Let’s be honest: sometimes money is tight, and good-quality cloud storage can get expensive. The good news is a lot of the best cloud storage providers on the market offer 5GB of storage or more for free.
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While 5GB might not seem like a lot, several of the companies on my list offer more than 5GB for free, and even a relatively small amount of free space gives users the opportunity to test out different cloud storage solutions without making a paid commitment right off the bat.
To help you sort through all the options out there and make sure you’re getting the best free space with no strings attached, I’ve researched and compiled a list of the best cloud storage providers offering 5GB of free space or more in 2022.
|1. pCloud||10 GB Free||www.pcloud.com|
|2. Sync.com||5 GB Free||www.sync.com.com|
|3. Icedrive||10 GB Free||www.icedrive.net|
|4. Internxt||10 GB Free||www.internxt.com|
|5. MEGA.nz||20 GB Free||www.mega.nz|
|6. Google Drive||15 GB Free||www.googledrive.com|
|7. Amazon Drive||5 GB Free||www.amazondrive.com|
|8. Apple iCloud||5 GB Free||www.icloud.com|
|9. Microsoft OneDrive||5 GB Free||www.onedrive.com|
|10. IDrive||5 GB Free||www.idrive.com|
|11. Degoo||100 GB Free||www.degoo.com|
|12. NordLocker||3 GB Free||www.nordlocker.com|
|13. Dropbox||2 GB Free||www.dropbox.com|
Which Cloud Storage Gives the Most Free Space in 2022?
Here is my list of the best cloud storage providers offering 5GB of free space or more in 2022.
1. pCloud – 10GB Free
pCloud is one of the best cloud storage providers for 2022, and it’s easy to see why. I’ve talked about its excellent client-side encryption and competitive prices in my pCloud review, and these factors, plus its generous 10GB “forever free” plan, are just a few of the reasons why pCloud is at the top of my list.
pCloud Pros & Cons
- Offers 10GB of free storage space
- Comes with a dedicated media player for music and video files
- Client-side, AES encryption keeps your data totally in your control
- Breakneck syncing speeds
- Very affordable lifetime plans
- No zero-knowledge encryption or password protection for files with the free plan
- No integration with third-party productivity apps
- You have to refer other users to unlock the full 10GB
One of pCloud’s best features is its integrated multimedia player, which allows you to play videos and music directly in the app without downloading them. For this reason, pCloud is the best for music and video storage on my list. pCloud makes it easy to upload, store, and play up to 10GB of your videos, TV shows, and movies for free.
In addition to its awesome multimedia player, pCloud is fast, very secure, and user-friendly enough for cloud storage beginners to use without hassle. pCloud’s virtual drive, which takes up much less space on your hard drive and eliminates file redundancy, is another reason to love it.
To unlock the full 10GB, you do have to complete a few steps. pCloud gives you 2GB of free space at first, and you need to verify your email address, download pCloud’s desktop, and smartphone apps, upload a file, and enable automatic uploads of all image files on your smartphone, after which time you’ll be given 5GB more.
If you want to unlock the final 3GB of free space, you have to successfully refer a few friends to make an account with pCloud.
If this sounds like more work than you want to do, you can always upgrade to a paid tier. pCloud’s paid plans start at $49.99/year for 200GB of storage, which is a very reasonable price.
2. Sync.com – 5GB Free
Sync.com is one of my favorite cloud storage providers, and even though their 5GB free plan may not seem like much storage space, it’s an excellent opportunity to try out one of the best cloud storage solutions on the market and see if it works for you.
Sync.com Pros & Cons
- 5GB of free space
- Great security, including zero-knowledge encryption
- No limits on file size for uploads
- GDPR and HIPAA compliant
- Slightly more expensive than pCloud if you choose to upgrade to a paid plan (see my Sync vs pCloud comparison)
- If you do choose to upgrade, there is no monthly payment option.
