Choosing the best, free online storage service for you starts with defining your storage needs, and what services most accurately reflect them. Then, look into the major criteria you’ll want in order to successfully handle your needs.
Define Your Needs
For example, your needs will be different if you’re a writer who wants long term, no expiration-date cloud storage for your back list off your desk top versus the needs for a marketing executive who needs to sync and share data via a mobile device instantly.
Once you’ve defined your own needs, in general, you should evaluate free online storage sites for the security of its storage, the limitations of storage size available, and of course, it’s reliability. Read reviews carefully, and browse sites to see how comfortable you feel using their design. And in regard to design, does the site offer the capability of creating automatic backups? Are there any limitations or restrictions on the size of the file or the type of file extension you can secure?
[Read also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Free Cloud Storage]
Upload and Download Speeds
Look into the download and uploading speed a site provides, and whether or not there are any restrictions per day on bandwidth uploaded. Find out how many versions of a file a system stores; as well as what type of file synchronization software a service uses. Another important consideration is whether or not there are any expiration dates on stored files.
[Read also: How To Download as Fast as Possible]
While all online storage services will allow you to access your data anywhere, and any time, and most major online storage services offer free service with a minimum of 2 GB, there are some differences in each in regard to synching capabilities, storage capacities, and special features.
One of the most popular sites is Dropbox, which along with offering 2GB of free storage, provides large additional storage capabilities for referrals. The service can deliver your files to any computer system or smartphone, and provides ample photo folders for sharing. The site connects to a variety of plug-ins, that allow additional resources at your fingertips, too.
SugarSync provides 5GB free, and works similarly to Dropbox. A nice bonus: the services keep your revision histories, allowing access to older versions of files if you’re looking for deleted or accidently altered information. And music and video streaming are simple with this service, too. Another plus: this service lets you password protect individual files.
Box.net also offers 5GB of storage free. And it provides mobile apps for greater ease with smartphone data use.
Windows Live SkyDrive provides a whopping 25GB free storage, allowing 5GB of synced files. Designed to be most useful to Windows users, if you have a Windows Live account, SkyDrive is already available for your use.
Spideroak provides 2GB free and lets you synch as well as access your files from anywhere – from your desktop or from your mobile devices such as laptop and tablet. They provide a large amount of additional storage space with referrals, and they keep revision histories, as well as metadata of all your files, which allows you to see creation and modification dates, too.
Other strong contenders include Idrive with 5GB free, and Cloud Experience with 10GB provided at no charge.
No matter which free online storage service you select, remember: look at your needs for storage and synching, and then determine which services fit your needs best. Read reviews, go to the service provider web sites and look around. With a variety of well-running options available free, you’ll be sure to find the online storage with the capabilities you need.
[Read also: Tips for Safely Using The Cloud]