Editor's Choice

Simply the overall best performing services.
★★★ Best Cloud Storage ★★★

Sync.com Review

What's not to love? A great service

Without a doubt Cloudwards.net's favorite storage provider, Sync.com offers ease of use, speed and security at a reasonable price. It also has a nice free plan you can use to test it, and comes out of the box with zero-knowledge encryption included. Read all the details in our full Sync.com review.

By Branko Vlajin05 Feb'172019-01-23 05:09:06

Starts from$ 408per month for 500 GB
Visit Sync.comSync.com Review

Good Providers

Very little to complain about.

pCloud Review

A very secure and private provider.

pCloud is a secure and easy-to-use service that lets you store up to 10GB for free, offers lifetime plans for up to 2TB and generally will make storing files easier than most of the competition. Though it's not completely without its flaws, we won't hesitate to recommend it to most people.

By Branko Vlajin30 Nov'182019-07-10 06:21:28

Starts from$ 399per month for 500 GB
Visit pCloudpCloud Review

Tresorit Review

Bit pricey, but otherwise an excellent service.

Tresorit is a very secure, powerful and fast cloud storage service that easily ranks among the best in the industry. It's biggest downside, however, is its price, which is, quite simply, prohibitive. See what it gets you in our full Tresorit review.

By Branko Vlajin11 Aug'172019-02-25 03:08:21

Starts from$ 1042per month for 200 GB
Visit TresoritTresorit Review

MEGA Review

Less free than it seems, but good security.

MEGA is an interesting cloud storage service that has been through a lot of changes. In its current incarnation it's as secure as it always was, but has shrunk its allotment of free storage space; sharing has improved, but could be better, still. Read on for the full MEGA review.

By Branko Vlajin10 Feb'172019-02-14 07:54:05

Starts from$ 569per month for 200 GB
Visit MEGAMEGA Review

OneDrive Review

A good, fast service that drops a few balls.

OneDrive is Microsoft's entry into the big, bad world of cloud storage, and the behemoth from Redmond has gone in with guns blazing. Offering integration with Office as well as many other apps, plus a decent pricing plan, it seems very little stands in OneDrive's way. Or does it?

By Branko Vlajin14 Nov'152019-02-20 03:55:10

Starts from$ 199per month for 50 GB
Visit OneDriveOneDrive Review

Icedrive Review

A very strong new contender.

Icedrive is new to the storage scene, but is already showing great promise with its fast speeds and great ease of use. It has some rough edges, but you just can't beat 10GB of free space now, can you? Check out our full Icedrive review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin04 Jul'192019-08-13 04:42:45

Starts from$ 167per month for 150 GB
Visit Icedrive Icedrive Review

Google Drive Review

A great collaboration tool that is lacking in other areas.

Google Drive is probably one of the best cloud collaboration tools out there, but is lacking when it comes to syncing features, security and backup options. Read our full Google Drive review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin14 Sep'152019-02-12 03:52:45

Starts from$ 167per month for 100 GB
Visit Google DriveGoogle Drive Review

OK Services

Decent, but with small caveats not found in our top picks.

Dropbox Review

The grandaddy of cloud storage may be falling behind.

The service that made cloud storage pretty much, Dropbox still hasn't fallen victim to the usual trap for trailblazers, offering speed and ease of use. Its security leaves much to be desired, still, though, and it's a bit too cozy with Big Brother if you ask us. Read our Dropbox review for the detai

By Branko Vlajin14 Sep'152019-01-04 00:39:40

Starts from$ 825per month for 1000 GB
Visit DropboxDropbox Review

Koofr Review

A fast, secure service with a few quirks.

Koofr is a very secure storage service that seems predominantly aimed at keeping small files and sharing them. It covers this very well, and is fast, to boot, but third-party applications seem to have fallen by the wayside. Read our full Koofr review for all the details on this decent service.

By Branko Vlajin11 Dec'182018-12-14 06:11:00

Starts from$ 057per month for 10 GB
Visit KoofrKoofr Review

Woelkli Review

A very good, but very expensive provider.

