Computer hard drives are prone to failure — which is why you shouldn’t rely on one to keep your data safe. Apart from keeping multiple backups of essential data, you can also store data in the cloud. This way, your data is safe from theft, hard drive crashes and even natural disasters.

Plus you can access it from anywhere and any device, as long as you have an internet connection. With a few of the free services combined, you can easily get over 200GB of online storage.

Yes, free cloud storage services out there. Many of them, actually. While nearly all have premium offerings that provide more space, the free cloud storage offered is usually more than enough for most people.

Better yet, many of these free cloud storage providers give you even more free space for referring friends or performing other tasks.

pCLOUD – 10GB

Upto 10 GB of free online storage is offered by pCloud, with friend referrals and other bonus steps jumping it to a possible 20 GB.

A desktop client can be installed for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. There’s also a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that’s very intuitive and easy to use.

pCloud supports adding files from a remote URL in addition to single file and whole folder uploads through a browser. The mobile apps can upload photos and videos directly to your pCloud account.

MEGA – 50GB

Kim Dotcom, the man responsible for the infamous Megaupload, built Mega — it bills itself as a privacy company because it performs end-to-end encryption on all files stored on its servers — this means that as you upload data, it gets encrypted and only gets decrypted when you download it on another device. There’s a sync client for computers and apps for Android, BlackBerry and iOS. If you prefer, Mega also offers Chrome and Firefox extensions to add Mega features right into your browser.

MEDIAFIRE – 10GB

Instantly get 10 GB of free online file hosting with MediaFire. Increase it to 50 GB with things like friend referrals and application downloads.

There are sharing options for files and folders and easy uploads of either single files or whole entire folders through the MediaFire website.

iOS and Android users can download an app to view and share files on the go or upload photos and videos.

OneDrive – 15GB

Previously known as SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution is built into the latest Windows 8 computers, Xbox 360 and the upcoming Xbox One. If you’re running an older version of Windows or a Mac, you can download OneDrive and it’s also available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS (both tablets and phones). OneDrive gives you extra 3GB (over and above 15GB) when you activate camera roll backup on your phone plus extra 500MB for each friend you refer.

Dropbox – 2GB

Although Dropbox offers the lowest amount of free storage, it still gets a mention because it’s the most versatile of the lot in the way it allows you to access data. Dropbox has an excellent desktop client and full featured apps for Android, BlackBerry and iOS. Your data stays synced across all the devices you use.

You can also choose to auto upload your smartphone photos so that they stay safe in case you lose your phone. You can add some free space to your Dropbox folder by referring friends. Look out for bonus storage on certain devices – simply by signing into Dropbox on certain new smartphones/tablets, you could get a bonus 50GB for two years.

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