Sync is an all-around great cloud storage provider that strives to balance top-notch security features and a smooth user experience. It comes with zero-knowledge, AES-256 bit encryption, as well as two-factor authentication, and a 365-day rewind feature that protects your files in case they get damaged or corrupted.
Best of all, none of these security features require extra payment or effort to set up. Sync.com comes out of the box ready to protect your data.
Because Sync.com is so security-focused, it lacks some of the collaboration features that other cloud storage providers offer. However, it is integrated with Office 365, which means you can edit Office documents directly in the app without having to download them first.
Sync.com offers a particularly smooth user experience when it comes to its mobile apps and is one of the best cloud storage solutions for Android. If you’re planning to access your cloud data regularly from your phone, Sync.com might be the right choice for you.
3. Icedrive – 10GB Free
Icedrive has only been around since 2019, but already the company has earned a reputation as one of the best cloud storage providers.
Although it lacks some of the collaboration features that other providers offer, it makes up for this with great privacy and security features, superfast syncing speeds, and a sleek, intuitive user experience.
For a full rundown of what Icedrive has to offer, check out my Icedrive review.
Icedrive Pros & Cons
- Comes with 10GB of free storage, no strings attached
- Great security features, including Twofish encryption
- Fastest cloud storage on the market today
- Affordable lifetime plans available, and cheap 1TB cloud storage plans
- Simple, straightforward user experience with a beautiful interface
- Lacks some key features
Icedrive sets itself apart from the competition mainly in terms of its unbeatable security features. It uses the Twofish encryption protocol, a lesser-known encryption protocol that’s particularly difficult for hackers to infiltrate.
In terms of privacy, Icedrive is a zero-knowledge provider, meaning you and you alone can see your data. In addition, the company offers the unusual opportunity to view and download all the personal data they have recorded about you, which puts them pretty much at the forefront of transparency in the industry.
Icedrive is also the fastest cloud provider in terms of syncing speed, and it offers 10GB of free space with absolutely no extra effort necessary (other than creating an account).
If you decide you want more than 10GB, Icedrive’s paid plans begin at the incredibly low cost of $1.67/month ($19.99 billed yearly) for 150GB of storage and go up to $15/month ($179.99 billed yearly) for a whopping 5TB of space.
Icedrive also offers lifetime plans, which gives you the opportunity to make one easy payment and have access to cloud storage forever – no more worrying about renewing your subscription necessary. Prices for a lifetime plan are very reasonable, ranging from $99 for 150GB to $599 for 5TB.
4. Internxt – 10GB Free
Internxt isn’t the flashiest option on my list, but its solid security features, easy-to-use interface, and generous 10GB of free space make it an attractive option for anyone who isn’t looking for too many extra features.
Internxt Pros & Cons
- Solid security and privacy features
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Great customer support
- Some of the paid plans don’t offer the best value for your money.
Internxt is the best no-nonsense cloud storage solution on my list. It may be lacking in many of the collaboration features and third-party integrations that other cloud storage providers offer, but if this isn’t a problem for you, Internxt is a solid cloud storage provider that gets the job done and gives you a generous 10GB of storage for free.
You can access your data from any device, and all of its apps are well-designed and intuitive to use. Internxt lets you choose between “full sync” and “upload only” options, as well as designate specific time intervals for folders to be uploaded. You can send shareable links, but you can’t do much in terms of setting specific parameters or permissions for these links.
In terms of security, Internxt takes a unique approach. It divides your data and stores it as fragments in multiple physical servers across different countries, meaning that your files are not only protected by encryption but also by physical distance.
By splitting your data into 10,000 separate node operators and securing it using blockchain technology, Internxt makes sure that it’s highly unlikely that all your data could be lost at the same time.
In addition to their decentralized server network, Internxt is also a zero-knowledge provider and offers encrypted file sharing and optional two-factor authentication.
