Cloud Storage Reviews

If you’re not already paying for cloud storage, you’re probably not going to be keen to splash out on a subscription without trying it. Thankfully, almost all of the best cloud storage providers offer a free plan that will allow you to store your data online without paying a cent for the privilege.

We’re here to help you sort the bad from the good with our list of some of the best free cloud storage plans on the market today. We’ve got 12 of the top providers here, from pCloud to IDrive and everything in between, each with varying storage limits and features.

What Is the Best Free Cloud Storage?

Let’s answer this one quickly. The best free cloud storage in the market today is pCloud, which comes with up to 10GB of storage and plenty of premium features, all for absolutely free. To get the full 10GB, you’ll need to perform a few tasks, but it’s mostly effortless.

Sync.com comes in a close second, however, and the other providers aren’t far behind, so let’s run through them all, one by one.

  1. pCloud – up to 10GB free cloud storage
  2. Sync.com
  3. Google Drive
  4. MEGA
  5. Dropbox
  6. Amazon Drive
  7. Apple iCloud
  8. Microsoft OneDrive
  9. MediaFire
  10. Yandex Disk
  11. Degoo
  12. IDrive

1. pCloud – up to 10GB free cloud storage

Let’s start with our favorite provider. As our earlier pCloud review shows, we’ve been big fans of this cloud storage provider for a while because it’s an all-rounder, offering lots of storage with great security and premium playback options for your media content.

pcloud-desktop-app

Some free cloud storage plans offer a lot of space, but on a temporary basis. Meanwhile, pCloud’s 10GB offer is yours for good — no limits, no problems. You’ll need to do a few additional tasks to get the full 10GB, such as refer other users to pCloud. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a fairly basic 2GB.

Best Storage for Music

Aside from storage, pCloud’s built-in HD media player for videos makes it a good place to store your favorite TV shows and home videos. It’s also one of the best free cloud storage options for music, thanks to an impressively designed media player that lets you build your own playlists from your saved music files.

The only features you’ll be missing on pCloud’s free plan are password protection for files, expiry dates for publicly shared files and zero-knowledge encryption for your important documents. 

If this is a problem, you can upgrade to pCloud Premium with either 500GB or 2TB of storage, starting at $4.99 per month. There’s also a pCloud Lifetime plan.

Pros:

  • 10GB of storage for free
  • Good built-in multimedia playback
  • Unlock extra storage with referrals

Cons:

  • File encryption requires a paid subscription
  • No productivity app support
Starts from $ 399 per month for 500 GB
Save 98 %

2. Sync.com – 5GB free encrypted cloud storage

If pCloud doesn’t appeal to you, then we recommend that you take Sync.com for a spin as our second-best alternative. You can check out our Sync.com review first for a more detailed look at the service.

Sync.com only offers 5GB of storage on its free plan. That’s enough to give it a go, but once you start using it, you may find it hard to resist the temptation of upgrading to 500GB or 2TB of storage, available starting at $60 per year. There’s also no file size limits, making it one of the best cloud storage options for large files.

If you’d prefer “free” to mean free, and you don’t mind a bit of hustle, you could take advantage of Sync.com’s generous referral system. Get real people to sign up to use Sync.com (they have to be real, Sync.com does check), and you’ll gain an extra 1GB per sign up. Although 20GB is the cap, the company has been known to remove it if you email in.

Best for Android

Sync.com is one of the best free cloud storage options for Android, thanks to its generous storage and a powerful, easy-to-use mobile app. It’s one of the best zero-knowledge cloud storage providers out there, with AES 256-bit file encryption and two-factor authentication included as standard (it’s also our best encrypted cloud storage provider). 

Strong privacy laws from Canada (where Sync.com is based) help to make it one of the most secure cloud storage providers on our list, too. Premium features are also aplenty, with a month of file history, password protection for your files, remote file wiping and easily accessible account logs available for free. 

If you’re wondering how Sync.com and pCloud fare against each other, our Sync.com vs. pCloud comparison should help, but they’re both at the top of our best cloud storage for sharing.

Pros:

  • Strong privacy laws
  • No file size limits
  • Good security features

Cons:

  • Okay (but not great) free storage amount
Starts from $ 500 per month for 200 GB
Free plan available

3. Google Drive – 15GB free with document collaboration

It would be madness if an article about the best free online storage did not include Google Drive. As our Google Drive review shows, it’s one of the best free cloud storage solutions, thanks to its seamless integration with Google Docs, as well as a generous 15GB storage limit for free users. See our guide on how to use Google Drive to backup your data.

You don’t have to do anything if you have a Google account, as the Google Drive storage is included as standard. This storage applies to Drive, Gmail and other Google products, such as Google Photos, which is our best online backup for photos. This is not a problem, but it’s something to consider if you already have a large photo collection uploaded to Google’s servers.

It also acts as storage for any documents you create using Google Docs, Google’s powerful (and free) collaboration products. All of the Google Docs products and features are included for free as standard. 

There are some privacy concerns (after all, it is Google), which may be off-putting. Google has been known to scan your files without permission, and if they don’t like what they find, they’ll terminate your account. It’s something to keep in mind if privacy is your main focus, especially as Google Drive doesn’t include file encryption.

Google Drive Pricing

Google Drive’s free 15GB of storage is more generous than our top recommendations, pCloud and Sync.com. You can’t expand this with freebies or referrals, but you can upload certain massive files, up to 5TB in size.

