A couple weeks ago I spoke about setting up a Box account to get yourself 10GB of free cloud storage. To that point, we thought it would be a good idea to bring you a list of 5 great options for free cloud storage for your mobile and desktop needs.
All of the apps below allow you to upload/download files to/from your cloud account and open editable files on apps installed on your mobile device. To prevent any more needless jabber on my part, I present you 5 cloud storage solutions for you mobile and desktop needs in order of my personal preference.
5. One Drive
If you have ever been forced to create a Microsoft account (Xbox Live, Windows 8.0/8.1/10, Windows Live Mail, etc.) then you have a One Drive account. Microsoft provides you with 5GB of free storage simply for creating your account. This allows you to easily upload and edit files from directly inside your Microsoft office applications.
If you are an Office 365 subscriber, Microsoft has pumped your storage capacity to 1TB which, unless you are storing large images or video, should suffice for most users.
If you are not a subscriber to Office 365 you can purchase an additional 50GB for $1.99 per month
4. Amazon Drive
Unknown to me until a few weeks ago, Amazon offers cloud storage to its Prime members (seriously, if you shop on Amazon you need to sign up for Prime). With any Prime subscription, you get UNLIMITED storage for photos and 5GB for “videos & files”. All the music I have stored in my Amazon Music app also shows up in the file manager and does not seem to take up any of that 5GB of space.
Amazon also offers an “Unlimited Everything” plan for $59.99 per year, which is a really good deal if it is truly unlimited.
Dropbox is one of the more popular cloud storage solutions. It boasts Office365 integration for live editing of shared files. Many of its tools rival those of the previously listed apps, but the reason Dropbox is sitting at number 3 is the amount of free storage they provide, a meager 2GB. This is enough for someone that is trying to simply share some files or collaborate on a project, but this will not cut it for high-resolution photos, video, or high-quality audio.
If you like the service that Dropbox provides but simply require more storage space you can upgrade to their “Pro” account which gives you 1TB of storage for $9.99 per month.
Yes, this is a different app. Box is geared more towards business applications and customers. They have professional tools like a DICOM viewer (medical imaging) and FREE Office 365 integration so you can edit your files from any browser. It plays well with other apps and has a similar feel in the UI. The major difference here is that Box gives you 10GB or free storage. If you need north of 5GB of cloud storage and don’t want to pay, I would give Box a shot.
Box does offer an expansion of your storage for a fee. You can purchase 100GB of storage for $10 per month. (If you are wanting to pay for extra storage, I would suggest one of the other providers)
1. Google Drive
How could I even attempt to talk about cloud storage without talking about Google Drive. Google is the most generous of our list, providing 15GB of storage to the basic user, and it seems like this number grows every few years. As many of you may know, Google has also created Google Docs which will allow you to create and edit their proprietary document format and Microsoft Word files from any current browser or smartphone with the corresponding app. This storage limit also takes your Google Photo storage into account (unless you are using their free photo backup feature for your mobile pictures).
Google does provide competitive expansions options ranging from $1.99 per month for 100GB up to $299.99 per month for 30TB of storage.