If you decide you need more space, Internxt’s paid plans start at $1.12/month (or $12.12 if you pay yearly) for 20GB and go up to $11.33/month (or $122.40 yearly) for 2TB. (Note: Internxt lists its prices in euro, and the dollar amounts I’ve included here reflect the exchange rate at the time of writing).
5. MEGA.NZ – 20GB free
MEGA ranks as one of the most generous cloud storage providers on my list, offering a whopping 20GB of free storage (the only cloud storage provider that offers more free space is Degoo, which I’ll get to in a bit).
MEGA Pros & Cons
- Takes privacy seriously
- Very generous free plan
- Easy setup and hassle-free user experience
- Downloading and uploading can be a bit slow
MEGA stands out from the herd in two main areas: privacy and storage space.
MEGA refers to itself as “The Privacy Company,” and it does a good job of living up to its own hype. In addition to being a zero-knowledge provider, MEGA adds an extra layer of encryption to protect your files both in storage and when they’re being transferred.
MEGA also offers some unique privacy features, including an integrated chat platform with end-to-end encryption. In other words, MEGA will never see your personal files or data, and neither will anyone else.
In terms of storage, MEGA offers a pretty much unbeatable 20GB of free space with no strings attached. You can expand this further by completing what the company refers to as “achievements.”
Achievements include referring new users and installing MEGA’s apps on your various devices. Each achievement unlocks 5GB more space, and you even get 5GB for every individual customer you successfully refer.
However, it should be noted that these extra, achievement-based gigabytes expire after one year.
If you decide that 20GB isn’t enough space, you can sign up for a paid plan. MEGA is serious about storage, and its largest plan comes with a massive 16TB of space for $33.99/month, a pretty decent value for your money.
6. Google Drive – 15GB Free
One of the biggest and most popular cloud storage solutions today, Google Drive comes with the full force and reputation of Google behind it.
The ubiquity of Google as an email and workplace collaboration service makes it an obvious choice for many people who already have a Google account, and its generous 15GB of free space is enough for many people.
Google Drive Pros & Cons
- Integrated with the full Google ecosystem, including Google Docs and Gmail.
- Amazing collaboration features
- Backup support
- Some serious security and privacy concerns
- Better Google Drive competitors are listed here
Why Google Drive?
Google Drive ranks as the best cloud provider for workplace collaboration on my list. If you already have a Google account, your 15GB comes included with no extra effort or setup necessary.
Google Drive is storage for any documents created in Google Docs, an excellent collaboration system that’s used by businesses all over the world. In other words, if you regularly work in Google Docs, you’re already taking advantage of the 15GB of free storage space. Google Docs – and by extension Google Drive – makes it effortless to share files, adjust permissions, track changes, and edit documents simultaneously.
Nothing in life is perfect, and everything comes with a tradeoff: with Google Drive, this means trading some privacy rights for smooth, versatile collaboration features.
If this sounds like a fair trade to you, then you can easily upgrade to a paid plan, with prices starting at a reasonable $1.99/month ($19.99/year, with 16% off if you agree to prepay annually) for 100GB.
The largest plan that Google Drive offers is their Premium Plan, which comes with 2TB for $9.99/month ($99.99/year, 17% discount if you prepay).
7. Amazon Drive – 5GB Free
Backed by one of the biggest names in the tech world, Amazon Drive offers cloud storage at a great price. It’s not the best cloud storage provider on my list, but its unlimited, high-quality photo storage, Amazon Photos, makes it a great option for users looking for a lot of space to store their cherished memories.
Amazon Drive Pros & Cons
- 5GB of free storage for Prime members
- Unlimited cloud storage for photos
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Beautiful, high-resolution photo and image previews
- Affordable plans
- Not as impressive an amount of free storage as many of the others on my list
Why Amazon Drive?
Amazon Drive is one of the best cloud storage providers for storing photos, particularly for those who already have an Amazon Prime account. Prime members get unlimited photo storage for free, which is a great value for your money, particularly when you consider all the other features that come with a Prime membership.
