28 Aug 2019

7 Best Unlimited Cloud Storage Solutions

Rather than trying to predict the amount of storage you are going to need in the future, why not go for an unlimited cloud storage provider? That way there are no upper limit restrictions. You never know what you might need to back up in the future, and with so many massive files being created from videos to games, more space is always better. 

Although there are a few great unlimited file storage providers out there, as always – they differ on how they structure their business. Some offer a monthly or annual fee and others will charge you for how much space you use. 

There is a difference between a cloud backup provider and a cloud storage provider. I’ll quickly outline each type of storage below so that you have an idea of the difference. 

What is the difference between Backup, Storage and Sync?

With the increasing demand for cloud storage and the fact that they are becoming more affordable, the services are becoming more specialized. Often providers will offer a few of these services, however, it’s a great idea to get informed. Here are the three types of cloud storage that you should know about:

  1. Cloud Sync
  2. Cloud Backup
  3. Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Sync?

When you synchronize your device with a cloud storage provider, the files that you choose to sync are backed up on the cloud. We’d always advise having multiple copies of your files, especially ones of high value that you cannot replace. 

What is Cloud Backup?

Unlike Cloud Sync, cloud backup doesn’t require you to select the folder/s that you want to store. Cloud backup is normally automatic and it backs up your entire device. Think of cloud backup like the good old fashioned CD or DVD that you use to make a backup of your data.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is a highly available data storage service. These services can be accessed by web developers via an API (application program interfaces).

Who is Cloud Storage For?

Cloud storage is a brilliant solution for anyone wanting to keep their data in a secure, accessible place. Great for both businesses and individuals alike, plus they are really easy to use (in most cases).

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of the top 7 UNLIMITED cloud file storage providers. For example – if they offer a FREE TRIAL, ease of use and price are all considerations. You’ll need to be uploading and downloading a lot with your cloud storage provider, so the speed of transfer is also something to check out. 

On the subject of file transfer – block-level transfer is a great feature, as it will allow you to only upload the parts of files that you have changed – saving time. These are our top six considerations when selecting the top unlimited file storage solution providers:

  1. User Experience
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Free Trial Offered
  4. Pricing 
  5. Speed of Transfer
  6. Block-level transfer

Ok, so let’s dive in and find out more about these “Unlimited” cloud storage providers so that you can pick the best one to fit your needs…

Here are our Top 7 Unlimited Cloud Storage Providers

#1 | Dropbox For Business (30-Day FREE Trial)

Dropbox is probably the most popular and widely known cloud storage provider out there. Founded in 2007, Dropbox has shot to the top of the cloud storage provider list. The negative publicity due to the breach in 2012 seems to have done them good. They have tightened up security and become the most popular out there. Not necessarily the “best” on all fronts, but they do offer a brilliant UNLIMITED option for businesses. 

Both their Advanced and Enterprise services offer completely UNLIMITED file storage on the cloud. The pricing is not too bad either – You can get the “Advanced Plan” for just $20 per month. Enterprise is one of those – “get in touch for more information deals”, designed for people who need to tailor their service, large businesses.  You can get a 30-day free trial of the Dropbox for Business service.

Both of the unlimited plans from Dropbox offer smart sync. They also offer block-level transfer for enhanced speed. The initial upload speeds are pretty decent when compared to some other cloud hosting providers. They also offer an easy to use the app.

Dropbox Business allows you to select the servers that you want to use. For example you can store your data in European servers or on a server in a country of your choice.

Click Here To Visit Dropbox

Pros
  • Smart Sync
  • Blok-level transfer
  • Decent transfer speeds
  • App provided
  • 256-bit AES encryption at rest
  • 128-bit in-transit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
Cons
  • No Zero-knowledge
  • Limited reporting features

#2 | Box (14-Day FREE Trial)

Box storage states that 70% of the fastest-growing fortune 500) businesses use their storage service. They offer a 14-day free trial and focus on providing cloud storage that is optimized for the business user. 

Box offers three levels of service that offer the Unlimited Cloud Storage – Business, Business Plus, and Enterprise. Like Dropbox, they don’t provide much info on the Enterprise edition, you need to contact them to discuss your requirements. You can add unlimited users onto your account, but know that you’ll need to pay for each user, and there is a minimum user count of 3. The Business plan from Box is $15 per additional user and the Business Plus is $25 per month for additional users. 

On the flip side, Box doesn’t have block-level file transfers, so you won’t see an increase in upload speed for file uploads. They also limit your file upload to 5GB, which is a bit restrictive. However, they offer a neat “Selective Sync” feature. You can then manage what files you want to sync which saves time and space. 

