How to Use Cloud Storage: To Backup your Files for Free!

So how do you backup your files, (or do you?) Do you backup everything on a separate hard drive or do you use a flash drive. Or maybe your old school and use CDs or DVDs for backing up your computer files? Whatever the case I just hope you are backing up your devices. And if you want to learn more why it’s important to  Backup your Files, click hereHow to use Cloud storage

So are you wondering how to use cloud storage service to backup your devices, (computers, tablets, phones)? Well, cloud storage is becoming more popular as time goes on.

And it will be a long time before they go out of style (that’s if they ever do) like the floppy disks did, (oh wow what are those 🙂 )How to use Cloud storage and soon the CD’s will be gone the same way.

So if you aren’t taking advantage of cloud services, now would be a good time to start and best of all you can use their free services to do this.

One of the many advantages of using a cloud storage service is you can get all your data synced across multiple devices in most cases, so should one device fail you will still be able to get to your files using any of your other devices.

Another great thing about using this service is your data will still be protected should you ever fall victim to Ransomware (click here to learn about Ransomware). Even if you use a separate external drive (like and external hard drive or flash drive) connected to your computer it will most likely be lost with the rest of your files in a Ransomware attack.

How much storage can you get for free?

On an average, you will find that most storage services like Dropbox will only offer around 2GB of free storage, whereas Google Drive will give you 15GB of storage for free, and services like MediaFire and pCloud where they offer 10GB to 50GB by referring others.

Now depending on when you set up your Microsoft account (everyone has, haven’t they?) you might be getting 15GB of free storage with their OneDrive cloud service.How to use Cloud storage

But If you’re new to OneDrive you will only be allotted 5GB, now for each referral, you get to sign up, you will get an extra 500MB.

So if you were to sign up enough people you could be back to having 15GB of storage. (Sounds like too much trouble me) 🙁 .

Google Photos is a great service to use for all your photos, here you can get unlimited storage for your photos as long as you aren’t looking to keep high-resolution pictures.

Now the cut in resolution size is very hard to see any difference in unless maybe you’re a professional that has an eye for that kind of thing. 🙂

To find out more on how to use Google photos take a look at my post on Backing up your photos with Google Photos. And with using this you can access your photos from any device that you load the app on. Oh did I forget to tell you it’s free?

By using more than one Cloud Storage:

By using more than one storage service you will be able to build yourself a large hard drive in the cloud for no cost. That’s right for free! You can set one up to save all of your documents to, another one for your photo’s, and yet another for videos.

Don’t forget your music, you will want these saved (I don’t know about you but I would be lost without my music library), and if you run out of space on one of those, open up another storage service and continue on backing up your files.

Seeing that videos will consume the largest amount of data I would use one of cloud storage that offers the largest free storage like MediaFire where you can get 10GB up to 50GB of free storage by referring others to use their service.

So as you can see you should be able to back up everything you have for free, it will just take some creativity and a little time to set up, but you will find it well worth your time knowing that your files are backed up in a safe and secure place.

Finding those free services with Cloudwards:

I came across this great site the other day that will help in finding the best Cloud Storage Service that will fit your needs. Making it a lot easier to find all of the best free sites or paid services. And you will be able to compare them against each other, see how much free storage they offer and of course how much storage you can get for the smallest price.

How to use cloud storage

Photo from Cloudwards.net

At the top of their chart, you can enter the amount of storage you’re looking for and click on a choice of features that you would like included, such as File sharing,  Synchronization, or Free Storage. If you would like to give it a shot, just click here.

Managing your Cloud Storage services:

Once you get your Cloud Storage services setup and your files uploaded you can use a service like Otixo.com where you can manage all your cloud storage sites in place.

From there you will be able to access all your files across all your services, upload a new file and transfer it to the desired cloud, transfer files between your services with drag-and-drop, and use their browser based encryption to encrypt your files or encrypt entire clouds.

This is included in their Free service, now you will only be able to manage 2GB of bandwidth per month, that’s why I recommend uploading all your files to your Cloud Storage services first.

Sounds pretty good right, well it is, but (there is always a but) they may not support the cloud service that you signed up for, now they do support up to 36 sites right now, and are How to use Cloud storagealways looking to add more.

So if you want to use this site click on the above link and you can see their list of services, from there check the list against the list below to find the services you want to use.

Set them all up and then go back to Otixo and add them to your account, you will be good to go from there. 🙂

Keep your files locally:

You will most defiantly want to keep your files stored on your local hard drive or even an external drive for safety reasons. Should one of those go out of business and close up the doors, or should they suffer from some sort of catastrophe well, all data will be lost.

You just never know, and if that happened and you don’t have your files stored on your hard drive, well as you can see you will have lost those files. So to be on the safe side, always have your files stored on your local drive.

Sharing Files with others:

This one isn’t a priority in my book, but if you’re like most folks that enjoy sharing their photos this feature will come in handy.  How to use Cloud storageFor instance, you have some new photos of the kids, or maybe you just got back from vacation and have a bundle of pictures that are dying to be shared.

