Sometimes, you just need to experience things first-hand. If you’ve been itching to find out what the cloud is all about, or are just in search of some free storage for your personal documents, here are several services that offer free storage to customers. These services are available cross-platform and are usually made for use between a PC and personal handheld device.
– Google Drive: The latest and most highly anticipated Google service launched at the end of last month and was met with a positive reaction. Google Drive is a basic storage service that syncs between anything on the Google cloud network, including Android devices. It’s essentially a mutation of Google Docs, but now offers more powerful collaboration tools and 5GB of free storage to customers. Users can make files available offline and have the ability to edit them directly from the interface. Upgraded storage plans are relatively cheap; 25 or 100GB of additional storage costs $2.49 or $4.99 yearly respectively.
– Dropbox: With its easy-to-use controls and accessibility across multiple platforms, Dropbox is a fan favorite for syncing and sharing files and folders. It has a very simple and limited user interface, but it’s made even more functional with add-ons such as Dropbox Folder Sync. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage to users starting out and has several ways to obtain free space, such as with referrals or camera uploads. Paid accounts are less flexible than some alternatives with the lowest plan starting at 50GB for $9.99 per year, but they also offer large storage (starting at 1TB) for groups. Paid Dropbox users can also reap the benefits of referrals to increase their storage even more.
– Microsoft Windows Live SkyDrive: This service rivals Google Drive; they recently added more functionality and improved management features. It integrates with Windows and Live users. Unfortunately, they reduced the amount of free storage offered to customers from 25GB to 7. Additional storage will run users $10 for 20GB, $25 for 50GB, or $50 for 100GB annually.
– SugarSync: As a self-proclaimed “personal cloud service,” SugarSync is similar to Dropbox except it offers 5GB of free storage to new users. It also has more complex tools for file management and sharing.
– iCloud: This is the default storage solution for Apple users and is integrated with all of their products. Users get 5GB of free storage and can upgrade to a maximum of 50GB. Paid music, books, and photos aren’t counted against the free storage limit.
– Amazon Cloud Drive: Amazon is a newcomer to the cloud scene but is catching on quickly. The service offers 5GB of free storage to users and guarantees secure storage for music, videos, photos, and documents. Paid storage plans flexible and go up to 1,000GB.