One great thing about Box is that you simply install their software and a sync folder will automatically be created. Saving files to this folder means that they will automatically be backed up on the cloud. Their mobile app and desktop client are both user friendly and the UX is clean and easy to use. Security is great with Box – they offer AES 256-bit encryption and in transit protection.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive desktop and mobile client
  • Good Security
  • 24/7 support
  • AES 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • No block-level sync
  • Files uploaded restricted to 5GB

#3 | OpenDrive (5GB FREE)

OpenDrive are one of the only providers that we’ve seen that Unlimited Storage on a personal plan. What’s more, you can add up to four users on the personal plan, which is just $9.95 per month. If you sign up to their annual service you get two months free. 

The Business Plan from OpenDrive is $29.95 per month and is white label – so you can add your business branding. They offer account manager to help you, should you need it. They also offer a reseller plan so that you can effectively make your File storage service and sell it which is just $59.95 – quite an attractive proposition! The only downside to this is that you get charged for every user that you add onto your reseller account. 

One downside to OpenDrive is that their upload and download speeds are quite slow. Their web and mobile clients are OK – nothing outstanding. OpenDrive is certainly not the easiest or initiative cloud storage web / mobile app out there. 

The security offered by OpenDrive is not too shabby – you get encrypted with AES-256 when the files are at rest and 128-bit AES while data is in transit. You can also select managed or private encryption for optimal control. However, they don’t offer two-factor authentication, which puts you at risk for a password breach.

Pros
  • Cost effective
  • Unlimited Personal Plan
  • Personal account manager
  • Reseller/ white label services
Cons
  • No two-factor authentication
  • Slow transfer speeds
  • Clumsy UX

#4 | LiveDrive (14-Day FREE Trial)

LiveDrive is a UK based cloud file storage provider. They offer Automatic Online Backup that is geared toward the individual/ personal user who wants to back-up their PC. They offer a 14 day unrestricted trial on the personal or business account. You can however, access your files from anywhere, which is great. They offer free apps for you to instantly access your files. As a backup service, they offer things like “Simple Restore” so that you can restore your PC to a previous version. 

They offer some good security features, for example, TLS encryption for files in transit and they are an ISO 27001 certified center. They do offer encryption via obfuscation; however, don’t disclose the actual encryption method. A good option if you want to back-up your files on UK soil. Also, they don’t restrict the size of the file that you upload or download.

There are two levels of Business service – Business Express that offers 2TB and 3 users, for $50 per month. Business Standard offers 10TB and 10+ users for $160 per month. The service is not really UNLIMITED despite them saying that it is, but you can add on additional space if an when required.

Pros
  • 14 day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Collaboration tools
  • Mobile apps
  • No file size limits.
Cons
  • Only UK based servers

#5 | AWS (5GB FREE)

AWS is Amazon’s cloud storage service. It can be scaled up to whatever you need to in effect you have access to unlimited storage space. You can store your data on AWS for cost $0.004 per gigabyte per month. They operate a Pay-as-you-go service model and they also offer volume discounts if you need to store a tonne of data on the AWS cloud. They have some handy calculators to figure out how much space you are using. You can use as much as you want, and that is why we have put it on the list, it is unlimited, however Pay-as-you-go.

With AWS you can get access to a Free Tier – that gives you 750 hours and 5GB of storage. You can then upgrade as and when you are ready. Amazon also has 60 other tools that you can access on the free tier.  Security wise AWS has TLS for in transit files and customer controlled encryption on their servers, additionally they offer AWS Multi-Factor Authentication.

Pros
  • Free tier
  • Pay only for what you use
Cons
  • Complicated setup

#6 | Rackspace Cloud Files (No FREE Option)

Rackspace Cloud Files is a large cloud infrastructure service (with have over 200 data centres, with locations all over the world) and for that reason they can easily store unlimited files. You do however need to download and integrate third party software like Storage Made Easy. So Rackspace Cloud Files don’t offer the full package – which could be complex for people who aren’t so tech savvy. 

Files can be uploaded via the Rackspace cloud manager which is easy to use and fast. They do however charge per  GB. Up to 1TB, it is $0.10 then the price goes down by one cent to $0.09 up to 49TB – you also need to pay for bandwidth. The good thing is you are only paying for what you use, but these types of payments can easily rack up (pardon the pun).

Security from Rackspace Cloud Files isn’t the best. They don’t encrypt the data at rest however they do protect data in transit with SSL. To access your files on the Rackspace cloud manager you’ll need an authorized API key, which  offers some security.

Pros
  • You can create your own cloud
  • Fast upload and download
  • Pay for what you use
Cons
  • Complicated to use
  • Not secure

#7 | Backblaze B2 (10GB FREE)

With Backblaze B2 you get 10GB for free – which is a great bonus. After you use this space up then you get a gigabyte for $0.005 per month. They also offer you 1GB download for free, but after this you’ll pay $0.004 per 10,000 downloads – certainly a pretty cheap option. They don’t have international servers like other hosting providers and store all of your files in their Californian servers. This can make transfer speeds slow and put you under the jurisdiction of US data laws. 