If you need extra Google Drive storage, it’ll cost you. The price will vary depending on your country, but U.S. users can expect to pay $19.99 per year ($1.99 per month) for 100GB of storage, $29.99 per year for 200GB or $99.99 per year for 2TB. You can share this extra storage with family members, too, which is one of the reasons it made our list of the best cloud storage for families.

Pros:

  • Integration with Google Docs
  • Large free storage (15GB)
  • Support for backups

Cons:

  • Unclear privacy regulations
  • No private encryption
Starts from $ 167 per month for 100 GB
Free plan available Save 16 %

4. MEGA – 50GB free but with strings attached

With a name like MEGA, you really should be expecting something impressive. That isn’t quite the case, but MEGA does come with some interesting features and amazing storage that puts it in our top five (it didn’t quite win our pCloud vs MEGA comparison, though).

We talked about MEGA’s ultimate focus on privacy in our earlier MEGA review — something that originates from MEGA’s founder, Kim Dotcom. His unfortunate notoriety helped to push MEGA into the public sphere, and although he’s long since left the company, his ethos remains in the company tagline: “The Privacy Company.” 

Great Online Storage

Like Sync.com, MEGA also provides zero-knowledge encryption for your files. However, its storage is be the most eye-catching thing about MEGA. New users get an incredibly generous 50GB of free storage, although this is temporary and does come with strings attached. 

The default storage amount on the free MEGA plan is 15GB. An extra 35GB is added for new users, but this expires after 30 days. You can also unlock an extra 10GB, 15GB and 20GB by installing the desktop and mobile apps and by referring users. These expire after 180 days (for installing the apps) and 365 days (for referring a new user.)

Once these allowances expire, you’ll return to the default 15GB storage. The only way to increase your storage is to continue to refer users (gaining 10GB for each signup) or to pay, with paid plans offering between 200GB and a massive 8TB in storage. 

There are also some innovative, stand-out features included with MEGA, even on its free plan, from end-to-end encryption for secure chats to integrated file versioning and recovery.

Pros:

  • Strong emphasis on privacy
  • Easy to use
  • Large 15GB free storage, up to 50GB

Cons:

  • Confusing unlock system for storage
  • Speeds aren’t the best
Starts from $ 539 per month for 400 GB
Free plan available

5. Dropbox – 2GB free with good syncing capabilities

Dropbox is the daddy of all cloud storage providers, and its syncing capabilities make it the best cloud storage with sync. It’s the provider that made the whole idea of cloud storage seem possible back when it launched in 2007, and although it isn’t the best cloud drive available these days, it’s still worthy enough to hit our top five.

It’s still a quick, easy-to-use online storage option for users, but even though Dropbox has a free account, you only get 2GB of free storage, which is nowhere near MEGA’s allowance (read our Dropbox vs MEGA comparison), and it isn’t going to be up for storing your collection of photos or videos. Its features are pretty basic, too, but it does allow you to share your files publicly. You can find out more about these features in our Dropbox review.

There’s not much else  you can do on the free plan,but if you’re looking for a simple file store, Dropbox does just that. It works, and that’s great, but don’t expect anything premium or extra (read our guide to Dropbox’s file size limit).

Dropbox Pricing

If you’re up for the challenge, you can expand your free Dropbox storage up to 16GB by referring new users. Each new user nets you an extra 500GB, but you’ll need to refer a lot of users to hit the cap. 

If you want extra, the Dropbox Plus plan costs $9.99 per month for up to 2TB of storage, and the Professional plan costs $16.58 per month for up to 3TB of storage.

Dropbox isn’t great for privacy or security, though. It’s suffered data breaches in the past and, unlike pCloud, doesn’t support zero-knowledge encryption (read our pCloud vs Dropbox piece). You might not want to use Dropbox for your important files, but with a simple user interface, it’s the sort of solution you could set up for your grandparents and expect them to use it with few problems.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Free storage of up to 16GB

Cons:

  • Only 2GB of free storage upon entry
  • Previous data breaches
  • Not the best for privacy
Starts from $ 999 per month for 2000 GB
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6. Amazon Drive – 5GB free for Prime subscribers

With the vast amount of computing resources at its disposal, Amazon has a distinct advantage over some of the other smaller players. It can offer storage cheaply, and that’s exactly what it does with Amazon Drive.

However, don’t expect the name to bring outstanding quality. Amazon may be a megabucks company, but Amazon Drive is a middle-of-the-road affair. It’s fairly basic and light on features, as our earlier Amazon Drive review shows. 

There’s no encryption for your files, either, so expect Amazon to hold all the cards when it comes to your privacy. If that’s a problem, you can boost your privacy by using Amazon Drive with an encryption service like Boxcryptor.

Good Storage for Photos

It isn’t the best online storage for photos, but it definitely made our shortlist. Not only do you have unlimited photo storage, but you can create a shared “family vault” to combine and store the family albums in the cloud. 

The good thing about Amazon Drive is that it’s free for anyone subscribed to Amazon Prime, the all-inclusive subscription service that Amazon offers for free delivery, TV and more. Amazon Prime subscribers get 5GB of storage for their files, as well as unlimited photo storage.

If 5GB isn’t enough storage, or if you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, you can increase your allowance to 100GB for $19.99 per year or 1TB for $59.99 per year. Unlimited photo storage is only available for Amazon Prime subscribers, however, so you’ll need to factor in the $119 per year subscription cost, too.

