Top 5 Free Cloud Storage Solutions For An Easy File Backup

free-cloud-storage

The majority of reputable Cloud storage solutions come with a free plan that allows you to store a certain amount of data. This can be a great option if you just want to back up some of your favorite photos and personal documents.

It's a great option indeed but you know how the saying - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

This is why many free cloud storage solutions have plenty of limitations. From tiny disk space or reduced features, to even having to invite a friend to use the platform.

The restrictions can be very tough and you can leave with an empty stomach.

But don't worry - there are plenty of picks that can get you great services - free of charge. These right here are the best free cloud storage options:

I’ve chosen these solutions based, firstly, on the amount of free storage you get without participating in additional programs.

1. Google Drive

Recommended for: Users needing access to a productivity suite

free cloud storage Google Drive homepageWhen it comes to Google Drive, you’ll gain 15GB of free storage just for signing up. While you will have to share this storage space between your email and Google photos account, this amount is free space for users who never have to upgrade to a paid account. Better yet, as a free user, you’ll have access to all the same tools as paying clients.

What makes Google Drive a great option is that with a free plan you still gain access to the service’s productivity suite. With an account, you’ll have access to everything from Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawing, Maps, and more. Not only this, you can share files with friends and colleagues as well as collaborate on projects in real-time.

free cloud storage Google Drive suite

Despite some great features, there is one grey area when it comes to Google Drive and that’s its privacy policy.

According to several articles, Google Drive scans your documents for viruses, spam, and inappropriate content. If this is a privacy concern to you, steer clear.

But if you just want to store a few documents and this doesn’t really bother you, then Google Drive is a great alternative, especially if you want free access to its various tools. Moreover, if 15GB isn’t enough for you, you can always upgrade to its 100GB plan for $1.99 a month.

Pros

  •  Suite with great productivity
  •  Free version has the same tools as the paid one
  •  Real-time collaborations

Cons

  •  Concerns regarding its privacy policy
  •  No referral plan to win more free storage

2. MediaFire

Recommended for: Users with large files

free cloud storage MediaFire homepageWith more than 840 million people using MediaFire each month to send and receive files, it’s no surprise that the solution makes it on my list of best free online storage solutions. However, the real reason MediaFire stands out from the crowd is that it offers 10GB of free storage to anyone who signs up for the service. Better yet, you can gain an extra 40GB of free storage by referring friends, installing the mobile application, and connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts when you sign up.

While 50GB of free storage sounds exciting, there are some conditions. One of these is that MediaFire only allows you to upload files of up to 200MB large with its free plan. That said, unless you want to backup movies and shows, there are very few files that will come near the 200MB limit. Moreover, if you do get to a stage where you feel ready to upgrade to one of the paid plans, you’ll be able to upload files of up to 4GB large.

free cloud storage MediaFire free plan

Despite all the above, one of MediaFire’s biggest shortcomings is that it doesn’t do file synchronization. That said, you will enjoy unlimited bandwidth and downloads and the service has an application for all devices – so you can still upload all your favorite files from your mobile, computer, and tablet. So on MediaFire, the best thing you get is storage - sure, you won't get 1TB free cloud storage, but if anything, you can upgrade to the 1TB Cloud storage plan for $3.75.

Pros

  •  Opportunity to gain an extra 40GB of storage
  •  Upload files of up to 200MB large
  •  Unlimited bandwidth and downloads
  •  Affordable Pro plan

Cons

  •  You must complete additional tasks for the full 50GB of free storage
  •  No file synchronization
  •  Not a good option for backing up video files

3. Sync.com

Recommended for: Users needing extra security

free cloud storage Sync homepageWith Sync.com, you only technically receive 5GB of free storage. However, the solution ranks highly on my list because of its referral program. I really enjoy Sync’s free storage plan because you can get 1GB of extra space for every friend that signs up. Better yet, you can extend the invitation to as many people as you want – just remember that there is a 20GB referral cap.

While 20GB of free storage should be enough to spark your interest, what I like most about Sync.com is its security features. Whether you’re a paying customer or you have a free plan, you’ll benefit from zero-knowledge encryption for all your files. This means that no one, not even Sync itself, can see what you’re storing in the cloud. Plus, for an added layer of protection, you can password protect your files too.

free cloud storage Sync referral program

Looking for better features?