 Although Backblaze B2 is cheap, they don’t offer much in the way of security – no encryption or any real infrastructure.

Pros
  • Dirt Cheap
  • Scalable storage
Cons
  • Slow transfer speeds
  • Not an actual cloud storage provider

All in All

The best thing about ALL of the file storage solutions outlined above is the fact that they are all UNLIMITED. It all depends on what you need, if you are looking for a secure cloud storage provider, then don’t go for Backblaze or Rackspace as they don’t offer encryption or much in the way of security protocols. If you security is top on your list then:

Check out our article on Secure Cloud File Storage Providers

If you are looking for an unlimited cloud file storage provider that has a flat-fee then Dropbox or OpenDrive are great options. I hope that this list helps you find the best unlimited storage provider to suit your needs.

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26 Aug 2019

10 Most Secure Cloud Storage Options

With the ever increasing number of digital files being created, it’s becoming more and more important to store them safely. Back in 2013 the number of files kept on cloud storage was 1,073,741,824 Gigabytes of data – quintillion bytes – now, that is a lot of data! That was six years ago, so I’m not sure if there is even a word in the dictionary for the number of files currently stored in cloud storage. 

The biggest cloud hosting service by amount of users is a tie between Dropbox and iCloud. However, more recently Dropbox has taken the lead with 500 million users. They both offer free storage when you sign up. iCloud is owned by the mega-giant corporation – Apple, and Dropbox is owned by… well – Dropbox. Despite being the largest cloud hosting providers they are not top on our list for security for several reasons.

When choosing a suitable cloud storage provider there are five things you should keep in mind:

  • Security
  • Collaboration Features
  • Usability
  • Price
  • Space

Can Cyber-Thieves Hack Cloud Storage?

In short – YES! That is why we are focusing on the most secure cloud hosting providers. 

The majority of hacks on cloud storage are done through privacy breaches due to weak passwords. Therefore, it’s important that you choose and store your password safely to make sure that your files are safe. Probably the most famous hack into a cloud hosting provider was that of the celebrity breach of iCloud in 2014

What can we learn from this celebrity hack? There are a few things, firstly making sure to always enable two-step verification with your cloud hosting provider. Also make sure that you always enable email notifications, so that you’ll be alerted the second that anyone accesses your cloud storage account. 

There are other safety concerns with cloud storage that you should be aware of. Cloud storage providers use encryption to protect your files. However hackers can gain access to encryption keys with special software, so it pays to make sure that your cloud storage provider uses the most secure level of encryption (known as zero-knowledge). 

You also need to make sure that you trust the cloud storage provider that you choose. To be sure that your files are completely safe and won’t be deleted due to a server outage or natural disaster, it’s a good idea to back your files up in at least 2 separate locations. Another super-secure method of storing your data on the cloud is with a Zero-knowledge service. 

What is Zero-Knowledge in The Cloud?

Security is the biggest risk when it comes to picking a cloud storage provider. For that reason zero-knowledge cloud services are a great option. Zero-knowledge cloud services are also known as private encryption cloud services. In essence what it means is that you are the only one with access to your data.

PRO TIP: Although Zero-knowledge or private encryption is the most secure method – it does mean that if you lose your username and password, your data is lost forever.  

Should I go for Private Encryption?

It’s a good idea to look for cloud storage providers that offer private encryption (or simply select one from our Top 10 list below to save yourself time). That means that they won’t store your password on their server. This is particularly useful as cyber criminals can access passwords that are located on your cloud storage provider’s server. 

Additionally private encryption means that nobody, not a single person, literally not one person can get access to your files other than you – not even the government. That is because the files they receive will be encrypted – even if they do get a warrant to access your cloud storage space. For this reason, you must find a cloud storage provider that offers good encryption.

Pros and cons of Zero-Knowledge Cloud Storage

Although Zero-knowledge cloud storage is brilliant, it’s not for everyone. If you are the type of person who cannot keep a password safe and always hit the “forgot password” link, then avoid this type of cloud storage. Here are three pros and three cons of Zero-knowledge cloud storage:

Pros

  • Nobody can find out your password, not even your cloud storage provider
  • Even if a government agency tries to access your files, everything will be encrypted, so not readable
  • Your Cloud storage provider cannot hand out your password as they don’t even have it

Cons

  • If you lose your password, you are locked out of your data forever.
  • Can be slower than less-secure providers
  • Secure storage can mean that you cannot effectively preview files due to the strong encryption

Without further ado, let’s dive into our top 10 SECURE cloud storage options…

#1 | Sync.com

Sync.com is based in Toronto, Canada. This is great if you want to take advantage of Canada’s privacy laws (which are less strict than those in the US). 

