There should probably be limits on the word “unlimited” itself. The proverb “All that glitters is not gold” is very relevant when we are talking about what’s touted as “unlimited” storage space.
At Cloudwards.net, we know the pain of planning storage needs and beginning to upload files, only to find out that your chosen provider doesn’t support files beyond a certain size. In this list, when we mention “unlimited,” we are referring to caps placed on the size of a file. None of the five providers which we have listed put any restrictions on the individual size of the file(s) that you can store.
Storing files online is a matter of convenience. If you need to split and join files just so that you can upload/download them, it’s not really convenient, now is it? In online storage, ideally, you should be able to store files the same way as you would store them on a local disk, however large the files in question might be.
Let’s accept it; we already face a lot of issues emailing large files as attachments. Surely, we can expect online storage providers to fulfill our needs of storing large files online without discriminating between which files get in and which don’t.
There are many benefits of using such a storage provider:
- You won’t need to waste time splitting and joining files just to upload and download them.
- You won’t need to install any software to edit large files; your data will get stored as it is
- You won’t have to pay a separate fee just for the sake of storing a large file
- There will be no need to worry about compressing files, trying to make them ‘fit’ within a certain limit
$ 4.08 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Sync.comSync.com Review|
$ 4.99 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit pCloudpCloud Review|
$ 7.49 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review|
$ 8.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit LivedriveLivedrive Review|
$ 13.25 per month 1024 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit DropboxDropbox Review|
A Word of Caution
We’ve talked about unlimited online backup services before. In this article, we will just talk about online storage, alone. So although services like Carbonite also allow you to store files of an unlimited size, we won’t be talking about them on this list.
Just like how with great power comes great responsibility, great file sizes require a lot of patience to upload. While technically there may not be any limitation on the file’s size, it’s likely that uploading something huge will require stable Internet connectivity.
Also, if you’re planning to use online storage for all your needs, it’s important to ensure you can access files from anywhere, and at any time, even if you just have a smartphone. So, with that said, let’s check out the best unlimited online storage providers.
With a great focus on security and privacy, Sync.com earns the top spot, in spite of a few hiccups with its speed. It is actually because of the service’s security features that sometimes you might feel it’s slow when previewing files.
Sync.com doesn’t call itself a Dropbox competitor without reason. It has a help page that clearly states users can store files of an unlimited size, subject to their overall quota. It also has a neat little feature known as “selective sync,” which saves time, bandwidth and therefore money too, when you don’t want to sync everything.
Earlier, Sync.com wouldn’t auto-resume uploads that have failed because of connectivity issues, but now that’s no longer the case. Do expect uploads to take some time, though, because Sync.com uses on-the-fly encryption. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, and you can access files using the same. Likewise, desktop apps are also available for Windows and Mac OS X.
There are good sharing features too. Not only can you share large files quickly, but also without requiring the receivers to have a Sync.com account. The admin panel sports multi-user access, and doesn’t even require the “Pro” plan to work.
Sync.com’s data centers (which have hardware and network redundancy) are located in Canada, that means the service is not subject to the U.S. Patriot Act. Better yet, it does offer compliance with many guidelines and legislations, including HIPAA.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
It is free to get started. You’ll get 5GB of storage to begin with, and this amount will never expire.
So if all your data fits on a single-layer DVD, you can just make an image of the disc and upload it, without paying a penny or worrying about having to split the image, or even about losing access to the file after some time.
The real ace up Sync.com’s sleeve is its top-notch security. 2048-bit RSA, 256-bit AES, SSL and TLS encryption get used, all complimented by the zero-knowledge protocol. Files are encrypted in-transit as well as at-rest. It is also possible to do a remote logout and remote wipe.
The presence of two-factor authentication ensures legitimate access to your files.
- 30-day file revisions
- 1hour support response time
- Easy-to-use interface
- Slow preview speeds
- Homepage hides app links
- Mobile apps lack file sharing
Here is yet another alternative to Dropbox, but with a slightly different set of features. If privacy isn’t too much of an issue for you, but the amount of storage space offered is, then pCloud is what you need to go for.
pCloud prides itself on providing “unlimited capabilities,” one of which is a lack of file-size limits. The service also features a wider variety of apps compared to Sync.com. Not only can you use pCloud with any browser, but also the desktop app is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and even Linux!