Woelkli is an excellent cloud storage service that offers protection, ease of use and speed. However, this comes with the downside that plans have little flexibility and are quite pricey. Read our full Woelkli review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin02 Apr'192019-04-02 00:23:12

Starts from$ 755per month for 10 GB
Visit Woelkli Woelkli Review

SecureSafe Review

A secure, but otherwise not very useful service.

Aimed almost exclusively at people that want to store small files and passwords securely, SecureSafe seems to want to straddle password managers and secure storage simultaneously. The results, we have to say, are rather mixed, as you can read in our full SecureSafe review.

By Branko Vlajin08 Nov'182018-11-28 03:37:06

Starts from$ 150per month for 1 GB
Visit SecureSafe SecureSafe Review

Amazon Cloud Drive Review

An impressive work in progress

A massive improvement compared to earlier versions, Amazon Drive has a few too many problems to be considered a truly good cloud storage provider.

By Joseph Gildred14 Sep'152018-11-27 09:22:56

Starts from$ 109per month for 100 GB
Visit Amazon Cloud DriveAmazon Cloud Drive Review

OpenDrive Review

An interesting service that will find a limited audience.

The only unlimited cloud storage provider out there, OpenDrive's appeal will be limited to people willing to deal with its odd pricing scheme and outdated interface.

By Joseph Gildred01 Aug'162018-03-22 13:41:16

Starts from$ 417per month for 500 GB
Visit OpenDriveOpenDrive Review

MiMedia Review

A decent, vut slow service with a questionable UI.

MiMedia is an interesting services that focuses mainly on, well, media files. It offers plenty for users, including a fairly friendly pricing scheme, but its interface and support system could use some definite improvement.

By Branko Vlajin10 Dec'182018-12-10 03:30:09

Starts from$ 708per month for 500 GB
Visit MiMediaMiMedia Review

SugarSync Review

A decent service hampered by avoidable issues.

SugarSync has the underpinnings of a great cloud storage provider, but it simply has too many issues to be more than mediocre, if that. Its interface is hard to use, it lacks the kind of features we've come to expect and it's pretty expensive, too. Read our full SugarSync review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin03 Feb'172019-01-16 04:59:31

Starts from$ 625per month for 100 GB
Visit SugarSyncSugarSync Review

iCloud Review

It's alright, but Apple fans will love it

Apple's built-in cloud storage solution offers ease of use and great pricing, but advanced users may find themselves frustrated with its limited functionality.

By Brian Law24 Aug'172018-03-22 13:45:13

Starts from$ 099per month for 50 GB
Visit iCloudiCloud Review

ThunderDrive Review

Rushed to market, ThunderDrive has a ways to go.

ThunderDrive is clearly still a work in progress, and feels a bit premature in certain key areas. At the same time, there is a lot of promise there, too, so this is definitely one to watch in the coming months. Read our full ThunderDrive review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin22 Aug'192019-09-17 00:50:24

Starts from$ 500per month for 500 GB
Visit ThunderDrive ThunderDrive Review

Jumpshare Review

A solid service, though not a full suite of features

Jumpshare is one of the better sharing services we've reviewed, if only it would offer the whole enchilada...

By Joseph Gildred01 Feb'182018-03-22 13:48:38

Starts from$ 825per month for 1000 GB
Visit JumpshareJumpshare Review

Publist Review

A new kind of service, teething problems included.

Publist is an interesting service as it lets you manage other clouds, while also offering space of its own. Whether it works is another question, though, and we come down with a hard "kinda." Read our full Publist review for all the details on this new service.

By Branko Vlajin05 Sep'192019-09-05 00:24:27

Starts from$ 167per month for 10 GB
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HiDrive Review

A decent, yet lackluster service.

Though it offers a few nifty features, on the whole HiDrive just isn't compelling enough to prove up to the competition.

By Joseph Gildred07 Feb'182018-03-22 13:55:30

Starts from$ 259per month for 100 GB
Visit HiDriveHiDrive Review

4Sync Review

A simple service focused on storing media.

4Synch is a pretty interesting cloud storage service that seems mainly focused on storing and sharing media files. It does a good job of this, as we describe in this 4Sync review, but its lack of flexibility makes it unattractive for many users.

By Branko Vlajin08 Nov'182018-11-28 03:51:34

Starts from$ 825per month for 10000 GB
Visit 4Sync 4Sync Review

Yandex Disk Review

Security issues mar this otherwise decent service.