Pros:

  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Comes free with Amazon Prime
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • No productivity app integration
  • Okay (but not great) free storage amount
Starts from $ 500 per month for 1000 GB
Free plan available

7. Apple iCloud – 5GB free online storage for Apple users

The real joy of using cloud storage from manufacturers like Apple or Google is the integration. That’s why Apple iCloud is one of the most popular free cloud storage solutions available for users.

Apple users don’t need to do much to start using iCloud. It’s just there, available as a storage drive in your Mac Finder app, or available as a backup solution for your iOS devices. If you’re outside the Apple ecosystem, it’s trickier to use, as our iCloud Drive review explains.

Linked to your Apple ID, the free iCloud storage plan offers 5GB of storage. This might get used up pretty quickly, especially if you have your iPhone or iPad set to automatically backup to iCloud.

Apple iCloud Plans

As free online storage goes, iCloud isn’t going to win any awards for storage, but it’s a no-brainer for Apple users to start using it. You can upgrade the paltry 5GB storage on the free plan to 50GB, 200GB or 2TB instead. Users on the 200GB or 2TB plans can share the storage with other members of their family, too.

For U.S. users, 50GB of extra storage costs $0.99 per month, 200GB costs $2.99 per month and 2TB costs $9.99 per month.

Your storage comes with extra security built in, too. Cloud does come with two-factor authentication, and your data is encrypted using AES 128-bit encryption. It’s not zero-knowledge, but Apple isn’t known to hand over data in a hurry, so you’re better off with iCloud than other providers.

Pros:

  • Impressive Apple integration
  • Cheap pricing for upgrades

Cons:

  • Difficult to use on non-Apple devices
  • No zero-knowledge encryption
Starts from $ 099 per month for 50 GB
Free plan available

8. Microsoft OneDrive – 5GB free cloud storage but with a 20GB file size limit

We’ve covered Google Drive, and the cloud storage solution offered by Microsoft is pretty similar, integrating cloud storage with Microsoft’s ever-popular Office and Outlook services. We’ve compared Google Drive vs. OneDrive in a separate review, but take a look at our OneDrive review for a clearer picture of the service on its own.

Free users get 5GB of storage included with their plan, with a 20GB file-size limit. You can use this storage with Microsoft’s mobile and desktop apps, or through its direct integration with Office apps. For instance, you can save Word documents straight to your OneDrive storage.

This level of integration is why OneDrive’s business plan made it onto our best cloud storage for collaboration shortlist.

Security used to be a problem for OneDrive, but Microsoft now offers AES 256-bit encryption for files. Microsoft’s history here is a little patchy, especially with its suspected involvement in the PRISM program.

OneDrive Pricing

If you’re happy with Microsoft’s privacy terms, but you’re worried about the limited 5GB storage, then you could upgrade. If you opt for an Office 365 subscription, you’ll gain 1TB of storage for $69.99 per year.

This includes full, unlimited access to Office products for Windows and Mac, as well as extra support for ransomware protection and password file protection. If this doesn’t interest you, you can take out a simple OneDrive subscription for $1.99 per month.

This gives you 100GB of extra storage but doesn’t include Office access, password protection or ransomware protection.

Pros:

  • Integrates with Office 365
  • Good collaboration tools

Cons:

  • No zero-knowledge encryption
  • Limited features on free plan
Starts from $ 199 per month for 100 GB
Free plan available

9. MediaFire – 10GB free file storage

Just because something is free doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s great, or even good. We described MediaFire as “bare-bones” in our earlier MediaFire review, and that’s still the case with this service, which sits near the bottom of our list.

Let’s start with the good, because we’re talking about file storage that costs you nothing, and that’s exactly what MediaFire offers. Free users receive 10GB of space for free, although you can upgrade to 1TB for $5 per month, or an incredibly large 100TB for $50 per month for business users. You can also increase the free 10GB up to 49GB with signup referrals. 

Only the paid customers get all the goodies, unfortunately. On the free plan, MediaFire users can’t share files publicly, password-protect their files, access a security log or use MediaFire’s mobile apps for iOS or Android. You can drag and drop your files into the web browser, but there isn’t a desktop app available.

MediaFire Privacy Problems

The features aren’t anything special, even on the paid plans. The real problem, though, is MediaFire’s fairly woeful privacy and security procedures.

It isn’t a zero-knowledge provider (as far as we can tell) and offers no information on how it protects your files. We can’t tell you if MediaFire encrypts your files or does anything special when it comes to security.

MediaFire’s data retention policy suggests that it’ll hold on to some of your data. It includes a rather vague statement that says it’ll keep “records required for legal compliance” for 10 years. We can’t recommend MediaFire for privacy or for ease of use, but if you need a basic storage provider, this could be it.

Pros:

  • Good free storage

Cons:

  • Limited information on security &  privacy
  • No desktop apps
  • Limited features
Starts from $ 375 per month for 1000 GB
Free plan available Save 25 %

10. Yandex Disk – 10GB free storage

Good, bad, ugly. That’s how we’d describe Yandex Disk in three words because there’s plenty to like about this Russian-based service, but there’s also plenty of problems that will make many users want to avoid it, as our Yandex Disk review explains.

Let’s start with the good. Yandex Disk is pleasant enough to use, with mobile apps, a desktop app for Mac and Windows, and a simple website for you to drag and drop your files. File versioning is available, with past versions of your files kept for 90 days. Yandex Disk also offers integration with Microsoft Office Online to edit your files online.

