There are tons of cloud storage services available to users, but most of these do not live up to my standards. However, below you will find a collection of some of the best free cloud storage services.
These combine plenty of storage from the start, easy to use functionalities as well as file sync and backup. All of the versions tested were completely free of charge and none of these little services asks for any money from you under any form.
Unlike iCloud or SkyDrive, which require some sort of account or product before you can actually get them, all of these free cloud storage services come free of charge. No strings attached here folks.
I did not arrange the list in any particular order. However, if I were to name a few things that remained with me after all of this testing, here goes:
- Dropbox worked great for me, but I already earned some extra storage, so the 2 GB welcome storage might put some of you off. However, this is my favorite cloud storage service out there for its easy to use interface, its excellent functionalities, and its immense platform support. Considering you can reach up to 20 GB of free storage, I would say you have a solid contestant here.
- Google Drive is a great evolution of the Google Docs concept. With added file storage, the service seems great and it does offer some of the most competitive prices. It also features its own text, spreadsheet, and image “editors” and it works great with Android devices. My beef would be that in order to get the maximum out of it, you will need to stay always connected.
- SugarSync for being awesome from the very start. It offers 5 GB of storage, tons of functionalities, great user interface and you can rack up tons of free storage. In short, after Dropbox, SugarSync is my next big favorite.
- Asus Webstorage for not asking you to own an Asus product in order to get your account going. It also features some of the most complete software bundles and a huge array of support for all major platforms. The level of customization this allows is indeed brilliant and I will recommend it wholeheartedly.
- SpiderOak for offering a huge array of support for a large variety of platforms as well as some of the best download and upload speeds I got to see during all my testing. Thank you!
- ADrive for offering 50 GB for the cost of a few ads running in the background. If you do not mind the web only interface, you are faced with the largest amount of storage for the least amount of money – none!
- Synquion – for having a ton of security options as well as features. You can browse through their offers and personally, I do feel tempted to give their “Server” deal a quick try for an upcoming project.
- IDrive – for giving you 15 GB of storage almost from the first few minutes and giving you the chance to reach 65 GB of free cloud storage. Thank you IDrive! My only issues were related to the interface, but if you are new and did not get used to any other cloud storage service, go for this one!
Enough about this already, start browsing through what I found to be some of the best free cloud storage services available! Drop us a line with what you considered to be the very best or which you chose for yourself!
- Dropbox; Share And Store Your Files With Ease
- Drive Your Files In The Cloud
- SugarSync – Skip The Sugar, Boost The Storage
- SpiderOak – Environmentally Friendly Cloud Storage
- Asus Webstorage – Your Little Place In The Cloud
- ADrive – Tons Of Storage For The Masses
- Synquion – Drive Your Team To Efficiency
- IDrive – Your Cloud-Drive Just Got Bigger
Cloud storage services appeared a while back and since then, companies raced to ensure the largest amount of features and the largest amount of storage for the least amount of cash. Dropbox is one of my personal favorites and I have been using it for a few years now. It comes with tons of goodies and I was always pleased by the functionalities included.
In this small article I will try to go over some of the reasons for which Dropbox is one of my favorite free cloud storage services. Starting with the operation of the application itself, all the way to the functionalities and the interface, Dropbox is one of the best out there. Thanks to the support for a wide array of platforms, if you are looking for one of the best all-round cloud storage services, this could be it!
Dropbox might not be the cloud storage service to offer the largest amount of storage for a free account, but it has its perks. For starters, by inviting more friends, you can get up to 18 GB of free storage. As soon as you create your account you receive 2 GB of free storage, which might not seem like much, but you can quickly increase that.
By either participating in beta tests or inviting friends, you can up that storage very quickly. Personally, I am at around 5.75 GB of storage space on Dropbox and I didn’t work for it that much.
If you have some cash lying around the house, you can buy more storage. The options start at 50 GB for $9.99 a month or $99 a year, go up to 100 GB for $19.99 a month or $199 a year and all the way up to 1 TB. Note that both the 50 and the 100 GB accounts can still get extra storage for referrals. You can get 1 GB for every friend you invite all the way up to 32 GB of bonus storage.
Out of all the free cloud storage services, Dropbox has one of the best options for running on additional platforms. As such, you can install it and run it on any platform you would like starting with Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Android and iOS or through a web interface. For the time being, the only unsupported platform is Windows Phone.
To get Dropbox running all you have to do is setup an account (there are no strings attached like with iCloud or SkyDrive) and download the installer. Once you do that, simply install the application and create the Dropbox folder.
Now in order to store stuff on the web, just copy any files or folder you would like to have stored in your Dropbox folder. Once that it done, Dropbox will start synchronizing the folders and files held on your computer with the ones on the web.