Russia-based Yandex Disk would be a great service thanks to a well-implemented user experience, but lacks the security to make it through to the top of our ranking. Also, falling under Moscow's privacy laws may be a big con for many users. Read our full Yandex Disk review for the details.

By Branko Vlajin15 Feb'182018-08-17 07:37:13

Starts from$ 170per month for 100 GB
Visit Yandex DiskYandex Disk Review

MediaFire Review

Cheap, but lacks features

An extremely bare-bones storage solution, MediaFire has little to recommend it except for its low price. That said, if simple storage is all you've ever wanted, then this Mediafire review might be worth a read.

By Branko Vlajin14 Sep'152018-11-27 09:24:47

Starts from$ 375per month for 1000 GB
Visit MediaFireMediaFire Review

Not recommended

Try to stay away from these unless you really have to use one of them.

ADrive Review

ADrive's only plus is its low pricing

A cheap and versatile cloud storage provider, ADrive has too many issues for us to recommend it to anyone.

By Brian Law01 Sep'152018-04-13 09:59:36

Starts from$ 167per month for 100 GB
Visit ADriveADrive Review

Bitcasa Review

Good idea turned bad, and now defunct.

Bitcasa started as an infinite cloud storage service, back paddled, cut service plans down, increased prices. Lots of customer complaints. Overall, not recommended.

By Mauricio Prinzlau14 Sep'152017-04-27 13:40:17

Starts from$ 825per month for 1000 GB
Visit BitcasaBitcasa Review

hubiC Review

This service is now mercifully defunct.

A once-promising cloud storage provider that has now closed its digital doors, hubiC was a textbook example of a good parent company badly overextending its resources. Read our hubiC review for the dirty details as well as a link to our best hubiC alternatives article.

By Joseph Gildred26 Apr'172018-05-31 23:29:48

Starts from$ 093per month for 100 GB
Visit hubiChubiC Review

FlipDrive Review

An almost comically flawed service. Almost.

The FlipDrive experience is marred by issues big and small. Though it has a few redeeming features, by and large we recommend users stay away.

By Joseph Gildred02 Feb'182018-03-22 14:23:22

Starts from$ 417per month for 25 GB
Visit FlipDriveFlipDrive Review

Justcloud Review

Do yourself a favor and avoid JustCloud

JustCloud offers a disappointing experience that could possible turn disastrous. Cloudwards.net recommends against using this service, find out why.

By Brian Law04 Mar'162018-03-22 14:25:41

Starts from$ 761per month for 75 GB
Visit JustcloudJustcloud Review

Cloud storage services are so popular that some have hundreds of millions of users. They can store your content in the cloud and sync it across your devices but you can use them as more than that. They let you preview and share files, collaborate with your teammates, play music and videos and more.

Not only will uploading your files make it easier to collaborate with your team, but it will free space on your hard drive, too. Plus, in the event that your hard drive malfunctions or gets stolen, your files will still be in the cloud. Documents, designs, reports or even bigger files, such as 3D models and movies, are all good candidates for a trip to the cloud.

Many of the services can function as a network drive which means that any content you place in it will be stored only in the cloud and available for preview on your computer. You won’t be able to access it when offline, but it won’t take up space on your hard drive, either.

If your focus is on collaboration, read our best cloud storage for collaboration article. If you’re looking for backup, check out our list of the best cloud backup services. To be clear on the difference between storage and backup, read this article.

If you’re not sure how much space you need and you lean towards the “a lot” side read our guide for large files article.

How We Rate

Cloud storage services can be many things to many people, but for the purposes of this comparison, we took into account the criteria they all share and rated them accordingly. We’re going to outline them in this section.

File Sharing and Syncing

File sharing and syncing features are the foundation of a cloud storage service. You’ll more than likely going to use them first because syncing will get your files to the cloud while sharing files will help you, well, share them with others. Most of the services use the common model of sync developed by Dropbox in 2007. Read more about it in our Dropbox review.

The common model of sync consists of a system tray icon and a sync folder. The system tray icon is your go-to way of accessing your cloud storage. In most cases it opens up your sync folder, has a link which opens the cloud storage web client and the settings menu. The sync folder shows all the content that you’ve synced to your computer.

