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Are Free Cloud Storage Options Any Good?

By Jennifer Marsh - Mar 15 1015

There are several free cloud storage options on the market. Some of these options also have paid versions, but are they right for you? Free cloud storage has its limitations that many of the paid versions don’t have. Here are some basic pros and cons when working with free cloud storage.

Storage Size Free storage is free because the hosting companies limit the amount of files you can store. This can vary between service providers, but for the most part, the size limitation is not feasible for long-term success. Eventually, you’ll need to pay for the right storage space. To provide you with the right storage size, it’s best to pay the small fee it takes to get a terabyte of storage space rather than only a few gigabytes.

Ads While ads aren’t always a part of free storage cloud hosts, some monetize their system using paid ads. These ads are cumbersome and intrusive while you’re trying to work. Instead of having ads popup and display every time you want to store a file, a paid solution uses your contributions to keep maintenance on the servers and doesn’t use ads that annoy customers.

Privacy Did you read the fine print? Some cloud storage hosts have some interesting privacy terms. Some don’t value your privacy and intellectual property and actually don’t promise that your files are your property and for your eyes only. This is one of the tradeoffs when working with a free cloud storage company. Make sure you read the fine print and consider paying for better privacy and security of your files.

No Customizations Free storage solutions don’t give you much flexibility. There are some options, but most of them are still limited to the cloud storage host preferences and can’t be customized to your own environment. Free cloud hosts have a specific setup and process that you must use. This means that your business must mold to the technology instead of the technology molding to the business. This isn’t a feasible way to work with technology or the cloud.

Target for Malicious Content Because the platform is free, these storage hosts are also the target for hackers and people who store malicious content on the server. This makes those platforms become less trusted by your customers and seems more unprofessional. You don’t want customers to use a platform they don’t trust, if your customers ever get involved with your storage collaboration.

Free cloud storage hosts have some advantages. They are definitely affordable for startups, but they aren’t a feasible, viable solution for long-term use. If you plan to start a business and work with several customers and team members, paid solutions give you better flexibility, support and privacy.

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