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12 Best Free Cloud Storage for 2021

Not everyone has the budget to purchase a premium cloud storage service. Sometimes, a free one is all it takes to make the day. But the sad part is that the free services often come with a price that you don’t pay in cash. You pay in kind! Various free providers engage in data mining and other shady activities.

So, if you are looking for the best free cloud storage services for 2021, you need to make sure that you are removing the bad guys and choosing only from the reliable ones. To make your life easy, we at Cloudzat, have hand-picked 12 of the finest free cloud storage options that you can use.

Just to clarify, none of them are absolutely free. They have a free-tier option available. You can upgrade whenever you want.

In case you are short on time, here is the list of our top picks:

  • pCloud
  • Google Drive
  • Sync.com
  • MEGA
  • Icedrive
  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • Amazon Drive
  • iCloud
  • Degoo
  • MediaFire
  • iDrive

Here is a quick table that quickly compares the different services. Go through it before you take a deep plunge into the details:

Service

Features

Storage and Price

pCloud

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

10 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $3.99

Google Drive

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

15 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $1.67

Sync.com

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

5 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $5.00

MEGA

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

15 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $5.89

Icedrive

File link sharing

Folder sharing

Versioning

10 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $1.64

Dropbox

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

2 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $9.99

OneDrive

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

Versioning

5 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $1.99

Amazon Drive

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

5 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $5.00

iCloud

File link sharing

Folder syncing

Folder sharing

5 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $0.99

MediaFire

File link sharing

Folder sharing

10 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $3.75

IDrive

File link sharing

Versioning

5 GB free storage. Pricing starts from approximately $4 a month

Degoo

100 GB free storage. Pricing starts from $0.93

Okay, now that you have a fair idea about the different providers, it is time to dig deeper, and find out what each of these providers have to offer.

But before we start with the list, let’s quickly answer a simple question:

Which one is the best free cloud storage provider?

In our opinion, pCloud is the best. Of course, there are other providers that offer more free storage than pCloud, what makes pCloud stand out is list of premium features that the provider offers for free.

What we didn’t like about pCloud is that to get the full 10 GB of free storage, you need to perform several tasks. As you keep completing the tasks, you keep unlocking free storage. Good thing is that the tasks are simple, and you should be able to complete them without any hassle.

Okay, let’s start with the list!

Ready?

pCloud

pCloud

With server locations in the US and Europe, pCloud offers 10GB free storage. It comes with a media playback option built right in the interface. The security features offered by pCloud are great. When you register for free, you will get 2GB storage. You must perform certain tasks to increase the free storage limit to 10GB.

In case you are wondering what tasks you need to perform; it is as simple as referring pCloud to others.

What we like about pCloud is the built-in media player that supports HD videos. This feature makes pCloud a great place to store your favorite videos. What else, the media player also supports audio playback, and it will even allow you to create a playlist using the music files you save on pCloud servers.

Unfortunately, the free plan will not allow the following:

  • Password protection for files.
  • Setting expiry date to files you share publicly.
  • Zero knowledge encryption for your documents.

If 10GB isn’t sufficient for you, you can go for their premium plans starting from $3.99 a month (yearly payment). They also have a lifetime plan available.

Google Drive

Google Drive

If you can set aside the privacy concerns (after all, you will be dealing with Google), Google Drive is one of the finest free cloud storage solutions you will get. You don’t have to do anything extra to get Google Drive.

If you have a Google account, you will already have access to Google Drive, which comes as a standard offering from the tech giant.

Google Drive will allow you to store anything from documents, photos, videos, audios, etc. In fact, just like pCloud, Google Drive also offers an integrated media player capable of playing both audio and video files.

The collaboration and productivity features of Google Drive are great, because it seamlessly integrates with Google Docs.

Talking of privacy concerns, Google is known for scanning user files without their permission. If they don’t like what they find in your Drive, they will go ahead and terminate your account.

Another problem is that Google Drive doesn’t support file encryption. So, in case you are a privacy-focused person, this might be good enough reason to avoid Google.

With Google Drive, you will get 15GB free storage, which is much higher than what pCloud and Sync.com has to offer. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t allow free storage space expansion through referrals. If you need more storage, you need to purchase that.

What’s not cool is that the price differs for different countries. In the US, Google charges $1.99 a month ($19.99 a year) for 100 GB storage. Want more? You can expand further to 200 GB or even 2 TB by paying more.

Google will even allow you to share the storage space with family members. Isn’t that great? So, if you are not storing confidential stuff, Google Drive is a great option.

Sync.com

Sync.com

If you want a free cloud storage service that puts strong focus on privacy, Sync.com may be the one you will like. Their free offering includes only 5GB of storage, but you can expand that with referrals.

You need to understand that the referrals you send should be real people. Sync.com will check. So, don’t try to bluff them. The maximum you can earn through referrals is 20GB, but if you email in, they may remove the cap on referral-earned storage. They are known to do that. Every referral sign-up will bring 1GB storage to your table.

Sync.com’s privacy features are so great that most of the users who use their free storage eventually convert into paid customers. If you decide to upgrade, you can opt for 500 GB or 2TB storage starting at only $60 per year.