Many services let you share files using the desktop client, but all let you share it using the web client. You can share content to social media networks, via email, by copying and pasting a link or inviting users to your folders.

Folder invites can have different permissions attached to them while links have their own content control options such as passwords, expiry dates, download limits and more.

Features

In this category, we check if a service integrates with third-party apps which include collaboration staples such as Microsoft Office Online, Google Office Suite, Trello, Asana and more. Many of the popular services have their own apps such as tasks managers, workflow and note-taking apps. Music and video players are also common.

Dropbox has Paper, Box has Box Notes and OneDrive has OneNote. You can see our comparison of them in our best note-taking apps article. We’ve compared the popular Google Docs vs Dropbox Paper, too.

If you love photos and videos read our guide for photos and videos article (no, Google Photos is not the only service you can use) to see which service will help you stream your multimedia from the cloud. We didn’t forget the music lovers who can consult our guide for music piece.

Mobile Apps

iOS and Android are the most popular mobile operating systems and most services offer an app for these platform. However, having and app doesn’t mean it’s good. So we test all mobile apps to see if they can match their desktop counterparts. 

Security

Placing your content in the cloud without proper security is a bad idea. Criminals might steal your credentials, someone might read your secret information and the government might be browsing through your photos. That said, having good security is a must so we consider how strong the security of each service is.

Cloud services use many methods to secure your data against potential threats. Two-factor authentication will stop hackers who’ve stolen your password from accessing your account. Still, you should make sure you have a strong password, to begin with.

The TLS protocol prevents man-in-the-middle attacks from succeeding, while encryption secures your data in transit and at rest. Private encryption prevents anyone other than you from reading your files. The drawback is that services which provide it won’t be able to reset your password if you forget it. To avoid losing access to your content use a password manager.

Ransomware can take your cloud data hostage and demand payment for its release, but our ransomware protection article can help you avoid it.

We considered all these features and how services implement them in our most secure cloud storage article.

Privacy

Your security might be sufficient, but that doesn’t mean it guarantees your privacy. It’s no secret that governments spy on their citizens, thanks to laws such as the USA PATRIOT Act and CLOUD Act. The PRISM surveillance program in the U.S. is one example of that. With those in play, it’s paramount that you ensure the privacy of your information on the web.

That said, services differ in their approach to privacy. Google Drive and Dropbox have been connected to the PRISM project while Google scans your content and email to give you targeted advertising. You can find out more about Google’s approach in our Google Drive review.

How strong your privacy is, also depends on which country the service is based. Some countries, such as Canada and Switzerland, take more care of users’ privacy rights than others.

We always like to see a service which adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation, EU’s iron-clad approach to cloud privacy. Many do, but those that stand out are Sync.com, Tresorit and MEGA.

Pricing

One of the most important factors when choosing a cloud storage service is the price, there’s no point if you have a great service that costs an arm and a leg. It’s best if it has premium plans with good value.

Good value is determined by how much you get for the price. The more plans a service has, the better your options will be. It’s great if the service offers a free plan or trial, too, so you can test it before committing. If you’re only concerned with good value, read our best deals in cloud storage.

Most of the services offer a trial or a free plan. Free plans range from Dropbox’s meager 2GB to Google Drive’s generous 15GB that you can also use for Google Photos. You can get more information about free deals in our best free cloud storage piece.

Ease of Use

Like the previous category, ease of use is important because no matter how many great features a service has, it won’t do it much good if users find it difficult to use.

Because of that, straightforward user experience is better than one that’s complex, outdated and requires you to get help from an IT genius. Cloud storage services should work on most operating systems, as well as have attractive and intuitive interfaces.

Most desktop clients work on Windows and macOS, but we give bonus points to those that work on Linux. You can see which are those on our best online storage for Linux piece. If you work on Windows, consult our guide for Windows

MEGA and OneDrive stand out in this category so read our MEGA review and OneDrive review to learn more how they deal with privacy.

Speed

Fast speeds depend on how close you are to a server and your internet service provider. We looked for services that let you tweak transfer settings to improve your connection and use a block-level transfer algorithm. It speeds up the process of updating files that have already been uploaded by only sending the parts that have changed.