You get 5GB free storage for signing up. Price wise, their Personal Pro 2TB plan is just $8 per month if you opt for their annual plan. If you go for the 500GB personal plan, then you can get access for just $4.08 per month, which is really good deal for what you are getting. 

Sync.com offers zero-knowledge encryption and the TLS protocol for optimal protection. These are particularly good for stopping people intercepting your files. They also offer AES 256-bit encryption to protect data when on their servers. Sync.com are not only the most secure cloud storage providers, they also offer the best value for money out of all 10 providers listed.

Sync.com Security

Sync.com has some next-gen security features that make it top of our list. For example, their collaboration tools are tight – they allow you to password protect the links that you share with friends, family or colleagues. This feature is available to both free and paid members, which is great as often cloud storage providers make these features exclusive to their premium plans. 

Interception during transit, and password breaches are the most common methods of cyber-attack. Therefore the fact that you can select “enhanced privacy” and add zero-knowledge encryption to a collaboration link (eg. If you are sending a file or folder with someone), is a great feature.

Pros

✔ FREE Zero-knowledge encryption

AES 256-bit encryption 

✔ TLS protocol 

✔ Located in Canada so you can keep your files away from NSA

✔ 5GB FREE account

✔ Secure Collaboration tools

✔ Cost-effective plans

✔ Amazing domain investment & management tools

Cons

✘ Slower transfer speeds

✘ You need a pro account to set download limits and expiry dates when sharing files

#2 | pCloud

Released in 2013, pCloud offers a decent 10GB of storage space for FREE. That is double most other cloud hosting providers (but not the best). Although the company was founded in Bulgaria, pCloud is based in Switzerland. If you refer friends to pCloud you’ll get an additional 1GB completely FREE. 

Pricing starts at just $3.99 per month for 500GB and their Premium 2TB plan is $8, which is super cheap – putting pCloud on a par with sync.com price-wise. In saying that, you’ll need to sign up for an annual subscription to take advantage of these low prices. 

If you want to add zero-knowledge, you can, but it will cost you an extra $3.99 per month. Like Sync.com pCloud has some great security features like deploying the TLS protocol and AES 256-bit encryption.

pCloud have an extra feature called “pCloud Drive” that lets you view your files without downloading them – which is pretty handy if your PC is low on space or you are out somewhere. 

pCloud is a great cloud storage facility for photos, videos and music as they use block-level sync. This speeds up the larger uploads. If you upgrade to one of their paid plans you can secure collaboration links with expiry dates and passwords.

Pros

✔ AES 256-bit encryption

✔ TLS protocol

✔ 10GB on the FREE plan

✔ Great for large uploads

✔ Send secure collaboration links

✔ pCloud Drive file preview feature

Cons

✘ They have the zero-knowledge feature but you have to pay extra for it

#3 | Tresorit

Tresorit is based in Switzerland and pride themselves on their enhanced security. They also have offices in Hungary and their servers are in both Ireland and the Netherlands. However they are pretty expensive (to say the least) compared to other cloud storage providers. The lowest cost premium plan is $10.42 per month and that gets you just 200GB of storage, which is pretty steep when you consider that you can get 2TB for less with pCloud and Sync.com. Their FREE service is called a “Basic Account” which gets you meagre 3GB of storage space.

 When you compare that to the previous providers I’ve mentioned (like pCloud and Sync.com), that is over double the price for less than half the amount of storage space. Tresorit is one of the most secure cloud storage providers, but it comes with a hefty price tag. 

When syncing your folders you need to create “tresors” which is the German word for vault. This makes the process quite complicated. 

Tresorit Security

The main security feature that Tresorit deploys is high level zero-knowledge cloud storage. They do also use AES 256-bit encryption and the TLS protocol. We like the two-factor authentication as that offers an additional layer of protection to avoid breaches like the celebrity breach we discussed above. 

Pros

✔ Zero-knowledge encryption

✔ Secure file sharing 

✔ Two-factor authentication

Decent upload and download speeds

Cons

 ✘ Very Expensive

 ✘ No collaboration/ productivity apps

 ✘ Complicated to use

#4 | Mega (The Privacy Company)

“Mega” is an Auckland-based cloud storage company. They have above average security protocols to keep data safe, Mega use end-to-encryption. Their FREE plan offers a massive 15GB of storage space. They also provide an extra 35GB for a limited period of time. The 35GB limited time free space isn’t particularly safe. That is because Mega will automatically delete your files when your free disc space runs out (if you’ve not upgraded).

The cheapest plan from Mega gets you just 200GB of storage for $5.69. The best value premium account offers a decent 1TB of storage for $11.38 per month.

Mega Security

The security that you get from Mega is pretty thorough. They have at-rest and in-transit encryption, which will ensure that your data is always kept safe. The two-factor authentication is a nice touch, as it provides that extra layer of security and protection from hackers.

