10 FREE Online Services: Free E-mail, File Storage, and File Sharing for Students on a Budget

If you’re a college student on a pretty tight budget, you’ve probably already mastered the gourmet Ramen-noodle dinner and the art of interior decorating with crate-box and garage-sale furniture.

But while you’re limiting how much your offline lifestyle eats into your budget, make sure you’re not spending your precious food or rent dollars on online services like e-mail, file storage, or file sharing. You can get every single one of these services for free, with features comparable to or even better than the paid versions.

With all these free options, you should be able to satisfy your online communication and file sharing needs without ever dipping into your wallet. Heck, with the money you’ll save, you might even be able to upgrade to macaroni and cheese.

Top 5 Free E-mail Services

Sure, free e-mail has been available for years, but not with the kind of storage, features, and security you can get these days.

Every one of these five major e-mail providers offers really decent basic service that won’t cost you a single penny. Some of them also feature POP3 or IMAP capability (or both) so you can access and organize your webmail using your favorite desktop e-mail application, like Outlook or Mail.

1.  Gmail

Google’s webmail service, this is probably the best free e-mail out there. It’s super-easy to use, offers good technical support, and comes with great features, awesome spam control, tons of inbox space, and a lot of extras.

  • Inbox Storage: Virtually unlimited (6+ GB and growing every day)
  • File Attachment Max Size: 10 MB
  • POP3/IMAP: Both
  • Extras: Calendar, mobile access, built-in IM/chat with Google Talk, message notifier, language support, no pop-ups or banner ads

2.  AOL Mail

Long the butt of jokes for mass-mailing CDs offering their online service, AOL actually offers pretty decent free e-mail, with super spam protection. But beware: Customer support can be difficult to contact.

  • Inbox Storage: Unlimited
  • File Attachment Max Size: 16 MB
  • POP3/IMAP: Both
  • Extras: Calendar, notes, mobile access, built-in IM/chat with AIM, integrated text messaging, message notifier, language support, personalized domain, games

3.  Yahoo! Mail

A great user interface and e-mail organization make this a strong choice, but no POP3 or IMAP access will be a problem if you want to use your own e-mail application instead of your Web browser.

  • Inbox Storage: Unlimited
  • File Attachment Max Size: 10 MB
  • POP3/IMAP: None
  • Extras: Calendar, news, notes, mobile access, built-in IM/chat with Yahoo! Messenger, integrated text messaging, message notifier, games

4.  Inbox.com

Inbox.com has some pretty standard features, but lacks a phishing filter, which might bother some people.

  • Inbox Storage: 5 GB, or 2 GB if you want POP3 Access
  • File Attachment Max Size: 20 MB
  • POP3/IMAP: POP3
  • Extras: Calendar, news, notes, message notifier, 5GB online data storage, photo sharing, games, e-cards

5.  Windows Live Hotmail

Microsoft’s new-and-improved free webmail (formerly MSN Hotmail) provides some nice integration with your operating system, especially if you’re running Windows Vista. This is a distinct improvement over the old Hotmail.

  • Inbox Storage: 5 GB
  • File Attachment Max Size: 10 MB
  • POP3/IMAP: None
  • Extras: Calendar, mobile access, built-in IM/chat with Windows Live Messenger, message notifier, games

Top 5 Free Online File Storage and Sharing Services

Instead of eating up your hard drive space, you can store some of your bigger files, like videos and MP3s, online with one of these five providers.

Some of these services come with unique interfaces to share specific things, like photos, and even to host videos, websites, blogs, and other stuff. But you’ll need to be running Windows to get all the benefits each provider has to offer — sorry, Mac-heads.

1.  MediaMax

Huge storage, plus lots of extras.

  • Online Storage: 25 GB
  • Extras: Sharing, hosting, backup and sync, browser access, Windows desktop software

2.  Xdrive

Provided by AOL. Small storage, but lots of extras.

  • Online Storage: 5 GB
  • Extras: Sharing, backup, browser access, Windows desktop software

3.  ripway

Lots of storage and good features, including lots of hosting options.

  • Online Storage: 30 GB
  • Extras: Sharing, hosting, backup and sync, browser access

4.  box

Limited storage, but neat extras and awesome Web 2.0 interface.

  • Online Storage: 1 GB
  • Extras: Sharing, browser access, mobile access, desktop widget

5.  OmniDrive

Limited storage, but smooth integration with Windows and the ability to edit spreadsheets and word processing docs.

