Technology is continuously advancing leaving traditional drive storage behind – now, cloud storage is taking the lead.
This article highlights the 5 best free cloud storage for both consumers and businesses. Take advantage of these services and keep your files secure and accessible.
Are you tired of carrying your hard drive everywhere just to access your files? Perhaps, you have even lost several of these storage drivers with your data in them. Are you now looking for the best and free solution? So are we – and free cloud storage is the best answer for all these pressing concerns.
With the emergence of online storage, most consumers have started to become reliant on cloud storage system instead of the previous in-house or hardware local file storage system. After all, storing files on the cloud offers more flexibility, convenience, and security.
The good news is: you do not always have to pay to enjoy the online storage services. There are several cloud providers which offer you these conveniences for free. All you are left to do is take advantage of these offers.
But before that, let us talk about why you need to switch your files from your usual physical storage to cloud storage.
Cloud Storage and Its Advantages
While physical disks provide you with access to your local files, cloud storage offers you access to unlimited data – anywhere and anytime.
Cloud storage is an online service which allows users to upload their files and data online access them accordingly. Like local storage, only you and authorized users can access the files – without the added weight.
Recently, most consumers and businesses have preferred cloud storage as it offers: accessibility, collaboration, and security, among many of its advantages.
We have been used to physical storages to keep our files: in the 90s we have used tons of diskettes and CDs while in the 20s up to present, flash drives and hard drives. Although these pieces of equipment allow us to store our files, they also possess shortcomings we can no longer ignore: they are difficult to carry around, prone to being misplaced, and provides no recovery system once lost or destroyed.
Such limitations can no longer keep up in today’s technology and modern communication.
With cloud storage, all of our data are kept safe online. They can be accessed using any of our preferred devices – laptop, tablet, smartphones. Also, transferring files from one device to another has become simple and convenient. Thus, with online storages, we can be confident that we can always access our data anytime we want.
Transferring files is tiresome and complicated – from one device to another; from one user to another. Even more so with the sending of multiple files to multiple recipients. Who doesn’t feel like wasting time doing the usual repetitive clicks and taps just to accomplish this?
Good thing, with cloud storage, file transfer has been made simple.
First: You no longer need to upload and send every file before sending them. With a link or invitation, target recipients can have access to your data.
Second: Through a shareable link, you can provide your peers access to a certain file or document within your online storage. Upon your discretion, they can also edit and update the files accordingly. All these changes they made will be automatically saved on everyone’s end.
These features allow instant collaboration possible between users. Gone are the days when you have to be physically present just to transfer files – plug in plug out method – or when you have to download big e-mail attachments just to review files.
Indeed, file sharing and collaboration has become more efficient with cloud storage.
How many times have you lost your flash drives? Or at least, have become corrupted that the only solution is to reformat them with your files in them – unrecoverable?
Nightmare isn’t it.
With all these drives you have lost, do you not wonder who might have seen your files in them?
With cloud storage, all your files are safely stored online. Hence, no matter how many devices you have lost, you can be confident that all your documents will always be recovered.
Here, your data are encrypted which makes unauthorized users prohibited to access them. Also, the cloud service providers themselves offer various layers of security to keep your data from being hacked.
With your files on the cloud, you eliminate the risk of losing your files due to negligence – forgetting where your drive is or mindlessly misplacing it – or fortuitous events – losing your drive because of catastrophic disasters.
With cloud storage, no matter what happens, your files can always be recovered and restored in their original condition.
Indeed, these advantages make online storage the most ideal storage solution for your digital needs. So, let us cut down the chase and see the 5 best free cloud storage you can choose from.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is currently the leading online storage for both personal and business purposes.
By simply signing up for a Google account, Google will provide you with an instant 15 GB free cloud storage on Google Drive – this is the biggest storage amount you can get for free.
One of the best advantages of using Google Apps is its in-app integration. With your files linked together, file sharing and editing are made more efficient and better.
Google Drive is integrated with Google Apps – Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheet, among others. Bascially, you can access these apps within the Google Drive: review and edit files without switching platforms.
Also, these apps are automatically synced and backed up in your storage.
Thus, you no longer have to press CTRL+S (save) all the time just to make sure you have saved your files. Google makes that for you.
As the most popular cloud storage, various third-party apps also integrate their software to Google Drive.
Whether you are a paying subscriber or not, Google allows you to utilize its largest integration of third-party apps for your needs. These can provide you with an advanced and custom experience for your file storage system.
After all, most of them are for free! Save more to do more.
Like most Google Apps, Google Drive is also optimized cross-device – desktop (macOS / Windows / Linux), tablet and smartphone (iOS / Android).
