Person backs up photos and data on a laptop in a cloud

The best free cloud services

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Cloud services are getting more and more important these days. Whether for professional purposes, for group projects at school or university or simply to back up your own files: A cloud service makes data handling much easier. In addition to backing up data on an external server, cloud services offer the advantage that you can access and edit data online from different devices. The danger of damaging external storage devices such as hard disks or USB sticks is a thing of the past thanks to cloud services. Cloud providers also replace the often complicated process of exchanging storage devices and compressing files for email traffic. A simple link is all it takes to share files with multiple people or share them for editing. You can easily share the link via email, WhatsApp or SMS.

Frau sichert Daten vom Smartphone auf eine Cloud

But all these advantages also entail a few disadvantages. The most well-known is in the area of security. In the past, hackers often attacked large cloud providers, usually targeting personal data or private files. In addition, in order to create a user account with cloud services, personal data such as names, e-mail addresses and often also payment information must be deposited and these are now worth cash money. The various providers are countering the security gaps and concerns of their users with improved encryption protocols and secure server locations.

And it works, because the ability to access the data stored online at any time and from different devices attracts more and more people and raises the question of which cloud services meet which requirements. We have done some research for you and would like to introduce you to some cloud services with their advantages and disadvantages.

Google Drive or Google One

If you create an email account with Google, you already have 15 GB of free online storage space. From around CHF 2 per month, you can upgrade to Google One, which provides at least 100 GB of storage space. Google Cloud services can be accessed via a web browser, an appropriate PC program, an app, Android smartphones or tablets, and iOS devices. Google promises a high level of data security through SSL encryption and automatically backs up your files to different servers to avoid data loss. Content stored on Google Drive or Google One can be shared with other people, commented on or edited. You also have the possibility to “publicly” share files in Google Drive so that they can be found by Internet search engines.

  • 15 GB free storage
  • Expandable up to 30 TB (about 300 CHF/month)
  • Google Account required for setup

Screenshot der Onlineansicht von Google Drive

Microsoft OneDrive

With OneDrive, Microsoft provides its own cloud service. Office 365 customers in particular benefit from this, as they have 1 TB of data storage per user with an annual Office subscription. For all others, 5 GB of storage space is available free of charge, which can be increased to 50 GB for 1.95 CHF per month. OneDrive also includes simplified versions of the Office programs, allowing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files to be created and edited in the web browser. Microsoft offers its Office customers further advantages. They can, for example, create password-protected release links and assign an expiration date to them in order to increase data security. Microsoft protects your data with SSL encryption, but reserves the right to automatically search uploaded files to locate possible abuse and curb illegal activity.

  • 5 GB free storage (1 TB for Office customers)
  • Expandable to 1 TB (70 CHF/year)
  • Extensive function package for office customers

Screenshot der Onlineansicht von Microsoft OneDrive

myCloud

Swisscom operates the cloud storage service myCloud in Switzerland with a server location in Switzerland. myCloud offers its users 15 GB of free storage space, Swisscom inOne Home or inOne Mobile customers have 250 GB of storage space for files and documents, and even unlimited storage capacity for photos and videos. In addition to a PC client for easier data management, the cloud service also offers apps for iOS and Android products and is compatible with most smart TVs. Swisscom also offers the myCloud Transfer service, which allows files up to 5 GB in size to be uploaded and sent without registration, and a backup function for smartphones is integrated.
Furthermore, myCloud offers the digitisation service myCloud Memories for analogue media. Old video cassettes, Super 8 films or analogue photos are sent in for a fee, digitised by Swisscom and then stored directly on myCloud.

  • 15 GB free storage (at least 250 GB for Swisscom inOne customers)
  • Server location Switzerland
  • Additional function packages ( digitalisation, data transfer, backup)

Screenshot der Onlineansicht von Swisscom myCloud

Conclusion

There are now a number of cloud providers that simplify the sorting, storage and sharing of private or business files. Those who can live with the security risk of storing data on the Internet will be rewarded with plenty of free storage and a mostly intuitive user interface. For a monthly or annual fee, the storage volume can also be significantly increased. So it is best to familiarise yourself with the various providers in advance in order to find the cloud service that meets your requirements!