Best Free Cloud Storage Apps for iOS and Android: Nowadays it is so easy to generate a mountain of digital files. We’re taking more pictures than ever, shooting hours of video, and love to share. Cloud storage provides convenient access wherever we are, like a digital filing cabinet. It’s also great for collaborating on projects and providing an easy way to share files with selected family, friends or business contacts. But it can also cost a pretty penny.
Below are our favorite cloud storage apps for iOS and Android, and some tips on how to avoid paying for cloud storage.
Organize your files into groups and use different services
Most cloud storage services give you a limited amount of free space, hoping you’ll be upgraded when you run out and sign up for a subscription. If you’re willing to organize a bit, you really don’t need to pay anything. Start by dividing your files into groups. Divide your photos and videos, organize them by date, or choose a single service for your media. Plus, keep your documents grouped, separate all your work-related files, etc. Once you have your groups, take a look at the space you need and create separate free cloud storage accounts for each category.
We’ve rounded up the best free cloud storage apps. All of these options are also accessible from your desktop or laptop computer through an app or your web browser.
Note: These numbers are correct at time of publication, but cloud storage space is competitive and limits and offers change frequently.
Most commonly used: Dropbox
Dropbox is easy to use, very reliable, and one of the oldest players in cloud storage. There are few restrictions on what you can download and you can share folders with other Dropbox users or send links to let people access your files with 2GB of free storage. You can also create public folders if you want. You can access previous versions of the files for up to 30 days and have access to both a desktop client and the ability to sign in anywhere through your browser. You can get up to 1TB of storage with Dropbox Pro, which costs $ 10 per month.
The best option for photo backup: Google Drive
The 15 GB you get from Google covers Gmail, Google + Photos, and Google Drive. However, there are many exceptions that do not count towards your limit. For example, photos smaller than 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos under 15 minutes uploaded through your Google Photos app do not count. You’ll also find that the Google Docs you create in Drive don’t count. You can access Google Drive through a client, mobile app, or your web browser. Deleted files go to your recycle bin or your recycle bin, and they stay there until you permanently delete them or restore them.
Best option for Windows users: OneDrive
Microsoft’s OneDrive was previously called SkyDrive and it comes preinstalled on Windows 10. You can access your files through a client or your web browser. You can also create public folders and deleted files are placed in the recycle bin for 30 days so that they can be restored during that time. Plans range from 5GB of free storage to 5TB of storage for $ 100 per year. If you subscribe, you can use all Microsoft Office apps with real-time notifications of changes for collaborations. It’s easy to set up the mobile app to automatically back up items like photos.
If you use Amazon, try: Amazon Drive
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get 5GB free with Amazon Drive and free unlimited photo storage. You can share files easily via URL. Deleted files go to your deleted items list and can be restored unless they are permanently deleted. Amazon also offers an unlimited storage plan with a three-month free trial, after which you’ll be asked to pay $ 60 per year.
For multi-device file access: Box
You can easily share files with links or create collaborative folders with Box, enabling shared workspaces with tasks and comments and 10 GB of free storage. Files have a version history, so you can go back quickly if needed. Deleted files go to the recycle bin and can be restored for up to 30 days.
For small iPhone / iPad backups: Apple iCloud
You can also use it if you have a qualifying Apple device, but it has many limitations. It is not suitable for sharing or collaboration, so use it to back up personal files. If you have an iPhone or iPad, it can automatically back up photos from the last 30 days through your Photo Stream. All iOS users get 5 GB of free storage with the option to purchase more from Apple. If you don’t see the iCloud Drive icon on your Home screen, open the App Store and search for iCloud Drive.
Keep private files private: SpiderOak
A little more free encrypted storage: Tresorit
This service also offers client-side encryption, secure data transfer and a zero-knowledge policy on passwords. Sensitive photos or videos and private documents will be safe and sound. It also has secure sharing with folders, files up to 250MB, encrypted links and 7 days of activity history. There is a 14 day free trial period with 3 GB of storage. After that, individual users can opt for a Premium plan that offers 500 GB of encrypted storage $ 10.50 per month when billed annually or a Solo plan that offers 2.5 TB of encrypted storage $ 24 per month per month. year.
Lots of Free Storage and Encryption: Mega
Mega is a secure cloud storage option with private encryption keys that gives you 50 GB of free healthy storage. It allows you to share with contacts and even see their updates in real time. Be careful if you lose your password because even Mega will not be able to reset it and you will lose access to your files. If you need more storage, plans start with Pro Lite, which gives you 200GB of storage for $ 5 per month, and upgrade to the Pro III subscription, which gives you 4TB of storage and 8TB of bandwidth. for $ 30 per month.
Automatic downloads and unlimited devices per account: IDrive
IDrive is definitely a one-stop solution for all your backup needs. It offers desktop, web and mobile applications. It will backup and restore your contacts, photos, calendars and even your health data. It even supports Facebook and Instagram backup. You can share files and folders, and you can also choose to enable automatic backups. Like any good secure service, the encryption key is private so that only you have access to your data. The free plan gives you 5GB of storage, while the IDrive personal plan gives you 1TB for $ 52.12 for the first year.