Cloud storage services are great for sharing files with friends and families, keeping documents in sync between all of your devices, and so much more. Free cloud storage is even better!
Yes, there really are no-strings-attached, free cloud storage services out there. Many of them, actually. While nearly all have premium offerings that provide more space, the free cloud storage offered is usually more than enough for most people.
Better yet, many of these free cloud storage providers give you even more free space for referring friends or performing other tasks.
Get 50 GB of free cloud storage with MEGA. MEGA offers secure end-to-end encryption to help combat a breach in privacy.
You can view and update your MEGA files through a browser, the desktop sync client, or the mobile app.
10 GB of free online storage is offered by pCloud, with friend referrals and other bonus steps jumping it to a possible 20 GB.
A desktop client can be installed for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. There's also a mobile app that's very intuitive and easy to use.
pCloud supports adding files from a remote URL in addition to single file and whole folder uploads through a browser. The mobile apps can upload photos and videos directly to your pCloud account.
Both files and folders can both be shared with non-users. Shared folders can even be downloaded as a ZIP archive.
Also, pCloud allows upload links to be generated for folders so anyone can send files to your account. A unique email address is also generated which lets you (or anyone) email files directly to a folder on your pCloud account.
In addition to the above, you can backup the photos from your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa.
Instantly get 10 GB of free online file hosting with MediaFire. Increase it to 50 GB or more with things like friend referrals and application downloads.
There are sharing options for files and folders and easy uploads of either single files or whole entire folders through the MediaFire website.
Mobile users can download an app to view and share files on the go or upload photos and videos.
Dropbox users start off with 2 GB of free space with several simple ways of earning more, up to around 18 GB.
You can view and upload all your Dropbox files from a desktop or mobile app and share whole folders with anyone, even if they don't have a Dropbox account.
If you have Microsoft Office files stored in your Dropbox account, you can edit them from inside your browser for free using Microsoft Office Online.
10 GB of free online storage space is offered by Box (formerly Box.net).
There's a mobile application for nearly all devices that lets you upload/download/share your content. The desktop sync client also makes it super simple to upload files to Box.
Box users can share whole folders of data or pick single files to share with a public link.
New FlipDrive users get 10 GB of initial storage with an opportunity for more for each friend they can refer to start using FlipDrive.
There is a mobile app—for iOS, Android, Windows & Windows Phone—that can be used for uploading files to FlipDrive, but the website works, too. If you use the web version, you can upload whole folders using the website, which is nice.
You can share files with anyone, even if they don't have a FlipDrive account. However, accessing shared folders requires a registered FlipDrive account. Recipients can be given write, edit, delete, and share permissions in addition to read rights for folders.
You can create up to 10 shared links and upload files that are as large as 25 MB.
The FlipDrive website isn't the easiest to use when compared to most other cloud storage services, which is a bummer, but it still manages to function if you can work through it.
07 Google Drive
Google Drive is the cloud storage service offered by Google. Each new user gets 15 GB of free space.
The total storage is actually shared with other Google services, like Gmail and Google+ Photos. If you don't use the other services, you can utilize almost all the space for Google Drive alone.
A sync client can be installed for desktop users, which supports folder and file uploads. There's also a mobile app that can send photos and videos to Google Drive.
Folders and files can be shared with specific Google users via their email address or anyone with a public link. You can also make a file view-only, which prevents someone from downloading it.
Google Drive makes it really simple to collaborate with others by allowing comments and letting files be opened and accessed my more than one person at a time.
08 OneDrive (previously SkyDrive)
Formerly called SkyDrive, OneDrive is an online storage service from Microsoft. Everyone gets 5 GB of free space when they sign up.
Extra hosting can be awarded if you follow certain instructions, like friend referrals and mobile photo syncing.
A desktop program can be installed to easily transfer folders and files of any type to OneDrive, making them accessible from a mobile device. The mobile app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone can also upload files—both images and videos.
OneDrive supports sharing both folders and files with non-registered users. A permission can be set to only allow viewing or to allow full editing.
Get 5 GB of free online storage space with HiDrive. If you refer friends to join, you can increase your storage up to 10 GB.
If you're a Windows or Mac user, you can connect to your account over WebDAV, which makes it really simple to drag and drop new files to your account.
An app is available for iOS and Android users, which supports mobile photo and video uploads.
When sharing files, you're required to set the URL to expire after a certain number of days and also set a maximum number of allowed downloads before the link becomes invalid.
You can also share folders, and recipients, even non-users, can download all the files at once in an archive.