Users get 10GB of storage for free, but you can increase this up to 20GB with referrals. There’s also free unlimited photo storage for users with the available mobile apps.

There are paid plans, too. Yandex Disk Pro offers 100GB for $2 per month or 1TB of storage for $10 per month.

Privacy and Security Issues

Before you rush to sign up with Yandex Disk, let’s cover the bad. The company offers very little information on how it handles your files. We can’t tell you if it encrypts your data, so you’d need to do this yourself before uploading the files.

More problematic, however, is the fact that Yandex Disk is from Russa, a country that isn’t known to have the best privacy laws. For users in Europe, Yandex Disk’s Finnish subsidiary is responsible for your data, meaning you should be protected by the more stringent General Data Protection Regulation.

With unclear policies around file retention and encryption, Yandex Disk isn’t one of our top recommendations.

Pros:

  • Integrates with Office
  • Good user interface

Cons:

  • Very weak privacy laws
  • Weak security
Starts from $ 170 per month for 100 GB
Save 15 %

11. Degoo – 100GB free backup space

We’ve lowered our standards for acceptable free storage solutions, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving Degoo a free pass. Its 100GB of free storage is the only good thing worth mentioning about this provider.

Degoo calls itself a cloud backup service. That means it doesn’t come with the day-to-day tools to improve productivity that Sync.com or Google Drive offer. File syncing isn’t included, and you can’t really share your files with others.

The desktop experience isn’t something we recommended in our earlier Degoo review, but the mobile apps aren’t bad, with support for Android and iOS.

Degoo Pricing

As a “backup” service, 100GB is generous but not nearly enough. You can gain more with referrals, though, and it does come with mobile app support. 

Paid plans start at $3 per month for 500GB of space or $9.99 per month for 10TB. That’s more expensive than other online backup services, such as CrashPlan, which offers unlimited storage for $10 per month (see our CrashPlan review). It also comes with zero response from customer support, so if you run into trouble, you’re on your own.

Pros:

  • Massive 100GB of free storage
  • Mobile support

Cons:

  • Expensive paid plans
  • No productivity app support
Starts from $ 093 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

12. IDrive – 5GB free backup storage

IDrive is another backup provider but, unlike Degoo, it’s also a bit of a hybrid option. As we mentioned in our IDrive review, it’s a pretty old storage company, dating back to 1995. With 5GB of free storage that scales up to 5TB on the paid plans, it’s also our top-rated backup provider in our best cloud backup services shortlist.

IDrive offers mobile apps for Android and iOS, plus a desktop app for Macs and PCs running Windows or Linux. It also has a management tool that lets you control your backups online. The desktop clients support file syncing, which allows you to quickly upload files to the cloud.

A Hybrid Solution

This is why we’re calling ICloud a hybrid service, as offering desktop syncing means you can use IDrive as a Dropbox-style solution for your files. It comes with file versioning, as well as file sharing through the online interface.

Although IDrive offers 5GB for free, personal users can upgrade to 2TB of storage for $52.12 per year (around $4 per month) or 5TB for $74.62 per year (around $6 per month). IDrive’s security is pretty strong on both the free and paid plans, with AES 256-bit encryption offered as standard.

Your private decryption key isn’t held by IDrive. If you lose it, you lose the ability to decrypt your data. IDrive holds your data in the U.S., which doesn’t have the best cloud privacy laws, but the company does strongly emphasize its commitment to privacy by stating that only you — not IDrive — can access your files.

Pros:

  • Hybrid cloud storage & backup
  • Good mobile and desktop apps

Cons:

  • Okay (but not great) free storage
  • Data hosted under U.S. privacy laws
Starts from $ 579 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

How We Picked Our Providers

When we come up with shortlists like this, the main criteria we’re looking for include storage, speed, ease of use, overall security and the features on offer. Obviously, these are free providers, so our standards aren’t as high as they might be for our paid personal cloud storage picks.

That said, we do expect a basic level of quality and service, even from free plans. That’s why we’re fans of pCloud and Sync.com, as both providers offer a premium-level product for free. On the flip side, it’s also why providers, such as Yandex Disk and Degoo, don’t get our full recommendation.

Best Free Unlimited Cloud Storage

If you ever see a provider offering free, unlimited cloud storage — and the company offering it isn’t named Google, Amazon, Apple or Microsoft — stop and look elsewhere. There are (as far as we’re aware) no providers currently offering free and unlimited cloud storage to consumers and, to be blunt, we’d be extremely dubious of any company that offered it.

The reasons why are fairly obvious. Cloud storage is costly for providers, and the likelihood of this kind of product being abused is high. Storage companies generally exist to make money, so it’s unlikely that any provider would undercut potential paid plans and waste profits with such a generous product.

Sorry, the only unlimited cloud storage plans in the market will cost you. Not all providers offer it, but some do, with Dropbox being one of the best (take a look at our best DIY cloud storage tools, too).

Final Thoughts

You’ve reached the end, so that means you’ve probably made a decision on which free cloud storage provider you want to try. The good thing about the price — got to love those zeros — is that, even if you don’t like pCloud (our top recommendation), you can quickly switch to one of the other products instead, such as Sync.com.

