The internet world moves at a staggering pace. Just a decade or so ago, terms like cloud computing and online backup were unheard of to the majority of online users. Today, not only are there hundreds of cloud storage companies, but the majority offer the service free of charge. However, how free is free? And how good is the free service?
Why Do Companies Give Out Free Cloud Storage?
Surprisingly enough, most of the reputable names in the cloud storage game, such as Amazon Cloud Drive and Mozy – to name just a couple, mean just that. You get a certain amount of space to store data, access it whenever and wherever, and you don’t pay a dime for it. Companies can afford to do this as a means to attract potential customers because eventually, a percentage of the free account holders will convert into paying clients, some may even create referral business for the service.
What Does Free Storage Get You?
Generally, a free cloud storage account will come with 2 to 5GB of space. The account will also benefit from all the features that its paid counterpart enjoys. With time however, many users are virtually assured to reach a point where 5GB no longer do the trick, more storage space will be needed. This is precisely what the service provider is betting on as some users will upgrade to a larger account and become paid customers.
- File size limit
- Bandwidth restrictions
You are under no obligation to upgrade. If the free account is capacious enough for your needs, you can continue to enjoy the service indefinitely. You may have to deal with some shortcomings in the bandwidth department as free accounts tend to be lacking in upload and download speeds but again, as long as that works for you, cloud storage is free of charge.
Free accounts work best for those who only need to store or backup lighter files such word documents or small-sized photos. They are also ideal for individuals who need a means by which to share larger files, too large to email but less than the 2 to 5GB of allocated space, with friends and family.
When To Upgrade To Paid Cloud Storage?
Those who regularly acquire and store large files are better served with a paid account. Paid accounts also offer dedicated customer support, faster speeds, and even better security in the event that you plan on storing sensitive information. Also, if you need to back up more than one device, then a gratis account won’t do as most will only backup one system.
All in all, free cloud storage can certainly benefit the casual user. Those who need to store large files and perform serious backups should consider the paid route.
Steven is a web developer and online technology expert. He has built global networks and websites for fortune 500 companies. A graduate of Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, he now happily spends his time building Joomla and WordPress websites as well as reviewing online backup services, web hosting and anything else that needs reviewing.