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We would all love to have unlimited free cloud storage, but this is, unfortunately, a pipe dream. Many providers offer “free” plans, but these free plans come with storage caps. While no plan is ever “limitless” or “unlimited,” some providers offer more free space than others.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best free cloud storage services available. These plans are “truly free” with variable storage space; however, you can always upgrade to a paid plan if the free one is too limited for your needs.
Mega, or Megaupload as it was once called, has had its share of controversy. Despite its checkered past, it remains a reliable cloud storage service option with a generous free plan. Registering for a free account will immediately allot you 20 GB of storage space, with enough room for hundreds of images, music files, and more.
You can increase your account’s capacity by signing up for a paid plan. Mega offers end-to-end encryption, and as the client, you’re the only one that can decrypt the files you upload. Combined with two-factor authentication (2FA), your files are kept safe from prying eyes. The links you share with others are also separately encrypted or sent independently if desired.
Along with links, you can even share folders with other Mega users. Access permissions and different settings can be configured to limit the options accessible with shared folders. In addition to sharing files and folders, you can use Mega as a collaboration platform. There’s a live chat feature so you can work with colleagues on projects without downloading things repeatedly. As an extra measure of privacy, the chat feature is protected by secure encryption, too.
By default, the projects you work on via Mega live chat are saved by versions just in case you made a mistake. Versioning is available by default, and you can freely access any previous copies. If you want a cloud storage service that works well for team projects, then Mega is a solid choice. Its paid plans aren’t the best, but the free plan is quite generous.
pCloud is a relatively new cloud storage service. They joined the world of cloud providers in 2013. Despite its newcomer status, the company has continuously impressed users with its many features. They’re so impressive that multi-million dollar companies like Airbnb and Twitter employ pCloud’s services.
The free account comes with 10 GB of space, and the paid plans can go up to two TB. The plans are affordable and come with unlimited remote upload traffic. The best part is that lifetime subscriptions are available as one-time payments, saving you even more.
Many cloud storage providers use 256-bit AES encryption, securing the files during the transfer process. However, when the file reaches the cloud servers, the encryption is gone, and anyone who logs into the server can access it. This includes pCloud itself and any other parties. If you’d like to ensure that your files are kept private, pCloud offers a service called pCloud Crypto. This extra service lets you encrypt anything before uploading it to the cloud.
The only way to access it is to possess a CryptoPass key. When it reaches the servers, no one can access it at all, except for you. If you own many devices and switch between them frequently, pCloud may be the cloud storage service for you. You can access your files on practically any operating system and platform.
With auto-sync, everything stays up-to-date no matter where you access it from. One way to take advantage of pCloud’s auto-sync feature is to edit a document on a computer one day and continue with your iPad when you’re out and about. The process is seamless and doesn’t cost any extra money. You can employ it as soon as you register.
pCloud may also be helpful for project collaboration. Send an invite link to anyone, and they’ll be able to work with you on your projects. Business users may appreciate this bonus feature and take advantage of its collaboration possibilities. Professionals and users who value privacy and security may find pCloud a worthy investment. It’s hard to beat its affordable plans and robust features. While extra features like pCloud Crypto require extra fees, it’s still a great value for the money.
The developers of Icedrive market their product as a “next-generation cloud storage” service. It’s also a newcomer to the cloud storage industry, but don’t let their relative inexperience fool you. It’s a practical and straightforward service, even if it’s new.
With Icedrive, you get 10 GB of space for free. It also offers lifetime subscription plans that go up to five TB if you wanted to spend extra. The most expensive plan can be paid in one payment. Its cheapest plan is extremely affordable compared to other services. Icedrive is designed to allow you to access your hard drives as well.
The cloud service syncs to the hard drive once you give the necessary permissions and add files to your hard drive. The backups happen rapidly, give you access to files on your computer hard drive from any computer or device. The website is user-friendly and practical. It has a list of shortcuts and tools that make processes more manageable. Dragging and dropping are also supported. The Icedrive mobile apps are convenient and easy to use. They can even work as productivity apps, displaying all your content instantly. If you want to play music or videos straight from the cloud, the onboard custom media player will handle it for you.
Security is impressive, but only premium users can use its encrypted storage. It’s also currently the only cloud provider to use Twofish encryption, which is more secure than AES. Premium subscriptions also offer client-side encryption and zero-knowledge encryption. Icedrive’s security is highly advanced, even if it’s mostly locked behind a paywall. While Icedrive locks its impressive security features behind paid plans, its free account is still highly effective for most needs. You can access your hard drive anywhere around the world. Despite its newcomer status, Icedrive continues to impress cloud users.
We can’t talk about free cloud storage providers without mentioning Google Drive. Anyone with a Google account automatically gains some storage space. You may already have free Google Drive storage space and don’t even know it.
Google gives you 15 GB “on-the-house” just for registering with them. Of course, you can expand storage space via paid plans, the maximum storage space being five TB. The plans are relatively affordable, granting it a place amongst the most budget-friendly fully featured cloud providers on the market. Google Drive’s security is decent, and you do receive basic file encryption with your free account.