Amazon Drive stores your photos in a separate but embedded program called Amazon Photos, which features a high-quality image preview that can store and process several different image file types, including JPEG, RAW, and HEIC files. Photos from multiple Amazon Drive accounts can be combined into a “family vault” and stored in a single folder in the cloud.
You can also make basic edits to images stored in Amazon Photos without having to download them first. Amazon Drive includes a native video player as well, but you can’t edit videos inside the app.
Amazon Drive does not come with any encryption features, and Amazon is not a zero-knowledge provider. This means that your data is theirs to view if they choose, a feature that is in line with Amazon’s generally questionable marketing and surveillance practices.
However, if this isn’t a deal-breaker for you, then taking advantage of unlimited photo storage and 5GB of free space is an irresistible offer. If you decide you need more space, Amazon Drive’s paid plans start at a reasonable $19.99/year for 100GB and go up to a massive 30TB for $1799.70/year.
8. Apple iCloud – 5GB Free
Another tech giant on my list, Apple iCloud, also offers 5GB of free cloud storage space for Apple users.
Apple iCloud Pros & Cons
- 5GB of free storage for Apple users
- Great integration with other Apple products
- Reasonable prices for upgrades
- Privacy concerns, including lack of zero-knowledge integration
- Better iCloud alternatives are listed here
Why Apple iCloud?
One of the most attractive features of all of the big tech-backed cloud storage solutions is the integration: whether it’s Google, Amazon, or Apple, all of their systems are designed to work together flawlessly and make your life easier in the process. Because of its seamless integration, iCloud is the best free cloud storage for Apple users on my list.
For Apple users, there’s no extra sign-up process necessary. You can find your storage drive in the Mac Finder feature on your laptop or as a backup solution on your iOS device. You can set your Apple computer, phone, or tablet device to automatically backup to iCloud, although this will likely mean that your 5GB will get used up pretty quickly.
You can upgrade easily to one of their paid plans, which begins at a reasonable $0.99/month for 50GB of storage. Apple also offers a 200TB plan ($2.99/month) and a 2TB plan ($9.99/month), both of which can be used as family plans.
Like most tech giants, where Apple really falls short is privacy. Although iCloud does encrypt your data both in transit and in storage, the company is not a zero-knowledge provider.
9. Microsoft OneDrive – 5GB Free
Much like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive is Microsoft’s integrated cloud storage solution for users of Microsoft 365. Users get 5GB of free storage, which is a bit paltry compared to Google Drive’s 15GB free plan.
Nevertheless, OneDrive’s outstanding collaboration features earn it a respectable place on my list.
Microsoft OneDrive Pros & Cons
- 5GB of free space for Microsoft users
- Smooth integration with Microsoft 365
- Excellent collaboration tools
- Reliable and fast
- 100GB file size limit
- A questionable security history
- Better OneDrive alternatives are listed here
Why Microsoft OneDrive?
Microsoft OneDrive comes with some of the best collaboration features of any of the cloud storage providers on the market today. It’s seamlessly integrated with all Office 365 tools,
including Word, Excel, Skype, and Outlook, and for that reason is the best option on my list for students or professionals who regularly use Office 365 for work collaboration.
OneDrive can be used through a desktop or mobile app, as well as through direct integration with Office 365 programs, which can be set to automatically save all documents to OneDrive.
Like Google Drive, OneDrive users can simultaneously edit and collaborate on a document saved in the cloud, and all changes are tracked and visible in real-time.
Despite its somewhat questionable security history, Microsoft has been trying to clean up its act, including offering AES-256-bit file encryption (although they are still not a zero-knowledge provider).
One unique security feature is OneDrive’s “Personal Vault”, which allows users to store their most valuable or sensitive data in a “vault” that can only be accessed with a code or a fingerprint. However, free users can only store up to three files in the vault.
