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Every site you visit has some kind of web hosting, but so do countless files. If you’ve sent and received files using Google Drive, you’ve tasted cloud-hosted storage in action.
For example, if you're looking to host your website somewhere, one of the best UK web hosting options you can pick is cloud-based.
It’s secure and fast. Users don’t have to worry about actually paying for a contract to store their data. Files can be accessed anytime they want, all for free… with limitations.
Fortunately, most of the top providers offer decent free plans with decent limits. We’ve hand-picked the best free cloud storage solutions with the most space and fewest limits that you can choose from.
Without further ado, let’s check the best rated & free cloud storage, UK-wide, solutions.
7 Best Free Cloud Storage Choices (UK 🇬🇧)
Have a look at our top seven picks, for cloud-based storage solutions. The best thing is that, unless you need to move serious data around, each is free.
1. pCloud: Best Free Cloud Storage All-Around
Safe, yet Dangerously Capable Encryptions 🕵🏽
pCloud is one of the best free cloud storage options as well as one the best Dropbox alternatives, in fact, the cheapest cloud storage option for upgrades, with TLS/SSL channel protection.
It provides a 256-bit encryption feature to secure your files. The most advanced and sophisticated data encryption features protect your valuable, sensitive, and confidential pieces of info against any threat.
You can start your journey with pCloud with their free plan:
- Use up to 10 GB of free storage
- For around 3.75 GBP monthly, get 50GB of space
- or 7.75 GBP monthly for their Premium Plus package with 2TB storage
pCloud also provides lifetime plans to purchase either 500 GB or 2TB at a one-time reasonable cost. This is why pCloud can be considered as one of the cheapest cloud storage.
pCloud offers some exciting features that allows you to secure your files with the latest and greatest technologies.
It also provides multiple file-sharing options for file-sharing with your colleagues and family members. The client-side encryption option known as The Crypto-Folder allows users to encrypt their files before uploading them on pCloud.
pCloud Media Player
One of the most exciting features of pCloud is its Media Player. Users can easily open media files directly on pCloud. And, there are no file type limits; you can upload any types of files on pCloud.
Users can also create multiple file versions that are stored for 30 days. You can even extend the time period by subscribing add-on or upgrading to a premium plan.
Limited Sub-Premium Features
pCloud doesn’t allow users to use their most useful features at free of cost. If you want to use their premium features and add-ons, you need to subscribe to their premium plans.
You cannot use the Crypto-Folder after 14 days of trial without upgrading plans. Users also need to pay extra if he wants to get the extended file history (EFH).
pCloud also has some limitations on file editing. You cannot edit your files like Google Docs.
2. Sync.com: Best Cloud Storage for Teams
Your Team Player/Business Tool 👋
Sync.com is one of the best cloud storage options around - with HIPPA compliance, mind you - perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides fast and secure file sharing and syncing features to share, store, and access files from any remote locations from any device.
All files uploaded on Sync.com are under 256-bit encrypted security. Though your files are online, no one can get access without the encryption key.
After creating an account on Sync.com, you will get 5 GB of free storage. You’ll be happy to know that you’ll get the free storage as long as you are using Sync.com.
In addition to that, you can choose their monthly plans - Business Solo, Business Pro, and Business Advanced to get the highest 10TB of storage.
Safe as a Bank Vault
For anyone looking for an ultra-secure storage service, along with the syncing capabilities, Sync.com is the best of the best.
Undoubtedly, security is one of their main selling pitches. But, Sync.com is also best for collaborations with teammates, and this capability lies behind their popularity.
One of the most exciting features of Sync.com is its automatic camera upload with a passcode lock. Whenever you take any photo from your mobile, it will be automatically uploaded on Sync.com and without a passcode, no one will be able to see it.
The Vault option lets you store data outside of your sync folder. The mysterious Vault allows you to store the important files that you don’t want to lose. It works as a backup bank for your files and you can download the files anytime from the vault.
They Like Their Customers to Commit
Though Sync.com offers a forever free plan, there is no monthly subscription. Once you want to upgrade your plan, they will bill annually. This really hurts when you want to test their premium plans.
With the free plan, you cannot set expiry dates on links or get access to settings permission. You need to upgrade your plans to use these features.
Also, If you face any difficulties with your account on Sync, you won’t get instant customer support like other best cheap cloud storage.
#3 IDrive: Best Cloud Storage for Data Safety
Perfect if You Need Cloud Storage on Multiple Devices 🕸️
While not necessarily at the top of the list IDrive managed to hit all the right checkboxes for free cloud storage. In fact, it’s one of the services out there which does offer some free storage, 5GB with a free account, and has some really good upgrade options if you want to go that route. That being said, it does have a couple of downsides and its age does start to show a bit when it comes to the UI.