  • Online Storage: 1 GB
  • Extras: Sharing, backup, browser access, Windows and Mac desktop software, integration with Windows OS and with Zoho office applications
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Free! 100 Best iPhone Apps for Students

“College students today are swamped with social calendars, budgeting nightmares, job searching, party planning, sports, study abroad, food shopping, and of course, studying. On top of everything, students need to stay extremely organized if they want to keep up with classes and maintain a little sanity. Our list of 100 best free iPhone apps for college students can help you do it all, including reviewing for tests, storing your notes, sharing grocery lists with roommates, staying healthy, mixing drinks, getting a date and graduating on time.

Study Help

These language tutors, flash card packs, and art history resources will help you with last minute cramming and consistent vocabulary practice wherever you go.

  1. Sparky: Sparky lets you browse SparkNotes easily on your iPhone.
  2. Mathemagics Lite: Use this tool to figure out squares, complicated multiplication problems and more.
  3. Free Spanish Tutor: This tutor features native speaker audio, puzzle games, multiple choice quizzes, and more.
  4. USA Presidents: Review names, numbers, dates, political parties and other facts about the U.S. presidents when you have these virtual flash cards.
  5. History: Maps of the World: Find detailed maps of Africa, Europe, Asia, the U.S., the Middle East and more.
  6. Word of the Day Lite: Expand your vocabulary with this app.
  7. Art Lite: Study the histories, works and significance of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, van Gogh, Cezanne and more.
  8. Brain Tutor 3D: Anatomy and pre-med students can study the brain terms and more with this app.
  9. planetFacts: Find out mass, diameter, orbiting speed and other information for the planets.
  10. Free French Word of the Day: Practice your French with this app.
  11. StudySets – Psychology Lite: Psych students will appreciate this bundle of psychology learning resources.
  12. Vocabolistic: Look up words or hide the definition to quiz yourself with Vocabolistic.
  13. Answers: powered by Yahoo! Answers: This app opens your iPhone to the Yahoo! Answers portal so that you can ask questions about anything.
  14. Pocket Lawyer Lite: Law and political science students can use this real-life law reference as a study tool, too.
  15. gFlash + Flashcards and Tests: Create your own flashcards and share them with study partners.

Staying Current

Keep up with the news stories that affect your time at school and relate to your classes.

  1. NYTimes: Get your news from the New York Times online for free.
  2. BBC Reader: Keep up with the top stories in Europe and globally with this app.
  3. HuffingtonPost.com: Access the authoritative, but sometimes snarky, stories from the Huffington Post.
  4. NPR Addict: Do your homework before class or talking with professors by getting your news from NPR.
  5. Variety: Stay current on entertainment news with Variety’s app.

Classifieds

Look up apartments and more with these tools.

  1. Apartments by ForRent.com: Look up apartments to rent in your college town here.
  2. CraigSearch v1.0: Search Craigslist from your iPhone. Includes standard search options.
  3. Apartments: Apartment guide’s app will help you locate properties in your area.

Shopping Deals

Save money when you find coupons and deals on books.

  1. Yowza: This app uses GPS to find coupons for stores in your area.
  2. Dial Zero: Get connected to customer service lines for credit cards, health insurance companies and more.
  3. Book Bargain: Find deals on books from Amazon and other online stores.
  4. Flashlight: Turn your iPhone into a flashlight that shines white, red, green or blue light.
  5. Relax Alarm Clock Lite: Wake up on time to soothing guitar music, the sound of birds, bamboo flute music, and other options. This app also lulls you to sleep for a quick nap.
  6. iHourglass Free: Time practices tests, study breaks and more with this tool.
  7. TouchCloset: Keep your closet organized on your phone by cataloging photos and shopping lists and picking out your party clothes ahead of time even when you’re away from home.

Local Guides

Learn more about your college city or the town you’re visiting with these tools.

  1. Pizza!: Find the closest, cheapest pizza near you.
  2. Free Wi-Fi finder: Use this tool to find places you can bring your laptop to study.
  3. FastFood – Top Restaurant Finder: This fast food directory will connect you to cheap, satisfying food quickly.
  4. Have2P: Find nearby restrooms and flag businesses that do not have open restrooms.
  5. Fandango: Find local movies and tickets here.
  6. iRecycle: Find local recycling stations here.
  7. WhosAround: Use WhosAround to find friends who are in the same area as you. Supports messaging, profile photos and more.
  8. Local Concerts: Find out when and where your favorite bands are going to play with this free app.
  9. Local Picks by TripAdvisor: USe this app when traveling or if you live in a popular vacation destination. You can look up restaurants, bars, and other spots that are favorites for the locals.
  10. Slifter Local Shopping: Use this app to look up stores that carry whatever it is that you’re searching for.