Pros

✔ Massive 15GB FREE (+ extra limited time 35GB)

✔ TLS Protocol

✔ Sync any folder

Nice Collaboration tools

Cons

✘ Just AES 128-bit encryption

✘ Limited (free) 35GB gets deleted when it expires

#5 | OneDrive

US based OneDrive is a cloud storage company owned by Microsoft, with their servers being based in the US. They offer 5GB for free when you create an account. For just $1.99 a month you can get 50GB of storage space. Upgrading to Office 365 Personal is great value for money as you get a whopping 1TB for just $6.99, which is one of the best deals yet, especially when you factor in the other Microsoft apps you’ll be getting with Office 365. 

OneDrive Security

In the past, OneDrive has had some privacy issues that have since been resolved. The security features with OneDrive are now pretty top notch. The only thing they are lacking is zero-knowledge encryption. They do however offer two-factor authentication and AES 256-bit encryption.

Pros

✔ AES 256-bit encryption

✔ TLS protocol

✔ Great Collaboration tools

✔ Fast sync

Cons

 ✘ No zero-knowledge encryption

#6 | Google Drive

Launched in 2012, Google Drive is Google’s answer to cloud storage. Google is headquartered in California in the US. Google Drive announced that they had smashed the billion user mark in 2018. Google Drive offers 15GB of FREE storage, which is pretty much the best you can get for free. What’s more, their lowest tier plan starts at just $1.67 for 100GB. 

The pricing with Google Drive is pretty great for people who are just starting out and don’t need a whole load of space. You can get 200GB for $3 or just jump to the spacious 2TB plan for $9.99 per month. Probably the best option is to sign up for a year and get two months free (just $99.99). Google offer great value for money, with twice as much space as Dropbox is offering for the same price. 

Google Drive Security

Google offers just AES 128-bit encryption, but does offer TLS protocol, which is great for data in transit.

Pros

✔ Auto update feature

✔ TLS protocol

✔ 15GB Free storage

✔ Cost effective pricing plans

Cons

✘ Just AES 128-bit encryption

✘ Your content is scanned 

✘ No block-level copying

#7 | Koofr

Koofr is a cloud storage company based in Slovenia. They offer several packages, most suited for the light-weight user. They also offer additional features like a Chrome bookmarking extension and the ability to connect to other cloud storage accounts. One good thing with Koofr is that you can preview your files without downloading, which is ideal for those with not much available space on their device. 

When it comes to pricing Koofr offers 2GB for free, which is quite a tiny offering. Their lowest package gets you 10GB of storage for just $0.57 per month. They have a good range of packages that will allow you to scale up as and when you need it, with their top 1TB plan coming in at $11.38. 

Koofr Security

Koofr deploy two-factor authentication, which is brilliant for added security. You have the option to turn two-factor on and off with Koofr. They also use TLS encryption for files in transit. Koofr also split your data up over three different locations to keep your data safe. They also offer the ability to protect shared files.

Pros

✔ TLS protocol 

✔ Two-factor authentication

✔ Good speed

✔ Easy to use

✔ AES 256-bit encryption

✔ Data isn’t scanned

Cons

✘ Limited sync features

✘ No zero-knowledge encryption

✘ No block-level file copying

#8 | Egnyte Connect

Like Dropbox, Egnyte Connect decrypts your data and stores your username and password. They don’t have a free option, but do offer a 15-day free trial. One good thing about Egnyte is that they allow up to 3 devices (or users) on their business plan. You get 1TB for $10 per month. They also have plans for up to 100 or more users, so a great solution for teams.  

Egnyte Connect Security

Physically speaking the Egnyte Connect server centre is secure as they have guard patrols and 24/7 security staff. If you upgrade to any of their business plans you can get two-factor authentication. Egnyte also offer comprehensive mobile security features.

Pros

✔ AES 256-bit Encryption

✔ Two-factor authentication

✔ Mobile Security features

✔ Block level sync

✔ No 100% free plan

Cons

✘ Two-factor authentication only on business plans

✘ No Zero-knowledge encryption

#9 | iCloud

iCloud Drive is Apple’s cloud storage solution that comes pre-installed with Apple devices. You get 5GB of free storage with iCloud. Most Apple products come with a big-fat-price-tag, but not iCloud, you can get 50GB for just $0.99 per month. The 2TB plan is competitively priced at $9.99 per month. 

When using an apple device, you’ll get automatic syncing. The privacy is pretty tight with Apple as they only log your usage data with consent, and they vow not to sell your data to advertisers. Unlike Google, who scan your Google Drive to find out what advertise to show you.

iCloud Security

Despite being hacked, iCloud has since strengthened its security. They now have two-factor authentication and 128-bit AES encryption.

