A Comparison of Free Cloud Storage Services

Dropbox, Box, MEGA, MediaFire, pCloud

Picture of a blue cloud key on a computer keyboard
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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 your files.

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

Online Storage Sites Compared
Feature MEGA Dropbox Box MediaFire pCloud
File Storage 50 GB 2 GB 10 GB 10-50 GB 10-20 GB
Bandwidth Limitation[1] 10 GB[2] 20 GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Public File Sharing
Public Folder Sharing
Advanced Sharing Options        
Streams Media Files   [3]
Bulk Downloads  
Public Uploads[4]  
Bulk File Uploads
Folder Uploads  
URL Uploads      
Upload Files From Other Sites         [5]
Control Upload Bandwidth[6]    
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. 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. This means the 10 GB limit is “recharged” to add more every half hour. In other words, within a 30 minute time span, only 10 GB of data can be downloaded from a MEGA account.

[3] Box streams media files from the mobile app but not from the desktop website.

[4] 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. Dropbox and Box both support this feature, but require that the other recipients also be users.

[5] You can import files from your Picasa, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, and OneDrive account directly into your pCloud account.

[6] 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.