There are many free cloud storage providers available but how do you know which ones are the best? In this post, we’ve got the best free cloud storage providers for you. You won’t need to spend a dime from your wallet or even open it for a matter of fact. There are many times where you’re mobile will tell you that you’re out of storage or even your desktop or laptop. Instead of clogging up these devices and slowing them down, you can save data with cloud storage providers such as Dropbox and Spideroak. These are among some of the best providers on the market. You can access your data when you have an internet connection. You can even send large files easily by sharing links with others it’s very simple.
Reasons to use cloud storage
Costs of overheads are cheap for cloud storage providers. The more popular companies such as Amazon, Google Drive, and Dropbox have created a price war and making them much more competitive. If you look into smaller providers you may find little or no cost to store your data online.
When looking into cloud storage, we believe that it’s more suited to personal use. It’s great for families that travel on holidays and have a number of pictures of their little ones that need to be stored in a secure place. These may even need to shared from time to time with family and friends. If you’re looking to store data for a business. Cloud storage is also a great way to store data if you have a small business or need to store data for a side job. This is because the free access from many of these providers is limited in data.
Single Moms Top Free Cloud Storage Providers
There are many different cloud storage providers on the market. It can prove to be quite confusing as to which to use. Here at Single moms, I’ve got the best cloud storage providers handpicked from my own experiences ( bearing in mind I use cloud storage mainly to store pictures of my daughter). Here are my favorite top free cloud storage providers:
- Best cloud storage for security: Spideroak and Mega
- Cloud Storage for easy use: Dropbox and Sync
- Free cloud storage for productivity: Google Drive and Box
The best cloud storage providers
Below I’ll be providing you with information on what sets these companies apart from the other cloud storage providers on the market.
Best cloud storage providers for security:
Many of us are wary of how secure our data really is and if anyone can access this data. Here are the best cloud storage providers for security.
If security is at the top of your list and you tend to be paranoid about the security and safety of your data then Spider Oak is for you. However, there are a number of fees associated with this cloud storage provider. Firstly they will offer you 2GB of free storage, this maybe enough if you’re just looking to store pictures. If you’re looking for more you may need to upgrade your data which will cost you a hefty $7 for an extra 30GB of data.
There are many ways in which Spider Oak keeps your data secure. Firstly your data is encrypted when transferred and stored. Secondly Spider Oak proves a “zero-knowledge policy“. This is their way of saying that your the only person in the whole world that has access to your data. The security level at Spider Oak is so powerful. Even if you forget your password you won’t be able to access your data as Spider Oak will not save any data whatsoever on their servers.
You can stream data from spider Oak storage from one device to the other if needed. This makes it easy to have your data on your desktop and mobile. If you wish to share files or pictures with others such as friends and family you can create a “share room”. This can be accessed by others with a URL or a password which only you’ll have access to until you pass this information on to others.
Mega is another great cloud storage provider that provides security for your data. Just like Spider Oak your data is encrypted on your computer and stored at Mega. However, your data is on decrypted when it’s sent back to you. Just like Spider Oak, Mega does not have access to your data. However, you can rest your password which in my opinion is great as I always forget mine.
When you join Mega you’ll be given an impressive 50Gb of storage for free. If you do feel the need for more for a little more than $10 a month you can upgrade to 500GB of storage.
Just like Spider Oak, you’ll be able to share files and pictures via a link. However, you won’t be able to password protect the link like Spider Oak. Experts who have tested the service provided by Mega have said that download speeds are fast. There is a 10Gb band with a limit. However, this is significant for many users and does not seem to cause any issues. For ease of use you there are also apps available to download for iOS, Android, and Blackberry making it a lot easier to access your data.
Best cloud storage providers for easy use
There are many of us out there thinking is it work my time learning how to store my data onto a cloud?. There will be times where you’re phone or computer will run slow and even continuously tell you your storage is full. I managed to teach my mom how to use cloud storage and she now loved it. There are many cloud storage providers that are easy to use. these are listed below.
I’ve used the free service provided by DropBox for a number of years now and I’ve found it to be very simple to use. You’ll be able to drag and drop files between drives such as computers and mobiles which is very simple.