For Android, this goes easier in a sense, since you can have all your pictures or recordings uploaded automatically. If you took a couple of pictures, maybe a small movie or two, then as soon as you get an internet connection going, Dropbox will automatically sync up the files with the folders on your computer or the web.
You can also set up the sync feature based on specific folders. This is for the case you do not wish to sync up all the folders you shared or if you wish to sync only a specific folder. You can also stop this process at any time and resume it later or limit the upload or download speed.
In this regard, if you are doing an internet connection heavy activity (such as streaming content) and you have your content recorded at the same time and sync-ed up with Dropbox, you can limit the upload speed or isolate that folder from synchronizing until you finish streaming.
Folder and file management
Dropbox gives you excellent control over all your files and folders at any point in time. You can delete folders and have that synchronized, add new ones, add or delete files just as you would when going through any other folder.
The basic idea is that if you know how to operate a computer even at the most basic level, you can do so with Dropbox as well. This can get a little bit trickier on Linux, but I would like to see it as added functionality. There you can gain a huge level of control over all your files and folders, but I am sure that Linux users already knew that J.
You can delete files, upload new ones and all of those little tidbits from either your PC, your smartphone or the web interface. It really is very simple in its operation, however, it is very powerful at the same time.
The folders you create within the Dropbox folder, can be made available to other Dropbox users as well, meaning that you can share work a lot easier with friends and colleagues. Did you take some pictures at the last party you were at? No problem, since Dropbox has a “import pictures from camera” option that allows you to directly sync up those files in particular.
Then simply share the folder with the friends that attended and you are done. No need for huge attachments in emails or going around with a USB flash to everyone’s house. Just copy and share.
Although Dropbox might not offer the largest amount of free storage from the start, it makes up for that with a lot of excellent features. The interface is simple and intuitive, you can get up to 18 GB of additional free storage (or 32 GB for paid subscribers) and sharing files was never easier. I am not even joking, since I think Dropbox is the easiest to use cloud storage service.
If you ever wanted to keep your work files safe, share music (legally that is!), pictures or folders with your friends, Dropbox is the way to go. For those who sign up quickly, next week will begin another scavenger hunt set up by the folks at Dropbox and all participants get 1 GB of free storage with the winner getting 100 GB of storage for life, free!
Drive Your Files In The Cloud
The artist formerly known as Google Docs is now known as Google Drive. That is right folks, in this small review, I will try to go over the latest contestant in the cloud storage world, Google Drive. I recently installed it on my computer and my phone as well, so I decided to give this guy a review as well. My only concern (after using Dropbox for so long) is if Google Drive offers the same streamline operation.
Out of all the offers for free cloud storage, Drive might be the newest contestant in a highly competitive field, but I do not think we should count them out. I mean, I am sure that most of you fine readers used Google Docs at a point or another, so this transition should come natural. Edit and share files was the basic concept behind it all, so this should be the natural step in the evolution – Google Drive.
Out of the box, Google Drive takes a swing at the free cloud storage services. To begin with, Drive gives you 5 GB of free storage right off the bat. However, unlike Dropbox that offers only 2 GB, you cannot expand that storage. With Dropbox, if you have plenty of friends and coworkers you can invite as well as take part in some special events and tests, you can go up to 20 GB of free cloud storage.
The place where Google Drive manages to take the lead though is in the pricing scheme for its additional storage. Out of the box, with a new account, Google gives you 10 GB of storage on Gmail, 5 GB of storage on Google Drive and 1 GB of storage for Picasa.
For $2,49 a month you get +25 GB for Drive and Picasa and your Gmail storage is increased as well to 25 GB.
For a little bit more, $4,99 to be precise, you get +100 GB of storage on Google Drive and on Picasa, with the same 25 GB storage capacity on Gmail.
The largest package Google offers, gives you up to 16 TB of storage for $799.99 a month. That is quite a lot folks, but I am sure that some of you are already tempted by the 25 GB option. I know I am.
The best free cloud storage service needs to also present excellent compatibility over a large array of devices and platforms. In this field, Dropbox reigns supreme, with only Windows Phone missing from its supported platforms. Google Drive on the other hand, is not far behind as it supports PC, Macs and Android devices. No support yet for iOS devices, but that is coming soon according to the company.
In terms of operation, if you ever used Google Docs, the change to Google Drive will come as natural as possible. The layout remains largely the same with the big difference that now you can also upload files to it or create folders straight on your computer.
Once installed, Google Drive operates roughly the same as Dropbox does. Simply copy files into the Drive folder and they will sync up with your account. The large difference now is that you can access Google Documents offline as well with ease thanks to Drive. Note that for this, you need to make those files available offline and install a small plugin for Chrome.