Most users will quickly find that they’ve used up their 5GB, and OneDrive makes it easy to increase your storage space. If you choose to purchase an Office 365 subscription, you’ll get access to 1TB of storage for $69.99/year. With a family plan, the offer goes up to 6TB of storage for $99.99/year.
10. IDrive – 5GB Free
Founded in 1995, IDrive is the oldest cloud storage provider on my list, but that doesn’t mean that they’re out of touch. They’ve upgraded their cloud storage over the years to include a slew of awesome features that compete with some of the flashier cloud storage providers.
IDrive Pros & Cons
- Free 5GB of storage
- Hybrid cloud storage/cloud backup service
- Tons of great features
- Solid mobile and desktop apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Strong encryption
- No option to pay monthly
IDrive is not only a cloud storage provider but also a cloud backup service. These two are often mistaken for the same thing, but they’re actually different.
A cloud storage provider offers you a way to clear up space on your hard drive and access your data from anywhere by storing it online in the cloud. A cloud backup service is designed to protect your data by continuously making copies of your files and backing them up in the cloud.
Not only is IDrive a hybrid cloud storage/cloud backup provider, but it also comes with an impressive number of features. In addition to mobile apps for iOS and Android and desktop apps for Linux, Windows, and Mac, IDrive also has a management tool that lets you manage your backups online.
Even better, unlike many other cloud backup providers, with IDrive, you can backup data from your phone. IDrive’s mobile apps also come with a “timeline” feature that allows you to view any photos you’ve backed up in a gallery.
IDrive offers versioning, and when you delete your files, IDrive keeps a version of them for 30 days, which is a great failsafe against accidentally deleting things.
In terms of security, IDrive uses AES 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe. You alone control the key to decrypt your data (the company doesn’t have access to it), which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how likely you think it is that you might lose your key.
If you decide you need more space, IDrive’s paid plans start at $59.62 for the first year for 5TB of storage (the price goes up to $79.50/year if you renew). Their pricing is a bit confusing, but they do offer many different price points with different features, so you’ll be sure to find an option that fits your needs.
11. Degoo – 100GB Free
Yes, you read that right. By far the most generous provider on my list, Degoo offers 100GB of free space. Unfortunately, Degoo compromises a bit too much in some other areas. It doesn’t come with a lot of features, and it can be a bit confusing to use.
Because it’s a cloud backup provider, it lacks the productivity and collaboration tools that many of the others on my list include. However, 100GB is hard to argue with, and it’s a great deal for anyone looking for free space above all else.
Degoo Pros & Cons
- 100GB of free space
- Decent mobile app
- Good price per gigabyte value
- Free plan displays ads
- Paid plans are a bit pricey
- Encryption costs extra
- Not the most user-friendly
As I said before, they’re not the best cloud storage provider out there, but they are by far the most generous with free space. All users automatically get 100GB of free cloud storage, and can gain access to even more by signing up for emails and referring friends.
And, to be fair, they do have a pretty decent mobile app that’s compatible with iOS and Android and provides an all-around more user-friendly experience than their web app, which requires a tedious manual upload process (they don’t have a desktop app).
Degoo comes with a sound file sharing feature, as well as a nice photo storage maximizer tool that allows you to view high-resolution images in the mobile app while storing a lower-quality version on your device, thus saving space. However, this is an add-on that only works with Degoo’s Ultimate plan.
Degoo advertises itself as a cloud backup service, but if you’re using it for cloud backup (if you’re automatically backing up every file on your computer), then 100GB won’t be sufficient, and you’ll run out of space pretty quickly. However, it's still a generous offer if you use it to store specific files only.
If you decide to go for more space, Degoo’s best deal is its Ultimate Plan, which comes with 10TB of space for a one-time payment of $99.99 (which, as the company says, is good for 100 years of service.)
The last two cloud providers on my list don’t offer much in terms of free space, but their incredible features and great prices earned them an honorable mention anyway.
