, so email attachments can be quickly saved in your online space.
Other features include the ability to make files available offline, so you can use them when you lose the connection, and the availability of versions of the last thirty days for different types of files, so as to restore the changed documents in a simple way .
Microsoft also offers its own cloud storage service, OneDrive . If you have an Outlook.com or Hotmail.com account, you already have access to cloud storage. As in the case of Google Drive, the free space available is 15 GB. However, it can be increased by 500 MB for each user registered, for a maximum of 5 GB.
The service is obviously connected very closely to other Microsoft products, such as Windows Phone and Office Online. In Windows 8, OneDrive is one of the applications included with the operating system and is accessible from the home screen.
There are also clients available for other platforms, such as Mac, iPhone and Android, where you can synchronize files automatically. Files of all types, documents, photos and videos can be uploaded, and options for sharing and collaboration are available.
Thanks to the integration with Office Online it is then possible to edit Word and Excel files directly via the browser. Among the features we find support for accessing previous versions of files.
Mega is an interesting solution for those who need more space, in fact, it offers 50 Gb for free.
There are no limits on the size of individual files, but the network band available is limited to 10 GB every thirty minutes, which should still adapt to the needs of almost everyone.
There are applications for Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android, or you can manage your space through the browser, through an interface in Italian rather simple to use.
The service devotes special attention to security, file encryption is completed before upload. The uploaded files can not then be decrypted unless they are downloaded to your computer.
The features are more limited than those offered by other cloud storage, we still find the ability to share folders with other users and upload multiple files simultaneously via the browser.
Very well known is Box , a service that offers 10 GB free of cloud space and allows you to upload files with a maximum size of 250 MB.
The service is accessible from the browser and provides clients for Windows and Mac with which you can synchronize a specific folder with the data on the network.
There are also applications for smartphones, to be used to upload and download files with your device. The web interface is edited and allows you to load even entire folders quickly.
The features, even if limited in the free version, are interesting, you can share files even with those who are not registered and find options to download folders as Zip files. Box is therefore an alternative to Dropbox interesting for those looking for a service that is reliable.
If you need a lot of space, JottaCloud represents a possibility to be evaluated carefully.
It is a cloud storage service, but with an interface also available in English, which provides good space for storing your data.
Clients are available for Windows, iPhone and Android, as well as browser access.
The online interface is rather simple to use, you can upload files and create and manage folders.
The features are not very advanced, you can still view uploaded files and share folders.
Doubts about a service like this can be related to security and reliability.
Amazon could not miss among the companies that offer a free cloud storage service.
Amazon Cloud Drive, however, is rather limited, in terms of free space and functionality, compared to the competition.
It allows you to have 5 GB of free space for file storage and the size of individual files can not exceed 2 GB.
The sharing features offered by other services are missing and no applications are available to simplify smartphone access, which must therefore be done via the browser.
The advantage is to be found in the reliability of the company and in customer service.
Mediafire is a widely used file sharing service and offers advanced features specific to this purpose.
In fact, we find the possibility to share files even with those who are not registered for the service. A feature, called FileDrop, is also available, with which you can create public folders, where everyone can upload files.
The free space available is 10 GB, which can be increased up to 50 GB by inviting other users to use the site, and individual files can not exceed 200 MB.
In addition to the browser, the service can be used through the programs available for Windows and Mac that make uploading files much easier and faster. Applications for iPhone and Android are also available.
Among the features we report support for previous versions of files and the ability to view advanced statistics.
Please note that in order to avoid cancellation, you need to log in to your account at least once a year.
Very interesting is also pCloud , a site that offers 10 GB of free space, which can reach up to 20 GB by bringing other users.
In this case there are no limits regarding the size of individual files, so you can also upload large files, unlike what happens with other services.
Access can be done via a browser, with programs for Windows, Mac and Linux and through applications for iPhone and Android.
The web interface is rather accurate, allows the loading of folders, as well as individual files, and offers the ability to import files from the network, specifying the address to which they are located.
The features are numerous, you can share data even with those who are not registered, tools are available for viewing photos, videos and documents of various types and appears to be present integration with social networks.
SurDoc offers 100 GB free for storing your data online. The free space can be increased up to 1 TB by inviting other users and performing certain operations.
There are no limits on the size of documents and multimedia files, compressed files and executable files can not exceed 10 MB.
We find programs for Windows and Mac that can be used as tools for backup, it is possible to configure the program to back up files and folders in your online space.
The web interface is rather simple to use and allows you to upload multiple files simultaneously through the browser.
Among the features we find the ability to share files even with those not registered on the site and options to export images and documents to PDF.