Likewise, mobile apps are also available for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile. So this service is suitable for folks who need a desktop app on Linux or use Windows Mobile, because Sync.com lacks support for both of these platforms.
An interesting fact to note is that although the link mentioned above strongly insists that no speed restrictions get placed on upload speeds in any way, for any user, or file, pCloud’s homepage indicates a “super-high upload speed” limit of 80 Mbps.
pCloud claims the data that you store gets copied to at least three different server locations. For client-side encryption, you’ll need to opt for pCloud Crypto, which is a paid add-on.
Other Reasons Why We Like pCloud
The service is very easy to navigate, and scores pretty high regarding usability and interface design. Most of the frequently used commands get placed within easy reach. Files get conveniently organized into libraries, depending on the type of data that they have.
There are even built-in audio and video players. pCloud also offers integration with services such as Facebook and Instagram, for storing your photos. This feature can be activated and toggled at any time.
As with Sync.com, the free plan maintains a history of deleted files for only the last 30 days (which goes up to 180 days, in the case of paid plans). It is even possible to backup an entire WordPress website, complete with all its media and database files. More plugins are reported to be on the way.
- 20GB of space (via referrals)
- Doesn’t use HDD space
- 1GB referral bonus
- Client-side encryption isn’t free
- Unclear file versioning
- Limited collaboration features
SugarSync doubles up as an online storage provider as well as an online backup provider. True to its name, the service provides good syncing options. But here is the catch: no plan is permanently free. Even after paying, not only is the amount of space available a little low, but it’s also comparatively expensive.
For those who want the best of both worlds, SugarSync does it all. You can use it for online backup and storage too. All of this, quite literally, comes at a price. The free trial is limited to just 30 days, regardless of whether you choose an individual plan or a business one.
This price also tends to be on the higher side. After paying $7.49 a month (the cheapest individual plan), all you get is 100GB of storage. So if you end up storing a DVD’s worth of data on a daily basis, you will run out of space before a month is over. This pricing scheme is rather expensive compared to the competition.
Changes made to synced files are immediately available across all your devices. However, the platforms covered are the same as those covered by Sync.com. So Linux and Windows 10 Mobile users are out of luck here.
However, SugarSync goes overboard in claiming that they might be the only company offering such a level of control for both PCs and Macs. This feature is not available in plans meant for individual users.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
Syncing files and folders is something that SugarSync does with ease. SugarSync also sports a Remote Wipe functionality, which comes in handy in cases of loss/theft of a device. It also smartly disables file previews when public links get shared via social media, email, etc.
It is natural to expect that if syncing is sweet, collaboration will naturally benefit, too. SugarSync offers multi-user access for the business plans, complete with an admin control panel.
In case more than ten users need to be added, they have custom pricing too. There is even a special “Shared Folder” plan available. You can use SugarSync with Outlook to send large files as links, instead of attachments. Downloads will be tracked and can be disabled at any time.
- Real-time automatic backup
- Good file collaboration
- 30-day file restoration
- No free user plan
- Slows down sometimes
- Poor support documentation
Livedrive is yet another hybrid solution combining online backup and online storage. Here, the free trial has a very short period of just 14-days, and requires your credit card information. The service is quite heavily focused on UK users, especially regarding the location of the data centers and hours of support availability. Pricing too is given in Euros only.
For home users, Livedrive cuts the clutter and offers just three plans: one providing just online storage (named Briefcase), another one providing just online backup (named Backup) and a third one providing both backup and storage (named Pro Suite).
If you just want a backup, you can get started at £5 ($6.17) a month. The Briefcase plan (online storage) starts off at £10 ($12.34) a month, which is even higher than SugarSync, and it doesn’t offer any backup options. However, it is pretty generous when it comes to the actual space provided for online storage, which is 2TB.