However, sharing files and folders and editing these documents with other Google users is easy and intuitive. Again, if you ever used Google Docs, then you should be completely familiar with this one’s interface and operation.
Folder and file management
Folder and file management in this little cloud storage service is simple and works great. Copy a file into your Google Drive folder and it gets uploaded. Make a new folder in your Google Drive account, make it available offline and you can edit it straight in your folder. Well, not exactly there, as an instance of Google Chrome will pop up.
Editing files is similar to what you experienced with Google Docs as the interface remains the same. You can see when someone you invited to a shared file or folder, edits anything or makes any changes, all in real time. This is very useful for companies, businesses or schools.
In terms of productivity, this manages to take it up another step. The best part though, is that everything is nicely integrated with other Google products, so in terms of operation, this feels a lot smoother than using any other 3rdparty cloud storage service.
My only beef is that in terms of settings and options, Google Drive is still very poor. Where Dropbox does a simple automatic sync with the pictures you take on your phone, you need to copy those there with Google Drive. Also, there is an annoying tendency to open up all files (documents, sheets, tables) with Google Docs.
I understand that they want to create a seamless experience, but let me use my own text editor. This is actually my biggest issue, since these Google Docs do not want to be compatible with any of the other text or table editing software.
My biggest issue is relates to the previously mentioned settings. Why can’t I just make ALL files available offline and why do I have to keep repeating myself. What if I want to sync up my files on my netbook and get them while I am on the move and do not have internet access? I will look at the 3 files I did mention to sync?
Although it is a very powerful cloud storage service and application in one, Google Drive still shows its flaws at times. The interface, although intuitive, clean and familiar, does not suit a cloud storage service just as well. I preferred what I saw with Dropbox way more (and yes, Dropbox is my echelon for cloud storage) and the fact that you need to constantly “make files available offline” is annoying.
However, I do give it the benefit of being still new around the block and Google does mark it as beta. The other big thing it has going is that it integrates very nicely with Google Docs, but now you can upload your own stuff there with greater ease as well.
Despite the small issues it displays at times, Google Drive will give you plenty of storage and the upgrade options are amongst the cheapest out there. So, anyone lining up for this excellent cloud storage service, because they sure have me!
SugarSync – Skip The Sugar, Boost The Storage
When asked if I like sugar with my coffee, I usually use Brick Top’s famous line, “skip the sugar, I’m sweet enough”. This time though, I feel that I can up my sugar intake just a bit for that extra cloud storage with SugarSync. Although I like to stick to proven methods, I just had to try SugarSync and to be honest, after a few days, I found out I have a sweet tooth.
But enough with the sugar metaphors and let us get down to business with another free cloud storage solution. SugarSync is hailed by many as one of the best cloud storage services available. It comes with excellent features, a very easy interface, and plenty of storage out of the box to settle your most basic needs. However, I must find out in the following few sections how it matches against the competition!
As soon as you get this free cloud storage client going on your machine, you will notice that it comes with 5 GB of free storage. I must draw your attention again to the fact that this does not come with any drawbacks or prerequisites. You do not need to own any device to use it, you do not need an account with other services, just head over to their page and install.
Install and profit seems to be the way to go. Not only that, but if those 5 GB of storage are not enough for you, the upgrades are not that expensive either.
For $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year you can get 30 GB of storage. The next plan is for 60 GB for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, 100 GB for $14.99 a month or $149.99 a year, or you could go for 250 GB for $24.99 a month or $249.99 a year.
If you are not sure about investing money into this cloud storage service just yet, all paid plans can be tested for 30 days free of charge. After those 30 days you can opt to go for any of them.
You can also get free storage for each person you invite. Every friend or family member that joins in after using your referral link gives you 500 MB of free storage. After 20 people you get an additional 20 GB of free storage.
Filling out all the steps in the “Get Started” section can also gain you additional storage. Each of these small tasks gives you an additional 125 MB of storage, which translates in roughly 700 MB of extra storage just getting to know the service.
Installing and running SugarSync is one of the easiest tasks in the world. You can simply download it, install it and you are good to go. Even when the installation starts you can already choose which folders you would like to sync with SugarSync.
This is as easy as it gets and once you have the application up and running, the cloud storage service will set up a folder called Magic Briefcase. This is found in your Documents folder. In order to sync files, just copy a folder or any other file for that matter, into it and SugarSync will update it.
Alternatively, you can remove the MagicBriefcase folder and add your own folders or files you would like to keep up to date. I loved how easy all of this went and even if you are not an expert, you can have the service going in minutes.
