Many cloud services can fit your needs, with a cost of zero.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Read more »
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.