The 4 Best Cloud Storage for Students

Cloud storage is an increasingly popular tool for students because it enables them to access and share files from just about any Internet-connected device while providing a safe place for documents to be stored without the risk of losing information. It’s also a useful resource to have on your side when working on group projects because many services let multiple users edit files simultaneously. If you’re a student looking for the right cloud storage provider, you’ll probably gravitate toward the free storage plans rather than paying a monthly fee for more space. Just keep in mind that many free full-featured plans limit you in terms of how much data you can store. Start with the four companies listed below. They all offer reasonable storage limits at no cost along with strong mobile and collaboration tools.

Google Drive is a popular cloud storage service for students in large part because of its immensely generous free plan and strong collaboration tools. The first 15GB of data you upload to the cloud is stored at no cost to you. If you wish to exceed that limit, you must upgrade to a paid plan. Google Drive’s pricing is extremely competitive, though, so you should be able to get a reasonable amount of storage for just a few dollars per month. Anything you create in Google Docs doesn’t count toward your storage limit, either, so that also help keep you below the 15GB limit for free users. For the times when you’re working on group projects, the ability to comment directly on the file and edit documents at the same time as your team members is invaluable. Google Drive also has mobile apps available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, which is perfect for on-the-go editing and file sharing.

ADrive is another cloud storage provider that appeals to students because they give you access to your files from just about anywhere with an Internet connection. There are desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and mobile apps as well. This is great if you have a number of different devices you need to access your files from. Start writing that paper on your laptop and, when it’s time to leave, switch over to your smartphone or tablet and keep working. Like Google Drive, ADrive enables you to edit your files from directly within the cloud so the latest changes are automatically synced across all your devices. Sharing files with others is as simple as sending a link via email. Where ADrive really stands out from the crowd is with their free storage plan. They give you an unprecedented 50GB of space at absolutely no charge, so they’re definitely one to consider if you have a large number of files that need backing up.

Compared to the two companies mentioned above, Dropbox’s 2GB free plan may not seem like much, but it’s more than enough to back up your most important documents. If the time does come when you need to expand your storage limit, however, Dropbox gives you an option most other companies don’t. Rather than paying for additional storage space, you can earn it by performing a few basic tasks. Refer your friends, follow the company on Twitter, or connect your Facebook and Dropbox accounts. All of these activities are worth additional free storage on top of the initial 2GB. Another reason to choose Dropbox for your cloud storage provider is their numerous mobile and desktop apps that make it easy to access your files no matter where you are or what type of device you’re using. And if you’re on a computer that doesn’t have the Dropbox app installed, you always have the option to access your files by logging in to your account from the Dropbox website.

ElephantDrive, like the other cloud storage providers on the list, has apps available on a number of platforms, so viewing and sharing your files is always just a few clicks away. The real value of ElephantDrive, though, lies in its simplicity. There are two folders — Backup and Everywhere — and all you need to do to upload your files is drag and drop them into these folders. The Backup folder is used for those files you want to keep secure so you have a copy in case of a computer crash. By placing a file in the Everywhere folder, you’re syncing it across all your other devices for easy access to the document whenever you need it. Sharing folders within the ElephantDrive program is also fairly simple. Right click on the selected file and choose to copy the file link. Send that in an email or instant message and, once the recipient clicks on it, they’re granted instant access to your file.