Just like many storage providers, Dropbox doesn’t offer a lot of free storage. When you sign up to Drop box you’ll be given 2GB of free storage. This can be upgraded for $10 a month to a massive 1TB. There are very few providers that offer easy-to-use features. For instance, DropBox offers the user the ability to earn more storage space for referring friends and family members and sharing links on social media. These are among a number of tasks that can be completed to earn free data.
Another way that Dropbox has made its service easy to use is by offering mobile apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire. There’s also no file size limit on Dropbox making it easier to upload and download files and pictures. It also offers SSL encryption on all data plans.
Syncs interface is easy to use, streamless, and clean making it user friendly. It’s easy to send files to friends and family via a link. The great thing is that they don’t need to have a sync account they just need an internet connection. There’s no cap on bandwidth or the number of devices you use to access your account. There are also many other functions such as file history, preview, and restoration available with sync.
Even though sync is a newcomer to the cloud storage market they offer far more space than Dropbox when you sign up. You’ll get a5GB of free storage when you join sync. You can also upgrade your account to more data-rich plans. These plans are more for business use you can get 500Gb for $49 per year or a massive 2 TB for $98 a year. You also have the opportunity to increase your storage by referring friends to the service just like Dropbox.
Best cloud storage providers for productivity
There are many cloud storage providers that offer a number of additional features that can help with productivity. A good example would be Goggle drive where your apple to use their popular home office and save documents straight to the cloud.
As mentioned above Google Drive offers a lot more than just cloud storage. You can create, save, and synchronize google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and drawings. Google Drive is just like Dropbox where it offers users the ability to restore and view older versions of files.
When you join Google Drive you’ll be given a large 15GB of cloud storage. This makes Google Docs one of the top cloud storage providers based solely on space. If you require more space you can upgrade to 100Gb for as little as $1.99 a month and 1TB for as little as $9.99 a month.
There are many things to take into account with Google Drive. If you use apps such as Google Docs your free storage won’t be used. However, if you use Gmail or Google+photos beware that both of these services will use your free data storage so try not to hold on to junk emails and clog up your Gmail. Although your data is encrypted when transferred, your date will not be stored that way. This is where the security level could be improved which has been stated by expert testers.
Box is a great cloud storage provider as it seamlessly collaborates task management and discussions within the box software. The security level of the box is a strong point of this cloud storage provider as it offers data encrypted at both transfer and storage. The main downfall however is that box will only offer a 250MB limit on individual file storage.
When you sign up to Box you’ll be given 10GB of free storage. You also have the ability to upgrade to 100GB for $5 a month. The main advantage of Box and where it out sines other cloud storage providers is its apps. Box provides it’s users with more than 2 dozen of its own apps and 1,000 more compatible apps for free. This will include Box Office and Google Docs amongst others. you’ll also be able to download the Box app on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.
Free Cloud Storage
There are many companies that offer free cloud storage to its users. You may be thinking why or what do they gain from this?. We’ll I’m here to answer your questions below are the reasons why.
Why do companies offer free cloud storage?
It may seem like many companies are trying to trick you when they offer to store your data for free on their servers. Many of us wonder why they allow this without the need for us to pay a dime. The overheads of cloud storage are relatively cheap and many companies believe by offering free storage the user will learn to love their services. The main hope is that you’ll run out of storage space and upgrade to a paid-for plan. It can also be a hassle finding another cloud storage provider and transferring your data.
What will I compromise by using free cloud storage?
You’ll be able to store your files for free with many cloud storage providers however there are many limitations to free cloud storage. You may also miss out on the fun stuff. Some of the limitations you may face are listed here:
- Fewer security options: Free storage may not enable you to password protect your files and you may not be entitled to advanced encryption services.
- Space: This is one of the most obvious and biggest compromise you’ll face. Some or many cloud storage providers will only provide a couple of gigabytes for you to use.
- Customer Service: You may not even have access to customer service whereas full plan users will have 24/7 support.
- File Size: You may be limited to the file size you can upload. This will mean you cannot store your favorite videos.
