If you’ve been living under a rock or hidden inside a cave or just not giving a damn on where technology is heading, then cloud storage may sound to you like some noisy brouhaha. Who am I to talk? I am regarded by relatives, friends like the “computer guy”, but I’ll admit that I am not an avid user of the cloud, not that it isn’t a great tool for the safety and comfort of your files, but because I was just too lazy to use such an user-friendly product.
Cloud Storage – An Useful Tool in this Digital Era
Everything changed in the past 6 months when I realized that I no longer can rely only on my laptop and various storage devices. My gmail account got hacked and I could have lost access to important documents that I used to keep on my free email account. And my troubles didn’t stop there. After a nice trip in Italy, I discovered that I accidentally deleted very important pictures (they were more important to my girlfriend than me) and I panicked for a moment. Yes, I know that files don’t get deleted right away on your hard drive, but, nonetheless, I freaked out for some minutes.
A cloud account would have backed-up my photos even when I was away; there was no need to wait for when I would have returned from the trip, I could have uploaded the photos right after taking them. Probably, I was too afraid to try cloud storage because I was thinking at that time that I’d have big money for professional cloud storage services. But, obviously, I was completely wrong, as I didn’t take into account the free cloud storage options. It may not be that easy to use a free cloud storage because you’ll end up using several products and having to take care of every account, but, if you don’t have the money for the moment to buy those services, then the free cloud storage is the right solution for you.
Spacious, Free Cloud Storage Solutions
We have covered the cloud storage topic in some previous articles published here. Albeit, the articles weren’t destined to cover the free cloud storage in particular, some of the most known and used services have made their way into our articles about safeguarding digital photos and recovering deleted files. There’s a chance that we’ll enlist the same website/service here, as well, but only because they are offering viable solutions for everybody. It’s pretty hard to guess which one is the best, so we will arrange services in an alphabetical order.
1. 4 Shared – Free 10 GB
4Shared started as a sharing website where you can upload a specific file and sent it to the persons you want. It seems that their business has earned them enough money so that they’re now offering 10 free GB for your cloud needs. When using the service, I noticed that the transfer speeds are incredibly quick. Check it out for yourself.
2. ADrive – Free 50 GB
Without no further due, ADrive offers the most spacious solution without no hassle – an incredible 50 free GB number that you can use to send tons of movies to your friends and family. The website interface may not be the greatest but does that really matters when you have 50 GB of free use?! I guess not.
3. Amazon Cloud Drive – Free 5 GB
Amazon launched the cloud drive in their effort to make loyal millions of users that they have worldwide. Rumors point out that Amazon could use the Cloud Drive to offer cloud storage options for their Kindle Fire and maybe for the Amazon phone. No matter what are the plans, the cloud drive offered by Amazon is a premium product and you will realize this after using the cloud.
4. Bin Fire – Free 2 GB
Yes, you will get only 2 free GB but do you know what you can do with them? You can manage projects, you can assign, perform tasks and draw charts; make whiteboards and pdf mark-ups, group chat and even content management! I like very much the group chat and the tasks functions. I’ll secretly admit that I like this service mainly due to these functions
5. Box.net – Free 5 GB
Box is one of the veterans in this business. When others didn’t even dream about starting a cloud storage business, Box was already offering its services to thousands of users worldwide. You will get 5 free GB if you want to test just how good this product. But, having behind such a great experience, it’s almost sure that you will end up being a Box client.
6. DropBox – Up to Free 16 GB!
Right, who haven’t heard about Dropbox? Their product was that good and viable that even Steve Jobs wanted to buy it at the time when it was still a little digital kid. And, you know what is incredible about it? Yes, you get 2 free GB for starters, but, you can additional space, 250 MB per referred friend, up to 10 GB! And, if you are a student, you can have a whopping 16 GB space, for free!
7. Fabasoft – Free 2 GB
Fabasoft is a company that didn’t start their business online as a cloud storage provider but as a FTP client. It seems that in time, they gained enough experience and started offering cloud storage solutions. You get 2 free GB to send docs and sync them with all kind of devices. It’s an Austrian business, so, let’s hope they do business in Austrian style!
8. Google Services – Free 9 GB
If you work online or you send files, collaborate with co-workers, it’s impossible that you didn’t use, at least once, Google’s Services. Many of us use Picasa, which offers 1 Free GB, Google Docs with another free gigabyte and Gmail. Probably, it isn’t that secure to view your Google Mail (specially when it’s hacked) as a cloud storage solution, but when you don’t have too many options and time, it can actually be the perfect answer for the moment.
9. iDrive – Free 5 GB
No, iDrive is not an Apple product and we should ask ourselves whether there was a battle or not over the domain name, since we know how fierce Apple can be when it comes to these things. This program has a special feature, Database Backup. While that may be possible with other services, as well, these cloud storage website has it as a dedicated feature, which should point out that it works better than with other websites. You have 5 free GB for that, too.
