Cloud storage: How to choose the best cloud storage service The best free cloud storage services

Free cloud storage

Online cloud storage lets you back up your most important files, photos and documents safely online. This means no more panic about stuttering hard drives or lost laptops.

The best news? You can get started with online cloud storage absolutely free. Most of the main cloud storage providers offer a free storage allowance.

You won't typically get a huge amount of space with a free cloud storage account. Between 2GB and 5GB is a typical allowance, but this is plenty for storing your most important files, though not your entire collection of photos and music.

Best Buy cloud storage reviews - we review and rate the best cloud storage providers

Free cloud storage allowances compared

Which cloud storage provider gives you the most free online storage space? We've compared free cloud storage allowances in the table below:

 Free online cloud storage compared

There are some big differences between the free cloud storage allowances in the table above. Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive both gives new users a generous 15GB of storage space, while LiveDrive and PC World's services have no free allowance at all.

As a rule of thumb, 1GB of storage space is enough for up to 500 digital photos.

DropBox is one of the most popular cloud storage services, and its free allowance starts from 2GB for new users. By recommending DropBox to others, you can 'earn' more free storage space for your own account

Paying for more online cloud storage

A free allowance is great for getting started with online cloud storage, but if you want to back up all of your photos, files and music collection, you'll need to pay for more storage. 

Some paid-for cloud services are far more expensive than others, but we've listed the prices in an easy-to-compare format so you know exactly what they're charging. 

Read our guide to the best value cheap cloud storage services.

Which is the best cloud storage provider?

There's more to picking a cloud storage service than simply plumping for who gives you the most free storage.

While lots of free storage is undoubtedly a bonus, if you pick the wrong cloud storage provider then it can be a huge hassle uploading all of your files only to find you're stuck with a service that's frustrating to use.

Some of the worst cloud storage providers we've tested make it a misery to sync your files with their cloud backups - every time you change a file on your computer, you have to manually reupload it to the cloud to sync the changes.

This laborious process is far removed from the effortless automatic syncing we found with our Best Buy cloud storage providers.

Cloud storage is essentially all about making your life easier. With your files backed up online, you can rest easy knowing you're protected against data loss, and a good cloud service does all the hard work for you.

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