- Multiple users: If you’re using your storage for business purposes and you require more than one user on a document at one time you’ll need to pay for a plan.
- Fewer Features: Some providers will limit the access to perks such as file recovery and ad-free storage.
- No Warranty: There’s no guarantee to cloud storage whether you have a paid-for or free cloud storage service. Even though cloud storage providers swear by the security and reliability of their storage there’s no guarantee your data cannot be lost. It’s important you keep copies of your data in at least another spot. The best way to avoid outbreaks of security breaches and loss of data the common sense thing to do would be to use major providers such as Dropbox and Goggle drive for peace of mind.
Shopping for the best free cloud storage providers
Baring in mind there are many limitations to free cloud storage. However, there is a list of questions you should ask yourself when shopping for free cloud storage providers. Here are some of the questions I’ve come up with for you to consider below.
Questions to consider
- Do you have a business?: Many free cloud storage providers are aimed at individuals due to the low amount of free storage space they provide. If you do however need storage for a business and multiple users you’ll need to upgrade to a business plan or a bigger data plan.
- What type of restrictions can you deal with?: If you have a large number of videos or large files and need to store them check if your storage provider has a file size limit in place. You’ll need to also check that your provider has enough bandwidth for you to upload and won load these files. A good example is Box they only allow its free users to upload files up to 250MB.
- How much storage do you need?: Depending on the provider you may be given a few gigabytes of storage or you may even be given a huge 50GB of data. You’ll need to take a hard look at your documents to see what you really need the storage for. If you’re storing mainly text files you won’t need as much storage as you think. A good example would be 2GB of data will allow you to store over 37,000-word documents. or 460 songs. If you do require more storage make sure you know how much you will be willing to pay to upgrade.
- How do you need to access your data?: Most providers will allow you to access your data on a web browser. However, there are providers that provide apps to make it easier to access your data. A lot of these apps are made for Windows or Mac operating systems. Many will also offer mobile apps that are compatible with iOS and Android but some will support Windows and Blackberry.
- Do you worry about security?: SSL encryption is standard for many providers, however, it’s not always offered for free storage users. You’ll need to check if your data is encrypted and whether its stores encrypted. There’s even the need to check how your data is uploaded and downloaded and how you’re able to share data with others. If you do however upgrade you can get extra security measures such as 2 step verification and password protected files.
- Do you need productivity apps?: Many of us require cloud storage just to store files, pictures, and videos. However, if you require apps such as Microsoft Office or products alike there are very few cloud storage providers that offer these apart from Google Drive. It’s easy to create documents that will save automatically and which you can share with others.
How I choose the best free cloud storage
When I realized the need for cloud storage I realized the term “free” does not always mean free indefinitely. Some cloud storage providers will only provide users with a free trial which is only good for a month and then your expected to pay for their service. Whereas other providers would give you an amount of storage for free indefinitely. I wouldn’t even consider the free trial as I was not able to or willing to pay for the service as I did not need so much storage.
There were many things I looked into when I was looking for the best cloud storage providers for security reasons I looked at providers that offered extra security, not just the standard encrypted data. Things I looked into were password protection, zero-knowledge policy, and end to end encryption.
looking into the best cloud storage for easy use I looked into the simplicity of the interface and the free storage space in particular.
Lastly looking at the best cloud storage for productivity I considered the ease of creating and editing documents and file sharing. I also looked at storage space and whether the provider integrated this with their own apps or not.
Although I have not had experience with all the best cloud storage providers mentioned I would recommend Dropbox or Google Drive. I also look into expert reviews for updated information.
If your struggling with hard drive space and ready to start cloud storage, there’s a lot for you to choose from. you can choose from cloud storage you pay for and cloud storage that’s completely free. All of the best cloud storage providers listed above would be a great choice including Google Drive, Dropbox, and SpiderOak.
The main thing you need to consider is the cost of upgrading your membership if you hit your storage limit. You’ll also want to save yourself the hassle of having to move from one provider to the other, even though this can be done as it takes up a lot of time. The main reason in which your using cloud storage in the first place is to save time and space.