Well with this feature you can pick who you want to share them with, instead of sharing with the whole planet on one of your favorite social media site. 🙁

It is possible to share only the files or photos to a limited group, or just one special person with most of the above services mentioned, and it is usually done with a password that you would share with that person.

So if this something you want, just make sure that is included with the other features they list.Most of the services will set up a unique URL for this, where you just share the link with the person that you want to give access to that particular file.

Having your files synced:

This is one feature that I like to have, having this you can always use whatever device that you have to continue with your work. For example, let’s say you’re working on a document using your desktop computer. You then decide to go outside to finish the article, (because it’s just too nice a day to stay inside).

With your files being synced you can take whatever device with you outside and pick up where you left off. (Prety nifty huh).

For another example let’s say that you’re out with friends or family and you want to share some photos that you just uploaded, well with the sync feature you only have to worry about uploading them to your PC and then they are available on all of your other devices like your phone.How to use Cloud storage

Now even if they don’t have syncing available you can just use the browser on the device that you are using and open up your cloud account, (using a password of course) and access the files from there.

One way or the other you will always have access to those files no matter where you are or what device you are using at the time.

Can’t be bothered doing backups manually? They’ve got you covered:

You won’t find too many cloud storage providers that offer their service for free, but there are some pretty good ones around, they just don’t offer too much fee storage space.

The great thing about these is that you can set up schedules to back up your files, eliminating the hassle of worrying about doing this manually (where most of will forget to do, lol).

You can set them for daily, hourly, or just a particular day of the week, and of course, at a time you’re not using the device, but then again if you don’t mind it taking up your bandwidth while you’re working on your PC then go for it.

Here are some of the best free ones according to PCmag.com,  Starting with iDrive that will give you 5GB of storage, SpiderOakOne with 2GB, EMC MozyHome with 2GB, and OpenDrive with 5GB.

So as you can see if you were to use each one, you should be able to get up to 14GB of free storage space. Just have each one backup a different file, and don’t schedule them all to backup at the same time. 🙂 In doing this you will be well on your way to having a great backup system.

Now if you don’t mind paying a monthly fee you can find more than 10 great providers with a reasonable monthly for a fee.

Starting at around $4.00 dollars per month you can get a storage capacity of 50oGB and up to over $300 dollars for 10TB of storage.

You will find that most will offer better prices for a yearly plan than the $300. (That one is the extreme, it’s more so for large businesses)

But hey, if you have the money you can sign up for just one plan to take care of all your needs. If you want, you can take a look at PCmag.com where Michael Muchmore reviews the top 10 online backup services, click on the link here.

Now you will be happy to know that once all your file are uploaded (which can take several minutes to an hour depending on the size of your files)to their servers, the next time they do a backup they will only be backing up the changes that have been made, this will save time and bandwidth.

Alternative to using Dropbox. “Wiredrive”

I think everyone is familiar with Dropbox, right? Well, they have been around for a long time now and a lot of agencies have been using them. But now they are realizing that with a lot of their work being done with videos these days that they want a faster service for managing their digital projects. Not to say that Dropbox is no good, but if you do a lot of video work you are going to want a service that is more tailored to handle your projects.

Not to say that Dropbox is no good, but if you do a lot of video work you are going to want a service that is more tailored to handle your projects.

Wiredrive

And that is where Wiredrive comes into play, it has been built around teams that work heavily with videos for their projects. Now you are problem thinking that hey, I know my way around Dropbox so why would I want to change and start something new.

Well, they have gone as far as incorporating a solution to their service to make the transition as smooth as possible, one that can be done over time.

This way you can continue using Dropbox until you are comfortable with Wiredrive. So if this is something you would like to check out you can take a look at their services by clicking here.

How to use Cloud Storage for backups:

As you can see there are more advantages to using Cloud Storage other than just backups, you will get easy access to your files anytime and from anywhere on any device you chose to use at the time.If you want to learn more about Cloud Computing

If you want to learn more about Cloud Computing click here. No need to fret about privacy issues because of most of them if not all will encrypt your files for you, so only you have access to them.

Many of them will specialize in specific features they offer. For example, SpiderOak is more concerned with security as for where Dropbox and SugarSync like to devote their efforts to keeping your files synced across your device. And then you have Google Drive, OneDrive (Microsoft) and others like them that are not only providing storage for your files but allowing you to collaborate with others on your files at the same time with medial-playing and of course syncing all your files.

And then you have Google Drive, OneDrive (Microsoft) and others like them that are not only providing storage for your files but allowing you to collaborate with others on your files at the same time with medial-playing and of course syncing all your files.

So as you can see if you haven’t taken advantage of Cloud Storage, it’s time to start now before you get left behind in the dust.

I hope you have found this to be very useful in keeping your files backed up, something that is a must-do to preserve your files in case anything happens to their original location. I look forward to hearing from you, so how about joining in on the discussion about backing up your files with Cloud storage services and let us know what you use, or if you have a question, ask away. 🙂

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join others others who are recieving there weekly newsletter with the latest Tips & Solutions to EveryDay Home Computing
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
Please follow and like us:
0

About Author

Kim
Hello, my name is Kim and I am the owner of this site. I have been working with computers since they first became available to the public.I have built several computers over the years and enjoy helping others with their everyday computing. Should you have any questions about using your computer, or any other device, please leave me a note below in the comment section and I will be more than happy to help you out. Come back often for more tips and solutions to your every day computing.

