Baidu, one of China’s biggest tech companies, introduced a 2TB free cloud storage plan for home users for nearly a decade, and is now looking to do the same for the rest of the world with its terabox brand.
The company recently announced that it is launching a referral program that extends its already massive free cloud storage offering from 1TB (1024GB) to a maximum of 3TB.
How useful this freebie can be is debatable, as the extra 2TB of free cloud storage is only valid for 180 days. While there is no fixed expiration date, we expect the data to be purged once the 181st day is reached. Each activated referral brings 200GB of data and each existing Terabox user can add up to 10 users.
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These schemes have been around for cloud storage for years, especially in the early days when cloud storage was in its infancy. Box, Dropbox and Onedrive have recruited millions of active users using this tried-and-true method.
Also available is a check-in program that provides 293GB of data after one week; Terabox did not say whether both programs can run simultaneously to increase cloud storage capacity.
We revised terabox recently and found that while there are tradeoffs in terms of bandwidth throttling and file size limits, these are all reasonable compromises to make, so we gave it an honorable 3.5/5 stars. There is no native MacOS client and the fact that the servers are located in mainland China might make some potential users uncomfortable.
Terabox has been a resounding success outside of China, albeit with over 35 million downloads across PC, iOS and Android. The company has confirmed that it reserves the right to deny referral program rewards in the event of fraud or other excluded circumstances.
As a comparison, our current best cloud storage provider, I drive (opens in new tab), charges just $3.98 for the first year, and offers 10TB of online cloud storage with support for unlimited devices and extensive file versioning. After the first year, though, you’ll be billed around $80.