Top 5 Free File Hosting Websites
Whether you’re looking to store or share files, or for a means to access files from different locations on different devices, free file hosting or ‘the cloud‘ is the answer.
There are many services available today, each offering varying amounts of free storage space and bandwidth. They store your files, enabling you to quickly access files that are synced across all your devices whenever you want them, and wherever you are. Word files, image files, PDFs, spreadsheets can all be uploaded to the cloud. Large media files can be stored there instead of taking up room on your computer… or worse – getting lost or mislaid after you’ve moved them to optical or flash media.
Free file hosting services offer an account at no charge that comes with certain restrictions. These are the amount of storage space and, in some cases a size limit on the files you upload and limitations on the amount of bandwidth you use to upload or download. They may provide a desktop sync client and, in all cases, apps for mobile devices. Here are the top five cloud services available.
5GB of free storage space and unlimited bandwidth come with a Sabercat Host account. File uploads are limited to 50MB, however. Sabercat’s fast uploading and downloading is free to all users. Log into your account, and you are able to drag and drop your files for upload using Firefox or Chrome. Sharing is just a matter of clicking the file you want to share. This brings up an information panel with the links for you to copy and paste. If you are sharing several files, you create a folder designating it ‘Public.’ Drag and drop the files into it, then open the folder and click the menu button to see the ‘Share Folder‘ options.
MediaFire is one of the longest-running file hosting sites and experience has resulted in the service providing a very powerful, yet easy-to-use file manager. You get 10GB of free storage on signup, and this can be increased to 50GB when you refer friends and post on social media. Uploads and ad-supported downloads are unlimited and fast. 50GB makes MediaFile a great free file hosting service for backing up all your files. File size is limited to 4GB.
They also offer One-Time Links (great for sensitive documents) in which download links are time-limited and quantity-limited and can only be set to 30 days at most and 10 downloads maximum. There are additional link-generating options for both files and folders, and the sharing interface is very comprehensive whether sharing via email, social media or your website. Apps, with automatic photo uploading, are available for both iOS and Android and media files can be streamed.
Free storage is limited to 2GB on popular Dropbox, which has a reputation for being simple and reliable for both storage and synced files accessibility. Recommending the service earns you additional space to 18GB. Bandwidth is limited to 20GB, but media files can be streamed. The biggest advantage is the entire range of operating systems for which the service is available.
The clean, intuitive user interface has an easily understood file structure and convenient drag-and-drop capacity. Dropbox has possibly the widest range of functions available, including the ability to use Microsoft Office Online inside your browser for updating your documents.
Uploaded files are protected with the most powerful encryption before they are saved and during transmission. Desktop and mobile apps are available for viewing and uploading files, and users you share with do not need to have an account.
As the default online storage and syncing service for Windows 10/Office 365, OneDrive, of necessity, provides a full range of functions including media-playing. It is built into both Windows 8 and 10, but can be downloaded and used with most other operating systems.
5GB of space is available in the free version. Once you activate OneDrive on your computer, you can drag the files into your OneDrive folder. Alternatively, you can add them from your phone or tablet using the OneDrive website. You can edit documents using Microsoft Office Online in your browser and – provided you give permission – Office documents can be edited by the users when you share them.
Image and video uploading is available on mobile apps (iOS, Android, and Windows) which all have automatic photo uploading functions – shoot with your phone camera and the image is immediately saved to your OneDrive account. OneDrive is completely cross-platform compatible and provides support for sharing with non-registered users – for viewing or allowing editing.
Unlike the other file-sharing websites, MEGA lets you upload and share files temporarily without an account. However, once the session expires, the data will be lost unless you create a free account.
Once you create an account, the service offers 50GB of storage to free users with no limits on file size, but does limit bandwidth to 10GB. This does restore, however, after a 30-minute interval.
End-to-end encryption makes it a very secure host for storing files, but it is not too practical for downloading large files or folders, due to the small bandwidth allowance. Files can be viewed and updated in your browser or desktop client, and apps are available for mobile devices. They will be expired after three months inactivity.