The Best Free Cloud Storage – 22 Services That Give You More

Free Cloud Storage

Free cloud storage is all the rage. If you want to upload a school or work document, or share a simple family photo album, there’s no need to spend money on an expensive paid service. Most people don’t need terabytes of storage to sync and share files. Many cloud services can fit your needs, with a cost of zero.

The following services were evaluated by:

  • Free space offered
  • Speed and performance
  • Features (some services severely limit their free accounts)
  • Bonus space

You’ll generally want to avoid services with file size limits. They’re not worth the hassle. Many free accounts also have daily transfer limits for shared links, which you’ll want to keep in mind if you share lots of files. I’ll mention these limitations for each service, if  they apply.

1. Google Drive

Free Space: 15 GB
Bonuses: None

Google Drive is arguably the best free cloud storage service. It offers the most free space of all the major cloud providers (15 GB versus OneDrive’s 5 GB, Dropbox’s 2 GB, and iCloud’s 5 GB).

There are no bandwidth limits, unlike many other free services. Syncing is fast and reliable. It supports file versioning for all files, unlike OneDrive which can only undo changes to Office files.

On the downside, there are better options for privacy (such as Sync.com and MEGA). And even though 15 GB is a lot, it’s shared with your Gmail and Google Photos accounts. There’s also no Linux client.

drive.google.com

2. Dropbox

Free Space: 2 GB
Bonuses: 500 MB per friend referral. 125 MB for connecting Facebook/Twitter. 16 GB max bonus.

Dropbox has held steady over the years with their 2 GB of free storage offer. It’s tiny compared to some other services, but Dropbox makes up for it with simple and reliable file synchronization. The apps are easy to use, and files sync quickly across devices (even faster when devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, due to LAN sync). Dropbox has clients for every major operating system including Linux.

With shared links, Dropbox has a traffic limit of 20 GB per day for free accounts. If you go over this limit, Dropbox will temporarily suspend any links you’ve created.

www.dropbox.com

3. OneDrive

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: 500 MB per friend referral. 10 GB max bonus.

Ever since Microsoft downgraded free plans from 15 GB to 5 GB, they’ve been playing catch up to Google Drive. There’s still no file versioning support for non-Office files.

However, OneDrive will be attractive to those who want an easy-to-use cloud service that is fast and reliable. It comes free with your Windows account, which is a plus. OneDrive also offers plenty of sharing and collaboration options to share and edit files as a team.

onedrive.live.com

4. Degoo

Free Space: 100 GB
Bonuses: 3 GB per friend referral. 500 GB max bonus.

Degoo is a small Swedish startup that is giving away an unheard-of 100 GB of free cloud storage. That’s 50 times more than Dropbox, and it trounces MEGA with double the space offered.

The desktop software is simple and easy to use. There’s no file sync and share, however. There’s also no Linux client or web interface to access to your files. You can access your backed up files on mobile devices, but the experience is not as seamless as other cloud providers.

degoo.com

5. hubiC

Free Space: 25 GB
Bonuses: 5 GB per friend referral. 25 GB max bonus.

hubiC is a French cloud storage service that gives you 25 GB to start with, with the option to earn up to 50 GB total by referring friends. It has great operating system support, with desktop sync clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

On the downside, performance is slow outside of Europe. Download speeds were under 2 Mbps in our tests.

hubic.com

6. iCloud

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: None

Apple’s iCloud gives you 5 GB of space for free. This is probably enough to back up your iPhone’s settings, contacts, and maybe photos (but probably not videos). You can sync files across devices with iCloud Drive, a Dropbox-like folder on your hard drive. The software works on Mac and Windows desktops.

There’s no link-based sharing option, however. The web apps are also quite limited.

www.icloud.com

7. MEGA

Free Space: 50 GB
Bonuses: None

MEGA is one of the most popular free cloud storage services. It offers a massive 50 GB of free space. It also claims to offer zero-knowledge privacy with client-side encryption, so not even the NSA can view your files. This also means there is no “password reset” (don’t forget your password).

