A Comparison of Free Cloud Storage Services

Dropbox, Box, MEGA, MediaFire, pCloud

We keep a large list of free cloud storage services that let you store your files online. Among our top five favorites, you can get over 130 GB without paying a dime!

But with these options, how do you know which one to choose? If you're having trouble deciding which of the better ones you should be using, take a look at this comparison table of the features of the top five free file storage websites.

Among other features, you can see not only how much storage each service lets you have but also if they let you share files and folders, download more than one file at once, allow other users to upload into your own account, and if there are desktop and mobile applications so that you don't have to use their website to upload and access your files.

Cloud key on keyboard

To learn more about these services, select their name at the top of the table to read our review. Also be sure to review the small print below the table for some quick details on what it is we're talking about with that specific feature.

Online Storage Sites Compared
Feature MEGA Dropbox Box MediaFire pCloud
File Storage 50 GB 2–18 GB 10+ GB 10–50 GB 10–20 GB
Bandwidth Limitation1 10 GB2 20 GB2 10 GB2 Unlimited 50 GB2
Per-Day Download Limit Unlimited 100,000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Two-Factor Authentication  
Public File Sharing
Public Folder Sharing
Advanced Sharing Options      
Streams Media Files  
Bulk Downloads  
Public Uploads3      
Bulk File Uploads
Folder Uploads
URL Uploads        
Control Upload Bandwidth4    
Desktop Program  
Mobile Application
Automatic Mobile Uploads  

[1] What we mean by bandwidth limitation is that only that much data can be downloaded from the account associated with that service. It's usually limited on a per day or per month basis, and sometimes only applies to users other than the owner. So, if your service has an unlimited bandwidth cap, then it doesn't matter if someone is downloading a 1 GB video over and over again from your account because there isn't a cap on how much data can be downloaded. But on the other end of this, if there's a 10 GB limitation, then only 10 GB of data can be downloaded, after which the account suspends the ability to download more data until the limitation is lifted (which again, is usually after 24 hours or 1 month—you'd have to check with each service to see how they limit their bandwidth).

[2] MEGA’s download bandwidth limitation is only valid for 30 minutes, meaning that the 10 GB limit is “recharged” to add more every half hour (i.e., within a 30 minute time span, only 10 GB of data can be downloaded from a MEGA account). Dropbox's 20 GB bandwidth limit renews every day. Box's 10 GB limit renews every month and is for downloads through shared links; downloads from within a user's account aren't limited. pCloud's 50 GB limit is for download link traffic, and it renews every month.

[3] Public uploads let you create custom folders that allow non-users to send files to your account. This means they don't need to have an account with that online storage service in order to send files directly into your account. It's useful when people send you files that are too large to email. MEGA, Dropbox, and Box support this feature but require that the other recipients also be users.

[4] To be able to control your upload bandwidth is to be able to define how much of your network's speed is dedicated to uploading files to your account. This feature is used so uploading doesn’t consume all your network bandwidth and slow down the other devices that are on the same network.