One of the many things the combined eras of mobility and Internet has allowed us is the ability to put our digital assets in the cloud and be able to access them regardless of where we are connected and what capable devices we are using. This is especially very helpful for accessing and editing business files while on the go.
If floppy disks and flash drives are the things in the past for us wanting to transfer/bring business crucial files from one device to another, now we only need an Internet connection on supported devices plus a subscription to any available cloud storage options to be able to access and work on the same digital files on different computing devices we have.
It saves time. It helps save money. And ultimately, it supports our need to do business while on the go, thus allowing us to be more organized and productive. Small businesses having different locations or employees from different countries also benefit greatly from cloud storage services by centralizing the operation-necessary digital materials needed by the branches or employees.
However, not all cloud storages are free, not to mention the solid and secure ones. They are offered for a monthly, yearly or usage-based subscription. That is why I found the following free cloud storage services to be awesome as they not only offer free gigabytes of space to store files in the cloud, but they also guarantee a solid and secure platform.
Are you ready to expand your business’ storage to the cloud free of charge? Take the following list, create your account in each of them and access your business’ digital assets anywhere you may be.
SpiderOak – free 2GB – https://spideroak.com
If privacy with your files is the most important to you and you have not that many to store and want to access elsewhere, SpiderOak’s free 2 gigabytes of space in zero-knowledge privacy environment should be fine. Their free cloud storage solution allows you to do 5 things with your data: backup, sync, share, access and store. This works with iOS and Android platform. And if their free solution is not enough, upgrading to their Plus Plan for a hundred gig of space is always an option.
Dropbox – free 2GB – https://www.dropbox.com/
Another free 2gig option that allows you to upload and access your stuffs anywhere is Dropbox’s Basic plan. This gives you the ability to store and edit your business’ documents from your iOS and Andriod devices as well as on your Blackberry, Kindle Fire and computer. You can have your business marketing banners and images automatically added so your team can work on them regardless of where they are. Dropbox guards their platform with a 256-bit AES encryption and two-step verification so you can safely and securely store and edit crucial files.
Google Drive – free 5GB – http://drive.google.com
Aside from their popular search engine and email services, Google offers a generous 5gig of free storage, and you can do just about anything with it. You can upload your files, even the big ones, and access them anywhere on capable devices you preferred. It works seamlessly with Google docs, giving you the ability to read and edit documents on your iOS or Android device as well as collaborate with your team no matter where they may be located. And since it is Google, you are putting files in a secure location. Comparing to SilverOak’s, an upgrade to 100GB option would only cost you $4.99 per month, which will also boosts your Gmail account storage to 25GB. Not bad.
Amazon Cloud Drive – free 5GB – https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive
Amazon’s Cloud Drive for PC and Mac is great for small businesses wanting to take advantage of Amazon’s storage facilities. Their free 5gig of cloud space is enough to “have your files at your fingertips from any computer.” The iOS and Android version of the Cloud Drive allows you to upload up to 5gig of media assets. One scenario where this can be useful is when you are editing marketing or business related photos and videos on your smartphone or tablet and you want a quick way to store and access them on your computer or any other compatible devices.
iCloud – free 5GB – http://www.apple.com/icloud/
This one is specifically applicable to Apple device users. iCloud provides 5 gigabytes of free space so you can store, access and work with your content on your devices “here, there, and everywhere.” iCloud gives you the ability to access your contacts on your computer, add entries to your calendar, save some notes, log some reminders and take advantage of Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynotes applications as an alternative to Microsoft Office Tools. I have an iPhone and I found iCloud very helpful in getting the meeting minutes I saved as notes and pages I created to my Windows 8 computer.
OneDrive – free 7GB – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/skydrive-to-onedrive
Remember SkyDrive? Microsoft renamed it to now offer OneDrive – making it sound a little more appropriate to what they intend to give to users, but the old name isn’t really a big deal. That said, Microsoft goes on to saying “One place for everything in your life.” I just wish though that I can edit documents and spreadsheets directly in the app without having to subscribe to Office 365 on my iPhone. Fortunately, documents saved in OneDrive can be opened in another file editing app in iOS or Android to edit the documents and save them back to OneDrive. 7GB is generous enough to allow us to store our digit assets and be able to access them anywhere. By the way, activating camera roll backup adds another 3GB of free space.
Box – free 10GB – https://www.box.com/pricing/
Box works the same way as the others in this list, but its additional features sets it apart from the rest in the free category. Box can be integrated in Google Apps and Salesforce if you business are using them. Your files are secured with SSL and At Rest Encryption. You can also leverage two-factor authentication for added access security. But what’s really great about Box is its OneCloud feature which gives you the ability to work on your files in more than 500 different apps and save them back to Box securely. Can’t do business without Microsoft’s Office Tools like Word, Excel and Powerpoint? Box for Office is an add-on for MS Office 2007 and 2010 which is included in Personal package.
Copy – free 15GB – https://www.copy.com/home/
Now, here’s a cloud storage service that’s really generous in every way. Just imagine 15 gigabytes of free space to upload and secure your crucial files from computer/device crashes. This is what Copy would enable to do and they’re allowing it big time and free. It’s like having a combined cloud space of Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive and One Drive. It’s almost like sharing without boundaries for some small businesses with not that much cloud storage requirement. And by the way, earning an additional 5 GB of extra free storage for yourself for every individual you signed up to Copy through your referral is just awesome.
Flickr – free 1TB – https://www.flickr.com/
And for photography related businesses, there’s no cloud storage offer that’s as insane as a free terabyte by Flickr. Yes, you read that right! 1 Terabyte of free space to store your images that Google is charging $50/month, not to mention a terabyte hard drive can cost you at least $75. The only caveat is that it’s offered entirely for storing nothing but images. If you’re a technical one, you may try and get around the limitation by using some encoding software that converts a file to an image format and vice versa, but I totally don’t recommend that you do this as that might result in deletion of your account. Be that as it may, it’s still great for storing business’ photographic materials.
BitTorrent Sync – unlimited – http://www.bittorrent.com/sync
And here’s the last one I couldn’t dare miss and the most recent that I’ve tried. BitTorrent’s Sync provides the same features of a cloud service though it is doing it in a different way. Instead of having an actual cloud server to store your files, you get your source device’s storage as the actual storage. Sync uses a peer-to-peer protocol to sync any files you store on a folder it requires you to create and sync with other devices on your control. Anything you store in that folder will be accessible to any connected devices via the Sync client/app. Since it’s skipping the cloud, the transfer of files from one device to another is a lot faster (depending on your internet speed).
That’s it. Combining all these free cloud storage services would allow your business a sizable cloud space to store digit assets away from unwanted device failure, but accessible from anywhere and at any time you want.