With Google Drive, you can ensure continuity in all of your files. Access your files using any device anytime and anywhere.
Download Google Drive here:
2. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is another cloud storage provider that offers you a free 5 GB storage.
Specifically developed for Microsoft services enthusiasts, OneDrive allows its users to save both documents and media files on the cloud and access them using any device, accordingly.
Although the starting free storage is significantly lower than Google Drive, it can nonetheless be upgraded up to 1 TB, free of charge, if you have a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 – a perfect deal for Microsoft users.
OneDrive can also be integrated with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft services like Outlook.com and AutoCad.
We always do switch from one device to another.
Like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive enables you to access all your documents and media files using any device.
With this online storage, you can continue working on your project using your laptop or smartphone or both of them simultaneously. After all, all changes are saved automatically.
One Drive is not always dependent on Internet connectivity.
With this online storage, you can access your files offline. Thus, whether or not there is an internet connection, your most important files will always remain within your reach.
OneDrive makes file sharing simple.
With a shareable link, your peers can access your designated files instantly.
Indeed, large e-mail attachments are already bygones.
OneDrive makes file storage easier and convenient for Microsoft users.
Access OneDrive here.
pCloud is tagged as the most secure online storage today. Thus, if your main concern is file security free of charge, then pCloud must be the one for you.
By simply creating an account on pCloud, it provides you with an instant 2 GB free cloud storage. You can easily upgrade this further up to 10 GB by doing referring this online storage to another user.
One of the major setbacks of the other free cloud storage is the upload limits. Apparently, you can only transfer a limited amount of GB to your online storage. Well, if your line of work includes uploading a large amount of data, such limitation is a big NO.
With pCloud, users can have unlimited upload traffic. In other words, you can upload as much as many large media files to your online storage as you want.
Cloud storage should make you do more not less.
pCloud is particularly proud of its premium feature Crypto – a security option which allows users to lock and unlock individual files with password.
With this, your already strong layer of security has further doubled.
Affordable Lifetime Subscription
pCloud also offers lifetime subscription to its users. After all, online storage is going to stay here for long. Getting a lifetime subscription instead for monthly is going to save you bucks in the long run.
Here are pCloud’s lifetime subscription rates.
- Lifetime 500 GB Storage: $175 one-time payment
- Lifetime 2 TB: $ 250 one-time payment.
Indeed, this is a great deal compared to the annual $47.88 and $95.88 subscription fee, respectively.
MediaFire is one of the frontrunners of online storage and is still one of the best free and affordable storage today.
Basically, cloud storage is made simple with Media Fire. It has a user-friendly interface that makes the job done – storing your files online.
For starters, MediaFire offers a 10 GB free online storage to its users.
As mentioned, MediaFire offers one of the most affordable storage upgrade plans, as follows:
- 1000 GB Storage: $5.00 per month or $45.00 per year (one-time payment)
- 100 TB Storage up to 100 user accounts: $50.00 per month or $480.00 per year (one-time payment).
Oftentimes, they also offer discounts up to 50% off for the annual subscription.
One of the best features of MediaFire is its neat interface.
Using the web app, you can straightforwardly navigate your documents and files – along with an overview of the deleted files. MediaFire’s tree structure file system allows users to organize their files easily.
Uploading files is as effortless as 1-2-3. With the drag-and-drop function, you can upload your files and folders in MediaFire with ease.
Security and Shareability
Despite the neat interface of MediaFire, it also provides secure and reliable files sharing and storage.
Like other cloud storages, MediaFire provides you with a shareable link which allows selected peers to access your files and update them accordingly.
Remarkably, MediaFire vows never to sell your personal information to anyone – not to big corporations nor to advertisers.
Following GoogleDrive, Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storages available on the market.
Dropbox advertises itself as a centralized workspace designed for peers. With in-app software, Office 365 integration, and two-factor authentication (2FA), you can be confident that your files are safe and secure.
For starters, Dropbox provides you with a 2 GB storage space and access to its built-in application: Dropbox paper and Showcase, among many others.
Compared to Google Drive, Dropbox is integrated into Office 365 – Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, which makes utilizing these office applications within the Dropbox possible.
Download Dropbox here:
The Bottom Line
Online storage is currently the best way to effectively store your files.
Fortunately, these 5 best free cloud storages offer you the best of both worlds – an online storage for free.
Never lose your files, ever again.
How about you? Do you know other free online storage we can use? Let us know by leaving your comments below.
DM Pascual is an experienced web content writer and SEO specialist. His fields of expertise include: Law, Technology, and Popular Culture, among others. Check out his works on www.legal-scrutiny.com.