How To Get Free Online Storage

11/6/2012 2:13:48 AM

Does your hard drive run out of capacity? Let us show you how hundreds of gigabytes, without any cost in some cases.

Modern hard disk drives offer large storages. Even the cheapest one also owns hundreds of gigabytes while pricier drives have storage reach hundreds of terabytes. However, similar to the method high-way traffic always increases the amount of lanes; computer users are finding more and more ways to find extra storage.

Obviously, you may buy and install (or attach) new hard drive, which is costly. Through this article, we are going to prove that you will be reassured to save additional large storage without any money. Moreover, free online storage services we will introduce may be more useful than conditional drives. Thus, just keep reading to know different types of online storage plus how handy they will get and where to find them.

Come to cloud

If you still keep data on USB, you may be old-fashioned. That the internet appears everywhere means common physical hard drives are unnecessary for saving and sharing data which can be stored in cloud.

We have discovered the term “cloud” before, yet it was more related to that your data was kept in some computer in the internet, instead of in your own desktop. With fast internet connection, it appears convenient – and storage space will be easily accessed into by any connected devices.

Create link

A continuous internet connection means cloud storage is always available, like hard drive is. Irrelevant to steps of uploading or attaching files to website and email, cloud storage services consults software to make it work like hard drives. In some cases, services add additional icon into Windows Desktop.

Nonetheless, while downloading contents from cloud storage is fast, uploading may not. Home bandwidth often offers uploading speed that is much slower than downloading speed – in conclusion, using internet is most related to downloading processes. Consequently, while typical 8Mbit/s connection is able to browse 50MB file in 1 minute, it presents 768Kbit/s uploading speed which is 10 times slower. Some services use trick to accelerate this and we will show you later.

In general, there are 3 different types of cloud storage – online storages, synchronization services and back-up tools. As we will see, some of them may be combined into one but their useful classification to help us consider which one we prefer.

Online drives

Online drive can be seen and treated as most PC’s ones though its data is stored online (or in cloud). It is named after a letter or its files will be viewed through a web browser. In case of the latter, direct adjustments are impossible because the files need downloading then uploading again in if they are changed.

For example, Amazon’s Cloud Drive (www./clouddrive) provides 5GB free storage for those who have Amazon’s shopping accounts. Cloud Drive uses drag-and-drop interface based on web to manage files and individual file size is limited at 2GB but uploaded music can be streamed online and Amazon now unlimited storage for music with packages requiring fees. A $20/year/20G account is capable of storage 200GB of MP3 library to stream to any devices in any places with no charge.

Similarly, Microsoft provides 25GB free cloud storage via SkyDrive service ( It offers free Windows Live ID only gives access via web, yet it is very easily used to share files. Besides, Microsoft Office 2010’s apps can be online stored and opened directly from SkyDrive.

If 2GB is not enough, Adrive ( gives 50GB but its web’s interface looks bulky, slow and difficult-to-use.

Description: Amazon’s S3 system powers most online storage services, including its Cloud Drive

Amazon’s S3 system powers most online storage services, including its Cloud Drive

Synchronization services

Synchronization service works by keeping file on separate drive in PC and concurrently making an online updatable copy. This means that local version of the file can be processed while online version will be automatically updated if necessary.

It is inconvenient that synchronization service is not used to ease the burden of files in hard drive running out of space but it has two important benefits. Firstly, by copying local files to online server, synchronization services concurrently works as basic back-up ones. Secondly, any PC starting synchronizing will automatically download the file’s latest version modified by any previous PC. Therefore, let’s make a Word document and wait for it to be finished on the company’s PC.

However, the most intelligent of synchronization service is the way file is uploaded. Although finished file has to be uploaded first (at first use, for instance), later changes of local file doesn’t require another finish copy uploaded. Instead, only changes will be streamed, making synchronization much faster. Furthermore, synchronization service provides option to restore early versions of one specific file and reach additional security level as it kept records of changes made. Thus, regardless of that local file is overwritten by a new one having the same name, its previous version will be available online.

Dropbox ( sets up standard for cloud synchronization and above features are all available in its free 2GB storage which can be gradually increased from 250MB to 10GB by introducing the service to other people. Dropbox uses a small utility which, when installed, creates a Dropbox’s folder on PC’s hard drive, everything put in this folder is locally kept for instant access as well as automatically synchronized with Dropbox’s server – and with hard drives from any PC registering a Dropbox account. Besides, Dropbox owns nice web interface to be used on PCs without its utility installed, plus easy sharing options and even apps for smartphones.