Pay £5 more per month (bringing the sum to £15–$18.52) for the Pro Suite plan, which offers 5TB of online storage space and unlimited space for backups. However, these backups are restricted regarding the number of devices that you can use.
Other Reasons Why We Like Livedrive
Livedrive’s homepage is deceptively simple. Compared to its peers in this list, there isn’t a lot of information given on the service’s web page. As a matter of fact, even the FAQ and knowledgebase sections require you to log in, and that account is not going to be free forever (14-day period).
Livedrive gets loaded to the brim with extra features. The Pro Suite plan offers FTP access, and there’s even a paid add-on for NAS backups, which costs £5 extra per month and is available with the Backup and Pro Suite plans only.
Not only can you store files online, but also edit them from any PC, Mac or portable device using the Briefcase’s built-in editor. This feature comes in handy for making quick fixes to images.
UK users will benefit from having their data stored in domestic data centers. Sales hotlines and technical support operations too are run from the UK only.
- Advanced features
- Generous space offered
- Sports sharing & syncing
- Rather short free trial
- Shady billing practices
- Terrible users interface
Last, but not the least (regarding popularity at least), Dropbox has been in the news plenty of times for both the right and wrong reasons. The popularity of this service makes it a magnet for third-party service integrations. However, for files larger than 20GB, you will need to use the desktop or mobile apps, not the browser app.
Before opting for Dropbox, check whether your platform of choice has a desktop or mobile app built for it. As far as mobile platforms are concerned, Dropbox has apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle Fire. The reason for this check is because it’s not possible to use Dropbox via a browser to upload files larger than 20GB.
So to overcome this limit, you must use one of the service’s apps. Dropbox has excellent collaboration features in the form of Dropbox Paper and Smart Sync. Even though a lot of people already have Dropbox accounts, it is still possible to share large files with others, without requiring them to have an account.
It comes as a great disappointment that the free plan only has 2GB of storage space, which can be upgraded to 16GB via referrals and liking the service on Facebook. There’s only one plan meant for individual use, named Plus, which costs $8.25 per month.
So, purely from a pricing perspective, Dropbox is cheaper than Livedrive, but costlier than SugarSync. It should be noted that neither live chat support nor phone support is available for the Plus plan. Individual users have no choice but to rely on priority email support.
The actual storage space offered is 1TB, combined with 30-days of version history and file recovery.
Other Reasons Why We Like Dropbox
File syncing and sharing is a breeze on Dropbox. This ease-of-use is one of the main reasons behind its popularity. Automatic syncing also works very well.
There is even a ‘Smart Sync’ feature available in team plans, which conserves hard disk space while syncing. There are plenty of such useful features in the Plus plan as well, such as MS Office 365 integration.
This integration lets you do real time collaboration on Office documents using Dropbox (and vice versa). There is also unlimited API access offered to platform partners, as well as API access to data transportation.
So it’s not surprising that Dropbox has such a vast developer eco-system.
- Easy file sharing
- Vast 3rd-party integration
- Office 365 integration
- E-mail only support (Plus plan)
- Limited customization features
- Only 2GB of free space
Each one of these five online storage providers can upload individual files of an unlimited size. However, they also have unique features to offer. Sync.com wins hands down regarding security and privacy. So those who deal with very sensitive data should consider it.
But of course, not everyone has all the time in the world to keep waiting for large files to upload or preview. So for those who favor speed over security, pCloud is your best bet. You are, of course, free to go for (the paid) client-side encryption service separately.
There is a lot of space offered under the free plan, and the UI is very easy and simple to use. If you want to combine storage and backup, then consider looking at offerings from SugarSync and Livedrive. But there are indeed many who would prefer the simplicity of having a one-size-fits-all solution. In particular, SugarSync is preferable for US users, and Livedrive for UK users.
Going a step further, Dropbox doesn’t even offer a free trial (for the Plus plan). On the other hand, the third-party integrations can make it very convenient to accommodate the service into your existing workflow.
We hope you enjoyed reading this list, let us know what your thoughts are on the subject, in the comments section below.