Finding a cloud storage provider is easy, but finding one with a lot of free storage space and all the features you require is much more difficult. Cloudwards.net has put together a guide on finding the best cloud storage providers with plenty of free space for that very reason, so you won’t have to traverse the cloud storage jungle alone.
New cloud storage providers often offer generous free storage plans to get more users, but they soon get discontinued (even Microsoft did it). Not to mention that with new providers there is always a risk of the entire company shutting down.
Our best free cloud storage pick
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If you, too, are faced with the same dilemma, then today’s your lucky day. We have researched and found the five top cloud storage providers with large free service plans and great features; each of our top five has been offering these plans for quite some time, to boot.
After we pitted them against each other, pCloud came out as the clear winner thanks to its 10GB of free storage space (expandable to 20GB), clean interface, fast syncing and easy file restoration.
What Makes an Online Storage Service the Best Free Service Provider
The good news is that cloud storage providers are giving up to 100GB of storage space away. The sad news is that it comes with some restrictions. You can’t, after all, have your cake and eat it, too.
Start by analyzing how much storage space you will need and then decide how much privacy you require. If the files you want to store on the cloud are critical and you are only looking for file syncing, then you might want to opt for one of our best zero-knowledge providers like Sync.com with 5GB free storage that can you can extend through referrals.
MEGA can be an excellent option if privacy is crucial to you, but you still need more space. It comes with 50GB of free storage space, secured through private encryption. Its up- and download speed is a bit slow, however.
On the other hand, if you are looking for more space, seamless web and mobile interface and automated backups, but end-to-end encryption isn’t something you need, then pCloud can be an excellent choice, with its 20GB of free storage.
If you are solely looking for large free storage with not many extra features, then go for a provider like Degoo with 100GB free storage. There is no web interface, file syncing or scheduling, but, hey, you can’t ask for too much when you are already getting 100GB for free.
Top Five Providers with Large Free Service Plans
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our rundown of providers.
With 10GB of storage space. expandable to over 20GB, pCloud provides its users with efficient syncing, backup and file sharing, which is why it’s on the top of our list. While there may be providers on our list offering more free storage space than pCloud, they don’t provide quite as many extra functions.
Users get 10GB storage right after signing up to pCloud. You can get the extra 10GB by following a series of extra steps, like sending referral links to your friends (both you and your friends get an additional 1GB) or by linking your social media accounts with pCloud.
In fact, pCloud has a dedicated page for getting more space, with all the ways through which you can get extra free storage space.
Other Reasons We Like pCloud
pCloud’s interface is clean and easy to navigate. Its web app has all the necessary buttons located on the left and the desktop apps are just as good. It also has a “rewind” option which lets users find previous versions of files from up to 180 days ago. The visual scale with the number of days on it makes finding the right version easy.
pCloud is also the only storage provider on the list which has an option to generate both download and upload links, allowing someone other than the account owner to upload files without having to create a separate pCloud account.
Also, when you upload files to pCloud, they get automatically placed in different folders depending on the file type. So, image files go into “my pictures,” music files go into “my music” and so on. Check out our complete pCloud review for more details.
10GB free storage space
Facebook and Instagram backup
Easy file versioning
Upload and download links
Private encryption paid plans only
Visibility control could be improved
No view-only access for others
No collaboration possible
Sync.com provides 5GB free storage space for all users, which can be further extended by either following bonus steps or inviting friends to sign up.
5GB may seem like a rather small amount, but this is offset by Sync.com not setting a limit to the extra free storage you can gain through referrals. You can invite as many friends as you would like and for every friend who signs up, you both get an additional 1GB of storage.
Apart from a referral signup link, Sync.com also provides a referral code which your friends can use even after they have already signed up. If you have any other friends that are Sync.com users, you can just ask them to enter your referral code (or vice versa) to get 1GB of additional space. It might seem like a small feature, but when you are looking for free storage space, every little bit counts.
Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
Sync.com is our favorite secure alternative to Dropbox thanks to its fantastic zero-knowledge security. That means your data is encrypted locally and then transferred to the cloud and even Sync.com employees have no knowledge about what data you are storing.
Sync.com also provides seamless file syncing across multiple devices and secure file sharing. The files shared via links can also be password protected for further security.
If that was not enough, Sync.com also allows users to disable password reset and enable two-factor authentication. Check out tour complete Sync.com review to know what makes it a great file storage service.
- 5GB storage space for all users
- 1GB extra storage per referral
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Password-protected file sharing
- Less free storage than others
- No backup options
MEGA provides 50GB free storage space for all users, though there are some conditions that made us decide to place MEGA third on this list.
For starters, there is a bandwidth limitation on the amount of data that a user can download or upload in a given time, which invariably leads to slower speeds that can be rather annoying. Luckily, there are browsers extensions for both Chrome and Firefox which claim to increase overall performance.
With 50GB of storage space already available for free, there are understandably no referral programs available.
