Imagine having difficulty storing a series of important and useful data and files on your storage device: flash drive or hard drive, or after storing your files, it’s inaccessible for usage or retrieval. Online Storage Services have come to erase that painful memory of losing an important document.
The frustration you would feel for losing important data and the anger for not backing up the files when you should.
However, with technological innovation individuals and businesses can keep their files stored with the cloud services provider for on-demand access on any of their devices. Meaning, data and files saved on cloud storage can be accessible across devices.
Cloud storage is a cloud computing model that stores data on the internet through a cloud computing provider that manages and operates data storage as a service. It can also be called “hosted storage,” “Internet storage” or “cloud storage”. Data can be delivered on-demand with just-in-time capacity and costs and eliminates buying and managing your own data storage system which results in “anytime, anywhere” data access.
Therefore, if you have been thinking of means of storing data and files which can be accessed anywhere and anytime for free, this article is for you. Carefully read through and choose any of the free cloud storage service providers you like. Let’s dive in.
What Is a Cloud Storage Service?
A cloud storage service is a business or service that maintains and manages its customers’ data and makes that data accessible over a network, usually the internet. Cloud storage providers also provide for unlimited growth and the ability to increase and decrease storage capacity on demand.
In recent years, the number of vendors offering online data storage for both consumers and businesses has increased drastically. Some services store only a particular kind of data, such as photos, music or backup data, while others will allow users to store any type of file.
However, most of these vendors offer a small amount of storage for free with additional storage capacity available for a fee, usually paid on a monthly or annual basis.
Why Online Storage Services?
One of the benefits of cloud storage is the ability to access data from anywhere. As the number of devices the average person uses continues to grow, syncing or transferring data among devices has become more important. Not only does it help transfer data between devices, online data storage also provides the ability to share files among different users.
Basically, this is particularly helpful for business users; although it’s also popular with consumers who want to share photos, videos and similar materials with their friends and family.
With cloud storage, there is no hardware to purchase, storage to provision, or capital being used for “someday” scenarios. You can add or remove capacity on demand. Cloud storage allows IT to quickly deliver the exact amount of storage needed, right when it’s needed. This allows IT to focus on solving complex application problems instead of having to manage storage systems.
Cloud storage can also be used as natural disaster proof backup because it’s located off site, as normally there are 2 or 3 different backup servers located in different places around the globe. In a fire, flood, earthquake or similar situation, on-site backups could be damaged, but online backups won’t be affected.
How does Cloud Storage Work?
Cloud storage is purchased from a third party cloud vendor who owns and operates data storage capacity and delivers it over the Internet in a pay-as-you-go model. These cloud storage vendors manage capacity, security and durability to make data accessible to your applications all around the world.
Hence, applications access cloud storage through traditional storage protocols or directly via an API. Many vendors offer complementary services designed to help collect, manage, secure and analyze data at massive scale.
How much does Cloud Storage Service Cost?
Cloud storage cost is based on data storage, network usage, operation usage and retrieval and early depletion fees.
Depending on the provider, a cloud storage solution could cost anywhere from $5-25 per user per month or a flat rate of $2-50 a month. The price can vary widely for several reasons.
If you’re looking for a business-centered plan versus one geared towards individuals, then the cost will automatically increase. This is because an individual looking to protect some personal photos and documents takes up a lot less space in the cloud than a business, which has a large amount of files to secure.
Based on the amount of users included in the plan, a cloud storage provider will increase the price. This is because more users increase the amount of data that the storage provider must protect, which puts more strain on their servers.
Cloud storage costs also increase based on the total amount of data stored. For instance, there could be one plan geared towards up to 10 users with limits on the total amount of data that can be stored as well as the maximum file size that can be uploaded to the cloud.
When looking at pricing for a cloud storage solution, many providers offer pricing on a per user basis, for instance $5 per user per month. Depending on how many users are in your company, this can quickly add up.
Other providers may offer flat monthly pricing. When conducting research into pricing, figure out if you would prefer a flat monthly price or a per user price for your cloud storage solution.
You can also read: Top 15 Ways Poor People Try to Look Rich
10 Best Free Online or Cloud Storage Service in 2022
There are different online storage services that provide free storage and also paid if you want more features.
#1. Google Drive
Google drive is a free online data storage service provided by Google. The service syncs stored files, photos, and more across all the user’s PCs, tablets, and mobile devices. It offers 15 GB of free space.
- You can build Docs, Sheets, Slides
- It provides real-time synchronization
- You can create forms that help you to run a survey
- The tool can be used for macOS
- It can integrate with lots of external apps
- It helps you to store documents of up to 1.02 million characters, spreadsheets of over a million cells, etc.
Dropbox is a file hosting service providing personal cloud, file synchronization, cloud storage, and client software. It is designed to collaborate your projects whether you are working alone or in a team.
- It offers you to safely sync data across all devices
- Your file size should be 50 GB or smaller
Service is available for macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems.
#3. Amazon Drive
Amazon drive or Amazon Cloud Drive is a cloud storage application of Amazon. The service provides secure cloud storage, file sharing, photo printing, and file backup.
- Helps you to organize and edit photos online
- Backs up the photos and videos on your phone automatically
- Synchronizes your files and folders
#4. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is an online-based storage and synchronization service provider. It is available for free to all the people having Microsoft account. OneDrive apps can be used to sync files on a Windows PC or Mac operating system.
- Scans business cards, receipts, whiteboard notes in OneDrive
- Sets expiration date for shared files for security purposes
- Uploads file up to 15GB in size
Mega is an online storage and file hosting service provided by Mega Limited. This online storage service is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platform.
- Offers 50 GB free storage space
- Uses keys to encrypt files and chats
- Allows you to sync files and folders
- Uploads/downloads 1GB data every 6 hours
pCloud is a secure and simple to use online cloud storage for your documents. This tool allows you to share and collaborate files with your employee, friends, and relatives.
- Helps you to keep your private files confidential with the highest level of encryption
- Allows to back up your valuable memories to pCloud by just clicking a click of a button
- Helps you to filter your files according to their file format
- stores versions on your files for a specific period, which helps you to search archive files
IDrive provides service for data backup. This service is available to Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Mac users.
- Provides 5 GB free
- Organizes and monitors backup of PC from the web interface
- Upload or download files up to 2 GB in size
- Provides the best solution to protect all computers, Macs, iPhones, and Android devices into one account
This cloud service makes sharing of files from any computer or mobile device as easy as it can be. It provides an ideal solution for storing and sharing confidential and sensitive data.
- Allows you to send files of any size to anyone
- Supports Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Gives unlimited data transfer for all the plans
Icedrive is a next-generation cloud storage service that helps you to access, manage, and update your cloud storage effortlessly. It provides a space to share, showcase, and collaborate with your files.
- Supports Twofish Encryption; everything is encrypted at the client-side with zero knowledge of your data
- Allows you to store files up to 10 GB for free
- Provides clean and easy to use interface to manage your files
- Streams media from the cloud storage and easily share with friends
#10. Work drive
Workdrive is a cloud storage system that enables you to manage files with ease. It enables you to create, collaborate, and make teamwork with minimal effort. This platform uses SOC 2 (Service Organization Control) Type II.
- Allows you to brainstorm with the team in real-time
- Offers customizable reports
- Accessible from your smartphones and tablets
- store and manage files with ease
In summary, you can have your files; data, documents, videos, photos stored without frustration and fear of losing them. You can easily access your files wherever and anytime with your device.
Cloud storage service has come to stay. Therefore, check and choose any of the cloud storage services listed above and save yourself the stress of searching for lost files and possible means of retrieving them.