While old stalwarts like Dropbox and iCloud offer serviceable solutions, the industry is filled with other high-quality solutions
As the need for faster information transmission and greater software capacity keeps rising, numerous advanced storage solutions have emerged over the last few years.
Today, we can safely claim the cloud has been consistently pushing the boundaries of the traditional web infrastructure management.
However, this phenomenon has also brought new challenges for cloud companies. Namely, in order to stay competitive, they need to keep constantly find innovative solutions for facilitating the access, data security and an uninterrupted information transmission. Most importantly, they also need to provide cost-effective solutions that would set them apart from their competitors.
In order to inspire their users to pay for the upgraded features and solutions they offer, numerous vendors, from famous conglomerates like Google to relatively new companies like Dropbox, have relied on giving away free storage. So, all you need to do here is learn where to look and how to use these benefits.
Here is a list of 8 amazing cloud free services you should keep in mind.
Although it still does not have the reputation the most famous cloud companies, ADrive certainly provides one of the most compelling offers. As an adviser-supported platform, it offers 50GB of free cloud storage.
Most importantly, its paid version is also pretty reasonable. Namely, for US$2.50 per month or US$25 per year, users can enoy 100GB of storage.
Apart from its personal and business plans, the company also takes pride in amazing features such as on-demand scalability, VPN encryption, redundant connectivity options and an the ability to mirror multiple data centers for additional protection.
The only drawback of ADrive is that, with a lot of free storage space, the company deploys dozens of annoying ads.
As one of the most famous cloud services, Apple iCloud offers 5GB of free storage. Through software like iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing and many more, Apple will keep all documents, videos and photos updated and secured not matter location.
Even though it was primarily designed for Apple users, there is also an iCloud app for Windows. For Android users, it is possible to utilize iCloud, but they need a third-party access.
Apart from 5GB of free storage, Apple offers storage plans up to 1TB.
For people planning to boost storage, there are several options to consider. For instance, 20GB costs only US$0.99, 200GB will require US$4 per month or even 1TB for US$20 per month.
Established in 2005, Box has been around for over a decade. Even though it was primarily designed to be a business-based service, the company also provides personal storage solutions.
Box offers numerous solutions and plans for both individuals and companies.
The basic plan the company offers comes with 10GB of storage. However, this is a bit misleading because Box limits files to 250MB, which is significantly lower than any of the companies mentioned here. If you are willing to pay for more storage space, the starter package comes with 100GB of storage for US$5 per month and a 2GB file size limit for up to 10 users.
On the other hand, there is also a business account that includes unlimited storage with a 5GB file size limit for only US$15 per month.
Even though the number of cloud vendors has rapidly grown, Dropbox still remains a brand against which others must compete.
Apart from common Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS standards, it is one of the rare companies that offers its services to Linux and Blackberry users as well.
What also differentiates Dropbox from similar cloud providers is its two-step authentication, which means that all files are saved on its servers that are protected by AES 256-bit encryption.
When it comes to free storage space, it comes with only 2GB. So, if the main use is to store documents, users should be quite satisfied. However, for any kind of media — such as photos, music or videos — this online space will disappear really fast. Precisely because of this, Dropbox provides private users with 1TB space for US$10 per month, while its business package offers unlimited storage for only US$15 per user.
When it comes to Google Drive, it could be said that it represents the heart of the search engine giant’s services.
Most importantly, it works in a pretty simple way. For example, users of Gmail, Google Calendar or YouTube already have a Drive account. But for people on other services, the company provides 15GB of free storage space once you create a new Google account or link to an existing one.
Similar to Apple, data stored on Drive is encrypted in 128-bit AES rather than the 256-bit employed by Box and Dropbox. In case more than 15GB of storage is required, there is a paid version. For US$2 per month, Google offers 100GB while 1TB costs US$10 per month.
Formerly known as SkyDrive, Microsoft OneDrive now comes with 15GB of free storage. This conglomerate also offers numerous benefits to its users, including extra 15GB of storage if they backup their camera roll to OneDrive, as well as additional 5 GB for referring 10 friends to the service.
If the basic 15GB are not enough, the cost of 100GB for US$2 per month and 1TB will be US$7 per month. Alternatively, by signing up for Office 365, ther service offeres unlimited storage space.
All in all, One Drive provides a tempting offer to all Windows users. Unfortunately, this won’t last for long.
Namely, the company blames numerous users for abusing their generous offer and using it to store hundreds of terabytes for free. In November, they announced they would slash some OneDrive allowances, as well as reduce the camera roll bonus and turn back to 5GB of free storage.
For some time now, pCoud has been well-known for the simplicity of use and an enviable amount of free storage. Opening a new pCloud account means 10GB of free storage, which is five times Dropbox’s basic offer. However, it is simple to upgrade this number to 20GB by taking several steps, such as recommending the software to friends, completing a tutorial or following them on online channels.
However, the real temptation comes with larger space storage solutions at reasonable prices. For example, pCloud offers 500GB for US$4 per month and US$8 per month for 1TB.
Apart from the ability to access the account via the website, the service is also available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Most importantly, pCloud is the first cloud service that provides the ability to store both non-encrypted and encrypted files. It also offers an amazing Crypto option that lets users protect confidential files with high-end security.
StreamNation is a cloud service specially designed to store photos, videos, and long-form movies. Just like pCloud, the company offers a basic package of 20GB for all users that recommend it to friends or follow and like it on social networks.
Larger spaces go for US$4 for 100GB or US$14 per month for 1TB. However, it’s important to know is these prices increase by US$1 if a user pays month to month instead of committing to a full-year service.
Finally, in today’s hyperconnected world, the cloud has become the backbone for efficient storing and information sharing.
However, as the number of cloud vendors is on a steady rise, competitors need to find a way to attract more potential users and inspire them to pay for additional space and services.
Luckily, as the competition in this field rises, the option for the average person grows as well. It does not matter if the choice is an industry veteran like Dropbox or a perspective newcomer like pCloud, just conduct thorough research and choose the service that suits best personal or business needs and, of course, the wallet.
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