No Money? No Problem: 15 Free Cloud Storage Offerings
By Andrew R Hickey, CRN
4:00 PM EST Thu. Sep. 15, 2011
Online file-sharing player 4Shared has been around for about 6 years, but it just recently unveiled 15 GB of free cloud storage. You get 10 GB for free, and 5 GB more if you verify your e-mail address. And each file must be no larger than 2 GB. 4Shared lets users set permissions for folders, meaning saved content can be private or shared and more rules and policies can be set to determine which users see which files and which can upload their own data.
Microsoft Windows Live SkyDrive
With 25 GB of free online storage, Microsoft Windows Live SkyDrive lets users upload files, photos and other content to the cloud to be accessed from anywhere. SkyDrive also hypes its ability to share and collaborate on content in the cloud. In-e-mail and social network sharing are two key components for SkyDrive, through which users can upload and share documents and photos with people or groups via e-mail or links. SkyDrive also works with Office Web Apps to let users create, edit, view and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files online. And SkyDrive boasts powerful permission settings to ensure content can only be viewed by who users want viewing it.
Dropbox has made a name for itself on the free cloud storage game, offering 2 GB of cloud drive space for life. More space can be purchased via a monthly plan. Dropbox bills itself as a hip service that lets users upload photos, docs and videos and take them anywhere on all computers and devices. Users can share folders and send links. And, like a time machine, Dropbox lets users undo mistakes and undelete accidentally trashed files
SugarSync is a major up-and-comer in the cloud storage arena, and its offer of 5 GB of free cloud storage, with no credit card required, is driving its success. SugarSync calls itself a provider of “personal cloud services,” which let users access their data anytime, anywhere and from any devices. Mobile users can backup, sync, access and share all files on the go from nearly any type of device. Meanwhile, SugarSync users can sync files in any folder and access and share those files via the cloud. File sharing and collaboration tools let users share any folder or file with a URL on social networks, in e-mail, via instant message or more.
Box.net is a cloud storage mainstay, but to entice newbies to the platform, the company is generous with its free space, offering a 5 GB cloud drive for free that allows files from 25 MB up to 1 GB each. The free version of Box.net, dubbed the personal plan, also enables file-sharing links and mobile app access.
As if the 100 GB free and clear from Symform wasn’t enough, the Seattle-based cloud storage player has upped the ante and is offering up to 200 GB free. Users can get the additional 100 GB by referring other users, at 10 GB free per referral, and by getting fully configured within the first 20 hours, which adds another 20 GB.
Memopal ponies up 3 GB of cloud storage and online backup for free. The Memopal software performs automatic and continuous file saving to a remote server through a secure Web connection, and according to the company, any files can be protected to prevent corruption, malfunctions, theft or human error. With Memopal, files can be accessed from any Web connection or smartphone. Users decide what to save and back up automatically and in-real time and data is sent over the network with 128 bit encryption.
Google offers 1 GB of free storage via Google Docs for uploaded files or folders. According to Google, only files a user has uploaded and hasn’t converted to Google Docs format will count toward the minimum storage limit, meaning Google Docs formatted documents are free and don’t count against the 1 GB. Additionally, Google said that files and documents that have been shared with a Google Docs user also won’t count against the maximum storage limit.
Amazon Cloud Drive
When Amazon launched Amazon Cloud Drive earlier this year, it also unveiled 5 GB of free storage to go along with it. According to Amazon, that 5 GB is enough to store 1,000 songs, 2,000 photos or 20 minutes of HD video. Amazon Cloud Drive boasts unlimited, secure access from any Internet connection. And songs or albums purchased directly from the Amazon MP3 Store don’t count against the Cloud Drive storage limit.
ZumoDrive keeps it simple. It offers 2 GB of free cloud storage. It supports multiple languages. And ZumoDrive works with Windows, Mac and Linux. It also works on a host of smartphone platforms. No fuss. No muss. Free storage.
Compatible with Windows and Ubuntu, Ubuntu One is a personal cloud service that offers its sync services and 5 GB of storage for free. Its suite of cloud services, which includes storage, sync, sharing and streaming gives users access to music, photos, videos, documents and more from any device at any time. Ubuntu One is operated by Canonical Ltd.
With a whopping 50 GB of free cloud storage, ADrive offers one of the more generous amounts of cloud drive capacity with its basic edition. Along with 50 GB free, ADrive gives users universal access, file sharing, folder/directory upload, file download, search, remote file transfer, international character support and Zoho Editor for no additional charge.
Based in Germany and with support for English and German, TeamDrive gives users 2 GB of free cloud space on Windows, Mac and Linux devices. Along with that 2 GB users get free unlimited multiple server support through TeamDrive CloudServer, TeamDrive PersonalServer and WebDAV Serve. As an added incentive, TeamDrive users can get a total of 8 GB of free space if they refer new users. For each new user referred, TeamDrive gives an additional 250 MB at no cost.
SpiderOak offers 2 GB of free storage and recently launched an iOS app to be used on Apple iPhones and iPad. Additionally, the free service works on Windows, Mac, Linux and Google Android devices to give users a free cloud drive.
OpenDrive delivers 5 GB of free cloud storage, but goes well-beyond that by enabling files up to 100 MB, 1 GB per day of bandwidth, direct linking, unlimited computer access and watermarking. All for the price of $0.00.