A Plethora of Backup Options
Obviously one of the most important things when it comes to cloud storage is backups, and there’s no point getting a service that doesn’t provide you with a variety of options in that regard. Luckily, IDrive does, providing you with the option for NAS, mobile, external hard drive , image-based and hybrid backup. You can also chose to do scheduled backup or a continues one, and in that regard, IDrive minimizes usage by only uploading file changes.
One nice little plus here is that IDrive doesn’t delete anything from the cloud storage, even if you do so on your computer. That means you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting a file you need and have it removed in both places. Since you have to do it manually, it acts as a buffer against deleting important files that you might need.
Great for Business
As the world slowly moves to having everything be digital, a lot of people with small and one-person businesses will need some form of digital backup. You gain the additional functionality of access permissions per user, user grouping, and even setting their backup scheduling and data protection.
The big bonus here though is that they also have disaster recovery plans, so you don’t have to worry about losing all your data if the worst happens.
That being said, there are a couple of downsides, and the first being the UI and software. It can be a little bit clunky compared to modern interfaces. For example, Single-Sign-On is only available to business plans, which is a shame. Similarly the plethora of options can sometimes be overwhelming if you’re just starting out.
The only other downside is that there’s no real unlimited storage plans, which is a shame when you look at backblaze and other services. That being said, those services tend to only allow you to use them on one computer, so it’s all about choosing the compromise that fits your needs.
Overall IDrive plans are a good fit for just about anyone looking for a free cloud storage option.
4. IceDrive: Perfect Cloud Storage for Technical Beginners
… and A Free Plan to Put All Others to Shame 💵
IceDrive is really the new kid on the block, and while it’s lack of maturity shows in the fact that it isn’t as feature rich as other storage solutions, it still has some great features. Not only that but it has an excellent free plan of 10GBs, which is more than a lot of others. Finally, using it is pretty easy and straightforward.
Ease of Use
One of the things that really encourages people to backup regularly is having a good and easy to use piece of software, and IceDrive hits that out of the park. Installation is relatively painless, although it is a bit weird in asking you to login before doing the actual installation. Nonetheless, once its running it resembles the web-interface a lot, so there’s a nice parity between the two if you would like to switch.
Speaking of that web interface, once you have everything installed, you can actually manage everything through it. Interestingly enough, once you have a file uploaded to IceDrive, it becomes immediately available to any other devices your account is synced to.
As such, it’s a surprisingly great way to sync files between computers for backup or just to make working from one device to another more simple.
One thing that the competition doesn’t really have is file previews of backed up content. Now, that might not seem impressive, but the preview is great for productivity flow and works with encrypted files, which we don’t think we’ve ever seen before.
Another great feature is their file versioning system and how several past copies of files are kept for you to use. Of course, they might very well change that in the future, and it seems customer support has intimated something of that nature, but it’s a nice feature to have for the time being.
For all the interesting productivity features IceDrives misses out on a main one: A lack of integration with 3rd-party apps like Microsoft 365. As such if you’re gonna have to use it, it might be a bit of a pain to work around that lack of integration. This also applies to a lack of general sharing features, although that’s likely to change in the future considering how central sharing is when it comes to workflow.
Finally, there’s a lack of 2FA which is not ideal, especially in terms of security, and how common its become these days. Nonetheless, if you can get over some of its shortcomings, IceDrive has some really competitive pricing and a couple of interesting features to pull you in.
5. Google Drive: Most Popular Kid on the Block
Reliable Infrastructure Galore 🏙️
Google Drive was first introduced on April 24, 2012, and has since become a staple cloud storage provider, where documents are not only stored but also edited & shared between team members.
With over 240 million users reportedly using the service, Google Drive has become a part and parcel to many users.
You have a Gmail account, right? Whenever someone creates a Gmail account, Google provides free access to Google Drive along with some other Google services.
We all know that the modern internet is nothing but Google. We have to depend on Google for most of the daily activities. To make life easier, Google Drive allows us to edit files directly on its environment. Thanks, Larry Page for such a great innovation. Let’s see how Google is good for team collaboration and quality cloud storage.
The Best of Google Drive
Well, there are a lot of features Google is providing to improve our online life. Google Drive is just a part of making the world connected.
You can easily share files with another person who doesn't even have any Google account. Google Drive lets you edit the same document at the same time your teammate edits. This is how Google increases collaboration among colleagues, friends, and strangers.
