15 Best Free Online Data Storage & Backup Services

This is my eighth post in this series. It is a handy list, a one stop shop if you like, of the best Freemium Online data Storage, File Sharing, File synchronization and Backup services. Ok! I admit, there are NO totally free services available.

Everyone needs to backup important data in one way or another. The safest method of backing up important data is to create multiple backups: to an external drive and also to an online storage service.

Nowadays, external drives are reasonably priced. About 10 months ago, I bought a 1TB external storage device for about $100. The nice thing about it, is that you can use Windows tools such as: "Back Up Files Wizard" and "Windows Complete PC Backup". I am not sure if this would be possible using an online storage service to do a "Windows Complete PC Backup".

Things To Consider

There are several things to consider when storing data online:

  1. Security of stored data and of data during transmission.
  2. Storage size limitations.
  3. Reliability and credibility of the service provider that you choose.
  4. The ability to automate backups.
  5. Customer support.
  6. Restrictions on file size and/or file extension.
  7. Restrictions on download/upload speed.
  8. Restrictions on bandwidth per day.
  9. Expiration of stored files.


I would like to emphasize that all the services listed below:

  1. Offer a Freemium service.
  2. Offer a minimum of 2GB of online storage for Free.
  3. Are in my opinion, the best.

There are too many online storage services available and it can get confusing. After an extensive research and reviews, here are some of the best freemium online storage services that I found.

Hover over each image or link for a short description. All links are External. Good Luck!

Top Freemium Services

Update: On January 19, 2012 – The US government put MegaUpload out of business with piracy crimes allegations, so they are out…

Paid Service Worth Mentioning

Comparison Between Different Services

  1. Wikipedia – Comparison of Some Online Backup Services
  2. TopTenREVIEWS – Online Storage Services Review (2011)
  3. Comparing SugarSync to the competition

Do you have any more online storage services to add? If so, please share it in the comments section.

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About the Author |
Boutros is a professional Drupal & WordPress developer, Web developer, Web designer, Software Engineer and Blogger. He strives for pixel perfect design, clean robust code, and user-friendly interface. If you have a project in mind and like his work, feel free to contact him. Connect with Boutros on Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Visit Boutros AbiChedid Website.

29 Responses to “15 Best Free Online Data Storage & Backup Services”

  1. Robert Zannini says:

    “Google Docs” is another excellent free alternative.

  2. Jurriaan says:

    I use I-drive, which in my opinion should be added to the list above.

    Features are:
    - 5GB free storage space
    - Free desktop client
    - Sync folders / drives between your PC and online account.
    - Retains and allows you to restore the last 30 versions of all files backed up to your account. Your storage is computed only for the most current version; historical versions are stored free.
    - Incremental and compressed backups that reduce the network bandwidth usage by transferring only the modified portions of a file.

    Check out http://www.IDrive.com

  3. Dzek says:

    Thanks for this post. I didn’t know Microsoft gives 25GB! Going to backup some stuff today.

  4. Tanya says:

    There is also Zoolz they give 4 GB Free, could get up to 20 GB. I am currently using it and so far it is great I am able to access my data through iPhone and stream music on the go . i recommend checking it:https://www.zoolz.com/

  5. Document Storage says:

    I want to backup my personal data to a secure online data storage service which is free of cost. The data includes near about 5 GB data, which does not include photos and videos. Because I can upload them to Picasa without sharing. i uploaded my documents to windows skydrive.

  6. Haranoapon says:

    Online Storage & Online Backup by MiMedia. Not just another online storage solution, MiMedia brings you a totally new approach to backup, protect, access, enjoy & share your digital life.

  7. Live Backup Now is a live file backup software for user endpoints and file servers. It automatilcally duplicates your most critical datas the moment they are saved.
    It help you to catch every save of a data when it occurs and protect against PC corruption, file loss. It allows you to restore file to any point in time in CDP mode(continuous data protection). You do not have to think about it anymore, your data will be backed up automatically in the background. Working with multiple backup destination (local drive, Network drive, removable USB drive, NAS device),or backup to FTP in realtime.
    Realtime and Continuous backup file in the background
    Perform full, real time mirror and CDP(continuous data protection)
    Flexibility in setting the data sources Backup to any drive
    Flexible data filtering system
    ZIP compression and data encryption
    Restore data to original or any media device
    Safe copy using temporary files
    Auto send backup data when the drive is connected
    Deleted File Protection
    Detailed log of backed up files
    Mini Window for Specialized Applications
    Job List Pane as Main Control Panel
    64-bit version, not just 32-bit

  8. move file says:

    USBsyncer is a powerful file synchronization software. It is designed for people who keep data on many storage drive – Desktop PC, Laptop, and Netbook, or take files on USB HDD.
    USBsyncer is a job based tool for file handling, backup, copying, moving, deleting, compressing, synchronizing, file and folder watch and many more. The job can be executed in one click and USB drive plugged. The USBsyncer also provides many performs schedule options, all jobs can be executed in intervals, daily, weekly, monthly, year, etc.