Overall, MEGA can be a good option for you if you are looking for cloud storage to backup all your data for an unforeseen event and don’t need any file syncing on a daily basis. If you are looking for a more efficient, all-in-one cloud storage provider, then MEGA might not be for you.
Other Reasons We Like MEGA
MEGA provides great private encryption. None of your passwords will get saved on MEGA’s servers, providing extra protection. Forgetting a password, however, can create a huge headache.
Luckily, MEGA gets around this issue by providing users with a master key which is in the form of a text file. The master key is available for download at the time of signing up. Check out our complete MEGA review to know more about it.
- 50GB free storage space
- Zero knowledge
- Private encryption
- No file size restrictions
- Bandwidth limitations
- Slow uploads and downloads
- No file versioning
- No way to schedule uploads
100GB free storage space and yet Degoo only makes it to the fourth place on our list? Well, that is because Degoo is a cloud backup provider. It does not provide file syncing and a number of other crucial features expected from a cloud storage provider.
We had to include Degoo on our list just because 100GB free space is too good to not mention. As you might have already guessed, it provides the highest storage space among all the other providers on our list.
You can further expand this 100GB storage space by referring Degoo to friends. For every referral, you get 3GB and you can get a maximum of 500GB storage space this way. So all in all, there is 100GB + up to 500GB of free storage space available with Degoo.
Much like MEGA, however, it lacks in essential features like file syncing, sharing and backup scheduling. That is why Degoo ends up being an average cloud backup provider and nothing more.
Other Reasons We Like Degoo
Since Degoo has its headquarters in Sweden, it’s more privacy friendly and also outside the reach of the NSA, which automatically makes it much more secure.
You can also connect multiple devices with Degoo, including your laptops and mobile phones. Scheduled backups aren’t possible; instead, Degoo automatically backups up data every 24 hours. It does have an incremental backup option which means only those files are uploaded that were modified since the last backup.
Encryption only happens when the data is in transit and on server-side. It goes without saying that end-to-end encryption would have made Degoo an excellent choice and probably got it a higher position on our list. Check out the full Degoo review for more details.
- Free 100GB storage
- 3GB per referral
- Servers located in Sweden
- No file syncing
- No backup scheduling
- No web interface
hubiC is a rather new player in the cloud storage field, which is probably the reason why you might not have heard of it. Since it’s new, it’s trying to get ahead of the competition by providing users with 25GB free storage space.
If that isn’t enough, hubiC also offers a generous referral plan where you can earn up to 25GB of storage space by recommending hubiC to a maximum of five people. And every friend who uses your referral code also gets free 5GB storage space.
You can either invite friends through Facebook, Twitter or email. There is also a code that you can directly share with your friends which they would have to enter at the time of signing up.
However, hubiC is last for a reason: it’s security leaves much to be desired. Files are only encrypted when they are in transit and there is no local-side or server-side encryption, making hubiC the least secure cloud storage provider on this list.
The free 25GB storage space might sound good, but MEGA provides 50GB storage space with private encryption and Degoo provides 100GB storage space with transit and server-side encryption.
Other Reasons We Like hubiC
hubiC has both backup and file syncing functionalities. Uploads and downloads are possible through the desktop app or the web app.
File sharing is also pretty straightforward. Users can generate a link, send it via email or directly copy and paste it. Shared links can also be password-protected for extra safety.
hubiC has a mobile app as well, but it’s rather buggy and there been no update to it since 2014. Luckily, hubiC’s web interface is pretty clean which more than makes up for the mobile app. Check out our complete hubiC review to know more about this service..
- 25GB free storage space
- Each referral gets 5GB extra
- Automated backups
- File syncing and sharing
- Files only encrypted in transit
- Mobile app is bad
- File versioning only for backups
Honorable Mention: IDrive
A cloud backup provider, IDrive also offers seamless file syncing, sharing and private encryption. With only 10GB of free storage space and no referral program, however, IDrive doesn’t quite make the cut.
Unlike other cloud providers with accumulative storage space, IDrive segments its backup and file syncing space. So, every user gets 5GB backup space and 5GB syncing space.
If you don’t mind making do with just 10GB of free storage, then IDrive can be a great option for you. Cloudwards.net has an extensive IDrive review which explains why it’s one of our preferred cloud backup providers.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re looking for free storage service plans. If for some reason you can’t quite find what you’re looking for here, you may want to check out our list of cloud storage reviews.
Each cloud storage provider on our list offers something that others don’t. Finding the right provider for you will strictly depend on your storage needs and other requirements. We recommend checking how much storage you need and then comparing the list of providers.
pCloud and Sync.com are two Cloudwards.net stalwarts and we will always recommend either of these two excellent services to anyone. However, MEGA, Degoo and hubiC do have their moments as well, making the decision maybe less clear-cut.
Which free cloud storage provider do you use? Please let us know in the comments below and thank you for reading.