To grade services, we perform several upload and download tests using a 1GB folder and measure how much time they take. We take into account our distance to a server, too.

Support

Nobody wants to encounter a problem using a cloud storage service, but once they do, good technical support is priceless. Services usually have email support, while some offer chat or even phone support.

Before contacting the support team, though, users can consult the FAQ, knowledgebase and in many cases, user forums. Often, these will have tutorial videos, too. We take into account what types of support the services offer and how long they take to respond to our questions.

The Best Cloud Storage Providers

Some cloud storage services are better at one thing than another, but for the purposes of this ranking, we considered their overall performance across the criteria we outlined in the previous section. This section will give you a quick recap of the top five services on our list starting with the champion, Sync.com.

Sync.com

Sync.com is a service known for its strong security and privacy. It helps that its based in Canada which has strong privacy laws. It’s one of the best zero-knowledge cloud storage services. The drawback of that is that it doesn’t integrate with third-party apps.

It’s also at the top of our list for sharing thanks to its sharing and content control options, which protect your shared files and folders. They include password protection, private end-to-end encryption, expiry dates, download limits and more. To share content you can create links or team folders.

If you’re thinking Sync.com must be expensive as hell because it provides all this, you’d be wrong. It has some of the most competitive prices on the market. Its cheapest plan, Pro Personal 500GB, is only $49 per year. The best deal, though, is its 2TB plan at $96 a year. Read our Sync.com review for more pricing details.

pCloud

Right on the heels of Sync.com, comes pCloud. It’s not number one because it requires you to pay extra for private encryption, but it still has many redeeming qualities.

First, it’s our top choice for playing music, videos and previewing photos. Plus, it’s the best cloud storage service for Kodi. pCloud is WebDAV compatible, too. pCloud has another trick up its sleeve and that’s cloud to cloud backup. You can use it to backup content from Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive to pCloud.

Sharing and content control features work well, too. You can share folders and specific files via links. pCloud lets you share folders by inviting others and granting “can edit” or “can view” permissions. Alternatively, you can generate an upload link which others can use to upload directly to your folder or a download link that enables them to download your files.

pCloud has great value, as well. It even undercuts Sync.com by a slight margin. Its Premium 500GB plan is only $47.88 per year while its best-valued plan, Premium 2TB, is $95.88 per year. To find out more about pCloud’s offers read our pCloud review.

MEGA

MEGA advertises as the privacy company and that’s justified considering it extends the GDPR’s rules to all of its users, not just those based in the EU. Its zero-knowledge encryption helps protect your privacy, too.

It has one of the best user experiences on the market. The desktop app works on Windows, macOS and Linux while the web client is intuitive and attractive. You can easily upload your files by dragging and dropping them anywhere in the client window. To edit content you can right-click or use the “three dots.” You can move files simply by dragging them to a new location.

MEGA’s web app lets you share your files by generating a link that you can protect with a key. That makes them zero-knowledge, so only people you give the key to can read them. You can attach the key with your link, which means anyone with the link can access it, or send the key separately.

You can share a folder by creating a link or inviting others via their email address. If you do that, you can set one of several permissions. To invite others to upload to your folder, including non-MEGA users, you can turn it into a “MEGAdrop” folder.

Tresorit

Tresorit is one of the most secure cloud storage services and one that has great privacy, too. Unlike Sync.com, that comes at a steep price, though.

It has zero-knowledge encryption that protects files at rest, the TLS protocol which secures them in transit, two-factor authentication which helps protect your credentials and more. Its privacy policy is clear and easy to understand and navigate. It also adheres to the GDPR.

Its sharing capabilities don’t lack, either. You can share content with specific individuals via email or by generating a link and copying and pasting it. You can share a folder by generating a link or inviting users via email. If you use an email to share a folder, the recipients will need to register for a Tresorit account. Files can only be shared with a link and don’t have that requirement.

You can protect links using a password, expiry date or download limit. Folders have three levels of permissions. They are “manager,” which can share, edit and view; “editor,” which can read and modify; and “view,” which can only read. You can find more about Tresorit’s sharing capabilities in our Tresorit review.

OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s entry in the cloud storage market. It has a sketchy past regarding privacy, including being connected to the PRISM project. OneDrive has updated its security since, but it can’t match the most secure cloud storage services.

