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6 best free cloud storage solutions
If you are a regular reader of the Contractbook blog, you probably expect us to start by calling hard drives "boomer tech" and laughing at how obsolete they are.
But we can appreciate that actual hard drives still have some benefits.
Still, if you need to collaborate with team members, there are easier ways to do it than sending things via email attachment.
One of the things hard drive loyalists often say is that they are more cost-effective. That might be true if you only consider paid cloud storage solutions. Free cloud storage answers that point, and that is before you even start to consider the collaboration and back-up benefits you get from the cloud.
What is the best free cloud storage?
The best cloud storage is the one that suits you and your business.
When you are looking for a free cloud storage solution, you should think about:
How much storage you need.
Any specific functions and features that relate to your industry or the work your business does.
What security features the provider is using to keep your files and data secure.
Think about these before you start searching. You will find you can quickly eliminate several cloud storage options and make a decision much quicker and easier.
How to get free cloud storage
The best thing about getting free cloud storage is you do not need to do anything special to get it.
Most cloud storage providers openly highlight their free forever plan. They hope you will love what they have to offer so much, or that you would benefit from extra functionality, that you will be happy to pay for a more comprehensive service down the track.
It is common for cloud storage providers to give you a low capacity when you first join. You can often expand this by inviting friends to open an account. If you want to keep your cloud storage free for business use, open the account, then invite your team members to create an account, too. You will also be all ready to share and collaborate using your new cloud storage!
Here are six of the best free cloud storage solutions available today. We have deliberately stayed away from the obvious big hitters that you have probably heard of, to help you find a provider more in sync with your needs.
pCloud is an attractive, simple to use, and feature-rich cloud storage solution. Recently featured in TechRadar’s top cloud storage solutions of 2020, you get 10GB of storage with a free pCloud account. One-off "Lifetime Payment" or annual subscription options are available if you decide to upgrade to a paid plan.
Although pCloud offers a paid encryption add-on, their free-forever account uses a range of security features to keep your files and data away from prying eyes. pCloud calls itself “Europe’s most secure storage,” and its features certainly help it live up to such grandiose pronouncements.
You can access your files using pCloud online, or via desktop and mobile apps.
If your business only has a small team, but you need a lot of space, Degoo is a fantastic solution.
The reason for those caveats? Degoo gives you an incredible 100GB of storage space, free! You can even get up to another 500GB by referring family, friends, and team members to Degoo. Yet, the free account limits users to just three devices for uploading files. This might limit your ability to collaborate and share on the go depending on the devices you use. However, if each team member has a free account, you will probably not have to worry too much about these limits.
The free version of Degoo also features ads and limits the size of your file uploads to 512MB each. Still, it deserves consideration purely based on the capacity you get.
A good measure of a cloud storage provider is how they are described. Nextcloud nails this, telling you from the moment you land on its website that you are getting a full-on collaboration tool and not only a cloud storage solution.
Beware that it is not clear you can get a free account from the Nextcloud homepage. However, if you go via this link, you should be able to sign-up for a Nextcloud Home account and get started.
While Nextcloud is a fantastic solution, if you are not confident in dealing with tech, then you should look elsewhere. You will need to spend time setting up your storage solution as well as taking responsibility for things like back-ups.
As an open-source solution, it is brilliant, but not one for novices!
Blomp gives you up to 200GB of storage at no cost. You start with 20GB, and your capacity grows based on referrals. Easy if you have plenty of team members to send referral links to!
Blomp predominantly pushes itself as a solution for rich media storage. Still, nothing is stopping you using it solely for Word and Excel files if that is the functionality you need.
If you have many rich media files to store, this is probably the best free solution out there. Blomp's premium solutions are also a ridiculously low price if you do need to upgrade.
icedrive calls itself "The next generation of cloud storage." While that is a lofty tag to live up to, the range of features available certainly lives up to it.
While you get 10GB of storage free, perhaps the most impressive aspect of icedrive is its “drive mounting software.” This feature allows you to manage your storage and share and collaborate as if you had a physical hard drive, but without taking up any space on your system! Another useful feature of icedrive is the “showcase” page, where you can post files and gather feedback collaboratively before making changes.
Wave goodbye to people ripping apart your documents using “Track Changes!”
Do you have a lot of dealings with clients and customer contracts, or do you work in the legal profession?
With Contractbook, you can keep your contracts digital and stored securely in the cloud at no cost. You can also use over 100 standard contract templates and track the status of your contracts. On top of this, with our premium pricing tiers, you can collaborate with colleagues and access version history, so you know exactly where you are at with all your contracts.
Still, if you are starting out and want to see what digital contract management is all about, our free Pilot tier is a great way to start your Contractbook journey.
There is no reason for your business not to be using cloud storage, especially when there are so many free, top-end solutions.
The demands of modern business mean you need to be able to access and share your files wherever you are, no matter what you are doing.
A cloud storage solution will help you do that, and much more!
Karl Tippins is a technology writer with vast knowledge and experience in writing about a wealth of technology products. Karl is particularly passionate about using SaaS to improve business services and productivity, which is what has brought him to Contractbook.
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