Sync clients are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are also mobile apps for iOS and Android.

There’s a 10 GB bandwidth limit, which resets every 30 minutes. This is much higher than Dropbox and other free services. I can’t fault them for it.

On the downside, not everyone believes MEGA is secure. Even the founder Kim Dotcom doesn’t trust the service, after shares of the company were apparently seized by the New Zealand government. Also, some users have complained that the sync client is buggy and will lose your data.

mega.nz

8. pCloud

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: 1 GB per friend referral. 500 MB to back up Facebook/Instagram. 500 MB to connect Facebook account. 10 GB max bonus.

pCloud promises their 10 GB plan is free forever. You can share folders, listen to your music with their web-based media player, and even back up data from other cloud services.

The desktop software can create a virtual drive on your computer. This can be a 100% pure cloud drive, or it can sync files to your computer.

There are no bandwidth limits for shared links as far as I can tell.

www.pcloud.com

9. Symform

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: Half the amount of hard drive space you contribute. 5 TB max bonus.

Symform is a peer-to-peer cloud storage service. It offers 10 GB for free to start with. You can earn up to 5 TB more by contributing excess hard drive space on your computer. When you contribute space on your hard drive, you get half the amount you contribute in free cloud storage.

There is no file sharing, so you’ll want to use another service if you need that feature. Also, contributed devices must be online 24/7.

www.symform.com

10. Yandex.Disk

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: 500 MB per friend referral. 10 GB max bonus.

Yandex.Disk is Russia’s answer to Google Drive. It offers 10 GB of free cloud storage with the option to grow to 20 GB by referring friends. Each person you invite gets 1 GB of extra space, while you get 500 MB.

disk.yandex.com

11. MiMedia

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: None

MiMedia gives users 10 GB for free. It’s primarily geared towards storing photos, videos, music, and documents. It doesn’t give any extra space for referrals, so you’re stuck at 10 GB.

www.mimedia.com

12. MediaFire

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: 1 GB per friend referral. 2 GB to install desktop/mobile apps. 1 GB to connect Facebook/Twitter. 1 GB to post to Facebook/Twitter. 40 GB max bonus.

MiMedia starts at 10 GB for free, with the option to grow to 50 GB by referring friends and completing other tasks.

Unfortunately, some users have complained about the ad-supported nature of this service. Ads appear on shared links, which is an annoyance that the major cloud services don’t have.

www.mediafire.com

13. Syncplicity

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: None

Syncplicity offers 10 GB of free cloud space. They used to offer a refer-a-friend program, but not any more. The service has no bandwidth restrictions and great mobile apps, however.

www.syncplicity.com

14. Cubby

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: 1 GB per friend referral. 20 GB max bonus.

Cubby is a cloud storage service from LogMeIn. It offers 5 GB of free space, although you can increase it to a hefty 25 GB by referring friends (+1 GB each).

www.cubby.com

15. ASUS WebStorage

Free Space: 8 GB
Bonuses: 512 MB per friend referral. 10 GB max bonus.

WebStorage offers 8 GB for free, with an additional 512 MB for each referred friend. The free plan supports one PC, and there’s a 500 MB file size limit.

www.asuswebstorage.com

16. Sync.com

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: 1 GB per friend referral.

Sync.com is a newer cloud storage service that offers better privacy than traditional cloud storage. Their free plan gives you 5 GB of cloud storage space. For each friend you refer, you’ll get an extra 1 GB. Your friend will also get 1 GB.

www.sync.com

17. Jottacloud

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: None

Jottacloud is a Norweigan cloud storage service that gives you 5 GB for free. Desktop sync clients are available for Windows and Mac. There are also Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps.

www.jottacloud.com

18. IDrive

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: None

IDrive offers 5 GB of free cloud storage to sync, share, and back up files. You can also use the free plan to back up contacts, photos, and text messages on your mobile devices.

www.idrive.com

19. CloudMe

Free Space: 3 GB
Bonuses: 500 MB per friend referral. 16 GB max bonus.