In short, in terms of using the application, everything is as smooth and clear as can be. Not only that, but SugarSync is available for Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry and through the web interface. After Dropbox and SpiderOak, SugarSync has the largest support for additional platforms.
Folder and file management
After using Dropbox for such a long period, I thought that everyone was still in the dark ages. SugarSync proved me wrong by an incredibly easy way of sharing files and folders. However, this cloud storage setup has also the power to stay competitive with all the other offers in the sector.
You can share folders from anywhere as long as you get even a whiff of an internet connection. As soon as you set up SugarSync on your handheld device, just get online and select the folders or files you wish to share.
SugarSync also provides compatibility with Outlook, so instead of using attachments and thus taking up your mail account storage space, just send a link to that file and size is not an issue anymore.
These links to your files or folders can also be shared publicly via Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging services or even posted on your blog. This means that you do not need to find a hosting service or keep your computer on all the time. Just get the link and share.
Sharing folders is also easy and you can edit files within the folders and as soon as those are saved, SugarSync will update them across all your devices.
SugarSync also uses a different system to manage your files. You can always just copy folders or files into the Magic Briefcase folder, or you can select individual settings and edit your preferences through its specially developed interface. This is again very helpful to keep an eye out for your storage as well as share and sync files with your other devices or the rest of your friends and family.
As always during the testing, I was very skeptical about what any cloud storage service can offer. After so much time spent in the den of Dropbox, I never knew that there were so many possibilities and so powerful at that.
SugarSync is without a doubt one of the best cloud storage services available. Sharing files and folders, staying productive and keeping your work safe is as easy as installing an application. The interface is easy to use on your PC, on your handheld or even through your browser.
With an excellent offering for free cloud storage and competitive pricing for those with needs to store more than a couple of files, SugarSync is the way to go. There is literally nothing between you and all your work. Just get an internet connection up and “all the” cloud storage is available at your fingertips!
SpiderOak – Environmentally Friendly Cloud Storage
I do not know if they really are environmentally friendly, but the name at least suggests that. Whatever the case may be in regards to their concern to Mother Nature, SpiderOak is another one of our contestants in the free cloud storage department. Although it does not ring that many bells as Dropbox or iCloud, SpiderOak has a couple of cool features prepared for its users.
One of those features is the fact that out of the box, it comes with the same amount of platform compatibility as Dropbox. That means that you can run this little application on almost any platform imaginable and get to your files irrespective of the setup you run. Its small, lightweight and gives you storage and backup solutions, so let us see if it is worth the money!
As soon as you finished creating your account and installing SpiderOak on your platform of choice, you get the chance to access 2 GB of free storage. In this regard, this free cloud storage solution, becomes even more similar to Dropbox. However, this is in a sense where the similarities end.
For starters, Dropbox starts giving free storage as soon as you go through the initial guide, after you install it on your machine and as soon as you click around a little. Then there is always the advantage of inviting people and reaching up to 20 GB of free cloud storage.
SpiderOak however, does not have any of those. You do not get any invite codes or any referral links, just the 2 GB of storage. Despite the huge array of support for a lot of platforms, SpiderOak does seem to be a little bit stingy when it comes to handing out storage to the masses.
As far as pricing goes, SpirderOak has the free 2 GB account type and then for each additional 100 GB you will have to come up with $10 per month. Again, the company does not offer any discounts for a yearly plan. Simply put, you can get an additional 100 GB for $10, 200 GB for $20 and so on.
This in a sense does give great control over your storage, since you are not stuck on a plan and you can also adjust storage to fit your needs. However, the fact that you only get 2 GB out of the box, with no means of getting anything extra, makes SpiderOak lose a few points in my book.
After you finished creating an account and installing the application on your computer you can start away at synchronizing files and backing them up. The user interface for the application is a little bit complex, but it a sense it also reminded me of what I faced with SugarSync.
This level of interaction does give you very good control over the files or folder you wish to sync between your devices. Not only that, but you can quickly maneuver around your folders thanks to this. Sync or back-up are all done with just a few clicks and in this regard, SpiderOak does seem superior to a lot of other cloud storage solutions.
I enjoyed this setup as a geek myself, but I feel that both Dropbox and Google Drive have the better idea. Just make a folder and if you copy files into it, then they will start uploading and if you delete files from it, it deletes them everywhere. Seems simple enough.
However, SpiderOak allows you to set up schedules for backup, sync as well as sharing. This is another element which seemed a little bit off in SpiderOak, namely that sharing is done via an account you create or by creating a “ShareRoom” and then emailing the link. But more on that in the next section!