Files transferring to the cloud are protected by 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption. When they reach the servers, 128-bit AES encryption keeps them secure. However, Google may also remove the encryption at any time to allow law enforcement and government agencies access.
Outside accessibility to files may be a deal-breaker, though, for users looking for secure cloud storage options. Google Drive is much more than a cloud storage and syncing service. It’s compatible with Google’s other services, including Photos, Docs, and Sheets. One perk of keeping your services within Google’s ecosystem is how well they work together. For example, you don’t need to download files to view or modify them.
When you want to modify a document, open it in Drive, and Google Docs will let you edit it. The same goes for Sheets and other productivity apps. The services come with the free Google plan and are available at no extra cost. Other services like Dropbox Paper and Box with Note are only two of the thousands of third-party integrations available with Google Drive. Integrations allow you to keep everything in one place and improve your workflow.
Unfortunately, there are instances of Google scanning users’ files without permission. This can lead to account termination too, which is why it doesn’t score too high on privacy. That said, Google Drive is still one of the most flexible and versatile cloud storage services. Its generous offerings have won the hearts of many, despite the potential compromises to privacy.
Dropbox is another household name for cloud storage and has been operating since 2007. The cloud services Dropbox offers are helpful, and most casual consumers will find them sufficient for their needs. If you’re not a fan of Google, Dropbox may be an excellent choice.
Unfortunately, Dropbox’s free account only comes with 2GB of storage space. The introductory storage space is much less compared to the competition. You can expand your free account storage space up to 16 GB by referring new users, but it requires a lot of time and effort. The paid plans are affordable but not too noteworthy. The Professional plan grants you 3TB of storage. This isn’t the best when compared to other plans, which offer more bang for your buck.
Dropbox does have some issues with security. There’s no zero-knowledge encryption either, so Dropbox can always show your data to the government. You do get standard 256-bit AES encryption, and files in transit and kept in storage are protected. 2FA is available, too, which may be a plus; some clouds don’t offer it. Dropbox offers compatibility with other services, including its own Dropbox Paper, a collaboration app mainly for documents and note-taking.
This cloud storage solution also has Google integration. Google Docs and even Microsoft Office can integrate with Dropbox, a unique feature not offered by other cloud storage solutions. Users looking for a cloud storage solution that allows them to collaborate with others may want to check out this one.
Browsing speeds on Dropbox are rapid, as the company aims to provide speedy solutions. If your internet connection is strong, you can access your files nearly instantaneously. The interface is user-friendly and has a low learning curve. The layout may seem familiar to users who’ve used other providers before, but that’s because Dropbox is the first cloud provider, and this simple format has withstood the test of time. As the first provider to make cloud storage accessible to average users, Dropbox deserves a spot on our list. Its collaborative features are impressive, even if its free storage space isn’t as impressive. For those who want a simple cloud storage service, Dropbox doesn’t disappoint.
Degoo’s free plan offers users a generous amount of storage space, but there aren’t many other noteworthy features beyond this. It’s more of a cloud backup service than a cloud storage provider. However, if you’re looking for bulk storage without the need for productivity, this may be the one for you.
Free users get 100 GB of free space. That’s right, you’re not dreaming, but the massive amount of storage space is relatively inflexible. You can refer friends to gain more storage space. Each sign-up qualifies you for an extra three GB, capping out at 500 GB. It’s a substantial amount of storage space, and it’s all for free.
There’s a 2TB maximum storage space, and you can pay it monthly and annually. What’s humorous is that there’s a 100-year plan that lets you pay almost no money a month. If you’re going to stick around for the century, then you may want to consider this plan. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you or the company will be around that long to reap the rewards.
Security starts with basic 256-bit AES encryption, the standard for almost all cloud providers today. Transiting files are protected in TLS tunnels too, and there’s zero-knowledge encryption. As the servers are in Sweden, known for privacy-friendly laws, your data is comparatively safer than in most countries. There’s no 2FA, however, and some people prefer to have that function.
Degoo doesn’t support syncing as a cloud backup service, which doesn’t help your work become more productive. Sharing files is somewhat limited as well. If you’re already using Google Drive or Dropbox, think of this storage service as an addition and not a replacement. You can’t schedule backups either, and they happen every 24 hours. You can back up any file, however, and its Turbo Mode makes the process faster. Clicking a button lets you back up files and folders manually, though.
Degoo’s browser experience isn’t the best. It’s barebones and only allows you to perform simple tasks. As mentioned before, working with other files or users isn’t in this platform’s repertoire, and you may find other services more useful for collaboration. That said, the mobile app experience is above average. It even lets you back up your mobile device’s data. If you need extra mobile storage space, Degoo’s mobile app is a compelling choice. While Degoo isn’t an excellent choice for cloud storage, it comes with vast storage space. It’s useful for backups but not for collaboration. If you want pure space without extra features, it’s the one for you.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is