Its user experience is among the best, though. The web client is attractive and intuitive to use. You can easily upload files by dragging and dropping. You can perform actions using right-click or by selecting content and then choosing the action from the menu.

Microsoft OneDrive integrates with Office Online which you can use to collaborate with others no matter the plan you subscribe to. If you want to take notes and share them you can use OneNote. To communicate with others, there’s Skype which is integrated with the web client. Productivity apps include Forms for workflow management and Sway for content publishing.

You can find out more about Microsoft OneDrive’s features and it’s pricing plans in our OneDrive review.

Starts from $ 408 per month for 500 GB
Free plan available

Cloud Storage Frequently Asked Questions

Below we’ve put some of the most often asked questions by our readers, plus the answers.

What Is the Cloud?

It’s not the fluffy, white things in the sky. Instead, the term refers to software and services that run on the internet instead of locally on your computer. That software is stored in data centers which hold many servers. You can access it using a web browser or a dedicated desktop or mobile app.

Services such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3 and Wasabi are examples of the server infrastructure that acts as a service and helps you create your own cloud. You can find more options in our best cloud IaaS article.

How Much Cloud Storage Do I Need?

The shorts answer is: it depends. It depends on what you’re going to be using it for. If you’re going to collaborate on Office documents, presentations and share notes you don’t need much. 100GB should be more than enough.

You should focus on services that have great collaboration capabilities. Dropbox for Business is a great choice and you can find out more about it in our Dropbox for Business review. If it’s not your cup of tea Google Drive or Box are good alternatives. Read more about Box’s collaboration capabilities in our Box review.

If you plan to store photos you need more storage. pCloud is at the top of our providers for photos and it has a cheap 2TB plan, too. It can hold around 600,000 photos averaging 3MB in size. If you’re a professional photographer you might prefer one of the services from our best cloud storage for photographers article.

Video requires even more storage, but, once again, pCloud comes to the rescue. Its web player works without a hitch and the 2TB plan will be able to accommodate your HD collection. For other options consult our guide for storing videos in the cloud.

If you don’t know how much storage you need, and chances are high you’re going to be needing more and more you should try one of the services which offer unlimited storage. You can find more about them on our best unlimited cloud storage providers list. Make sure to check our feature lists so you’re aware of any file size restrictions or limitations. 

How Does Cloud Storage Work?

Like with the internet in general, there’s a client and a server. In this case, a client is a computer user subscribing to a cloud storage service, while the server is a machine in a data center.

A client syncs (sends) copies of files over the Internet to the data server, which then saves the information. When the client wishes to retrieve the information, he or she accesses the data server through a web, desktop or mobile client. The server then either sends the files back to the client or allows the client to access and manipulate the files on the server itself.

Cloud storage systems generally ­rely on hundreds of data servers (especially for unlimited storage providers). Computers can be unavailable at times because of crashes or maintenance so data is usually stored on multiple machines. This is called redundancy. Without redundancy, a cloud storage system couldn’t ensure clients that they could access their information at any given time.

What Is the Definition of Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is a cloud computing model in which data is stored and maintained on remote servers accessed from the internet, or “cloud.”

Which Cloud Storage Is the Most Secure?

According to our most secure cloud storage article, Sync.com is the most secure cloud storage provider. Egnyte Connect, one of the best EFSS solutions, is hot on its heels, though. It’s expensive for solo consumers, but it’s a great choice for businesses that want strong security.

Final Thoughts

No matter what you need to use cloud storage services for, our ranking will help you choose the best one. We made it considering a number of factors including security, privacy, speed and more. Sync.com is our top choice because of its approach to security, privacy and its great value deals.

pCloud isn’t far behind but it’s not committed to privacy as much as Sync.com and it requires you to pay extra for private encryption. MEGA is great for privacy but it can’t quite match pCloud’s value nor its features. It has great ease of use, though. Tresorit is a security and privacy fortress but its expensive because of that.

Our last pick is OneDrive which can’t quite match the security or privacy of others, but it does have strong collaboration features along with straightforward ease of use.

This article is an overview of the best providers so when you think you’ve found a service that works for you, we recommend that you consult its review to find out more it. Thank you for reading.

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