Google Drive started with 1 GB of free storage. Now, it’s 15 GB free storage that is for a lifetime. With free storage, you can store any kind of files, which are protected.
Almost all Android phones have Google Drive and Photos. Whenever you capture your beautiful moments, the picture will be automatically uploaded to your Google Photos which is a part of your Google Drive.
Google's "Office Tools"
Google Drive also helps you to write on their Google Office tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), and so on. You can create Google Forms and share the links to anonymous people.
Oh! I forgot to tell you that, unlike when using Microsoft Office apps, you don’t need to save every document manually. Google provides autosave features for its Office tools. So, using Google Drive will definitely save your time from pressing on Ctrl +S.
But...no iOS Phone Support?
There are no unmixed blessings on earth. Google Drive also has some limitations.
Google doesn’t provide support for iOS phone users. We don’t know from when they will start supporting iOS users with iOS Google Drive apps.
For now, iOS users can use Google Drive directly from browsers. That is unfair to iOS users as Android users can easily get Google Drive apps that are faster and more effective than browsing Google Drive with the browser.
In terms of security, AES 128-bit security is not the best around compared to pCloud’s 256-bit encrypted security. There’s also a rumor that Google sells the information of yours to the advertisers.
6. MediaFire: Organized & Business-Friendly
Forget Live Customer Support, However 🆘
Back in 2006, MediaFire came with its file hosting, cloud storage, and file synchronization services. MediaFire has more than 43 million registered users with another 1.3 billion unique visitors.
Our bet is that they cottoned onto our list of the best domain registrars in the UK and the golden luck just cascaded from there. MediaFire has now become one of the best free cloud storages choices in the UK, offering many dandy features to boot.
If you want to store and share your files in a secure way, then, Mediafire can be your best option. Mediafire comes with an SSL encryption feature to safely store your important files. It is a broad cloud solution for small teams and businesses.
Whenever you create an account on MediaFire, you’ll get 10 GB free storage with unlimited sharing and ad-supported downloading facilities. You can sync any folder with its selective sync feature.
The FileDrop feature is one of the best features available, for one of the cheapest cloud storage services out there.
Increase collaboration among team members. You can drop files in a specific folder where other teammates have specific access.
Do you want to upload your pictures or videos from mobile? Well, MediaFire comes with both Android and iOS apps that allow users to upload their files and access them from their mobile devices. And, it’s free.
A Turtle vs. the Hare Issue
The slow upload speed of MediaFire can make users about-turn from MediaFire. The company should work on their uploading speeds, to increase usage.
Unlike other cloud storage, MediaFire doesn’t have any live customer support. So, if you lose your file or face any issue, you have to wait for their mail reply to solve your issue.
The "blocked" option for the free version is too annoying. What this means is that whenever you download any files from MediaFire, you have to face advertisements on the download page. That’s too boring.
Another thing to worry about is that if you don’t log in to your account for a year, your data will be removed completely. From my point of view, they should allow life-time access to the data kept in their cloud storage.
7. Degoo: Top Secret Storage
One-Way Password Protection, for Uber-Confidential Info 🔫
Degoo is the best cheap cloud storage with 100 GB of free storage. Can you believe it?
You can further add up to 500 GB by referring to friends (3 GB per reference). Besides, there are two premium tiers: Pro and Ultimate.
Degoo Pro expands your capacity to 500 GB and 3 devices for only 2 GBP/month. The Ultimate version, which is not the best unlimited cloud storage option, though, offers 10 TB of space for around 8 GBP/month or 75 GBP/year.
James Bond Password Protection
File sharing with Degoo is a breeze. Besides having adequate desktop abilities, the mobile apps (Android, iOS, Kindle) are even better and provide all the functionality you’d expect and more.
Phones usually have some sort of integrated cloud backup for common media files by default, but Degoo apps take things a bit further by allowing all folders to be targeted.
One of the best features is that you can access files you previously backed up from your computer to the cloud, and then send the file/location URL to others for easy sharing. This feature wasn't available in most cloud storage solutions...until Degoo showed up and changed the game everyone.
As for security, Degoo ticks pretty much all the boxes, but it’s important to note that most of the security features are available with the paid versions. That being said, with all tiers, you get 256-bit AES encryption. With the “Top Secret” folder, you create a unique password that only you know, not even Degoo.
There’s also a 2-factor authentication (2FA) sign-in option via Google account. Although Degoo doesn’t have its own 2FA, we all know that support via Google is far better than anything else out there.
Lastly, you can make Degoo ultra-fast. As our testing showed, Degoo uses a good amount of available bandwidth when uploading— this is equivalent to downloading.