CloudMe is a Swedish cloud storage service that gives you 3 GB of free space. You can earn up to 19 GB by referring friends. Each friend will get 500 MB for using your invitation.

There’s a 150 MB file upload limit with the free account, which is pretty bad.

www.cloudme.com

20. Box

Free Space: 10 GB
Bonuses: None

Box offers 10 GB of free cloud storage space space. I think their free account falls short of Dropbox and Google Drive. There’s a 250 MB file size limit on it, as well as no file version history.

www.box.com

21. OpenDrive

Free Space: 5 GB
Bonuses: 500 MB per friend referral. 15 GB max bonus.

When you refer others to OpenDrive, you’ll get an extra 500 MB and they’ll get 5 GB.

On the downside, there’s a 100 MB max file size for free accounts. There’s also a 1 GB per day bandwidth limit and a 200 KB/s speed limit. I can’t see anyone using the free plan unless it’s just to try out the service.

www.opendrive.com

22. Tresorit

Free Space: 3 GB
Bonuses: None

Tresorit is another zero-knowledge encrypted cloud storage service (like MEGA and Sync.com), which offers better privacy than the major services. You can synchronize files on up to 3 devices with the free Basic plan, as well as send encrypted share links to others.

Unfortunately the free account has a 500 MB file size limit and no file version recovery, so I tend to not recommend it.

tresorit.com/pricing/basic

Your Turn

What’s your favorite free cloud storage service? Let me know in the comments below.

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

Reviews and ratings of the most popular backup solutions

@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 12 months ago

 
  • ezrashapiro613

    I thought I’d see Tresorit on the list.

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    • Thanks for the suggestion Ezra. I added Tresorit, but I generally don’t recommend it due to the restrictions on the free account.

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      • ezrashapiro613

        You’re welcome. I didn’t realize it had restrictions. I got the account when they were offering it with 50 gigabytes of space 🙂

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  • Kateryna Talaichuk

    I really like pibox.com. They are giving 1000 GB for 10 invites only;)

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    • It looks like they have no desktop sync client.

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      • CyrilEbonyc

        It seems like they do now.

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        • I don’t see it. Only a web client and Android app. I don’t know how Pibox expects users to “synchronize” files if they have to upload/download them manually on the desktop.

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  • blunderboy

    @geoffakerlund:disqus Good collection!! The only missing part I can see and I mostly look for is availability of desktop sync client. How about adding this information for each of the services beside Free Space and Bonuses.

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    • Thanks blunderboy. All the services listed offer a desktop sync client.

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      • Sebestyén György

        Degoo doesn’t have a Linux sync client. Nor a web interface.
        Linux users are excluded from using their services.
        Shame.

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  • TMark1

    What a pathetic collection. The same as all the others. Nothing new.

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      • TMark1

        Yeah well.. it was formed after going through 15 or so identical lists on 15 or so other sites with their copy/pasted made for page hits crap. By the time I got to this one I was feeling a bit disgruntled. Fortunately I stumbled across a couple where a bit of work had been put in.

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        • azalius

          And you have decided not to share those good sources… u want respect ? you gotta post it.

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          • TMark1

            I’m a bit busy right now, and it’s 3 months later, so I’ll give the respect a miss. You’ll just have to spend a few minutes doing a simple Google search yourself.

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  • Sebestyén György

    In case of Degoo, please add the information, that it hasn’t a Linux client or a web interface.
    Linux users therefor are excluded from using this service.

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    • Done!

