The Best Free And Low Cost Online Storage Sites on the Web

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First, why would you need to find somewhere on the web that offers a bit of free space? Here are a few situations for which you might need free online storage:

  • You want to send large files to more than one person
  • Your blog or Web site hosting provider only allows a certain amount of upload room for images, etc.
  • You want to share a very big file and your email keeps timing out or doesn't allow large file uploads
  • You'd like to automatically back up your important files, photos, documents, etc. so you never lose anything in the event of a computer crash

All of the above situations (and more) can be solved with the following free and low cost online storage sites. All of these sites are either free or offer a huge amount of storage online for a relatively low cost.

Note: Be sure to double-check the storage time limits for your files, as many free online storage sites do have rules for file inactivity and will discontinue your account after a per-determined amount of days with no activity.

  • Dropbox: A small personal account on Dropbox is free, and couldn’t be easier to start up with; just sign up for a free account and you’ll instantly receive 2GB of free storage. Install the software and a folder will be created on your computer that will sync instantly with Dropbox’s servers, along with any Dropbox folders on any other systems that you intend on using the software to sync with. You can use it on the Web or download the desktop version to make everything run even more smoothly between machines. If you need more storage than the free account, you can always choose to upgrade. 
  • Google Drive: If you have a Google account, then you already have access to Google Drive, a free storage source for files, photos, videos, and more. Google offers users the ability to sync access to this information across machines, making it easy to log in to your Google account and get your files no matter what computer you might be on.
  • Mozy: Mozy, now owned by Dell, offers a solid array of storage options for both the personal and professional user (none are free, but costs are minimal for what the average user would require). A Mozy account requires a free download of the Mozy software; this helps you figure out which files to back up. Photos, music, emails, all can be backed up here. 
  • Box: Box is a good solution for professional and enterprise clients to back up important information and work across networks. Prices vary depending on what you and your business may be looking for; corporate options include collaboration, file sharing, security, content management, and an easy to use platform. 
  • MediaFire: MediaFire puts very few limits on what you can do at their very popular service for absolutely no money. Unlimited uploads and downloads, up to 200MB file size for sharing, unlimited storage, direct linking to files (instead of jumping through hoops) and advanced sharing features are what make MediaFire an extremely attractive option for file storage. Users are able to upload all kinds of files here, including slideshows, Flash-based videos, audio playlists, Word documents, PDF files, etc. You can manage all your MediaFire files easily from a centralized dashboard; from here you can also share your files with anyone you want via links and embed codes.
  • PhotoBucket: Photobucket is a service aimed at photo and video storage only. A paid for account gives you the ability to upload literally thousands of images; you can also use Photobucket's internal artistic tools to edit, tag, and organize your photos. Prices vary depending on how much storage you might need. One caveat; Photobucket no longer supports third-party hosting with the lowest tier of paid support. Many Photobucket users historically used this service (previously free for the lowest tier of support) in order to host images somewhere on the web, for example, an icon on a message board, or a photo on a blog, or some kind of media file that was accessible on that site because it was hosted on the Photobucket servers. That service is no longer available unless users choose to upgrade their hosting plan.