Folder and file management
The difference between SpiderOak and other cloud storage methods is that SpiderOak works a lot with internal folders rather than what you do in your file managers. This means that in order to backup, sync or share files you need to use the UI developed.
This is all nice and well done as I said earlier, but I think that it does seem to break the flow of work in sense. I would find the approach used even by SugarSync a lot more attractive and its integration with Outlook for example, is a blast. Sharing work files or keeping these up-to-date was never easier.
Even synchronizing files seems a little bit too rigorous for my taste. First, you need to enter the Sync tab where you create a new sync. Then you need to name it, then you need to choose the two folders you wish to sync together from 2 devices (or more) from across your SpiderOak network. Seems easy? Well, not exactly in this regard.
Again, this might be because SpiderOak does offer better upload rates than other cloud storage services and the fact that in terms of backup, it does store a lot of versions of your files. In terms of privacy and security, as well as connection speed or upload security, SpiderOak is one of the better cloud storage services out on the web.
But all of these elements come at a price and I am sure that newer users might not be willing to pay it.
SpiderOak is a great cloud storage service. Do not get me wrong, I know I raged about it a little earlier, but that still does not mean it doesn’t deliver. It is properly fast (I hit my upload speed limit with it unlike other cloud storage services) and it is secure.
Unlike a lot of the competitors, it does offer support for almost all the platforms and upgrades to the storage system allow you to tailor it better to your needs.
But the somewhat difficult to use interface, the fact that “I” need to tell it to sync my files or back them up, does take out some points from its usability. This makes it quite annoying at times and out of all the cloud storage apps I used, SpiderOak was by far one of the least intuitive.
Then again, I never read the manual when doing such tests, as it comes down to see how well or how easy it is to get them going with just some basic knowledge. RTFM is a good motto, but when doing reviews for a broader audience, you wish to ensure that your opinion does not only reflect on geeks such as yourself, but grandma and grandpa as well.
For that alone, SpiderOak, I am sorry, but you are not grandma friendly.
Asus Webstorage – Your Little Place In The Cloud
I was never sure what to make of manufacturer made cloud-storage services. The issue started in my book with iCloud and the limitation it imposed by asking you to own an Apple product. I know, it is their right and everything, but just look at Asus Webstorage. The company offers free cloud storage to anyone who wished to sign up, not just owners of an Asus product.
However, the question became then a touch more pressing – can such a service stack up against the big names in the business? Can the Asus Webstorage cloud storage service keep up against competitors like Dropbox, SugarSync or SpiderOak? Well, after I installed it and played around with the settings, I am very pleased to announced that, well, keep on reading to find out what I announce!
Out of the box, Asus Webstorage offers you 2 GB of free cloud storage. This might not seem like much, seeing as other services give you a lot more to begin with. However, unlike SpiderOak for example (that also gives you 2 GB for starters), Asus Webstorage does give you extra storage space for additional invited users.
The referral system is similar to the one found in SugarSync or Dropbox, so for each user that signs up using your referral link, you get an additional 512 MB of storage. The maximum reward setup can go up to 10 GB of additional free storage. Considering that you get all of this for free, I think that you are facing a good deal.
Not only that, but again, unlike iCloud, Asus will offer you even more free storage out of the box if you have one of their products. For a complete list of products that offer additional space, check out their cloud storage page. You will find there details regarding their policy in this aspect.
To give you an idea, you get 250 GB of free cloud storage for a year with a few select laptop or netbook purchases. In case you wish to expand your place in the cloud, then you can do so for $59.89 for 50 GB of storage for a year. If you sign up for 2 years, then the service costs only $107.79.
For that added space, you can get 500 GB for only $119.79 for a year or $215.49 for a 2 year plan. Note that even users with upgraded accounts can still extend their storage service by inviting other users up to 3 months of free storage.
Asus Webstorage is also one of the most complete cloud-storage services available on the market. To give you an idea, there are 5 different packages you can choose from to install on your system depending on your setup.
For example, you can get the Mobile File Browser aimed for Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices. You can get the Sync Agent, which in terms of functionality is very similar to the way Dropbox operates. Once installed, Asus Webstorage will make a folder on your computer and to back or sync up your files, simply drag and drop them there.
There is no need for any specific configuration or go through dozens of menus, just copy and save. This is available for Windows, OSX and Ubuntu.
Remote Drive is another option for operating Asus Webstorage in the form of a drive. In this regard, the app will generate a new drive and you can access your cloud storage with just a few clicks. Thanks to the integration with the Explorer, this works seamlessly on Windows or Linux powered systems.
Then you have the Suite app, which contains all of the above and another added layer of control. The GUI is a touch complex at first, but once you go over the initial shock, you will find that the menu is rather intuitive and powerful. There are tons of settings, but for more on that, feel free to explore it! Note that this last options is available only for Windows system.
