Free Cloud Storage

 

What is free cloud storage?
Usually we store our data files and folders on our computers or external storage device like USB hard disk drive, CD, DVD, Tape etc.  Cloud storage means storing our files and folders online.  Many cloud providers offer limited amount of free cloud storage, hoping that customers’ data  will grow overtime, and those who enjoy their service will eventually become paid customers.

We do our best to keep the information up-to-date, but service providers’ offers, terms and product features may change at any time!  Please be informed it is your responsibility to check their terms and services before sign up.

 

What are advantages and disadvantages of using cloud storage?
Cloud storage is very convenient.  People these days use more than one computing devices.  They use computers at work, surf internet through laptops at home, and go online with tablets and smart phones on the street.  Even TVs are now connected to the internet. If you are like most people, you may be tired of your files being scattered across different devices.  You may have painful experiences of data loss before because of computer or storage device failure.  With cloud storage, your files stored on the internet are automatically sync between your devices.  Desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones – you name it!  You no longer need to use USB memory stick to copy your files from one device to another.  It is like using webmail (Gmail, Yahoo mail) where you are not tied to a particular computer.  You can access your mailbox from anywhere through the internet.  Moreover, your files are stored and backup to a number of storage devices in service provider’s network, so you don’t need to worry device failure again.

The disadvantage is you do need internet connection to access your files.  File transfer speed won’t be as fast compared to those stored on local hard drive.   Backup to your local storage is significantly faster than online backup especially when your file sizes are huge.  Another concern is the security of our sensitive data file.  After all, we are storing our files on cloud storage provided by third party provider.

With that being said more and more people are enjoying free online storage like we enjoyed free Gmail, Yahoo mail and hotmail.

 

Where can we get free cloud storage?
There are a number of good cloud providers offering cloud storage for free.  Many of these providers work on freemium model.  It means they offer you a certain amount of storage for free, and if you really like the service and want more space, you can buy a subscription.

JustCloud
Free Cloud Storage 01Cloud storage providers are competing one another, and consumers are definitely the winners.  Better deals appear every few days, and today I am excited to share how I get unlimited cloud storage from JustCloud.  As we all know, our collection of music, photos, videos and documents grows over time, and the limited cloud storage would run out very quickly.  With JustCloud, you can get unlimited free cloud storage.  All you need is refer 2 friends after your free sign up.  This can be easily done by sharing the link provided by JustCloud on Facebook.  I did that and within 3 hours, 5 of my friends signed up.  If you want the unlimited space immediately and don’t mind to spend a few bucks, their price is also very affordable $5.95/month for unlimited online storage.  This is the best deal I found so far.  Click here to open a free account.  I bet you would love unlimited storage space.

CX
CX.com is cloud storage provider similar to SugarSync and Dropbox.  The big plus is that it offers a lot more space – 10GB free.  You can sync and access your files across different devices – PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch etc.  10 GB is spacious enough for 3000+ songs.   I was a fan of Dropbox & SugarSync, and later switched to CX after my boss’s recommendation.  It is feature rich, and offers more storage space.  Click here to open a free CX.com.

SugarSync
SugarSync offers 5 GB of free space, and you can get 500 MB bonus when you refer a friend to SugarSync.  With SugarSync, you can seamlessly sync your data across multiple devices – Mac, PC, Mobile etc.  You can easily restore all your data from online backup.  You can also retrieve previous versions of your documents.  You can also have web file archive.  Your data are encrypted in 128 bit AES format – the format most banks use to secure your data.  Your entire music collection on free cloud storage can be streamed to your smart phones.  You can easily share your photo with your family, or publish to Facebook.   With SugarSync, I can choose which files are to be synced across all my devices, and which files are to be stored in web archive.  I want all my files available on my laptops and desktops, but not on my iPhone and iPad (which have very limited space).  If you open SugarSync account through my referral link, both you and I will get 500 MB bonus space.  This is a win-win, and you get 5.5 GB free instead of 5 GB.

Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the most well known free online storage because of its simplicity.  When you sign up Dropbox, you can get 2 GB of cloud storage free.  If you refer a friend to Dropbox, you will get 250 MB bonus for each successful referral.  You can get up to 8 GB of free storage by referring people.  On the other hand, SugarSync has no limit on referral bonus space.  But the good thing about Dropbox is its simplicity, and having a number of user clients – Mac, PC, Android, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry etc.  You can stream your music and video files directly from these clients.  Many software products out there now have Dropbox integration.  Eg. You can save your files directly to Dropbox in Quick Office for iPad.  If you have a website, there are also software products that backup your sites directly to your Dropbox on schedule.  If you sign up dropbox through my referral link, both you and I will get 250 MB bonus.

Box
Another reputable free cloud storage provider is Box.com which offers 5 GB free space.  According to their website, there are over 100,000 businesses that use Box.  Box has decent apps for iPhone, iPad and Android phones.  If you are looking for a reliable cloud storage provider for your business, you should include box in your shortlist.  But I won’t recommend its personal plan (free 5 GB) simply due to the lack of desktop app.  Box’s desktop app is available only to paid users. Without app, you always need to open web browsers to upload and download your files.  Your files cannot be automatically sync across different devices – your desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone etc.  I would rather recommend CX, SugarSync or Dropbox which all provide decent desktop apps free.

Amazon
Many people didn’t notice that they have cloud storage in their Amazon.com account.  Amazon offers 5 GB free storage space to every customer’s account.  The next time you sign into your Amazon account, look for Amazon Cloud Drive.  Amazon is a household brand people trust, and it is also one of the best cloud computing companies out there.  The drawback is there is no user client like dropbox, so you need to use your web browser to upload and download your files.  Without proper user client, its free cloud storage has very limited functionality.  Our data can’t be auto backup  to cloud, and auto synced to other devices. We can’t  share and collaborate our work with others through cloud.  It is just a simple file storage.

Amazon Free Cloud Storage

Symform
The cloud storage provider that offers up to 200 GB free is Symform.  Yes. A whooping 200 GB!  But there is a catch.  You need to contribute unused storage space on your local hard drives to their network.  This may be confusing for some users.  It is actually exchanging your local cheap storage for super redundant cloud storage.  They use 1.5x redundancy i.e. you need to contribute 300 GB local space for 200 GB online space.  This is a new concept that makes this company stand apart from other providers.  This may be a good concept, but I don’t want to contribute my hard disc space.  It is simply inconvenient form me. I would rather use other providers.

iCloud
Are you an Apple fan?  Then I thought you may already have iCloud.  Apple offers 5 GB free for each iTune account.  It is really nice to be able to backup my iDevices to the cloud.  But 5 GB ran out very quickly, and it is relatively expensive to buy more storage. iCloud costs $2/GB/year, while Amazon charge $1/GB/year.  Unlimited online backup on Carbonite costs only $59/year, and JustCloud charges only $4.95/month for unlimited cloud storage. iCloud is a great companion for iDevices, but I need flexibility and freedom to store whatever I want.  JustCloud, CX, SugarSync and Dropbox are my preferred choices for cloud storage.

4shared
Popular online storage 4shared.com offer 10 GB of free space when you sign up.  It has both desktop and mobile clients – Windows, Mac, Linux, Symbian, BlackBerry, iPhone, Android etc.  4shared offer more free space than Dropbox.  Dropbox’s user clients are more feature rich eg. streaming of music & video from your cloud storage.


Other free cloud storage offers worth your attention include those from Mozy, Carbonite and Symform.

Followings are commercials collected from YouTube.

CX  10 GB Free

SugarSync 5 GB Free

So are you now ready to enjoy free cloud storage?  Let us know your thoughts in comment!

 

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