However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore some of the other plans on our list. Google Drive and iCloud are always going to get a mention, thanks to the ease in which they integrate with iPhones and Android devices. You also can’t go wrong with the vast storage that MEGA provides or the drag-and-drop simplicity that Dropbox offers.

Whichever plan you choose, we hope it brings you the storage and quality you’re looking for. If you’ve used any of the products we’ve listed, or if you disagree with any of our comments, let us know about your experiences in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.

Starts from $ 399 per month for 500 GB
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99 thoughts on “Best Free Cloud Storage for 2020: Sync.com, pCloud, MEGA & More”

    1. weiyun storage is only available for Chinese or those with a Mainland Chinese number. So yea they wouldn’t be listed here.

      1. Nope, you can actually click on a tiny link under the mobile number field and change your country 😉

        1. I will not trust a Chinese company to have my files. They have no privacy culture.
          They put cameras on the street and shame people on billboards for acting not to their standards for god sake.

          1. Cloudwards.net - Chief Editor

            And soon they’ll have social credits as well, scary stuff…

          2. C’mon, I think chinese guvernment really steal as much data as Facebook, Google, WhatsApp (which I’m currently struggling with due to privacy concerns).

          3. “I will not trust a Chinese company to have my files.”
            But you trust the IS governmenthat uses your data to manufacture consent for their wars and aggressions.

          4. Right, but we can trust the US government with our privacy. It’s not like for over the past 50+ years they have been wiretapping phones, using facial rec. systems, ISP’s, Cell Service Providers, Social Networking, and many other large corporate data mines to spy on their own citizens without any warrants…….

            Give me a break. The US is by FAR the most corrupt when it comes to this. Not only do they do it on massive levels, they also blatantly lie to the public about it. So how could Chinese Gov be any worse than US? I think you may just be racist. lol

          5. @Matt (2019/06/13 at 04:23)
            Most of the “wake” US population probably do know that, but daren’t say anything for fear of being branded “unpatriotic”! Soudn familiar 😉

          6. I have to agree. And it has nothing to do with race or racism, it’s about a tyrannical, anti-privacy government.

          7. That’s a no-brainer!! Why would anyone trust any Chinese company with your personal data? You can bet they would use it for any evil scheme they wanted to hatch.

      2. Actually, you can sign up with phone number from anywhere. Example: for a number in the US do +1##########.
        If you need to you can sign up from their phone app which was super painless.

        And it’s not 11TB, it’s 1TB.

        If you need 4TB you can get a 360microcloud account at yunpan.360.cn.
        then all you do is log in from your phone and the desktop app and boom, 4tb.
        The only big hoop is that you need to go to your account info on 360.com and add your email so you can log in from the PC client.

        Just thought it’d be worth the mention.

      3. Not true, you can sign from any country, you just have to click in the link just below the edit box to select another country.

      4. I searched Google for them & there is an English version, site & app:-) 11tb for free gonna test it right away

    2. Now, as of 1/16/2017 weiyun cut its free storage to 10GB per user, and you have to translate from Mandarin to sign up

    3. I’m not going to trust any of my files to the Red Chinese. Ever. They are not our friends.

        1. I am reading this thread and just shaking my head. Why is there even a debate about rather a person trust the Chinese or US with their data? This article is not about choosing a cloud service because of “political reasons or distrust”. It’s irreverent. The point of the article is to choose the best cloud source for your business and personal use. Some level of trust must be in place for us to even want to pay someone to store our data. And reality check, we know our data is shared worldwide so it matters not where we store it or with whom. Someone in Belize has our data right now! Smh. Either way it is best to have onsite backup of data i.e. external hard drives (1 TB or more and/or setup a backup server onsite which any end user or organization can do or learn to do) just in case the servers of the cloud provider goes down and/or gets hacked.

        2. I’m betting that you never set your put on China. At least in US, you can free to criticize government and access youtube/etc and express your opinion. The very fact that you are comparing US to China as equal censorship just tells me you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

          1. LMAO.
            Seriously? You are responding to this? You don’t even know if the person you’re responding to is a concerned citizen, or a Chinese operative trying to sow doubt and dissent!
            Good Lord, do you really thing it matters? If you do, feel free to choose a domestic solution, not a Chinese one!
            I mean, really…

  1. How can we be sure that our files will never be lost, e.g., when the company goes out of business or decides to end its online storage service? I need to learn more about the history and future direction of each company before I entrust my precious files to them.

    1. This is the thing which happened to me . I was signed in a small cloud storage which after decided to end their service after 5 years. They sent me a email regarding that and i was sent a link for downloading all files or another was quite interesting. They were giving me WD disk with all my cloud files loaded in that at a discounted price. The service is big , so something solution may be figured out

    2. You can always use more than one as a backup, and have n copies of each file stored on n storage sites.

  2. “ADrive is a company that believes in free storage.”

    not anymore 🙁 they’re cutting off their free plan and turning adrive into premium only…

  3. Thanks for the heads up about Adrive. Never received an email saying it was closing the free account (nor did 2 friends I checked with). Signed on today and see I need to move 45GB of data – grrrr!

    1. Just wanted to post my experience, I’ve been using Degoo for a while now. Yes sure it may not be as good as the big names out there but I found something interesting,,, i don’t know if it was because I’m an old user for the app or not, but the more videos I watch on the app the more space I get, I have 2 TB as of now and it still increases when I watch videos.. Sometimes it gets stuck for 3 days to upload something but in the end it does, there are two options to upload :either by the app or the web browser.
      The web browser is better at uploading but the problem lies when it’s something above 512 mb. Other than that it’s fairly nice for a free cloud storage.