All you need to do is activate the “Turbo” mode. In some cases, this can provide 30 times faster performance than your Normal mode.
Keep That Password Handy
The main issue with Degoo we’d say is getting your media to the cloud, in some cases. The lack of an excellent web interface can be a deal-breaker for some. Also, there isn’t any fully-featured application for desktop users. Hopefully, Degoo will sort them out soon.
In our honest opinion, the desktop app requires a lot of improvements and file transfers should use block-level logic.
Another small but notable issue we have is with the Top Secret folder. While it’s by no means a bad feature, but think of it this way… Since Degoo has no knowledge of your “secret“ password, recovering a forgotten password can be a hassle. So, try our advice would be to use a password you won’t likely forget.
8. Microsoft OneDrive: Excellent for Personal Use
Great Handy EveryMan Apps
OneDrive is a great place to sync and share your important files. Ever since its introduction on August 1, 2007, OneDrive has gone through numerous security updates and it is now stronger than ever.
Microsoft OneDrive does great in the collaboration department, given that it can connect to other popular Microsoft products:
- Office Online
- & Skype included
While the Personal plan doesn’t do well in the cloud storage market, the Home plan does offer some excellent features.
In terms of speed, OneDrive is also ahead of most cloud storage options. It lets you share files and folders effortlessly. That being said, let’s see some of the stuff we did and didn’t like...
Intuitive & Quick
Office 365 Home is what you need if you want to get the most out of OneDrive. You get 6 TB of storage for 6 users (1 TB each) for just 8 GBP/month.
The desktop client works great on both macOS and Windows. You’ll find a system tray icon on the bottom right and a quick sync folder as shown in the screenshot below.
You can click “Open Folder” and find your synced items, check the current status and settings, etc.
The web client boasts a straightforward, easy-to-understand web interface, that any of the top-of-the-line web design software would love to show off on its portfolio.
Everything is out in the open. Just drag and drop your files or folders from your computer to the web browser and it will start uploading instantly.
Using an Ethernet connection with 100 Mbps download and 6 megabit upload speed, it takes under 20 minutes on average to upload a 1 GB folder, which is impressive.
As for security, all your files are secured with separate AES 256-bit key. On top of that, OneDrive uses the TLS protocol to stop any man-in-the-middle attacks.
Both MS Office 365 plans are able to detect ransomware threats and allow you to restore your cloud storage to the point where the files were still accessible.
A Bit More Space Wouldn’t Hurt
1 TB may sound like a lot for cloud storage. But it isn’t quite enough for heavy users. There are definitely better alternatives out there as mentioned in this article, if you are looking to pay, and need the capacity.
Other than that, there’s nothing we don’t like about this software. It’s easy-to-use, no additional redundant menus, and offers an intuitive app.
9. Amazon Cloud Drive: Best Fit for Prime Users
Fully Compatible with Amazon Prime 🔌
Today, Amazon Drive is significantly better than when it was first launched. This media-centric cloud storage solution offers many useful features at a reasonable price. But how reliable is it? Let’s find out.
For those new to Amazon Drive, it may seem a little confusing at first. But once you get the hang of it, chances are you’ll find everything you need right here.
It lets you sync your files automatically so there’s little to no hassle. Unlike Dropbox, you’re able to choose arbitrary files or folders from your PC and sync them with the cloud.
The software keeps everything remarkably easy to understand, making Amazon Drive ideal for less tech-savvy people. Once you installed the macOS or Windows app, it creates a drive connection with your OS and adds a folder named “Amazon Drive.”
It also determines how much storage you’ve used so far, what’s taking up space, and whether certain files are yet to be synched. It’s also worth noting that live synchronization isn’t the only option you have. You can also decide when files should be transferred.
The security measures Amazon takes to protect its user accounts are employed on Amazon Drive and 2FA has been included. As with other billion-dollar companies, you shouldn't worry too much about security.
When to Go for Amazon Drive? 🖼️
As for the pricing, Amazon Drive is one of the best cheap cloud storage solutions out there. Once signed up, you’ll get 5 GB for free. The first paid plan bumps that up to 100 GB for 8 GBP/year, but you also have the option to grab 1-10, 20, and 30 TB.
So for anyone primarily securing photos, Amazon Prime might just be what they need because photos do not count against your main storage limit, no matter how many you’ve stored.
No Docs Apps 😔
File sharing could have been made more secure with some sort of password protection. We’d also like to see Google Docs, Office Online, or even a simple notes application added for work productivity.