A paid plan (unsurprisingly) has much more going on for itself than a free one. For example, paid users can set download and link expiry limits of the uploaded files. For these extra features and storage space, you’ll have to upgrade to either the 500GB or 2TB Personal Pro plans which cost $49 and $96 respectively.

Pros

  •  Opportunity to gain an extra 40GB of storage
  •  Upload files of up to 200MB large
  •  Unlimited bandwidth and downloads
  •  Affordable Pro plan

Cons

  •  Referrals must sign up for additional storage
  •  You can’t set expiration dates or download limits on files

4. pCloud

Recommended for: Users with video and audio files

free cloud storage pCloud homepageFor users with a lot of video and audio content that like to access their files while on the go, pCloud is a great alternative. Aside from allowing you to upload files of any size, the solution comes with its own built-in audio and video player that allows you to stream shows in HD. Better yet, thanks to its dedicated mobile applications, you can access all your favorite files while on the go.

Furthermore, pCloud gives you a huge 10GB of free storage as soon as you sign up. Not only this, the solution offers TLS/SSL channel protection as well as the most advanced 256-bit encryption for all your files. Plus, you don’t have to worry about files going missing as pCloud saves five copies of your data on different servers as an added precaution.

free cloud storage pCloud sharing

Despite some amazing features, pCloud has similar limitations to Sync.com in that you can’t set expiry dates on shared folders. You’ll also can’t password protect them. That said, if you want to upgrade to a paid plan to gain access to these features, all you have to do is make a one-time payment of $175 for 500GB of storage or $350 for 2TB of storage. You can also pay an annual subscription if you prefer.

Pros

  •  Built-in audio and video player with HD streaming
  •  Generous 10GB free plan
  •  Dedicated mobile applications for all devices

Cons

  •  Zero-knowledge costs extra on top of a paid plan
  •  You can’t set expiration dates or password protect shared folders

5. Mega

Recommended for: Users wanting the most storage space for free

free cloud storage Mega homepageBased in New Zealand, Mega used to offer one of the best free plans on the market. This is because you would receive 50GB of free storage without jumping through any hoops. Unfortunately, things have changed.

While you can still get 50GB of free storage, Mega has now broken down its free program into different tasks and conditions.

Today, you have to install MegaSync and the Mega mobile app as well as invite friends to join if you want full access to your free 50GB. Moreover, the rewards for completing all these tasks expire within 180 days meaning you’ll have to pay for a plan if you want to keep your storage space.

free cloud storage Mega program

Despite the above, you will have access to 15GB of free storage, no questions asked. Not only this, the free plan comes with end-to-end encryption, the option to collaborate in real-time, and file synchronization. Plus, if you need more storage space, you can upgrade to one of the paid plans which start at just $5.69 a month for 200GB of storage and 1TB of transfer.

Pros

  •  End-to-end encryption
  •  15GB of free storage
  •  Opportunities to collaborate in real-time

Cons

  •  Winnings from the referral program expire
  •  Paid plans don’t offer the same value for money as other services

How to Pick the Best Free Cloud Storage Solution?

When it comes to choosing the best free Cloud storage solution for your individual needs, you need to consider what type of folders you want to backup. Here’s my verdict:

  • Google Drive is the best solution for individuals who want to collaborate on projects
  • MediaFire is the best free solution if you’d like to store larger files
  • Sync.com is the best solution if you want to keep your files 100% private
  • pCloud is the best solution for individuals with video and audio content
  • Mega offers the largest free Cloud storage allowance overall

Before making a final decision, make sure you choose a Cloud storage solution with good security features and don’t forget to check if the free storage comes with an expiration date to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Do you have a recommendation for a free Cloud storage service that’s not on this list? If so, I’d love it if you could let me know in the comments below.

Experienced in copywriting, SEO and creative writing (journalism, blogging, poetry, lullabies etc.). Public communication bachelor and HoReCa expert. A strange sense of humor but bearable. Has a beard, a cat, a fiancee, a hedgehog, and a brand new pug.
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