  4. What happens to my data if company fails and is extinct?
    I’d go for MEGA top of the list but who knows how secure files are in it.

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for the list, before I always stick with the 3 well known cloud service company and now I have others to use. I will create account on each service on your list.

    1. MEGA is well known, and it also offers even better encryption than GDrive or any of the others, and it doesn’t send your data to the NSA whenever they ask for it (I think they will delete stuff to comply with DMCA takedown requests, you know, so they don’t get sued and shut down again)

  6. Hi everyone,
    I’m using one-drive, google-drive, drop box, and also I started to use Mega.
    I don’t know which one is secure and I will not lose my files, and which of these cloud drives are safe and trust-able.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sayed, that is a smart question, with lot’s of opinions, I’m sure. It also happens to be something I’ve been learning a lot about myself lately :). Personally, I like to use two options: I use Google Drive for work because I like the tools, while I use a Sync for personal files, because of it’s zero knowledge architecture, which is best for security. But I do like Mega, too, which is also zero knowledge. We have many articles on good cloud storage solutions that will help you learn more about this. Such as: https://www.cloudwards.net/which-cloud-storage-has-the-best-security/

    2. I am using these also, g-drive and mega both with 15gb are okay. you can use multiple accounts of g-drive and you can collect all data in one g-drive.

  7. Mega sounds attractive, but isn’t this started by Kim Dotcom of Megaupload fame? He is currently being hounded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

  8. I use a simple copies rule:
    “If you have a one copy (of your files), it’s like you don’t have any copy. If you have two copies, consider you have one. If you have three copies, consider you have two.”

    So I try to have at least two or three copies of my important files in different places – external HDD or cloud. I don’t trust in any cloud service 100%. You never know when the day X will come and they’ll quit their service.

  9. Unfortunatelly we are more and more forced into paid subscriptions. Some months ago, there was a myriad of free storage services like Copy, Surdoc, MEOCloud, LG Storage, and so on… Then, one by one, these services started to stop its activities (MEOCloud didn’t stop, but limited the use for Portuguese users). I Still use Mega, Dropbox, pCloud, Yandex, Degoo (to backup a folder of my PC), Hubic, BOX, MediaFire, Amazon Cloud Drive and Asus Webstorage for free. But as I can’t neither complain nor get surprised if the above mentioned companies shut down their free storage services, I had to sign up for a 100 GB Google Drive account for USD 1.99/mo and I got a 1-year-free 1 TB account at MS Onedrive because I bought an Office 360 subscription. P.S.: I felt particularly upset about LG Cloud Drive because it was the one cloud software available in my smart tv. But, life goes on. Now, I must focus on my Google Drive and OneDrive. I still use the other existing services, but only in rare cases.

  10. Awesome suggestion. I personally use Dropbox and Google drive to store my website backup and other personal files. But my storage size is almost exhausted and currently looking for best alternatives.

  11. It is said that Degoo doesn’t save other user’s data to your hard disk any more(p2p), they use the mainstream servers now but reading the terms and conditions you agree to just that. So do they or don’t they?

  12. Hi,everyone!
    A few thoughts on the storage business.
    1.I completely agree with Dave’s comment (Unfortunately,
    we are more and more forced into paid subscriptions. )
    2.DEGOO- it might be lovely but it’s a problem to switch
    (log in-log out) to another account—their help says you
    have to rename an account to log in to a different on) —
    cumbersome,time consuming and boring.What happens
    if I have to use up to 20 accounts per day?
    3.YUNPAN 360 CN (WANGPAN) — Although they claim 36
    TB the upload is extremely slow on my PC with 100
    mbps !!! Yakkk!!!
    4.WEIYUN (TENCENT) – Uploading is limited and a propos,
    do you you all have a good command at Chinese? Only
    the simplified version of it? LUCKY YOU !!!

    In a nutshell — back to square one?

  13. I’ve tried many, but Mega, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive are the best…pCloud is greatoo…II use it to stream music

  14. I personally use the iCloud for my photos and documents and have a another backup on Mega. $1/month for 50GB is pretty decnt and Mega is free which is even better. But I need more storage and don’t wanna pay $10/ month for a TB storage so how bout open source services?
    Has anyone used any of them? I would love to get some feedback on some of these services such OwnCloud, NextCloud, SeaFile, Tonido, Pydio and many more!

    1. I can highly recommend nextcloud if you have a bit of the knowledge and/or patience required to get it up and running!

  15. Thanks for this list of cloud service providers. From what i can observe, it seems like you take your time to research the information. Good job and Kundos to you. I hope in the future when you revisit the list you may also want to include a service provider called zoolz.com. They are running a sign-up promotion of 100GB. I just signed up with them so my take of their service is good thus far.

  16. I’m just curious, why did no one mention Box, which seems to have a favourable choice of applications and is strong on the sharing?
    Could some one express his/her experience with Box?

    1. Cloudwards.net - Chief Editor

      Hi Robert,

      We’re actually working on an in-depth Box review right now, which will be published within a week or two. However, as free storage space goes, Box would still not end up in our top five, here.

      Thanks,
      Fergus (chief editor)

  17. Ha! All of them are pretty poor for my needs (at least 1 TB) and I have a very poor Internet connection, so it’s profitable to just buy external HDDs which are now very cheap. Or even a NAS.