10. iCloud – Free 5 GB
Who hasn’t heard about Apple’s iCloud? The shiny metallic cloud has started to gain more and more devotees and its charisma even started converting users that are not necessarily Apple lovers. Why? Well, it’s clean, simple and, yes, it’s an Apple product. If you buy an iPhone or iPad, the next step is to get yourself an iCloud account. We already have music on cloud, not far when we have movies on cloud as well!
11. Jungle Disk – Free 5 GB
Now, this is a great name and powerful branding, isn’t it? The Jungle Disk will do exactly that – will protect you and your files in the harsh digital jungle. Free yourself from the local and traditional ways of storing your content and use Jungle Disk to secure your files and carry them everywhere.
12. Memopal – Free 3 GB
Back-up your files online using Memopal, the “memory pal”, as the title suggests. The service offers 3 free GB and works on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, BlackBerry and Android. It’s a good idea to offer a large variety of mobile devices, since the consumer technology is steadily going towards the mobile concept.
13. Mimedia – Free 7 GB
“Secure and Access Your Digital Life: Anywhere, Any Time, Any Device”, this is what Mimedia’s official motto says. And these guys are not “cheesy” at all, they are offering 7 free GB. I think that’s quite enough for the regular user. Mimedia already stores more than 100 million files on their servers, so, what are you waiting for?
14. Mozy – Free 2 GB
Mozy, what a beautiful name for a cloud storage service. It is too bad, though, that they currently don’t have support for mobile devices; only Windows and Mac OS are the supported systems. What can you do with these 2 free GB? 250,000 text emails, 340 MP3 files, 300 photos – this is what 2 GB means.
15. NephoScale – Free 5 GB
This service is a little geeky, if you ask me. A lot of text, written information, seems like a geekologia there… But that’s because these guys seem to be very professional. The name is quite unusual, let’s hope that the services are not for unusual people, but for the regular user out there. Once you get to use the cloud, you’ll become addicted, believe me!
16. Open Drive – Free 5 GB
Yes, I know, another service name in it. And, if you pay close attention to their logo, you’ll see that it’s slightly similar to Apple’s iCloud. Use the free 5 GB offered to play music and watch videos online; and also to hotlink your files on the websites and blogs that you like. Grab your account start climbing up the cloud!
17. Safe Copy – Free 3 GB
It seems that the guys at SafeCopy saw that they need to increase the “2 GB for free” mark and decided to offer 3 GB for free. Their solutions work for Windows, Mac and all the smartphones out there, iPhone, Android or something else. Their product actually seems quite good and you can see a very interesting comparison with the popular Dropbox.
18. Spider Oak – Free 2 GB
There’s not too much color, not too much presentation on the Spider Oak website, so go there and grab the single thing that you’re interested in – free cloud storage. Spider Oak is not offering too much, only 2 GB, but it should be enough for you to collaborate with your folks at work or send some pictures to your parents.
19. Sugar Sync – Free 5 GB
On the SugarSync website, a nice colibri will greet you and will show you the way into the cloud, where he probably safeguards your files. You’ll get 5 free GB, a small piece of the cloud, if you ask me, but enough to carry your important files all across the world. What surprised me was that Cnet gave them a 5 star ranking, at least, that’s what their website is saying.
20. Symform – Up to Free 200 GB!
You can actually get 200 free GB of cloud storage with this service! Sounds awesome, but, it’s actually your own space. How does it work? They are actually using the free, unused space that you have in your computer. How much space do you usually have? I usually have 30-40 free GB available, just in case. Symform use a 1.5x redundancy, which means that if you decide to give 10 GB, you’ll get back 15 GB of free use. That’s how you can get up to 200 free GB! I have managed to obtain 50 free GB for this service.
21. Sync Plicity – Free 2 GB
Another service that offers 2 GB of free space. The website has been neatly done and it tries to appeal to the business field. And if you’ll skim through their features, you’ll see that, indeed, they are trying to bring about features for the corporate sector. However, for personal use, they are offering a simple plan and easy steps to use. I am sure you’ll like the way they’ve set up their business. The single issue is that you have to keep so many passwords for all these accounts.
22. Team Drive – Free 2 GB
Drive this, drive that; It seems like these people have no creativity at all or are they trying just to touch us “where it hurts”? With other services, you’ll find some very creative videos, these guys are betting everything on the simplicity card. That’s why, probably, they will not offer more than 2 GB for free.
23. Zumo Drive – Free 2 GB
Not too fancy, not too complicated. The Zumo Drive product is very easy to use and has user-friendly interface and menus. It offers only 2 free GB, but, who doesn’t love digital space for free, right? The guys at Zumo Drive have gotten a nice review from Tech Crunch, as well. What you don’t know about this cloud storage service is that it has been acquired by Motorola Mobility last year, so, it belongs to Google now.
24. Windows Live Sky Drive – 25 Free GB!
The alphabetical order isn’t too friendly with Windows this time and has listed their product as the last one. However, it should be considered the second most spacious here, after ADrive as it offers 25 free GB for your personal needs. Believe it or not, but I used the Windows Live Sky Drive product to see the whole “The Sopranos” series. Crazy, right? There’s no need to question the professionalism of these guys, like it or not, this is Windows, after all.