Folder and file management
In this regard, Asus has one of the best options available for all users out there. First, you can organize your files with ease by just using the explorer of your operating system. This is valid for the Sync Agent so for any files you wish to have stored in the cloud just copy them into the folder and you are done.
You can then access these files from any other system that runs your account with Asus Webstorage.
Now in terms of sharing, the system is even easier to use. If you wish to share a folder with someone, just enter the folder through the explorer window, right click and just select Asus Webstorage from the menu and share folder. It really is that easy in this regard and as soon as you finished doing that, you will have two options for sharing your files.
One would be to give the link for the folder to the one you wish to share it with, then they can access the folder via any browser and download the files they need. Another method generates a share code for a web page where you can enter the code and then get your files.
This is one of the easiest to use systems, but those who wish even more control over their files and folders, can reach it with the bulk installation.
Asus Webstorage manages to offer the best of both worlds in terms of cloud storage. You can get a free account even if you do not have one of their products (yes Apple, I am looking at you!) and you can get more free storage by inviting friends and family members.
Alternatively, you can sign up for a larger account and in terms of pricing, the 500 GB accounts seem very reasonable. Not only that, but because you are paying does not mean you should not get any benefits from inviting more people to the service and up to 3 months of free cloud storage for 500 GB seems like a very good deal.
All in all, I loved a lot of the features Asus Webstorage managed to offer. There is cross-platform compatibility for a huge array of devices. Then you have different installation types, which not only give you an option of how to use it but also remain user friendly.
My only issue would be that you do not get as much free storage as with other services, but then again, there are those very good points I made above. In this regard, I leave the decision to you, but Asus’ cloud storage service has my vote!
ADrive – Tons Of Storage For The Masses
The sheer amount of cloud storage solutions available to users make it difficult to sort through all the offers in the sector. Recently I took a quick look at one of the best free cloud storage solutions available on the market, namely ADrive. After considering all such solutions, I noticed that ADrive is not in the least bit shy about giving you tons of storage.
Part of a huge mob looking for free cloud storage, I decided to sign up and see what you get from ADrive on the most basic account. To be honest with you, if all you care about is storing files, then this is probably one of the best solutions. However, there are limitations and drawbacks (as always), but we will get to that shortly!
If you want storage, ADrive is the place to go to since a free personal account gives you access to 50 GB of cloud storage. The only price you will have to pay is keeping those ads running on the page, but that is about it in terms of “money”.
Of course, there are limitations to free accounts, since I could imagine small companies lining up and going for ADrive accounts en-masse. However, I felt that those were all justified and although some made you miss some of the functionalities, I still thought that for 50 GB of free cloud storage, I should not complain so much.
I mean compared to Dropbox or SpiderOak, ADrive gives you 50 GB (that is 25 times more than the other two services), but there is a catch.
First, ADrive in its free form (as if I would be talking about a ghost) does not have an application. You need to control your files, share them, update them, or edit them via an online interface. This does take a little bit of wind out of my sails, but again, 50 GB!
I know I bashed on that quite a lot, but it is a lot of storage space for your files. If you are willing to pay $6.95 a month, you get 50 GB of cloud storage. You can also go for a 14-day trial to see some more of the features, but I did not want to go there since the whole focus of these articles is to see what you get for no cash and no trial periods.
Accounts keep going and for $13.95 a month or $139.5 a year you can get 100 GB of cloud storage and from there on, prices skyrocket. An account with 500 GB of storage will set you back $66.95 a month or $669.50 a year. That is a lot of money and I think that in terms of the money to storage ratio, there are better offers available.
Using ADrive is one of the simplest tasks in the world, although you will need a slight period to accommodate yourself to the operation.
There are a number of file management interfaces, but these are simple and intuitive as you can see in the screenshots. Not only that, but ADrive does have a good tutorial set up explaining the elements of the interface and their operation.
In order to upload files, you can access three different upload methods; one using Java, one using Flash, and a classic file upload setting. Just click on upload and you are good to go. In this regard, ADrive is one of the easiest to use free cloud storage services available on the market.
There is no learning curve really and if you ever uploaded files on the web, you will find a similar interface at a point or another. It will take a little bit of time to get used to the file management interface, but more on that below.
Folder and file management
The folder and file management in ADrive is rather straightforward. You get a web interface that allows you to upload files, directories and download any of these files. There is plenty of information available on each file, so you can check on that as well.
In order to create a new folder, just use the interface, which can create a directory, move files or folders, copy them, share or delete them. This is again, as basic as it gets and you never need to worry about having issues uploading or sharing your work.
