Need more data storage? Look to the Cloud


If you have a lot of data in the way of photos, files etc. it can be a very good idea to create backups of them online.

Not only does this free up space on your device’s hard drive, but it also creates a digital backup online that you can access from anywhere, as long as you have internet.

In this article, we will show you up to get up to 100 Gigabytes of free storage online.


How Does Cloud Storage Work?

Cloud storage works by having external computers (called servers) hold onto your file. Essentially, you are transferring files from your computer to these external servers.

These servers are always online, so you access your files whenever you wish. Additionally, in most cases, you will be able to access these files without having to re-download. Although you can download them back onto your hard drive if you wish.


Is Cloud Storage Secure?

If you choose to use the major cloud storage providers, they encrypt your data so that your information and files are safe. You can also set up two-step verification (e.g. when you log in, you may get a security code via email or SMS), which provides double the security.

The biggest risk occurs when you don’t keep your Cloud Storage account secure. If your account and password are not secure, others may be able to get access to your files. However, this is no different from getting your email account hacked — so you should always make sure to choose secure passwords that are hard to guess. Also, avoid writing down the password (because this is one of the most common ways passwords are discovered). Instead, try to come up with a mix of words, numbers and special characters.


How Much Storage Space Do You Need?

How much storage space will you need? The answer to this depends on the kind of files you have and the volume of files.

For example, if you have a lot of high-definition videos or photos, you will need more storage space. Luckily, many storage providers offer up to 15 Gigabytes of free storage – so you can make multiple accounts and store all your files without paying a penny.

To give you a general idea of how much space you may need — 10 Gigabytes will allow for around 12 hours of HD video, 4,000 photos or 2,500 songs.


How To Get Free Cloud Storage Online

There are various free cloud storage providers online, who offer varying amounts of free storage.

They provide mostly the same services, with a few providers offering some extra features.

Remember, there’s no limit to how many accounts you can use. You can sign up for a free account with all of the providers below and get an infinite amount of free storage. The only hassle with this is remembering all the different accounts and passwords!

These cloud storage providers also offer a paid monthly service to get more space if you need it.


1. Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular Cloud Storage solutions because it integrates with so many other software. For example, if you have an Android phone, there is an option to automatically sync your Google Drive with the photos on your phone. In short, it automatically creates a backup for you so that you can save space on your Android phone.

Additionally, they provide the Google Documents Suite (Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms etc.). This can be useful for storing documents and it also allows you to open files natively within the Google Drive platform. Other Cloud Storage providers may require you to download files before you can open them.

Lastly, you can also directly view videos and photos from within Google Drive, so this can be useful too.


Free Option: If you have a Gmail account, this means you already have a free Google Drive account associated with it. You just have to go to the Google Drive website and login with your Gmail details.

However, if you don’t have a Gmail account, you can create a new account here. Additionally, you can download the Google Drive application on your device to automatically sync files.

Each free account provides up to 15 Gigabytes of storage, spread across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos.


Paid Options: Plans start from $2.99 NZD per month for 100 GB of storage space. You can even get 1 Terabyte (1,000 GB) of storage space for $14.99 per month.


2. Dropbox

Dropbox is a direct competitor to Google Drive and it’s strength comes from the ability to sync directly on your device and continue to work files.

This way, you actually don’t need to keep any files on your hard drive at all.

Free Option: Dropbox offers 2 GB of storage space free with your account. However, you can get an additional 500 MB (up to a maximum of 16 GB) storage space for each person you refer to Dropbox.

Paid Option: You can upgrade your Dropbox account to 1 TB (1,000 GB) of storage space for $9.99 per month.


3. Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud is another popular choice for Mac users — although Windows users could use iCloud too if they wished.

Free Option: The free version of the Apple iCloud offers 5 GB of storage which can be enough to backup photos, videos, documents etc.

Paid Option: Paid plans start from just $1.49 NZD per month for 50 GB of storage space. And for $14.99 per month, you can get 2 TB (2,000 GB) of cloud storage space.


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If you’re not sure about the technical aspects of backing up your files to a cloud storage solution, then we can help (and we can help with almost any other technical aspect related to computers, laptops, smartphones, cameras… you name it).

If you’d like us to help you with anything technical, please feel free to contact Advanced Computers team at 09 444 8823 for more details.

And for the readers of our newsletter and blog, we’re offering a $20 discount! Just let us know that you’re a reader and we’ll slash $20 off the quoted price.

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Posted in Computer Tips.