Since cloud technology came into existence, it has revolutionized the entire technology industry. The file-sharing and storage process has been exquisitely simplified and made accessible to everyone.
Tons of cloud storage providers are available that allow users to store, retrieve, and backup their data easily. If cloud storage is an efficient way to store data, one would expect that such a service would cost a fortune. However, this isn’t the case.
Some of the best cloud storage providers offer the best free cloud storage plans that are suitable for individuals and can also be used for small businesses. These free cloud storage platforms allow you to securely store and retrieve your files without spending a dime.
Although these cloud storage providers offer users a free plan, they limit the features available. They might reduce the storage or limit the security features available in the free plan. However, when offered by leading cloud storage providers, free plans feature secure cloud systems, file lockers, and sometimes limited file syncing tools.
You won’t get the same privileges as a premium user, but you’ll have access to virtually every feature you need. Finding the right free cloud storage platform can become a hassle. That’s where we come in. This article highlights the ten best free cloud storage platforms, features, and the pros and cons of each platform.
10 Best free cloud storage platforms
IDrive has consistently maintained the number one spot on the list of best free cloud storage platforms. IDrive is ideal for users who wish to back up files on multiple servers and devices. IDrive offers users a free forever plan and a premium option. The free plan supports a maximum of 5GB storage; this should be more than enough to test the waters of cloud storage.
The mobile app isn’t the most beautiful app, but it works as described. In contrast, the web app is very intuitive, making it easy to backup your files. IDrive wasn’t designed for collaboration; file sharing is a bit limited.
IDrive is perfect for photographers, video editors, and virtually anyone managing large volumes of data.
Degoo is not a popular name among the top cloud storage providers. This is no surprise; they just launched in 2019. Degoo is just a few years old, but they’ve been banging on the doors of the top cloud storage providers.
Degoo boasts of over 18 million active users to date. This massive customer base gathered in just over two years is tied to the massive features Degoo offers users even in its free tier. By just signing up for an account, Degoo provides you with a massive 100GB storage which is enormous compared to its contemporaries.
Degoo’s free plan also includes 256-bit AES end-to-end encryption and supports 2FA to keep your files secure. However, Degoo clearly states that your files will be deleted if you don’t use your free account for 90 days. Given the massive storage Degoo offers, it is an excellent alternative to the top players. If you’re going for capacity, you won’t get a better option than Degoo.
Internxt is one of the best free cloud storage providers. Internxt drive offers you the best possible security and privacy features you can get on any free cloud storage platform. Internxt’s free plan works for both individuals and teams.
Internxt provides users a wide range of features on its free plan like remote access to upload files anywhere, allows users to access a group of apps needed to run your devices, reliable customer support, and 2GB storage capacity, all for free.
However, Internxt offers a free and premium plan; the free tier should cater to all your cloud storage needs.
Nextcloud is an open-source file sharing and online collaboration solution. It is a DIY cloud solution that allows users to implement cloud storage on their personal servers by installing the software. Although the storage will run on your servers, you still have access to all the benefits offered by Nextcloud.
It is essential to point out that Nextcloud itself isn’t a cloud storage provider. Instead, they provide you with a means of running the server on your local network. This flexibility allows users to customize the storage to their taste by implementing whatever form of encryption they desire. Since you’re running the server locally, you are provided with an insane amount of speed.
However, not everyone has the technical know-how to install and configure a server. Not to worry, Nextcloud provides users with a pre-configured box with a 1TB disk that can be set up on a simple Raspberry Pi to keep your data synced all day long.
Dropbox is a household name in the cloud storage industry. They’re the leaders in file sharing all over the cloud. Dropbox is a premium service, but they also offer users a free plan with more than enough features for individuals and small businesses.
One of the significant benefits of Dropbox is that they allow you to share huge files with others whether they have Dropbox installed or not. It promotes seamless sharing of files between users and automatically syncs photos from the desktop app. Dropbox is supported on Windows, Linux, and Kindle.
One major disadvantage of Dropbox is that it backs up external or network drives to your account. All files must be within your local PC. Dropbox takes security pretty seriously. They encrypt all files in rest and transit and secure accounts with 2FA. Although, there is no end-to-end encryption.
6. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is a fantastic free cloud storage platform. It’s excellent for personal use and offers 5GB storage on the free plan. Microsoft OneDrive is a perfect blend of security, aesthetics, speed, and performance.
Microsoft OneDrive integrates seamlessly with the Office365 suite. Once you’ve set up your drive, Microsoft takes care of the rest; with no further efforts, all your files will be automatically backed up. It also provides collaborative features that aren’t peculiar to OneDrive users allowing them to share, customize and edit files online without downloading them.
As a bonus, users with current subscriptions on the MicrosoftOffice365 suite enjoy up to 1TB of extra storage.
Sync is a free cloud storage provider that allows users to share and store files from any device. Sync is perfect for storing sensitive and confidential information. The free tier of Sync has a maximum storage of 5GB, and it allows users to earn extra storage whenever they complete specific tasks.
Sync provides users outstanding features like the ability to send files to anyone whether they have a Sync account or not, provides users with unlimited data transfer for all plans, integrates seamlessly with Slack and Microsoft Office, and is supported on Windows, Linux and macOS.
Mega is another free cloud storage provider that offers users massive storage space. Mega is powered by Mega limited and is an online storage and file hosting service supported by Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Mega is an excellent option for users looking for large storage. The free plan provides users up to 20GB of cloud storage that is well and truly encrypted. Mega allows you to sync files and folders from different accounts and permits uploads of up to 1GB every six hours.
iCloud is the perfect free cloud storage platform for all Apple users who don’t plan to switch to Android anytime soon. Whether you’re using a Mac, or the latest iPhone 13, iCloud is the ideal cloud platform.
iCloud integrates seamlessly with the Apple OS, and it takes care of device and application backup. Data shared on iCloud can be accessed from any of your Apple devices. iCloud’s free plan comes with 5GB storage which can easily be upgraded by purchasing more storage.
Surprisingly, iCloud’s security isn’t very impressive. Data is encrypted using AES-128 bit encryption. However, 2FA is included and should always be activated on all connected devices.
pCloud is one of the most reliable free cloud storage providers. pCloud has several membership plans and a free tier. What caught our attention is that pCloud offers users lifetime access for a stipulated fee, meaning you will not have to pay again.
On the free tier, pCloud offers users 10GB maximum storage but can easily be upgraded to 20GB by referring people to the platform. It also offers users 50GB of downlink traffic bandwidth per month.
One disadvantage with pCloud is that security isn’t that impressive. Even on the standard package, you’d still have to pay separately for advanced encryption. Nonetheless, pCloud allows file versioning, link sharing, and file recovery. pCloud also integrates excellently with third-party applications.
Before selecting a cloud storage provider, ensure that you understand how the platform works. For instance, some platforms only allow you to share files from your local PC, while some have little or no security features.
The best way to choose a free cloud storage provider is to identify your needs. If you just want a casual place to store basic files, you can go for any provider. However, if you are storing confidential information, pick a cloud provider that offers advanced security features.