Pros

✔ Great for Apple users

✔ 5GB FREE

✔ Cost effective

✔ Two-factor authentication

Cons

✘ Slow

✘ Not great for windows users

✘ Not a zero-knowledge provider

#10 | Dropbox

Dropbox is the largest cloud storage solution with servers in the US. The reason that Dropbox is so popular is because of their easy to use interface, ease of sharing and syncing. Although they are the biggest they don’t have top-notch security and privacy, that’s why they are last in the list. They do deploy a lot of great features. However the fact that their privacy policy states they can delete or change your data is a bit worrying. Dropbox also lacks zero-knowledge encryption.

Dropbox Security

Despite having a stormy past in the area of security Dropbox have tightened their security measures since then. Dropbox offer AES 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication as well as at-rest and in-transit encryption.

Pros

✔ AES 256-bit at-rest

✔ TLS protocol 

✔ Fast sync

✔ Password protect shared links

✔ Easy to use UX

Cons

✘ Files are decrypted at data-centre

✘ They reserve the right to delete, download or change your content

✘ No zero-knowledge encryption

In Conclusion

It’s becoming increasingly important to keep your data safe online. There are many cyber criminals that can get their hands on inexpensive software to hack your accounts. Making sure that you choose a cloud storage server that is secure is extremely important. Look out for solutions that use Zero-knowledge encryption (provided you can remember your username and password) TLS protocols, AES 256-bit encryption and good value for money.

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19 Aug 2019

13 Best Free Cloud Storage Choices in 2019

Storing digital files safely on the cloud is an on-going concern for content creators or just people who love to shoot family video or photos. It’s also great to share files with friends, colleagues, and family all over the world. For this reason, file storage can be a viable option. There are often limits to the amount of space you get on free storage providers. 

As this is article is focused on the “FREE-ness” of file storage providers, I’ll list the providers from the most amount of FREE storage to the least. At the end, I’ll list my hacks to getting unlimited free space for your file storage. The exception to this rule is when a company has trixy clauses, for example, you can only upload a certain size of a file, despite being allowed to upload unlimited data or if the company deletes your data after a specific timeframe. 

Size is one thing, but what else should you look out for? Other things to consider when selecting a FREE file storage provider would be the ease of file sharing, collaboration tools, the speed of uploading and downloading and also the success of the company. Security is another issue that we covered in another article.  We’ll discuss:

Storage – the amount of space they offer for free

AlexaRank – How popular they are on the web #1 being highest. 

Pros & Cons – I’ll outline some of the pros and cons of the storage provider

Lastly, I’ll share a few secret hacks to getting file storage completely free. Ok – without further ado, let’s dive in and find out what the 15 Best FREE File Storage Providers are:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

#1 | Google Drive (15GB)

Alexa Rank – #1 (for Google)

Google needs no introduction – the largest search engine in the world that also provides free email and office software like Google Docs. You’ll get access to your Google Drive account as part of the bundle. Make an email address, and you’ve got Google Drive as part of the deal. The major downside of using Google Drive is the privacy (READ: You get no privacy with Google Drive), but they do give you a tonne of tools and space for FREE. 

If you want more storage space on your Google Drive account you can get a massive 2TB plan for $9.99 per month. They also offer humungous plans like 30TB for $300/month – which would keep most people going for most of their life. 

Pros

✔ You get a suite of software to use for FREE like GoogleSheets and GoogleDocs

✔ Easy to set up

✔ Easy to use

✔ Auto update feature

✔ TLS protocol

✔ 15GB Free storage

✔ Cost effective pricing plans

Cons

✘ You need a Google Account to use the service

✘ ZERO PRIVACY, Google openly states they look through your files to market products to you

✘ Linked to all of your Google accounts.

#2 | OneDrive (15GB)

 AlexaRank #11

OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to cloud file storage. You get 15GB for free – which is the largest amount of storage offered for free by any cloud storage provider. Other than Mega, who give you an extra limited time 35GB that has some catches, more about that below. 

Microsoft has merged OneDrive with their Microsoft Office 365 offering. When you upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 you’ll get their whole suite of Office software products as part of the deal for $7 per month. With this package they provide 1TB of storage which is pretty decent.

Pros

✔ 15GB is a decent amount of storage space for FREE

✔ You get the suite of Microsoft Office software as part of the deal

✔ AES 256-bit encryption

✔ TLS protocol

✔ Great Collaboration tools

✔ Fast sync

Cons

✘ Files are not private (Microsoft can look at your files)

✘ If you login from another location (or a different IP address) you might get locked out of our account as they check your IP address

#3 | Mega (15GB FREE + Limited 35GB)

Alexa Rank # 870 

Compared to the top two FREE storage solutions Mega is quite far down in the Alexa ranking. However, they do offer up to 50GB storage space for free (with a catch). It’s best to think that Mega offers 15GB of storage, as the other 35GB of data that you might upload will be deleted if you don’t upgrade to a premium plan in time. One thing to note about Mega is that the original owner was prosecuted for piracy in the past. Also their top shareholder was marked for extradition from China, so it might pay to keep an eye on what the owners are doing. 