Yandex is a Russian company known mainly for its popular Yandex Search and Yandex Email services, but they also have others, like 10 GB of free cloud storage for anyone who creates an account.
There are plenty of useful features with Yandex.Disk, such as public and private folder and file sharing, the ability to import photos via social networks, bulk downloads, automatic mobile uploads, and support for drag and drop.
Windows, Mac, and Linux users can install a desktop program to upload files to Yandex.Disk, and a mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. There's even a Yandex.Disk app for LG smart TVs.
5 GB can of free cloud storage can be had when you sign up for Sync.
Like some of the other services listed on this page, Sync can upload multiple files at once through both the website interface as well as the mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop apps.
You can build shared folders that other users can interact with as well as share any folder or file with anyone, regardless if they're a Sync user.
Vault is a folder in Sync that you can put files into so that they aren't synced across your other devices. This is useful if you just want to archive some files online but don't need them elsewhere.
See Sync's features page for a list of its features and some comparisons between the free and pro versions.
Get 25 GB of file storage at no cost with hubiC.
Windows, Mac, and Linux users can install desktop software to upload files or use the web version. A mobile application can be used with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices.
Files and folders can be shared with anyone, even if they aren't hubiC users. However, they must be set to work for just 5, 10, or 30 days before the link expires.
If sharing a folder, visitors can download multiple files at once through a ZIP download.
Over 200 file types can be uploaded to Jumpshare, with a total of 2 GB of free storage for every user. If you refer friends to join Jumpshare, you can get up to 18 GB for free!
A downloadable program is available for Windows and Mac users that allows really simple drag and drop and hotkey file sharing capabilities. There's also an iOS app here.
The upload limit per file is 250 MB. The desktop program also lets you take screenshots and record your screen for 30 seconds.
myDrive is another online storage service but it offers much less space than the majority of the others in this list. There is no limit to how large uploads can be, but you can only store up to 100 MB on myDrive, which makes the maximum file size 100 MB as well.
A desktop app is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers, and an Android and iOS app for mobile devices. Plus, you can connect to your account through WebDAV.
myDrive is very limited compared to similar websites, such as the fact that file sharing is allowed only if you give out a "guest" username and password, and you only get one.
Though I do like that you can download multiple files in an archive and restore deleted files up to a month after removing them from your account.
15 360 Security Cloud
360 Security Cloud is a Chinese service that offers a huge 360 GB of storage when you first sign up. If you download the desktop client, you instantly get upgraded to over 10 TB of storage!
Files and folders can be added to your account through either the website or the desktop program that's available for Windows and Mac.
You can share both files and folders with anyone through a public link, which doesn't require them to have a 360 Security Cloud account.
Android and iOS mobile apps can be installed to access 360 Security Cloud, share files and folders, and upload photos and videos.
There's a "daily draw" link available from the website that, when clicked, gives you extra storage space. The amount changes every day and you can only enter once per day.
Note: The 360 Security Cloud mobile app, website, and desktop program is only available in Chinese. Though it can be nearly impossible to understand what you're doing through the applications (given you don't read Chinese), uploading and sharing your files is a bit easier if you use an English translation of the 360 Security Cloud website.
16 Amazon Drive
Amazon.com has an online storage service called Amazon Drive, which offers Amazon Prime members unlimited photo storage plus 5 GB of space for videos and files.
Users can share files to create a public link accessible by anyone who uses it, even if they don't have an Amazon account. Folder sharing isn't supported.
Files can be uploaded using the desktop client software or the web version, though only the former allows folder uploads. A mobile app is also available for uploading videos and photos from Android and iOS devices.
17 Tencent Cloud
Another website that gives out quite a bit of online space is Tencent Cloud at Weiyun.com. However, while there is 10 GB of free storage up for grabs, the website and app are not in English, making it pretty difficult to use them.
With that being said, if you're out of options and need these 10 gigabytes, the upload and download buttons are easy enough to understand since they're just pictures.
You can check how much space you have available from this page, and you can download the program for Tencent Cloud here.
To get logged in to Tencent Cloud, you can download the WeChat app on your phone (it's in English) and use the Discover > Scan option to scan the QR code on Weiyun.com, which will get you in and let you use the cloud storage features. Use the QR code from the right tab, not the left one.
Degoo gives out a huge 100 GB of free storage to anyone who makes an account. You can use the cloud storage account on your computer through the desktop program, or access your files on the go with the mobile app for iOS and Android.
If you have lots of friends who want to use Degoo to store their files, you can even get 500 GB more by referring them to make an account. You get 3 GB for each person that joins through your referral. You can also watch ads to get more free online space (1.2 GB per day).
