The free online storage offers made by reputable cloud services are a great way to familiarize yourself with them. But, you can also use these offers to expand your online storage capacities in a pinch. Get a bird’s-eye view of free online storage options you can use immediately and indefinitely, including a few that you can grow considerably through time. Caveats and tips on using multiple cloud services simultaneously are also covered.
If you can’t afford to buy or expand paid cloud storage right now – or simply prefer not to – consider exploiting the free online storage offers of popular cloud services. Not all such offers can be used indefinitely, however – many expire after a specified trial period. Here are a few reputable cloud service options that remain free for as long as you stay within set storage limits – and a few caveats and tips you should keep in mind should you decide to use them simultaneously.
10GB or More Free Online Storage
Bitcasa, Box and Google extend generous free online storage deals to entice you to use their cloud services. They differ in the kind of digital content they allow you to store and which devices they support. Bitcasa offers up to 20GB of free, encrypted storage for photos, videos, music and documents. Google gives you 15GB to freely store the same items, but shares the available space with your Gmail attachments and Google+ photos. Box bestows 10GB of free secure online storage for documents only. All three cloud services support Windows, Mac, Android and iOS operating systems. Additionally, Bitcasa supports Linux and Windows RT 8, and Box supports Blackberry.
Less Than 10GB Free Online Storage
Smaller free online storage parcels can also be had at cloud services such as Amazon Cloud Service (5GB), Microsoft OneDrive (7GB), Dropbox (2GB), SpiderOak (2GB) and CloudMe (3GB). In some cases, you can grow these free space allocations significantly with friend referrals, social media account links and special feature activations. With friend referrals alone, for example, you could earn up to 10GB free on OneDrive and SpiderOak, and up to 32GB on Dropbox. All these services enable the free online storage of documents, photos and videos, with Amazon Cloud Service and CloudMe currently accepting music files as well. They also all support Windows, Mac, Android and iOS operating systems. Additionally, SpiderOak supports Linux, and Dropbox supports Linux, Blackberry and Kindle Fire.
In order to back up, sync and share your stored content among connected devices, cloud services require that you install their software on your computers and mobile devices. The more such applications you download, the more strain you put on your hardware’s disk space, processing power and bandwidth requirements. Hence, using several free cloud services simultaneously could degrade your computing and browsing speed and efficiency. What’s more, if you upload the same documents, photos, videos and music on different cloud servers, it may eventually become challenging for you to find their latest versions.
Multiple Cloud Storage Tips
To the extent possible, configure or schedule the use of cloud service applications so that they do not interfere with the normal, daily use of your devices. For example, deactivate the automatic Camera Upload option on an iPhone’s Dropbox app settings and switch it back on during off-hours. To stay straight on upload versions, try dedicating different free cloud services to specific kinds of digital files. For example, use Box exclusively to store documents, Dropbox for photos and videos only, and Bitcasa for music. To better manage and optimize your use of multiple online storage services, explore using web-based cloud management services such as CloudKafÃ©, Jolicloud 2 and MultCloud – all of which are also free.