To share a file or a folder, just click the share button and the respective file or folder will be added to your Shared files and folders. Then click view information and you will have details regarding that specific upload.
It is there as well, where you find the link to the file as well as how many downloads it received. This is again basic, so there is no need to dive into any of the details.
ADrive offers an Android application as well and you can get a desktop application for it as well if you go for the paid variant of this cloud storage solution. ADrive allows you to edit your text documents online as well, irrespective of your subscription type (free or paid) and you can set expiration dates on your files.
However, my biggest issue is the limitation to the web interface for the free variant. I would even download the app if it had ads built into it for this amount of storage. I would probably go as far as saying that I would use it if it would offer less storage, just to get a desktop application.
In a sense this feels a little bit difficult to use as in it seems a touch too out of the way.
I liked in this regard the Asus Webstorage or Dropbox approach a lot better, but then again, they do not offer 50 GB of cloud storage for your files. If you are looking for the most amount of space you can get for no money then ADrive can be the way to go, but other than that, there are not a lot of things going for it.
The interface is simple and intuitive, the operation is simple as well, but you do not get file sync with folders on your computer and you need to use a browser to get access to your files. All of these elements make ADrive great for people in need of storage, but not for sync maniacs like me.
Synquion – Drive Your Team To Efficiency
The past few days saw the installation and usage of a huge array of cloud storage services. From the browser-based interface seen in ADrive to the highly customizable one in SpiderOak or SugarSync, I have seen it all. However, Synquion is here to show off its own take on cloud storage and file backup and synchronization.
From the amalgam of apps that went through my PC in the last few days, there were only a few memorable examples. These were memorable mainly because I am still using them and Synquion is now trying to enter that select group. There are some things that make a lot of sense in this little cloud storage service and some that I would like improved, so let us get started.
On the storage front, Synquion is here to offer you 2 GB of free storage with your new free account. I know it is not as much as you would get with SugarSync or Google Drive, but this should be sufficient to get a basic idea of what to expect.
Synquion also gives you the chance to expand that store by up to 10 GB of free space. To get it, simply invite people to the service and for each new user you will get 250 MB of free space. Not only that, the new user will also get 250 MB from the start. This is a nice incentive for new users to use referral links as well.
Unlike other cloud storage services, Synquion has a couple of added features that are not available to all users. First of all, you cannot publish individual files by URL with the free client or the personal client, as this is a function available only for the Professional license type.
Email notifications and version control is also available only to the Professional license. However, I never felt that these would be such huge influences on the end experience.
Note that Synquion also offers a server function that gives you access to 10 GB of cloud storage free of charge. I did not go into that one, since I am working on individual users and just keeping your own files in check.
If you just want more storage on your personal account, 10 GB of extra storage go for 5.03 Euros a month, 25 GB for 12.56 Euros a month and 50 GB for 25.12 Euros a month. All yearly plans will give you 2 months free of charge.
The operation of Synquion is simple and the user interface is easy to understand. You can create new folders or new spaces. Once you select where to place these on your HDD there are two ways of adding new files.
To start creating content to sync between your devices, you need to create a new space. This new space is what actually allows Synquion to know where you will keep your files for sync. In a sense, each space works like a Dropbox folder or like a Magic Briefcase folder with SugarSync.
Alternatively, you can locate an already created folder on your HDD and create a space within that folder. A “space” is nothing more than a folder that Synquion knows to keep in sync with the rest of your devices. It might not seem that intuitive, but it actually turned out to be rather easy.
The preference tab has a ton of settings for users to play around with. Note that you will not have to modify these if you just want to sync up a couple of files, but they do come in handy for more specific elements.
You can prepare the autostart, scan your “spaces” at startup, setup server access, create WebDAV access keys, view the roles for each account type, edit proxy settings and space/cache and backup settings.
Folder and file management
One would be to drag and drop content into the Synquion window or the other method would be to drag and drop the files or folders into the previously created space. This will automatically update your files and you can check on them within the Synquion applicaton.
In a sense, this method reminded me of the way Asus Webstorage operates. You can go for either one of the two solution teams and then get your files set up with ease. I liked this approach in Asus Webstorage as well since it allowed newer users to add up files and folders without having to browse through dozens of settings.
To invite users to work with you on specific folders, just click the invite icon in the user interface. There you can enter the username or email of the person you would like to invite as well as set their access level to the folder you will share.
Even the invitation can be password encrypted and in all of this, I can safely say that I enjoyed the Synquion approach since it focuses a lot on security. I would not mind sharing any of my work files through there.
Synquion is probably one of the best free cloud storage and sync services available. Sure they do not offer the same amount of space as other services, but despite that, you can get up to a respectable 12 GB of cloud storage and get a ton of control over your files.