Unlike several other cloud storage providers, Sync.com will not put a limit on the file size that you store.

As far as privacy is concerned, Sync.com offers zero-knowledge encryption with 256-bit AES encryption. They also throw in the famous 2FA as a standard offering.

Don’t forget that Sync.com also has an Android app available!

Sync.com will offer file history for a month, remote file deletion feature, password protection for files, etc. even on the free account.

MEGA

MEGA

MEGA is a company that is focused on privacy. Yes, its founder Kim Dotcom isn’t particularly famous, and was arrested on charges of copyright infringement and several other charges. However, his notoriety is what helped MEGA in the public space.

MEGA has a very generous offering when you start with the free trial. You will get a whopping 50GB of storage. Unfortunately, that’s only temporary.

The default free storage is 15GB. The extra 35GB that you get will expire in 30 days. Previously, you could reclaim some of the additional bonus through referrals, but they have changed their policy. Now, MEGA will offer 20% commission for every referral.

That’s not bad!

If you go for their paid plans, you can settle for a 200GB storage plan, or you can go for the massive 16TB storage.

As far as features are concerned, even the free plan will offer integrated file versioning, file recovery, end-to-end encryption for chat, etc.

Icedrive

Icedrive

Icedrive is relatively new in the industry, and it offers 10GB free storage. That’s quite generous. Icedrive’s security and privacy features are top-notch. The user interface is beautiful, and the privacy and security features are great!

On the downside, Icedrive is quite basic. The features are limited, and you will not get options like upload links, collaboration tools, block-level syncing.

If you looking for the basic stuff like syncing files between devices and sharing them with people, Icedrive does an incredible job.

The company’s zero-knowledge and Twofish protocol encryption are targeted towards privacy concerned people. So yes, your stuff stored on Icedrive servers are secure! The company will also allow you to download all the data it holds about you, and it is GDPR compliant, as well.

In case you want to use a premium plan from Icedrive, they offer 150GB, 1TB, and 5TB storage options with the 150GB storage option available for only $19.99 a year that breaks down to $1.67 a month. 1TB storage will cost you $4.99 a month, and 5TB storage option will cost you $17.99 a month.

You may settle for a yearly billing cycle in which the 1TB storage option will cost $49.99 a year, while the 5TB storage will cost you $179.99 a year. They also have lifetime storage available for all three storage plans, but if you settle for their lifetime plans, you will have to satiate with a limited amount of bandwidth per month.

Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox revolutionized the online storage industry. That’s a bit of an understatement. It made the idea of cloud storage possible. The provider is often considered as the granddaddy of industry.

Of course, there are very few providers out there that can match the syncing capabilities of Dropbox, but somewhere along the path in its journey, Dropbox has lost all the shine the glory.

It is still powerful enough to be on this list. A simple online storage solution, Dropbox’s free offering will allow you to publicly share files. Nothing more than that! Of course, folder sharing, folder syncing, and versioning are available, too.

The free storage you get is only 2GB, but you can increase it to 16GB through referrals. Unfortunately, for every person you refer, you will get only 500MB of additional storage. So, you will need to refer an awful lot of people to reach the 16GB cap.

From security perspective, Dropbox isn’t the best in business. The lack of zero-knowledge encryption makes it a terrible choice for storing sensitive documents with confidential information.

The premium plans of Dropbox start at $9.99 a month. For that price, you can get 2TB of storage. You can increase it to 3TB by paying $16.58 a month.

Dropbox’s interface is quite simple, making it one of the easiest options for elderly people and noobs.

OneDrive

OneDrive

Like Google Drive by Google, OneDrive is offered by Microsoft. It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office and Outlook services. You can settle for a free plan that will give you 5GB of file storage.

There is a limit in the file size that you can upload. Your file cannot be more than 100GB. That’s an irony! With 5GB storage, no one can ever imagine storing a file that large.

OneDrive integrates with mobile and desktop apps of Microsoft, and it even integrates nicely with Office apps. Simply put, you can decide to save your Word document directly into OneDrive instead of saving it on your local computer disk.

Because of its seamless integrations, OneDrive is great for collaboration. However, collaboration makes much more sense only when you go for a paid plan.

Talking of security and privacy, Microsoft has introduced 256-bit AES encryption to keep your documents safe. But Microsoft’s alleged involvement in the PRISM program is something you should be slightly worried about.

If Microsoft’s privacy terms do not bother you, you can settle for their premium plans. You can go for Office 365 subscription and choose between 1TB and 6TB of OneDrive storage at $69.99 a year and $99.99 a year, respectively.

No matter what you purchase, you will get unlimited access to Microsoft Office products for both Mac and Windows. You can also enjoy password protection for your files, and ransomware protection as well.

In case you don’t want Office 365 subscription, you can settle for OneDrive-only subscription that will cost you $1.99 a month. At that price, you get 100GB of additional storage minus password protection and ransomware protection.

Amazon Drive

Amazon Drive

The amount of computing resources that Amazon holds allows it to trump some of not-so-big players in the cloud storage industry with cheap pricing. That’s precisely what Amazon does with Amazon Drive.

