Cloud storage is the dream of the post-PC, mobile-focused tech world…but we’re not quite there yet. There’s a limit to what you can get for free, especially if you go with one of the major services. Here’s an exhaustive list of all the cloud storage and photo services we could find across the web that have at least some free storage options. Use them all at once to save a million Steam games, or just find the best one with the biggest bucket for your most important files.
The Big Ones
Let’s start with the big names that offer decent amounts of space. You’ve probably heard of most of these, but it doesn’t hurt to have a refresher.
Free Storage: 2GB plus referrals
Paid Tiers: $10/month or $100/year for 1TB
One of the most popular options for cloud storage, Dropbox keeps a loyal customer base thanks to fast, ubiquitous mobile and desktop apps and effective team tools. Its free storage tier is relatively small at 2GB, though users can earn permanent upgrades by referring friends: 500MB at a time for a maximum of 16GB on a free account.
Free Storage: 10GB
Paid Tiers: $10/month for 100GB
Box is a popular alternative to Dropbox, offering more base storage for free. Apps are available for all major mobile and desktop platforms, and many top-tier services integrate with Box’s API. Individual free accounts offer a generous 10GB, but single file uploads are capped at 250MB.
Free Storage: 15GB shared
Paid Tiers: $5/month for 30GB, $1/month for unlimited (one user)
All Google users get access to Google Drive’s shared space for tools like Gmail and Google Docs, with a combined total of 15GB. It seems like a lot, but that can fill up quickly if you’re an active email user. Photo storage using Google Photos, however, is unlimited—see below.
Free Storage: 50GB
Paid Tiers: $5/month for 200GB, $10/month for 2TB, $20/month for 4TB, $30/month for 8TB
MEGA‘s online storage offering is extremely generous at 50GB, though there’s a 10GB upload/download limit per 30 minutes. MEGA is built to host and share, but its web interface lacks some of the more advanced tools offered by competitors from larger companies. However, it offers truly gigantic data storage at higher price tiers.
Free Storage: 5GB
Paid Tiers: $2/month for 50GB, $7/month for 1TB
Microsoft’s integrated cloud storage solution for Windows, OneDrive, offers 5GB of free file space for all users. Apps are available for other platforms on top of a web interface, and higher purchase tiers come with free subscriptions to Office 365.
Free Storage: 5GB
Paid Tiers: $5/month for 1TB, $8/month for 2TB
Sync emphasizes security with a zero-knowledge backup system as well as easy sharing and collaboration. It offers the standard mobile apps and desktop folder sync tools, with “Vault” online-only storage available for competitive upgraded price tiers.
Free Photo-Only Storage
These services are primarily—and sometimes exclusively—for photos in various formats. Typically a large or unlimited amount of space is available for users who upload in compressed quality, with “original” files taking up allotted or paid space.
- Amazon Prime Photos: unlimited photo storage for Prime subscribers. Plans for non-Prime users start at $12.
- Canon Irista: 15GB of free photo storage (even for non-Canon camera owners). Paid plans start at $2.25.
- Cluster: at the moment Cluster offers free and apparently unlimited full-sized uploads with built-in group sharing tools.
- Facebook: Facebook has no limit on the number of photos posted to user accounts, but all images are compressed.
- Flickr: 1TB of full-quality, photo-only storage is available for free users.
- Fujifilm X World: Fuji’s official storage service offers 5GB of full-quality uploads and sharing for free.
- Google Photos: compressed photos uploaded to Google are unlimited, but “original quality” files will count against your Google Drive space.
- Instagram: photos uploaded to Instagram are unlimited, but not of particularly high quality.
- Ipernity: this photo-based social network offers only 200MB for free users. “Ipernity Club” accounts with no limits and no ads start at $10 a month.
- Nikon Image Space: Nikon gives 2GB of full-quality photo storage to all users, but owners of recent Nikon cameras get upgraded to 20GB.
- Photobucket: full-quality uploads are limited to just 2GB.
- Piccam: full-quality image uploads can go up to 15GB on free accounts, with unlimited storage available at $5 a month.
- Shutterfly: photo uploads are unlimited, with paid photo prints available through the website and apps.
- Sony PlayMemories: unlimited storage for automatically uploaded photos from phones and Sony cameras.
Photos are probably one of the most important things to back up, considering you can never re-create them—so be sure to take advantage of these to store those precious family pictures.
If all of the above aren’t enough, here’s every other cloud storage service we could find with some sort of free tier (or storage included with another service).
- Amazon Cloud Drive: All users get 5GB of free storage.
- Apple iCloud: 5GB of free storage with any Apple device.
- ASUS WebStorage: 5GB of free storage, no ASUS devices required, but there’s a daily sharing limit of 500MB.
- BT Cloud: British Telecom subscribers get 5GB-500GB of free storage based on the price of their service package.
- Degoo: encrypted backup sync accounts (not standard cloud access) get 100GB of free storage. Premium accounts offer 2TB of backup for $10.
- ElephantDrive: 2GB of storage for free accounts.
- FlipDrive: Free accounts get 10GB of storage, but individual files are limited to 25MB.
- HiDrive: Free users get 5GB of storage with no file or traffic limits.
- HubiC: European service with 25GB of storage for free users. App and API support appears to be poor.
- iDrive: 5GB of free storage plus credits for referrals. Integrates with OneDrive and Office 365.
- Jottacloud: European storage with 5GB of free access. Unlimited upgrade is only 7.5 Euro per month.
- Jumpshare: Desktop-focused sharing service. Free accounts limited to 2GB of storage with a file limit of 250MB.
- MediaFire: Long-running service with 10GB of free storage, unlimited bandwidth, and 4GB individual file limits.
- Memopal: Desktop service offers 3GB of free storage for backup and sync.
- MiMedia: 10GB of storage on free accounts with apps available on desktops, Android, and iOS.
- MozyHome: Free accounts start at 2GB plus bonuses for referring other users.
- OpenDrive: 5GB of free storage plus an integrated syncing note and task manager. Files are 100MB at maximum.
- OwnDrive: SSL/TLS encrypted storage with only 1GB on a free account, including free browser tools, a music player, RSS reader, and others.
- pCloud: Offers “up to 20GB” of storage for free accounts, 10GB by default with another 10GB available from referrals. Facebook and Instagram accounts can be automatically backed up.
- SafeCopy: 3GB of free storage with no individual file limits and upsells to competitive yearly plans.
- Strato HiDrive: Europe-based service with free accounts at 5GB of storage with email attachment backup.
- Syncplicity: Enterprise-focused service with 10GB of free storage for individual personal accounts. File size is unlimited, but more advanced features need a paid plan.
- Verizon Cloud: Wireless customers get free smartphone backups of 2GB. More expensive plans are competitive, but only available for Verizon customers.
- Weiyun: China-based service with 10GB of free storage. Previously offered “10TB of storage,” but that no longer seems to be valid.
- Yandex.Disk: Russia-based service with 10GB of free storage space and up to 10GB of bonus storage available from participating in “special offers.” Includes photo viewing and sharing tools.
- Zoolz Cloud Archive: Backup-focused service with 7GB of free space, shareable with two PCs and across mobile applications.
Cloud storage seems to be a particularly volatile market; when researching this list I found quite a few services that had started up and shut down in only a few years. That being the case, it’s best not to trust important files or photos exclusively to a single service or location. If you’ve found other cloud or photo storage services that offer free storage (not free trials or offers), or one of the above services has shut down, leave a comment below and we’ll update the article.
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