  9. [...] I intend to consider the following reviews: Boutros Abichedid’s blog entry 15 Best Free Online Data Storage & Backup Services [...]

    • Ceraldi says:

      I am in process of researching then purchasing an online backup service for the first time.

      This is totally new to me and want to ensure that I have a user friendly along with good security features. From reading your information it sounds as though spideroak is the only one that has the level of security I am looking for. Am I correct or do the other services you have listed have the same security level that spideroak does. I felt your information about the various backup services very informative and easy to follow.

      Thanks very much.

  10. Antti Latva-Koivisto says:

    I’ve been quite happy with SpiderOak for over two years now. I’m a Mac user with three different computers, and I use a single SpiderOak account to back them all up. SpiderOak deduplicates data, so that if the same file is located in several different folders, or on several different machines, it is stored on their servers only once. This saves quite a bit of space, especially with my setup.
    In addition to backup, I use SpiderOak to sync my important work documents and data files between two of my Macs. Occasionally (perhaps every month or two) I also use their iPhone client to access my files on the go. It’s very good to have that possibility.

    The SpiderOak desktop client allows for a completely automatic backup and sync in the background. A full backup of all my important data takes about 67 GB of space at the moment, and I have a 100 GB SpiderOak account. I have excluded some files, such as my music and video library (which uses up over 1 TB of space and is stored in a Drobo for a basic level of protection), and VMWare virtual machine files.

    One particular strong point of SpiderOak that I like is security. I have my client’s files on my computer, and I am obligated to protect them (in addition to all my own data). With SpiderOak, the files are encrypted with my private key by the desktop client on my own machine, and are then stored in the cloud. SpiderOak (the company) does not have my password or my encryption keys, so they are not able to read my files. Not even filenames or file types. Therefore, if there is a security breach at their end, or they are forced by law to hand over data stored on their servers, no one but me is able to read the encrypted data blocks. The downside of encrypting the files on my own machine is that SpiderOak does consume some CPU processing power when it is backing up. However, it hasn’t been a problem, as I have reasonably new computers (such as my MacBook Air, 2010 model).

    Another security feature is their new two-factor authentication. Even if your password is compromised (e.g. somebody has hacked your machine or has found your password on a slip of paper), an outsider cannot login. SpiderOak can (optionally) send a verification token to your phone, without any extra charge, which is then used to login.

    You get 2 GB of free space to try the service. With this link, you get an extra gigabyte of space for a total of 3 GB:


    If you use that link, I will also get an extra GB. I don’t need it that much at the moment, because I still have quite some time before I reach my first 100 GB.

  11. Ben says:

    Thank you for this great overview! I personally have been using Sugarsync for a long time now and I am more than happy. Not only are they cheaper than most of its competitors, they also offer by far the best product in the market today.

    Also, if you use the following link to sign up for Sugarsync, you now get an extra 0.5 GB of free online storage (for a total of 5.5 GB) (and I also increase my storage size by 0.5 GB): https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=ejjfpyq3n6nmz

  12. Muzunto says:

    To compare some of the big players like Dropbox, Mozy, SugarSync etc, etc, is properly like compare BMW, Mercedes and Audi against each other!
    None of them are bad and all have their strong and some weak points.
    I’m using SugarSync, and I’m very happy with that.
    The only “but” I have found so far is the need for an PAUSE button.
    I’m living in a third world country were the bandwidth often is very slow during the day and then picks up a bit in the evening and night.
    Here it would be very convenient with an PAUSE option. However SugarSync has promised to add this function soon.
    Right now I have to close the program when the bandwidth is slow, which is somehow unpractical.
    Another option by SugarSync is that you are able to adjust the upload speed if your bandwidth is slow (by me it is so slow, that this is not even an option).
    I think program developer sometimes forget that there is a huge marked waiting in third world countries, if they just would remember the special requirement we have.
    When we have to choose a program one of the things we always look into is how it performs with fluctuating bandwidth and with frequent interruption of the connection in the middle of an up-/download.
    So far SugarSync has performed well under these conditions!
    Another winning factor for me was the free 5GB storage, where most other providers only gives 2GB.
    So from my side “Thumbs Up” for SugarSync.
    Right now SugarSync is running a promotion that gives you double bonus if you sign up from the link below.
    We will then both get 500MB extra if you sign up for the Free 5GB or 10GB extra on any of the paid-for services!