Note that the 100 GB for the storage file is only valid for one year. After a year you need to use the Renew Free Storage link in your account, to increase the free space by performing operations such as inviting friends and sharing files.
Archive files online for freeSeaCloud provides 1 GB of free space for each user who signs up.
Although the space is limited compared to that offered by other sites, this is a service to consider for the many features it offers.
It is possible to upload files via the client for PC or via the web interface.
The online application is translated into Italian and also allows the upload of entire folders in a fast way.
Among the options are the sharing of files and folders even with those who are not registered, the ability to set passwords and expiration date of shared data, streaming media files without the need for downloads and tools to create and edit text files.
Very interesting is also the functionality that allows you to recover deleted files for a period of one month.
Syncplicity allows you to get 15 GB for free by registering, which is increased by 5 GB for each user registered, up to a maximum of 40 GB.
We find clients for Windows, Mac and Linux and applications for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone with which to upload data on the site.
The web interface is easy to use, allows you to upload files, create folders and share data even with those who are not registered.
It should also be noted that the service provides tools to simplify the migration of files from other cloud storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
PromptFile has in the amount of free space made available the best feature, 250 GB with a limit of 5 GB per file.
Files can be uploaded from the computer or via the network, specifying the web address.
The features are not particularly advanced, you can still share individual files, but not entire folders, with everyone, and it is possible to stream music and video, without the need to download files.
To note that the service can also be used without registration, in this case the available space is however only 1 GB.
By creating a free account on FlipDrive you get 5 GB of file hosting space, which is increased by 500 MB for each user registered.
No computer programs and smartphone applications are available, data upload and download must then be performed via the web interface.
The use is more complex than that of other services, it is still possible to upload entire folders, as well as individual files. The maximum file size that can be uploaded is 25 MB.
Folders and files can be shared with other users, in writing as well as in reading, and tools for managing contacts and favorites are available.
HiDrive offers 5 GB of free space, space that can reach up to 10 GB by registering other users.
Windows and Mac users can connect to their account via WebDAV, making it possible to transfer files quickly, by drag and drop.
There are also applications for iPhone and Android with which you can upload photos and videos on the site.
Among the features are the sharing of files and folders even with those who are not registered and the ability to set a deadline for shares.
ADrive is a cloud storage service active for several years and used by millions of users, features that make it very reliable.
The free space available is 50 GB and computer programs and smartphone applications are available for use.
The free version has a limited number of features, but you can still share files and edit documents through integration with Zoho.
This is a solution to be evaluated if you are looking for a secure service for backing up your data.
Mightyupload presents an interface much less cured than other services of this type. This is a site that allows the upload of an unlimited number of files, not larger than 4 GB. There are no programs for PCs and applications for smartphones, so downloading and uploading must be done via a browser.
Through the web interface it is then possible to share files and folders, even those who are not registered.
Be noted that the files are removed from the service if they are not viewed or downloaded for a period of thirty days.
It is therefore a useful solution for sharing files but not for data backup.
18) Hive Cloud
Hive provides unlimited space for storing your files, but data can be uploaded for up to 50 GB every week.
Registration for the service is very fast, you can also log in with your Facebook and Google account.
Access to the interface can be done for the moment only with the browser, applications for iPhone and Android should still be available soon.
The files are then uploaded via the browser, which makes the upload difficult when you want to upload multiple files, it is not possible to upload entire folders.
Interesting is instead the ability to upload from the network, specifying the address of the files that you want to import.
Among the features we find sharing, but limited only to folders and only possible with other users of the service.
Hive is a relatively new service, to be assessed is therefore reliability.
Sync is one of the few free cloud storage services that provides 5 Gb free space. The only limit is that related to the size of individual files, they can not exceed 5 GB. With Sync one can share and access files from just about anywhere. Sync protects your privacy with end-to-end encryption. It also ensure that your data in the cloud is safe, secure and 100% private.
The cloud storage sector is very active, new services periodically enter the market, while others disappear without leaving a trace. As we explained above, the choice must be made according to your needs, evaluating the characteristics of the different services.
If you want to use cloud storage to back up your data, it is important to choose reliable companies that have been on the market for some time. Dropbox and Box can therefore be preferable to those who offer more space but less guarantees.
Google Drive and OneDrive are particularly interesting alternatives for those who already use the other services offered by Google and Microsoft, thanks to the integration that is made available. If you are interested in sharing files, services such as Mega and Mediafire provide specific features that make this type of operation very simple.
For those who need a lot of free space, in my opinion, Sync is preferable to services that offer unlimited space. This is certainly a more reliable company right now.