Data protection is one of the key USPs of Mega. They were featured in our secure storage options for this very reason. If you want to upgrade and get more storage their premium plan, the cheapest plan from Mega gets you just 200GB of storage for $5.69, which isn’t great. The best value premium account offers a decent 1TB of storage for $11.38 per month. However, this is quite a bit more expensive than Google Drive. Mega is more tight on privacy and security, so it depends on what is most important to you. 

Pros

✔ Secure

✔ TLS Protocol

✔ Sync any folder

✔ Nice Collaboration tools

Cons

 ✘ Can be Slow

 ✘ Bandwidth limitations

#4 | 4Shared (15GB + quite a few bizarre catches)

Alexa Rank 452

4Shared is based in the Kieve, Ukraine was launched in 2005 and is owned by New IT Solutions Ltd. Now one of the largest file hosting companies (probably because they rely heavily on their resellers) with over 11 million users and 317 terabytes of files transferred daily. 4Shared is higher in the Alexa rankings than Mega (meaning they are more popular) and also offer 15GB file storage for FREE. A big drawback is the fact that you can only download 3GB of data per day. So it’d take you 5 days to download all of your stored content. 

You can sign up for an account with 4Shared in seconds with Facebook, Google, and Twitter. They have a clean and easy to use interface, which is a plus. When you upgrade you get just 100GB of storage for $10 per month, which is a bit steep, considering you can get 1-2TB from other providers for the same price. 

If you pay annually you can save $3.50, but you have to pay for the whole year in advance.  One really odd thing is that you need to pay via one of their Resellers. Some of their resellers accept Bitcoin which is nice, but their payment options are rather bizarre to say the least.

Pros

✔ Clean interface

✔ Easy to signup

✔ 15GB FREE storage space

✔ Mobile app

Cons

✘ Lots of adverts, including adult content

✘ Limited download capabilities

✘ You cannot pay directly, you need to go through one of their resellers

#5 | MediaFire (10GB FREE)

Alexa Rank 164

If we weren’t focused on the amount of space that you get for FREE, then I’d order this list very differently. MediaFire comes third (so far, in the Alexa rankings) but it’s definitely not my favourite file storage provider. 

Mediafire often does an amazing deal where you get 50% off their premium offering, so that’s something to look out for. The normal price is $10 per month for 1TB of storage space.  You can get up to 100TB of storage space for $100, which is a whole load of space. 

With the FREE option there are lots of ads, which are quite off-putting. Their user interface is also not the best

Pros

✔ 10GB FREE storage space

✔ Frequent 50% discount sales

Cons

✘ Expensive

✘ Lots of Ads

Slow, clumsy user interface

#6 | Box (10 GB FREE)

Alexa Rank 446

The 10GB that you get free from Box is decent, however when you are looking to get more space, the upgrade price is extortionate – $10 per month for 100GB is wild. In saying that, Box is a good provider for businesses as you can add extra users on. This could also be a good option for a family to use. When you upgrade to their Business account you get unlimited storage and you can add as many users as you like. 

Pros

✔ Unlimited additional users can be added

✔ 10GB FREE storage space

✔ SSL and at-rest encryption

✔ Two-factor authentication

✔ Premium package has unlimited storage

Cons

Extortionate

✘ Download speeds are slow

✘ Hard to share files

# 7 | DepositFiles (10GB + a catch or two)

Alexa Rank 4,062 

DepositFiles has servers in 9 countries, which is great for uploading and downloading. They also offer 10GB for free. With DepositFiles there are a few catches. One is that you’ll have to endure advertisements on your FREE account. Their site and user interface is also a bit dated and not very intuitive. You can upgrade to the gold membership which gets you faster upload and download speeds and you can pay with credit card or Bitcoin. DepositFiles pricing is a bit steep  at $12 per month, and with this you don’t get extra file storage.

One thing that is great about DepositFiles is the fact that you can send a link with password protection – even on the free plan. I also like the fact that they store your files for free for an unlimited time. 

Pros

✔ Link password protection

✔ Free App

✔ Files are stored for an unlimited time

Cons

✘ Max file upload 10GB

✘ Largest stored file – 2GB

✘ Expensive

#8 | Sabercat Host (5GB FREE)

SaberCats host is based in Houston, US. SaberCats Host offers 5GB of free storage space and unlimited bandwidth. They also have fast uploads and downloads, which is brilliant. Their UX is clean and easy-to-use and works well on both mobile devises. . Sharing files is easy with SaberCats Host. One thing that is great about SaberCats Host is that you can use their site without making an account. This feature is really great for collaboration and sharing. 