I've placed Degoo at the very bottom of this list despite its huge 100 GB capacity because it functions a bit more like a backup service rather than a cloud storage program.
You can definitely pick which files are backed up but backups are performed automatically every 24 hours to keep things updated, which makes it work more like a free backup service.
Because Degoo is a bit different than these other cloud storage services, you should use it like this: pick a folder on your computer that will hold all of your backed up files, or make new one. Put everything into that folder that you want to keep online, and then make sure Degoo is running to back up the files online.
19 Apple iCloud Drive
The deal: 5GB of free cloud storage
Details: Apple iCloud Drive comes with 5GB of free cloud storage. Users looking to bump up their storage can do so for $0.99/month for 50GBs; $2.99/month for 200GB; $9.99/month for 1TB and $19.99 for 2TB. ICloud is meant for Apple users, but there is an iCloud app for Windows. A third-party app is needed to access iCloud storage from Android devices.
The deal: 10GB free cloud storage
Details: Backblaze offers personal computer backup and business cloud storage services. But it also has an offer for 10GB of free cloud storage. Additional storage is $0.005/GB/month. There is a limit in the free version of 1GB downloaded per day. Mac and PC backups are $5 per computer per month, or $50 per year. Business plans start at $5 per computer per month, or $5 per month per TB.
21 BT Cloud
All BT broadband customers – standard or Infinity – get some storage space with BT Cloud. Given that BT captures around a third of the UK's broadband market, that's a lot of customers with free storage to take advantage of (and many not know about it).
What you get for free: You get either 5GB, 100GB or 500GB depending on your broadband package.
If you pay: If your free allowance isn't enough, you can pay £3/month for an extra 50GB, or £9/month for an extra 500GB.
You can snap up 100GB of free storage with Zoolz (100,000 can get the deal in total – about 7,500 spots remained when we checked in Nov). This is a pretty hefty free allowance, though as it's 'cold storage' designed for long-term backups, you'll have to wait up to five hours to access your data.
Zoolz is less well known than other firms in this guide, but it's been operating for six years and has more than four million customers as well as high-profile business clients. It has decent feedback on Google reviews and specialist site Cloudwards. As with all storage services though there's always some element of risk, so weigh this up before uploading any sensitive documents.
How you use it: You can upload any kind of file with no restrictions on image resolution or single file-size. You can also choose how often you want selected files and folders to be automatically backed up. To access your data, simply click on 'Cold Storage' and click through to select the files you want and they'll start downloading within three to five hours – see full step-by-step instructions.
What you get for free: 100GB of free storage 'for life' – Zoolz says users will be able to keep this for as long as they like. Of course if the firm were ever to shut down you'd lose it, though it says users would be given plenty of notice to get their data back.
If you pay: If you want more storage or access for up to five users, you can pay £34.20/year for 1TB or £83.99/year for 4TB – again, this comes with a three- to five-hour wait. If you want immediate access to your files you can pay for an 'Instant Vault' (from $14.95 (£12)/year for 20GB).
Accessed via: Your browser, or Windows (Vista or later) or OS X (10.7 or later) programs. It also has iOS and Android apps, though these can only be used for viewing/downloading files (not backing up or uploading) with the free storage.
23 Google Photos
Whilst technically built in to Google Drive, it's more convenient to go to Google Photos directly if you want to store just images and videos. It will also help organise your photos, and is full of nifty features for doing fun and useful things with them.
What you get for free: Unlimited storage of photos of 16 megapixels or less and videos of 1080p resolution or lower. Google Photos will compress files larger than this, if you want to keep the unlimited option.
If you pay: If you tend to take very high resolution photos or videos (such as 4K), then you can store these on Google Photos, but they'll eat into your free 15GB Google Drive allowance (which you can increase, for a fee).
Accessed via: your browser, iOS and Android apps, OS X and Windows.
Owned by internet giant Yahoo, Flickr is probably the world's best-known photo-hosting site. More like a social network than a storage facility, its focus is on sorting and sharing your photos, though you can use it for just backing up if you so wish.
What you get for free: Anyone with a (free) Yahoo account gets 1TB of space. One benefit over Google Photos is there's no limit to the resolution of the images and videos you upload.
If you pay: There's no additional storage available – Flickr Pro, which costs $5.99(£5)/month or $49.99(£40)/year, gives users advanced stats on their photos and ad-free browsing/sharing.
Accessed via: Your browser, iOS, Android and Blackberry apps, OS X and Windows.