    1. Same here dude. my 1TB External HD already been full, and none of these free cloud sites could provide 100GB free storage.

    2. An external HDD is *NOT* the same as a cloud backup for several reasons, if you are concerned with your data still being there tomorrow (or some time after that even).

      Cloud services are not located in your living room or basement (or wherever your PC is located). If your house burns down, floods, or gets blown up by a tornado, all of your data is gone… and that’s no matter HOW many copies of it you keep on various devices all over your… eh, neighborhood?

      Also, at least some cloud services probably backup data, or at least tend to their servers to ensure data integrity. A house burglar does not have such concerns.

  18. 5 gb, 10 gb 15 gb or even 50gb is just not enough for me. Why not use my own cloud server ? Every cloud storage sneaks on your files (encryption is more or less secure), google drive ? LOL !!! I am using a WD My Cloud with 3TB WD Red NAS drive (cost 150€) and 2 WD Green drives of 3TB each in RAID1 (250€) as backup of the NAS. For sharing files with friends just upload to Mega or Mediafire and send them the link by email, whatsapp, sms. As for file security, I don’t give a damn about the online encryption, as I always share my files encrypted by default (.7z, aes 256, strong pass). This is my case, everybody is free to spend their money as they wish, I just don’t feel that my files are safe in any cloud, other than MY OWN !

  19. Wow you guys really need to study up on the meaning of the word “free”

    1. Cloudwards.net

      Every cloud storage service listed in this article has a free plan and we discuss those free plans. Not sure what you’re missing.

  20. hey if I use google drive as I do now. When I delete the files on my computer, will they all so disappear from Google Drive?
    Just curious, I don’t really want any files on my computer if I can leave them in the cloud somewhere.
    ty for any answers.

    1. Cloudwards.net

      Normally, yes, they’ll disappear in Google Drive if you delete them on your computer. However, cloud storage wouldn’t be nearly as useful if it didn’t help you save hard drive space … You can do that by using Google Drive’s selective sync feature, which lets you turn file sync off for folders. Do that, and any files in that folder will be removed from our computer but still in the cloud. You’ll find instructions in your guide on using Google Drive: https://www.cloudwards.net/how-does-google-drive-work/

    2. its called sync (connect in 2 way.. from gadget to server also server to gadget).. so everything changes in any gadgets will affect the server too.. best way to manage this by log it out.. or uninstall the sync client

  21. Just a quick observation to those commenting on using a Chinese cloud rather than a US one. To be honest with you I’d trust the Chinese with my data a whole lot more that the USA at the moment

  22. hubic is a product of a huge French webhosting company, OVH. So however valid your other concerns may be (have not checked), it’s not likely to disappear overnight.

  23. To all the people saying “why not build your own cloud server?”, sure that would be great if we all had the cash and know-how to do it, but this is an article on free cloud storage sites that require little to no technical knowledge or financial investment to store and access files remotely, so your not really being that helpful.

  24. You’re hating on hUBIC for not encrypting the files stored on the drive. But I promise not a single cloud storage provider encrypts your files. How the hell do you think they can display convenient previews for your files, like with pictures? Google even does that for RAW camera files, so no way the browser is doing it.

    If you want encryption on your cloud storage, you gotta use a archiver tool like 7-Zip, and compress your stuff with a password before uploading it.

    Even IF they use encryption. Who has the key? There’s no way of knowing wether the provider has the key or not. So even if they perform encryption on your files, they can decrypt whenever the hell they please.

    1. Cloudwards.net

      Most cloud storage services encrypt files at rest on their servers. You can verify that with the cloud service, itself. They might be lying, of course, but that would just put them in serious legal trouble (especially those that claim to be HIPAA compliant). Hubic, Amazon Drive and OneDrive Personal are among those that do not encrypt files at rest. Yes, most services that do encrypt also keep the encryption keys, which is what lets them allow file previews, streaming, etc. Metadata is often left in plain text, too, for indexing. However, the actual files on the server are usually scrambled, which helps to prevent unauthorized access. It isn’t perfect security, but its better than not encrypting them. There are a handful of cloud storage services that don’t keep encryption keys, such as Sync.com (which is why Sync.com doesn’t provide file previews, btw). That’s why we tend to recommend Sync.com and other so-called zero-knowledge services above Dropbox, Google Drive and other big name services. We do suggest in other cases using Boxcryptor or another encryption service to protect files, whether they’re encrypted by the cloud storage service at rest or not. Thanks for your comment. Take a cold shower.

    2. Better to use software like Duplicati or Duplicacy than to just pack all files with an encrypted archive

      1. Google for Education is a free service that school administrators can sign up for and offer their staff and students.

  25. Thank you ( everyone) for such a great article and discussion. I am just beginning the shift from USB storage devices to cloud storage. I downloaded DropBox and 2GB was just not enough for me to get started. I need 10GB. I will definitely try some of the excellent suggestions mentioned.

    1. Cloudwards.net - Chief Editor

      No it doesn’t. It offers tons of mail storage and integrations with Dropbox and Flickr, but Yahoo offers no storage of its own.

    1. Cloudwards.net - Chief Editor

      Well, we kinda explain that: 35GB of your free storage just disappears and your files with it. We link to our full MEGA review in the article if you’d like to know more.

  26. You just nailed it. Every single cloud storage service/app I use is on the list. I love Mega and Mediafire so much because of the simplicity and speed the service offers. Box and a few others are missing but the list packs just the best. Thank you!

