Between pictures, videos, PowerPoint presentations and plain old docs, you need a place to store all that important information. For most individuals and for businesses large and small, a computer rarely offers enough storage. Luckily, there are lots of free web hosting solutions available, where you can keep your files safe and accessible online.
Having trouble knowing where to turn? Here are some hints about what to look for when choosing a storage solution and a review of some of the top online storage options.
Why you need online storage
Storing your data on the web frees up valuable space on your phone, computer and hard drive. You can store enormous amounts of documents, images, videos, music and more, without worrying about running out of megabytes.
A good storage solution offers other benefits, too. When your information is stored on the web, you can easily share it with coworkers or clients. An employee in London can work on a document simultaneously together with a colleague in Chicago. Plus, online storage offers the reassurance that your information is backed up and won’t get lost if something happens to your computer or phone.
Accessibility is also a huge bonus of online storage. Headed on a business trip? Use cloud hosting for your data, so you can access it from any computer, phone or tablet with an Internet connection.
What to look for in a storage solution
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for online storage. Your needs will vary based on factors such as how much data you want to store and how many people will need to access it. When examining the options, consider the cost, the amount of space you receive, how many people you can share it with, how easily the information is synced and how securely your data is stored.
Amount of space you receive
Number of people who can share
The Best 6 Online Storage Solutions
If you already have a website with Wix, Dropbox is a great solution for you because Dropbox and Wix work hand in hand. Using the app Get Files to Dropbox, you can change up a photo on your Wix website with any image stored in your Dropbox. (You can even make the change straight from your phone!)
Plus, Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free, the ability to earn free storage if you share the app with a friend, and an affordable premium version for users who need additional space. Dropbox is easy to use and offers an effective way to share large files with colleagues and clients. You can share specific folders and send data to anyone, even if they don’t have Dropbox. Plus, you can seamlessly sync all your files straight to your computer. Dropbox is a good solution for small businesses with several employees who need to access the same documents.
OneDrive offers a somewhat stingy 5GB of free storage, but it’s a great solution if you’re used to working with MS products and only you need to access your files. Or, if you already have MS 365 - you can enjoy unlimited storage for free! Some limitations are that you can’t correct spelling on OneDrive in Excel or PowerPoint and file size is limited to 2 GB. They are also less secure than some of their competitors.
If you run your own business, Google Drive may well be the only online storage you need, particularly if you have a Wix website. They offer a generous 15GB of storage for free and for a modest fee you can purchase additional space. Through Drive, you can store and organize documents, spreadsheets, images and more and then access them from anywhere in the world. Plus, using the Google Docs app, you can quickly and seamlessly display any doc straight on your website and customize it to match your site.
On Google Drive, you can share files with anyone who has Gmail. One great benefit is that several people can simultaneously edit a document and see the changes in real-time. Unlike with Microsoft OneDrive, you don’t need to download or purchase anything in order to use Google Drive. The one downside is that there is a size limit for documents that can be converted to Drive.
Being based in New Zealand automatically makes you cool, but that’s not the only reason we love this online storage solution. Mega offers users an impressive 50GB of free storage (with more available at reasonable rates) and makes file or folder sharing super-simple, even with people who don’t have a Mega account. Mega is best known for ensuring your information is accessible from anywhere in the world while still keeping your data super-secure with end-to-end encryption. That means only authorized users (and not anyone at Mega) can see the information stored.
Box has an easy-to-use interface that can integrate with pretty much any computer or device. It allows for file syncing and sharing, but unfortunately, you cannot password protect shared files. They offer 10GB of free storage and 100GB additional space for just $10/month, however, the free plan limits file size to a max of 250MB. We recommend Box for small businesses who are able to pay a modest fee for the service. Those users can then take full advantage of Box’s features, while individuals will find that free services from other providers more than meet their needs.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Hey photographers! If you’re looking for a place to store unlimited images, Amazon Cloud might be the right option for you. If you want a storage place to sync files, automatically back up your info or shared docs with your employees, you will have to look for another solution. Cloud Drive comes along as a freebie with Amazon Prime membership, and even it’s super affordable, but if your business has more than one or two employees, it probably won’t work as a one-stop-shop for your cloud needs.