Dropbox can be used to store anything but Box’s cloud service ( is designated for multimedia documents and files. It gives another way to help group of people co-operate and know who has uploaded and what has been modified and download once a particular folder is shared with other users. Box user can preview most of files online via its nice web interface, thus you don’t need to download anything just to see it. It also offers a synchronization tool like Dropbox does, yet it comes with 100GB space and costs $15/month. Free service offers 5GB storage but Box often advertises free 5GB upgrade – so you have to check the website regularly.

Microsoft also offers different cloud synchronization as Windows Live Mesh ( Free account provides 5GB storage (taken from free 25GB space supplied via SkyDrive) to synchronize local files, following Dropbox’s style. However, settings of Internet Explorer and Office apps will be synchronized in all PCs, coming handy to share internet bookmarks and Office templates, for instance. Synchronizing settings is, too, main feature of Apple’s iCloud ( It also provides 5GB web storage for files but it is mostly for sharing data between apps (contact, calendar, photo, etc…) on iOS devices, with Windows and Mac PCs.

Cloud back-up

Cloud storage is very valuable as it keeps data in somewhere far away from the source (computer) and thus this is much safer than a bunch of DVDs placed in the attic. A free synchronization service, such as Dropbox, may be enough for multi-purpose back-ups. Though, for completed back-ups, you need a specialized service – but it is unlikely that you will find a totally free service because the amount of related data is often considerably high.

Carbonite (, for example, provides unlimited cloud storage to back-up your entire computer and it costs $63/year. According to hard disk’s size and internet connection, first back-up (full upload) may take a lot of time but further updates will be faster because Carbonite will only upload changed files. It is also an install-and-forget service, since changes are recorded online when they are made instead of following some schedule. Carbonite won’t back-up operating system’s files but it will do with others (custom). Thus, Windows need re-installing when a back-up is restored to a new drive.

Livedrive ( gives unlimited similar service with annual cost of $75 but with option for additional PCs, the price is just $142.5/month – Carbonite require custom subscription for this option.

Access to all fields

In this article, we have been proving that online storage is the simple way to make files available from anywhere with internet connection and free cloud storage costs you nothing.

However, you need some attempt to get best free benefits because upgrades often require registrations of friends who you have introduced the service to – consider it as a commission for increasing the number of cloud service’s customers. For more detail, look at the below table.

If we have to introduce a cloud storage service, it will be Dropbox. Its free 2GB space can be extended up to 10GB for people who you have introduced and it provides a comprehensive system of features that is user-friendly as well as make safe synchronization and back-up.

Description: Dropbox is among most popular cloud storage services and it offers free 2GB storage

Dropbox is among most popular cloud storage services and it offers free 2GB storage

Free your space

While these free cloud storages appears useful, don’t forget traditional methods to free your drive’s wasted space. It is obvious to empty the recycle bin and use Windows Disk Cleanup – just right-click on one disk in My Computer, choose Properties then click a suitable button on General tab of the box to start. There’s also “Compress this drive to free space” on that tab. It may free enough space in case an upgrade for hard drive is not your choice.

Uninstalling apps is the final resort, try removing some unwanted features of Windows first – enter Control Panel, Programs then “Turn Windows features on or off” in Windows Vista and Windows 7; or enter Control Panel then “Add or Remove Programs” then Add/Remove Windows Components in Windows XP.

How safe is cloud storage?

Using computer belonging to another person may look irresponsible since your important data is not kept by your own self, yet it is much smarter than what you thought.

Companies providing cloud storage keeps not only a great number of hard disks but also huge servers with enormous and safe storages. For instance, Amazon running what it thinks as Simple Storage Service (S3) now stores 499 billion separate objects, each of which has size of up to 5TB.

That is such incredible amount of data but Amazon’s provision is surprisingly fast and reliable. In fact, the company promises to work 99.99% of time, which means the service sometimes may be unavailable within just 1 hour per year.

Honestly, Amazon’s storage is so trustworthy that it is the basis of hundreds of free and commercial cloud storage services – including most of service mentioned in this article.


Free storage available





Free 10GB storage extendable up to 200GB by the number of introduced users + P2P storage



Free 25GB cloud back-up + extra 50GB increased via introduced users






50GB storage available for different smartphone users and from regular ads/ other option is 5GB

Microsoft Skydrive


25GB cloud storage including 5GB for synchronization



Free 10GB storage + 6GB increased via introduced users



Free 5GB storage + 10GB increased via introduced users

Asus Webstorage


Free 2GB storage + 10GB increased via introduced users



Maximum size of separate file is 2GB



Free 2GB storage + 8GB increased via introduced users



Free 2GB storage + 8GB increased via introduced users






Free 2GB storage + 5GB increased via introduced users

Amazon Cloud Drive





Free 1GB storage + 4GB increased via introduced users

Strato Hidrive



Apple iCloud











Free 2GB storage + 3GB increased via introduced users










Dell DataSafe Online









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