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      • Sebestyén György

        Thx! I wish they were this fast in adding a Linux client. 😀

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  • Sebestyén György

    With the help of Goggle Translate, I’ve been able to register at Weiyun and got 1TB.
    I recommend using Chrome or a Chrome based browser (Slimjet) and set Google Translate to automatically translate from simplified Chinese to your language.
    Here are the steps:
    1. step: Register at http://reg.imqq.com
    You can register your own nickname plus you’ll get a Standard QQ Number. You can use both for logging in. (1st picture)

    2. step: Go to Weiyun homepage: http://www.weiyun.com (2nd picture)
    The page will be only partially translated. Don’t worry about it. 🙂 (3rd picture)

    3. step: Chose QQ login instead of WeChat login and click the most left menu item below the scanner code picture. This will take you to the right login method. (4th picture)
    4. step: Enter your ID (or QQ Number), your password and press the big green button.
    5. step: If everything went fine, you’re now in and see the web interface.
    Let it be translated and start using it. (5th picture)
    Enjoy! 😉

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    • I tried Weiyun Tencent, but it was so complicated. Even when I got past the initial signup, I still had to deal with the Chinese language in the software (which is impossible to translate). I guess for just the web interface, it would be pretty good. Thanks for the detailed steps!

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    • Raven

      reg.imqq.com is down. Is there another way to get a QQ number? D:

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      • Sebestyén György

        No guarantee that it works with 1 TB cloud, because they may have changed that since September, but I have found a page that might be suitable for registration.
        Please give us a feedbach if it works.
        https://ssl.zc.qq.com/en/index.html?from=pt

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  • zozo

    when I try to download degoo..it says t has a trojan virus….is this real, true?

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    • It looks like they’ve now partnered with a “Search Manager” (probably malware). I clicked “Skip” when downloading Degoo, and got a file that passed Kaspersky’s virus scanner:

      Scan result File is safe
      File size 1,63MB
      File type PE32/EXE
      Date of scan 2016-12-31 17:01:17
      Bases release date 2017-01-01 00:37:41 UTC
      MD5 a13b3cba58f05775e8bccb63096e323f
      SHA1 66d44b8a3051bb307374d656ce11788023479bfd
      SHA256
      6d2857731278ec9bc8c2e75b2e712d6652053573a1b0a448212bff7e5266c840

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  • Even Yandex.Disk is here… When I tried its Windows desktop client half a year ago, it wasn’t able to preserve last modified timestamp for the files uploaded to the storage. Their support promised to fix that some day… 🙂
    Instead of Yandex.Disk I’d vote for another Russian service – Mail.Ru Cloud. They give away 25GB for free with nice desktop client for Windows (Android client is also available with minimalistic functionality). But be warned they actively use de-duplication so you’ll occasionally encounter light-speed uploads which mean someone else had already uploaded same (public?) content to the cloud.

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    • Thanks for the comment Anton. I only wish mail.ru offered an English version of their site.

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      • Well, that’s right – there is no English version of mail.ru site. However their cloud desktop client has an option to switch to English interface, though the initial setup (registration, etc.) is still in Russian.

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  • Nyan Lin Aung

    Pcloud now limit the download of files with high traffic to premium users only.

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  • I have been using Dropbox for a long period since it’s (I think) the best option in terms of platform support. Nearly all platforms are supported by Dropbox, including Linux the platform I use. So I can sync the changes in my desktop to have an online backup in Dropbox

    After reading article I just realized that MEGA also has so many platform support. Its free plan even has very spacious capacity. Thanks for writing this bro!

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  • Bob Ives

    i read somewhere recently that google were offering unlimited cloud storage. anyone know any more?

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    • Daniel

      Yeah! There’s Google’s G-Suite plans the $10/month plan says 1TB if you have under 5 users, but it doesn’t seem to be enforced, thus you get unlimited storage for $10/month.

      There’s also free Unlimited Google Drive accounts you can find on Ebay for around $5-$10(No membership. Just a one time fee). I can’t speak much for the legitimacy of most of them, but I bought this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Google-Drive-Unlimited-Storage/192199250069?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

      It’s been working fine for me… Can’t guarantee it would work in a year or so tho

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