12. NordLocker – 3GB Free
NordLocker may not offer much in terms of free space, but it is still one of the best cloud storage providers for 2022.
NordLocker Pros & Cons
- 3GB of free storage space
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Easy file sharing
- Compatible with multiple devices
- Relatively expensive
- Doesn’t accept payments through PayPal
- Less free storage
Although Nordlocker is primarily an encryption service, they also offer cloud storage. This gives users a lot of options for how they want to store their data because NordLocker is compatible with other cloud storage providers, too.
For example, you can store your important files directly in NordLocker’s cloud storage, or you can store these in an encrypted NordLocker file and store them in a different cloud storage host, such as pCloud or Sync.com.
When it comes to security, NordLocker really stands out. You alone hold your encryption key, and NordLocker protects your metadata by scrambling it so that it’s unreadable to anyone other than you, the keyholder.
To encrypt your data, just drag it into one of NordLocker’s “lockers.” Then put this encrypted locker into a cloud locker to store it in the cloud.
If you decide to upgrade, NordLocker’s plans start at $3.99/month for 500GB of storage. Their most popular plan comes with 2TB of storage for $9.99/month.
For more on why NordLocker is a great cloud storage provider for keeping your data protected, check out my NordLocker review.
13. Dropbox – 2GB Free
Dropbox may be a bit stingy with its free space, but it deserves an honorable mention here for its commitment to providing an incredibly high level of service to its customers.
Dropbox Pros & Cons
- One of the most popular cloud storage comapnies out there
- Seamless integration with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace
- “Smart Sync” feature between your computer and the cloud
- 2GB really isn’t that much space (but you can get 25GB by inviting friends and family)
- No zero-knowledge encryption and some serious security concerns
- Better Dropbox competitors are listed here
Even though 2GB of free space certainly isn’t much to brag about, I still recommend giving Dropbox a try.
Dropbox includes a decent recovery/rewind feature, and, in addition to its integration with Google Workspace and Office 365, it also boasts its own virtual workstation, which it calls “spaces.”
Using spaces, you can set up meetings, share files, and collaborate on project plans within Dropbox. All in all, it’s a great option for companies looking to access multiple workplace programs all within the same cloud storage provider.
With only 2GB of free space, however, you’ll definitely need to upgrade. Dropbox’s paid plans start with the Plus Plan, which is $9.99/month for 2TB of space.
Which cloud has the most free storage?
Degoo offers 100 GB of storage for free, which on paper sounds good but the service is lacking privacy and security features, and, you'll be inundated with ads.
Better options are Mega.nz (free 20 GB) and pCloud and Icedrive (both 10 GB of free space), which take security and privacy a lot more seriously.
How much storage space is enough?
This depends entirely on what you want to use your cloud storage for. If you’re backing up an entire computer or regularly storing large files such as videos, you’ll need a decent amount of space.
However, if you’re using your cloud storage just to clear up some space on your hard drive or store some important files, you won’t need as much.
Look at it this way: 1GB can hold about 65,000 Microsoft Word pages, but only about 3 minutes of high-definition video.
This means that the 2GB of free storage offered by Dropbox, for example, could hold a decent number of document pages but only about 6 minutes of video at most.
In other words, only you can know how much storage is enough, because it depends on how you plan to use your gigabytes.
Does more free space mean better service overall?
Not necessarily. If you’re prioritizing free space above all other considerations, then you’ll want to go with the provider that offers the most (Degoo).
However, gigabytes aren’t the only thing that matters to most cloud storage users.
Other considerations, including security, user-friendliness, and collaboration features, can be equally important. For the best all-around features with the most free space, check out pCloud, Icedrive, or MEGA.
Is there a free unlimited cloud storage?
No there isn't. If you want unlimited storage space, you’re going to have to pay for it, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to break your budget. You can get unlimited cloud storage for around $15 per month.