You can pay with Paypal and all of the regular credit card options. There is no need to subscribe with SaberCats Host – which is a breath of fresh air, as all of the subscription payments add up. You can sign up for just 7 days to a year.

Pros

✔ Fast upload and download speeds

✔ 5GB free storage space

✔ Use without creating an account

✔ No subscriptions

Cons

✘ Advertising on free account

✘ You can only

#9 | iCloud (5GB)

Alexa Rank 333

Owned by Apple, iCloud comes bundled with Apple devices. You’d think they’d offer more storage space for free, being such a big company, but no. Apple takes control of your data, and can do with it what they please – so not necessarily the best option for sensitive file storage. Most Apple products come with a big-fat-price-tag, but not iCloud, you can get 50GB for just $0.99 per month. The 2TB plan is competitively priced at $9.99 per month.

Pros

✔ Automatically syncs to Apple devices

✔ Larger packages are inexpensive

✔ Two-factor authentication

✔ Great for Apple Device users

Cons

✘ You need an Apple ID to use iCloud

✘ Lacking privacy

✘ Slow

#10 | DropBox (2GB FREE)

Alexa Rank 87

DropBox is the biggest cloud storage provider out there, probably due to their massive marketing budget. However, they only offer a tiny 2GB for FREE. You can upgrade to their premium plan for $10 per month, which will get you 1TB of storage space, pretty good. To use DropBox you must create an account – which is a bit of a pain for sharing files. The file sharing and syncing is great with Dropbox.

Pros

✔ Fast sync

✔ Password protect shared links

✔ Easy to use UX

✔ Easy file sharing

Cons

✘ Not easy for beginner

✘ Small free storage option

✘ Lacks privacy

#11 | WeTransfer (2GB FREE with a catch)

Alexa Rank 444

WeTransfer is a quick and easy way to share files – however you don’t get access to a dashboard or members area with the free option. You can simply send files over the internet. This service is really handy if you need to quickly send large files to a friend or colleague. If you upgrade to their premium plan, the cheapest option is $12 per month for just 100GB. A downside to this provider is that you don’t get a chance to test drive your account to see if you like it before upgrading.

Pros

✔ Easy to use

✔ Upload and send multiple files

✔ Great for sending large files

Cons

✘ No password protect on free option

✘ No dashboard on free option

✘ Links that you send expire

✘ Expensive

#12 | Uploaded.net (2GB FREE)

Alexa Rank 607

Uploaded.net is a cloud storage company based in Germany. They offer just 2GB of FREE storage which is miniscule. When you upgrade they give you a faster user experience- however their plans are quite complicated. Uploaded.net is doesn’t have the easiest UX to use. The pricing is around $111 for premium for 2 years, but you need to pay for the storage space separately. You need to pay monthly for the storage from $6 for 100GB to $9 for 1TB.

Pros

✔ No expiration date for files

✔ Well known file storage provider

✔ Nice affiliate program

Cons

✘ Expensive

✘ Complex UX

✘ Slow upload and download speeds

#13 | SendSpace (300MB + a catch or two)

Alexa Rank 2,310

SendSpace is more of a file sending rather than a file storage company. You can store files with them, but they’ll be deleted after 30 days as standard.  In the free version you will be shown ads and have a slow download speed. If you want to upgrade you can get just 100MB of storage space for $9 per month, which is super pricey.

Pros

✔ Unlimited storage

Cons

✘ Files removed after 30 days

A Few Other Semi-FREE Options

I was going to review a few more, but in all honesty I just about lost the will to live. Hightail, Zippyshare, and Egnyte all have “somewhat free” options. From 300MB to a 15-day free trial, but I’ll leave you to have a look at them if you feel so inclined. They don’t really offer much in the way of a free service and when you upgrade they are quite pricey. Apart from Egnyte who are the ones offering 15-day free trial, they give you 1TB for $10 per month, which is pretty nice. I’d like to cut to the chase and give you a few sneaky secret storage hacks before you go. 

My Secret Hack to FREE Large File Storage

If you are looking to store lots of video files, this can take up a lot of space and be costly. Why not upload your videos to Youtube and keep the link “private”. Think outside the box and see where you can upload large files in a social media account for future use. Another idea is to create a private group on Facebook and keep your files in there – that way you can keep unlimited photos, documents, and videos. The only catch with Facebook is they compile your images – which means you can’t store them in high definition. Oh and the small fact that Facebook loves to spy on people, so not for sensitive documents. A solution to the compiling affecting image resolution would be to join a creative social media company like Vero Social or YouPic.

Got lots of Photos you need to store, share and present? Check out our list of “Best Websites for Photographers”.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for FREE file storage, there are many options – especially if you think out of the box. Make sure that the company you choose don’t delete files after a given date as Sendspace and Zippyshare do. You could also get an external hard-drive and keep a copy of your files on there, old fashioned, but it still works as another backup source. 

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