Organizing a team, sharing files with friends and colleagues, all of this is done with great ease. I can safely say that I loved the easy to use interface, which did give you plenty of control over a lot of settings and I loved the added security features.
Sharing files and folders, keeping them synchronized across a plethora of devices was never this easy. Well, that if you do not count Dropbox.
With support for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android and iOS, Synquion is one of the most compatible free cloud storage, sync and backup services available. My advice, if you are not already packing a Dropbox or SugarSync account is to go for it!
IDrive – Your Cloud-Drive Just Got Bigger
I remember back in the day when I was using my good old Pentium 166 with 32 MB of RAM and a massive 1.2 GB HDD. I know, in today’s world you might even scream that no one makes HDDs that small or processors cannot have single cores unless they are jammed into smartphones. However, after I installed IDrive I realized just how small my storage space was.
The last few days were great since I spent them trying out a huge array of cloud storage services. I started with Dropbox and kept on pushing to the point I am with IDrive installed and I think it became in that brief time one of my all-time favorites. I used a number of free cloud storage services in the past, but I feel that this is one of the best equipped from a starter point of view.
This is one of the best parts about IDrive. From all the free cloud storage and sync services I went through, IDrive has some of the greatest features out there. Starting with your free account, IDrive gives you access to 5 GB of storage right off the bat.
Now to increase that storage, you can opt for a few little moves that will instantly boost you to over 15 GB of free cloud storage. Simply enter your email address to invite people to IDrive and you will get automatically 10 GB of storage added to your account.
No one needs to sign up, all you have to do is simply invite them to the service via one of your email addresses. As soon as the invite is out, 10 GB will be added to your account. For each user that does sign up, you get an additional 1 GB of free storage all the way up to 50 GB of free cloud storage.
This is one of the best offers for a free account I ever got to see. This means that if you have plenty of nerdy friends like me, you will be rocking 65 GB of free cloud storage within just a few days.
If you need more space, IDrive has a lot of offers, for new users either for personal accounts of business accounts. For example, a personal account can give you 150 GB of cloud storage for $4.95 a month or $49.50 a year. A family pack will get you 500 GB of storage for $14.95 a month or $149.50 a year and the largest offer IDrive has for businesses gives you 1 TB of free cloud-storage for $79.95 a month or $799.50 a year.
Using IDrive is one of the simplest things in the world as the user interface employed by the IDrive application is very intuitive. If you ever used Total Commander, then you should be more than familiar with the operation of the application. With the big difference that you do not copy files to your HDD but to your cloud storage
The interface is not one of the best looking ones I have seen, but it will do the job just fine. You can backup files easily by simply selecting the files or folder you want to backup and let the app take care of the rest.
Sync will allow you to sync up your files and folders with the ones saved in the cloud.
In this regard, IDrive is very easy to use and I had no issue playing around with it or getting others to use it. IDrive features support for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices and all of these devices can be handled from your main account.
You can also use the web based backup system to access your files and folders. IDrive also supports monitoring the last 30 versions of your files backed up in your account. You can restore an older version of your files and thus make sure that you do not lose any information in the process.
Folder and file management
Folder and file management is straightforward. If you wish to add new files or folders, just mark them in the left tab of IDrive and if you wish to sync your files with the rest of your devices or accounts, then simply use Sync.
The issue I have with the system is that you need to do this “by hand” or via scheduled backups and transfers. The system does not do this automatically like with Dropbox or Google Drive. If such a feature would be implemented, I think it could greatly help the popularity of the application.
In order to share a folder or a file, you can simply select it and click on share. Then you can enter the email address of the recipient and you are done. There are a few options regarding the time the shared file will remain shared, if it is write protected or not and you can even enforce a download limit.
These are all nice and easy to achieve, so in that regard, IDrive is a great solution overall when it comes to cloud storage.
IDrive is a great cloud storage and sync solution available for free. It comes with a lot of powerful features and in terms of usability, it is both easy to use yet powerful. There are a ton of great features about it and I loved the double tabbed layout which allowed you to navigate through folders with ease.
My biggest issue with the system is that it does feel a little bit sluggish at times. There were occasions when I would have liked to see it be a little bit snappier, but apart from that small grind, IDrive delivers great download and upload speeds.
The web interface is just as simple to use and as intuitive as the UI of the app itself and each new person joining IDrive from your referral link will add to your account another 1 GB of storage. All in all, I felt that IDrive is a great tool for anyone that needs that added layer of safety for their work or school files.
If they work a little on the interface, IDrive is sure to become my prime backup and free cloud storage solution. Go get your free storage now!