6 Best Free Cloud Storage Service
As discussed in a previous blog, cloud storage continues to play a growing role in how we save, share, and use our data. Not surprisingly, cloud storage is big business, so there are dozens of competitors in the marketplace. Today we’ll look at some of the most popular services, and a few others on the rise. Of note, this blog only looks at the free offerings; we will look at the paid options in a later blog.
One of the first players in the cloud service space, Dropbox offers strong integration across all platforms, it’s own web editor, and seamless sharing across platforms. Dropbox offers 2 GB of complimentary space, with options to get up to 18 GB through referral codes and social media sharing. As it was one of the earlier players in the market, Dropbox is among the most common cloud storage providers, and has been adapted by many companies. It even includes Microsoft Office integration. Dropbox, however, lacks some of the encryption of other providers, and did have a highly publicized data breach years ago.
Google’s offering is fully integrated into the Google platform of services. It’s offer of 15 GB for free is actually shared among other Google services, like Photos and Gmail. Like so many Google offerings, it makes integration with other Google users very easy, and provides Microsoft Office alternatives, like Docs and Sheets, which work on every platform and save right in the cloud. If you are fully integrated into the Google suite, Drive is worth considering, albeit some of its features aren’t as intuitive as others listed in this blog.
Box – not to be confused with Dropbox – is another major player in the cloud services game. It provides 10 GB free space, and overall provides a very similar product to Dropbox. Box, however, provides a limit on upload file size.
Apple’s offering was – surprise – made with Apple users in mind. While an obvious choice and integrated service for Apple users, it lacks sharing capability and is not the best option for Android or PC users. It provides 5 GB of free storage, and surprisingly competitive paid options.
Microsoft’s offering, like Apple’s, provides 5 GB of free storage, and also like Apple’s, has limited sharing options. OneDrive becomes, by default, an option for many who use Windows, but outside already being installed on your PC provides no competitive advantage.
A relatively new player on the cloud scene, Mega is a leading choice for those who demand or require encryption. Mega even provides you a digital key to download (or print!) in case you forget your password. It offers a generous 15 GB of free space (50 GB for the first month). The tradeoff are slower upload and download speeds.
There are countless other providers, such as PCloud, Sync.com, IceDrive, or even Amazon Drive.
As these are all free options, look around and find one that works best for you!