In today’s modern era, without these things, sync capabilities are good for nothing. Additionally, while there’s readily available support, dedicated Amazon Drive support may ensure even better-trained support reps.
The biggest downside of using Amazon Drive is that Amazon doesn’t encrypt anything stored on their servers. Considering Amazon’s fame, it’s a big let down as hackers are more likely to attack Amazon than, let’s say, Google.
If you decide to opt for Amazon Drive, we recommend encrypting your files before sending them to the cloud.
Free Cloud Storage Buying Guide
The Need to Know Scoop.
Is it Actually Free?
Cloud storage is free if you know where to look. From Google to Apple, and Box to DropBox, there's tons of free storage you can have in the cloud. But, of course, if you want more, you’re going to have to pay the premium.
Before you opt for a cloud storage solution, it’s important to know your storage limits beforehand.
Some services will offer a free plan that has less than ideal amount of storage but their cheapest premium plan can turn out to be of great value. Others can offer a lot on the free plan but only for a select amount of days.
So, you should be aware of what you're dealing with.
Since we already discussed the more comprehensive reviews above, here’s a brief summary of free storage limitations as per each Cloud Storage Service on our list.
pCloud — lets you store files of “unlimited” size, but with a transfer limit of 500GB/month for the Premium members and 2TB/month for Premium Plus members.
Sync.com — once enabled, the number of photos or files you can sync to your device is limited by the amount of storage space available on the device, up to 10 GB.
IDrive — 5GB with a free plan, no other limitations.
IceDrive — 10GB with a free plan - along with very affordable upgrades.
Google Drive — offers a starting space limitation of 15 GB, which is the total amount of storage you receive from the entire contents of your Drive and Gmail.
MediaFire — 10 GB overall storage limit. Free users can upload up to 10 GB of files. The account will never expire.
Degoo — free 100 GB of backup space, which can be bumped up to 500 GB through referrals (3 GB per reference).
Microsoft OneDrive — has been scaled down to 5 GB from 15 GB for new and current users, and the 1 TB limitation on Office 365 members takes effect immediately.
Amazon Drive — if additional photos and files exceeding the 5 GB limit need to be stored, you can opt for a paid plan based on your region. In the unlimited plans, 2 GB+ files are restricted from uploading to the app.
Most services you look for online, not storage exclusively, will offer tons of bonus features to get ahead of their competitors. While these can prove to be a sham or not useful at all, there are some that are going to be very well worth your time and money.
When talking about free cloud storage specifically, you should look out for accessibility, cloud, sync, and backups.
Let's take a look at a short summary of bonus features that are offered by the free cloud storage services we just reviewed:
pCloud: Use Rewind System to keep your files secure; User-friendly mobile application; Works as a Data Vault and an Online Virtual Hard Drive.
Sync.com: Restore deleted files; Selective Sync; Quickly view recent files using Events Timeline.
IDrive: Disaster recovery; Snapshot backups; Bulk uploads; Extensive user management options.
IceDrive: Zip-on-the-Fly; Windows drive mounting; Client side encryption + 256 bit Twofish encryption.
Google Drive: Kick photos out of Recent view; Filter your searches; Turn on Quick Access; One-tap mobile backup; Quickly clear formatting; Backup folders on Mac/PC; Send file links instead of attachments.
MediaFire: Media Playback; File Previews; Selective Sync; Sync any folder; Folder Sharing.
Degoo: Photo Storage Maximizer; Enhanced Storage Replication; Unlimited Mobile Devices.
OneDrive: “Free up space” saves space on your computer; “Always keep on this device” places synched copies of the OneDrive folders and files on your PC.
Amazon Drive: The 7 GBP/month plan gives you access to Prime Video.
Unlimited Cloud Storage FAQ
On the edge of a decision? Read on.
How Do I Get 100 GB Free on GoogleDrive?
Open Google Chrome from your computer, navigate to google.com/chromebook/offers/, and select “Redeem” where it says “Get Google One with 100 GB of storage and other exclusive benefits for 12 months when you purchase a new Chromebook or Pixelbook.”
Which Cloud Storage Has the Most Space?
Google Drive offers a whopping 15 GB of free cloud storage for signing up for a Google account. You can get up to 30 TB of cloud storage depending on your plan.
Can Anyone See My Files on Google Drive?
The folders and files in your Drive are private by default unless you share them. You can either share files with specific users or make your documents public and make them viewable for anyone on the Internet.
Top-Tier online businesses and individuals are increasingly adopting cloud data storage as they require more versatility, flexibility, and space.
If you want effective cloud storage for your important files, choose whichever fits your needs the best. Don’t pay unless you need heavy data capabilities.