Unfortunately, Amazon Drive is quite rudimentary when it comes to the features available. There is no encryption feature available, which means that Amazon can play around with your privacy. There is a way to get around this. You can use the Boxcryptor service if you want.

If you already have Amazon Prime subscription, you will get Amazon Drive for free with 5GB of data storage and unlimited photo storage. What’s interesting is that Amazon Drive will allow you to create a shared family vault where you can combine and store your family albums.

In case you are not a member of Amazon Prime, or if 5GB is not enough for you can pay $19.99 a year for 100GB storage. If you need more, you can pay $59.99 a year and get 1TB storage.

But remember! Purchasing Amazon Drive subscription doesn’t entitle you for free unlimited photo storage. You need to be an Amazon Prime member that costs $119 a year.

iCloud

iCloud

Just like Google Drive, iCloud integrates seamlessly with Apple devices. If you are using Apple, there is nothing that you need to do. iDrive is already there for you sitting and waiting in the Mac Finder App as a storage drive. On iOS devices, iDrive is available as a backup solution.

If you are not an Apple user, it is will be very difficult to use iCloud, but it is not impossible.

iCloud offers 5GB storage for free, and guess what? It is attached to your Apple ID. 5GB is not really a big storage space. You can quickly exhaust the limit if you automatically backup everything to iCloud from your iPad or iPhone.

If you need more storage, you can upgrade to increase the limit to 50GB, or 200GB, or 2TB. Users in the US can enjoy 50GB storage for just $0.99 a month. For 200GB, they need to shell out $2.99 a month, and the 2TB storage comes for $9.99 a month.

Security features are quite interesting. You can get 2-Factor Authentication and 128-bit AES encryption for your data.

If you were expecting zero-knowledge encryption, you will be disappointed, but hey, on the bright side, Apple isn’t particularly known for sharing user data with others with ease. It takes a lot of coercing before Apple gives up something. So, you should be safe using iDrive.

MediaFire

MediaFire

Honestly, MediaFire makes it to the list because of the storage. They throw in a decent 10GB free storage for anyone who want to use their services for free. If you want more space, you can pay a paltry $5 for a whopping 1TB storage. If that’s not enough, for a $50 bill per month, you can grab 100TB.

Don’t want to pay anything? Fine! Start referring people, and you can increase your free storage limit to 49GB. No one knows why they stopped at 49GB. An additional 1GB wouldn’t hurt!

Most of the good things that MediaFire has to offer are available only for their paid customers. The free customers will NOT get password-protection for their files, and they will not have the ability to publicly share files.

MediaFire has both Android and iOS apps available, but again, only the premium customers can use them.

Free users can drag and drop their files into the web browser to quickly uploading them. That’s all! There’s no desktop app available.

Talking of privacy, MediaFire is not the type of company you would want to trust with your confidential files. Forget zero-knowledge encryption! MediaFire doesn’t even tell you how they keep your files protected.

They will also retain your data for 10 years for what they call ‘legal compliance.’ They will not tell you what they are going to retain. So, unless you are storing simple documents that won’t cause any problem even in the wrong hands, I don’t recommend using MediaFire. Otherwise, the storage space you get for free is quite decent.

IDrive

IDrive

IDrive is a hybrid. It doubles up as both a cloud storage and a cloud backup solution. The free solution will give you 5GB of storage, and that’s peanuts! You will consume that even before you know.

However, if you want more space, you can get up to 10TB if you pay. There are mobile apps available for both Android and iOS users. Additionally, they also have desktop apps for Linux, Mac, and Windows. That’s rare! You don’t find providers offering Linux support.

Interestingly, the desktop clients have support for file syncing too!

IDrive comes with a nice management tool, allowing you to control everything you backup online.

Talking of security, IDrive does a good job offering 256-bit encryption for both free and paid plans. You need to keep your private decryption key safe. The company isn’t going to store it for you. In case you lose it, you will not be able to decrypt your data.

You can always upgrade your plan to 5TB of storage by paying around $4 a month (yearly payment) or 10TB of storage by paying around $6 a month (yearly payment).

Degoo

Degoo Free Storage

Degoo will give you 100GB for free. That’s a massive free storage. But why isn’t it on the top of the list? It is only a cloud backup provider. So, don’t expect productivity tools similar to Google Drive or OneDrive or Sync.com.

There is no file syncing feature, and there’s no way you can share files with others. The experience with the desktop app isn’t great either.

Even as a barebone backup solution, Degoo leaves a lot on the table to desire. For instance, there’s not scheduling option, no continuous backup/upload. But I must say that their mobile applications are decent.

Support is quite unresponsive. That’s something you should be worried about. If something goes wrong, you will have a hard time getting your documents and files back.

Getting back to the storage space you get; you can increase the free storage to 500GB using their referral program. For every successful referral, you will get 3GB of additional storage, but you can never exceed 500GB.

If you want to buy a premium plan, you can get 500GB for $2.99 a month. You can ramp it up to 10TB storage for $9.99 a month.

Conclusion

That concludes the list of the best free cloud storage for 2021. Which one do you think you will be using? Are you already using any? Drop a comment and tell us about your preferences. We will love to hear from you!