File storage services, otherwise known as cyber lockers, allow you to upload data files that can be accessed via the internet from your computer, phone or other devices with internet connection. While many companies will charge a fee depending on how much storage space you need, many also have free plans. You can generally find free storage space with reliable companies ranging from 2GB to 5GB. For most users, 5GB of space is generally not enough to store all their images, videos, games, music, programs, and documents. 5GB of space is enough for roughly 1,000 pictures or 1,250 songs.
One of the most important things to keep an eye on is which files are NOT being backed up. Some online backup service providers restrict you from transferring certain file types. Also, most free services do not save deleted data but rather write over the old data. This could be annoying if you have just deleted a file which oddly enough happens a lot.
Furthermore, many free storage plans that come with unlimited storage space usually have some type of file size restriction. Fox example, they will offer you 5GB of free space but a maximum of 500MB per file. It seems that for individuals this is fine since most people’s files are photos, music and video files (unless you’re a gamer), however for businesses this could be problematic. As a business, you not only need to back up your files but also your servers and operating system. Additionally, it’s generally recommended for mid-sized business to purchase plans that allow 70GB of space, so 5GB of free space obviously won’t cut it.
Some people claim that security is not as good as it is when you upgrade to a premium account. This is unequivocally false. Online backup companies take security seriously and would never jeopardize their reputation and business even for a free service they provide. You can expect that whether you choose the free version or a paid subscription, your files will always be safely stored and encrypted.
Another key thing to keep in mind when looking for free file storage is time and efficiency. The main problem associated with all file storage is that they come with large bandwidth costs for these online backup companies. Therefore, in order to cover these costs, the transfer speed is significantly slowed down. This leads many people to believe that if they upgrade to a premium account, the download speed will increase. While this may be partially correct for some providers, the two factors that contribute most to the speed are your internet connection speed and the online backup provider’s speed. On a side note however, there are many more features that come with a premium account.
If you do happen to decide to go with a free plan, be cognizant of what file types are transferrable, file size limitations and of course how much storage space you need.