10 Comments

  1. Michael Chiu

    Great, thorough review on the different cloud storage providers! Personally, I use Amazon Cloud Drive, but they only give you 3 months free. But for $60/year, I can have unlimited storage!

    For Microsoft One Drive, if you have an Office Live 365 account, they give you 1TB for free too.

    Finally, one other resource that might be interesting for you is Otixo. It doesn’t give you any storage, but instead, takes all of your different cloud storage providers, and integrates it all as if it were one drive. The free version lets you connect up to 35 storage providers, with a limitation of 2GB of transfer per month…

    Reply
    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hey Michael, thank you for stopping by, I’m going to look into Otixo, it sounds like the ideal program to manage all the storage providers that one would collect, simplifying the process of backing up their data. Thank you for sharing that with us and you’re right about Office Live 365 giving you the 1TB of storage, my bad, I forgot to add that in, but will take care of it now.

      The $60 per year for Amazon is a great deal putting it at $5.00 a month for unlimited storage beats most other services.

      Again thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope to see you again,

      Kim

      Reply
  2. Jason

    Nowadays I don’t think you can have enough cloud storage. The days of hard drives and external devices are long gone. The only downside to people like me (cheap) is I have to use multiple cloud storage services to house it all, thus forgetting where I put it. Do you have a recommendation for a cheap 1 stop place by chance?
    Jason

    Reply
    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hi Jason, from what I have come across lately I would say that Amazon Cloud Drive offers the best and cheapest Cloud Storage for $60.00 a year. So this comes out to $5.00 per month for unlimited storage where as some of the others start out $5.95 a month for only 1TB of storage.

      Now if you still want to do it for free there are other sites that will manage all of your cloud storages in one place, though they only support a few services, I found Otixo.com that supposrts just over 35 service to be the best one around, from there you can checkout which ones offer the most free space, sign up with them and upload all of your data, then let Otixo handle them all from there for you.

      I hope this has helped Jason, and thanks for stopping by.

      Kim

      Reply
  3. Michael

    Thank you for this very informative article. I have to confess that I’m one of the ‘old school’ guys who makes back ups on DVD’s, but it’s such a mission, and like you say, CD’s and DVD’s will most probably be phased out one of these days. I’ve always been hesitant to use cloud back ups simply because I didn’t know enough about it. Your article has changed that – thank you again!

    Reply
    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hi Michael,

      I’m glad you found this to be helpful in understanding Cloud Storage better, I hope you will give it a try for backing up your files.. I think you will be pleased with how easy it is to keep your file backed up once you have it all set up.

      Right now it still doesn’t hurt to have at least one copy of your data backed up on a DVD, once you get used to the Cloud storage you will most likely forgo the DVD’s in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Kim

      Reply
  4. Dominic

    Hi Kim
    Very interesting article, Otixo seems like an interesting product. My biggest concern when it comes to cloud storage is security, what sort of assurances do these cloud services offer that you data is safe and that your privacy will be protected?
    Also is it worth spreading the same files across mulitple cloud services?
    Thanks for your help
    Dom

    Reply
    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hi Dominic, that also was one of my biggest concerns about using Cloud Storage, so I took a closer look into their security protocols to make sure that my files would be secure from prying eyes. I found that that the majority of them will encrypt your data when it is stored with them so not even they can see your data.

      You just want to make sure you use a strong password when you sign up with the storage service of your choosing. If you need help with coming up with a strong password that is easy to remember you can visit my article on the Importance of Passwords where I cover ways to make a strong password.

      If you use Otixo.com to manage your Cloud service they have a built in encrypter that you can use to encrypt all of your services if you feel that that the service might not have any security features installed, it never hearts to be safe. And should one of the service go out of business, it would help to have your files spread out across a couple of them, once again to be on the safe side.

      I myself have my files uploaded across three different cloud services, though I may be a little over protective, it is not much of a hassle to do.

      Thank you for stopping by and I hope I have answered your questions thoroughly for you.

      Kim

      Reply
  5. Tara

    Great article Kim. I’m often nervous about cloud storage, but it is certainly convenient. Google photos is great for easy access to my photos – after one of my cell phones “bricked” and I lost everything as it did not save to the SD card as I originally setup. How frustrating to lose the photos and videos and any contacts not saved to the SIM card. Ransomware — oh I hate that stuff. I have learned multiple layers to protect against that, one being to use OpenDNS which prevents the ransomware from calling home. As with any malware, there is always that fight to stay ahead of them, then they come out with new forms of attack — so the methods to fight them need to constantly be updated. The cloud storage is a great idea for protection. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Kim (Post author)

      Hi Tara, Google photos is one of most favorite cloud storage services, it allows you to view them on any of your devices that are synced with your account. I use a few different cloud storage services so in case one goes down I still have backups to access. I also keep backups on a different drive on my PCs for added protection. I lost a lot of data in my early days that now I’m probably a little overserious about the whole backup thing, LOL
      Good seeing you again Tara
      Kim

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *