Hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper nowadays, and you’ve probably already taken advantage of that fact by adding a hard drive or two to your PC. But laptops usually have a max of two hard drive bays, and if you’re like me, you’ve already used both. So what do you do when you’ve run out of hard drive bays? Simple — you use cloud storage! And, most cloud storage services allow users to collaborate with other users so that users don’t have to be in the same room to work together (like they used to).
Read: iCloud Review
There are a plethora of options when it comes to free online cloud storage, all of which have their own benefits. As it stands right now, 50GB is the most free online cloud storage you can get (without jumping through the hoops of using a Chinese online storage provider). Here are 6 great free cloud storage services that will give you more storage.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive gives you a whopping 15GB of free cloud storage, giving you a lot of wiggle room for free. Google Drive seamlessly integrates across all of your devices — PC, tablets and phones — so that you’re able to access your important files from anywhere you have an internet connection. And, if you happen to use up all of your free online storage, you can upgrade your plan to 100GB for $1.99/month or 1 TB for $9.99/month. Adding files to Google Drive is simple, and uploading and downloading files is quick and painless. You can also share files with other users via email and create spreadsheets and word docs that your whole team can edit, which is incredibly useful if your company doesn’t use an office. To our knowledge, Google Drive is the best free cloud storage solution available.
Dropbox is an O.G. when it comes to the world of free cloud storage, offering 2GB of free storage at first setup. However, this 2GB can be easily (and freely) expanded to up to 16GB of free storage if you refer friends (you get 500MB for each friend). You also get another quick 500MB by connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts, following Dropbox on Twitter and telling the company why you love Dropbox. It’s also easy to use, and quick and painless, and has a premium plan of 1TB for $9.99/month or an upfront $99/year for some savings. Dropbox protects files with 256-bit AES and SSL encryption. You’re also able to restore a previous or deleted version of any file within 30 days, and you can access Dropbox on the go with apps for both iOS and Android. Photos, videos, docs and other files can also be synced across devices for easy access. And, there’s also a Business Plan that gives 5TB to 5 users for $750 per year, allowing your company to collaborate with ease from different locations around the world.
Box is a great free cloud storage solution for personal use, offering 10GB of secure storage. Unfortunately, upload sizes are limited to 250MB, so you’re less likely to find it as usable as Drive or Dropbox. Still, if you want to save smaller files like pictures, documents or slideshows, Box is a good free online cloud storage website. You can also upgrade to 100GB of storage and 2GB file size limit for $5/month, and there’s a business plan that is $15/month for each user which gives you unlimited storage space, 5GB file size limit and requires a minimum of three users.
ADrive offers the most free online storage to users with a whopping 50GB capacity of anytime, anywhere access. It also has an easy search tool, allows you to edit documents online, and even allows you to upload full folders/directories at one time instead of requiring you to add files individually. Unfortunately, users have to put up with the ads if they use the free version. Still, 50GB of free online cloud storage is a great deal, if you ask me. There are also other options with ADrive of course, such as personal plans that start at 100GB for $2.25/month and business plans that start at $7/month for 200GB.
Microsoft’s OneDrive, formerly SkyDrive, is about to take over your life, especially if you plan on upgrading to Windows 10. We’ve already seen OneDrive integrated with Windows 8 and 8.1, but after seeing the Windows 10 presentation and learning all that we now know about Windows 10, OneDrive is going to be a big part of the upcoming OS. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either, since OneDrive offers 15GB of free storage and has the cheapest 1TB upgrade option available for just $6.99/month, which includes Office 365. Users can also earn 3GB of extra storage when they backup their camera roll, and another 5GB if they refer 10 friends (+500MB for each friend). With Windows 10 also coming to Xbox One later this year, it’s likely that OneDrive’s integration will be second-to-none.
Mega, formerly Megaupload, is another service that gives users 50GB of free storage, but it limits bandwidth unless you sign up for one of their Pro packages (which allows 96 TB bandwidth and up to 4TB storage). But free accounts still get the end-to-end encryption that Mega offers, as well as secure global access and collaboration in real time. If you can deal with the fact that it’s not based in the U.S., Mega is a great free online storage solution.