  27. I am more interested in which cloud service is particularly best for backing up entire apps/apks rather than only backing up the data of them or the even more basic; photo, contact, calendar backups

  28. Received an email that my Legacy gDrive “free” allowance will NOT be automatically restored when the Chromebook two-year 100 GB promo has run it’s clock out, for me in early December 2019. A Google One Support Rep wrote an email that Google expects to migrate Legacy users of Drive to a FEE basis on gOne.
    This has not been widely publicized, and therefore I will not accept such migration. I believe there will be an upswelling of user protest when it is known Google is backing off the modest 15 GB free storage allowance. SPEAK UP !

  29. Question: what do you think about mail.ru? 10 GB free storage. Known troubles? Thx

    1. Do not use these services in any way. Any services from Russia.
      Since your data is guaranteed to be analyzed spec. services and will be used against you.

      At Mail. RU and Yandex in Russia and in the post Soviet space have a very bad reputation (justified, and conclusive). Mail RU group is a monopolist who bought and / or forcibly seized ALL the most popular services in Russia, all social services. networks, and in general almost 9 out of 10 popular resources in the Russian Federation belong physically to one person, who is a thief, a rapist, and cooperates with the authorities in the Russian Federation.

      Be sure to find information about how in Russia for likes and repost messages in social. nets – imprisoned. Already more than 5 thousand people have been imprisoned, but you are not told about it on your television.

      How this happens: someone wrote something in the social. networks, and another person simply pressed a heart over this message – and for that (yes, yes, this is absurd, but true), a person is put in jail, a criminal case is initiated, tried, and so on.

      You may not believe me, but google the information, you will be unpleasantly surprised that such a thing exists. This is a direct analogy with North Korea.

      Now in terms of legal and reasonable: Mail. RU and its owner, as well as the owner of Yandex and their entire team, as well as Kaspersky and other companies from the Russian Federation – have been proven through court blocked in the territories of MANY countries as companies promoting and developing international terrorism, the occupation of other territories. As companies that collected data in their soc. networks and used and analyzed these data against other states, as well as disseminated propaganda. Cheated, manipulated, and so on.

      Mail. RU group is the de facto largest and largest company of which belongs to 9 out of 10 of the largest communities in the Russian segment of the Internet. And this company is directly connected with the government and cooperates with it directly transferring user data, all their information, visits, history of working with the application, and so on – to the appropriate authorities.

      PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SERVICES OF THIS COMPANY

      1. Interesting! Who told you these things?
        And you say google this or google that…google?

      2. Well, I understand you have seen Russia only on the map, because this is absolute bullshit. Yandex is a multinational company with offices all over the world and their services a widely popular in Russia. Yes, it is analyzing social media, like Google and Facebook do. But the most bullshit part is about imprisoning people for writing to social networks. Believe it or not, in this matter Russia has more freedom than US and many EU countries. Try to visit this country sometimes and stop spamming discussions.

  30. The ill-advised 1TB, Yahoo owned, Flickr storage has gone now that it’s been sold off to SmugMug. People were using it for photo backup with their whole collections set to private and not actually photo sharing which was the point of the website. Genealogists, for instance, were using it to backup their research – all of their images of saved census records and birth, marriage and death forms.

  31. Take care with the free storage – on many you will lose your account and ALL YOUR FILES if you don’t login at least once every six months. You top pick pCloud started with no login requirement, then at least every 1yr and now (since mid 2018) every six months. You do get a warning email sent to the account holder’s email but only 5 days before deletion. Go on holiday and come back to find no account.

  32. Thanks I get free unlimited storage from Google Drive for life but looking for a free back up storage for my most important files.

  33. Well Icedrive is another free storage I use and, I read many articles related to free storage but couldn’t find Icedrive anywhere. I suggest Icedrive because it is similar to G-Drive and I have 20 Gb free storage for life. Thank You, Wish this helped someone.

  34. I have tried some of these services, and now I only use Google Driver, because with 15GB of free storage I can sync multiple devices. I usually use 2-3 google accounts for 2-3 important directories. The total amount of backup I need is 20GB and for many gmail accounts I have enough storage space without worrying about losing important data.

  35. I need to share data with two others. Has anybody had a good experiences with shared folders. I lot of the ones you are discussing doesn’t have the ability to share folders

  36. I work with more than 1 service as I run a small business and surviving a data loss is critical. If one service is shut down I will always have the other.

  37. I logged out of my icedrive account after testing my password and now i can’t log in anymore. It says that email or password is incorrect. Tried it many times but nothing. Lost 21 gigs of materials. And now i can’t recover my account because I don’t have the key because when i changed my phone the new authenticatior didn’t work so i opened my account without it. But now i can’t log in anymore. This provider sucks.

  38. Hope that someone can give me a recommendation. I want a solution to have my files sync’d and that I can easily edit from my Android and save back. For different reasons, I don’t like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or One Drive.

    I’ve tested pCloud and Sync, neither of them allow me to edit and save back. Is there any other?

    Thanks.

  39. I installed p-cloud in my laptop and the free version gives me only 4 GB storage! So, it is not 10 G.B. Just 4 G.B!

    1. Cloudwards.net - Chief Editor

      It’s up to 10GB, you start with 2GB and need to perform some tasks to get up to 10. We explain that in the piece, as well as several others.

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