Partying and Social

This list of free apps has everything you need to be the life of the party at college.

  1. Drunk-Dial: Spin the dial on your app to get free drink recipes.
  2. Who Called?: If a phone number doesn’t pop up when someone calls you, do a reverse lookup and find out what the caller wanted with you.
  3. Love Poem Generator: Prove to your date that college guys can be romantic when you use this tool.
  4. Birthday Notification: Rely on this tool to keep track of all of your college friends’ birthdays.
  5. Drinking Games Free: Look up drinking games to play at your next party.
  6. Spin the Coke: This version of Spin the Bottle involves a Coca-Cola bottle.
  7. a.k.a. Your Favorite Name Generator: Come up with fake names for theme parties and more.
  8. 5800+ Drink and Cocktail Recipes Free: Never get bored with mixing drinks when you have this directory of cocktail recipes.
  9. Beer Brands: Catalog your favorite beer brands and keep up with microbreweries and emerging brands.
  10. Hello Vino – Wine Pairing Guide: Impress your guests by making appropriate wine and food pairings.
  11. Perfect Date: This guide to the perfect date helps you with conversation and more.

Reference

Keep these reference tools close so that you’re prepared to discuss constellations, the periodic table, or world facts.

  1. USA Factbook Free: This reference packet is great for anyone in a civics, history or political science course that covers the U.S. Access key documents, lists of the flags, state capitals and other stats.
  2. Stars: Anatomy students can use this tool as a resource when studying constellations.
  3. The Chemical Tough: Lite Edition: View the periodic table when you download this free app.
  4. Formulas Free: This app brings you free calculus formulas.
  5. iQuotations: Look up quotes to use in papers or just as general inspiration.
  6. Math Ref Free: Get free reference packs for geometry, algebra, trig, derivatives and more.
  7. AllTheCountries: Get facts about literacy rate, economy, population, area and more for every country.
  8. Your Rights: Use this app for political science courses or just as backup when you get into trouble at school.
  9. iTranslator: Study abroad students and panicked foreign language students can use this tool to connect to Google Translator, Babel Fish or Free Translation.
  10. Quickpedia Lite: This app makes it easier and faster to use Wikipedia.

Games and Quizzes

Prepare for the GMAT or your next Xbox championship tournament here.

  1. GMAT Practice Quiz: Use your iPhone to study for the GMAT when you use this tool.
  2. Xbox Achievement Guide: Become the ultimate Xbox champion on your hall when you have this tool.

GPS

Find your way around town with these valuable GPS apps.

  1. GasBag: Find the cheapest gas nearest your location.
  2. Take Me Home, I’m Lost!: If you’re too new in town or just too confused, use this app to find your way back home.

Health and Fitness

In college, it’s easy to forget about your health. These free apps will help you eat right and find the time to exercise.

  1. Restaurant Nutrition: Make healthier decisions even when your friends want to eat out.
  2. Stress Reducer: Listen to the ocean through a virtual shell to relieve stress.
  3. Am I Pregnant Quiz: This pregnancy quiz is currently free and could save your sanity.
  4. Natural Cures: Try these natural cures if you’re too broke to go to the doctor.
  5. iMapMyRun: Track your runs, including pace, location, speed and overall progress.
  6. Sleep Diary: This app helps you get back on a normal, healthy sleep schedule.

Organization

Stay organize with these tools, which help you manage task lists, homework, shopping, errands and more.

  1. myHomework: View your homework lists, project task sheet, test schedule and more with this organizer.
  2. Blackboard Learn<: Access your school’s Blackboard system from your iPhone with this app.
  3. Evernote: Take picture, text and audio notes that are searchable with Evernote.
  4. AppGmail: Quickly access your Gmail account and view it as a wider display with this app.
  5. ShopShop: Keep a running shopping list that tracks your purchases and marks them off.
  6. Smart ToDo: Manage a to-do list with notes and due dates with this app.
  7. To Do’s: This app lets you customize your to-do list according to priority level, ordering and more.
  8. A Personal Assistant: This free organizes your accounts, including online shopping, banking, Netflix and more. It also tracks cell phone minutes, frequent flyer miles, travel itineraries and more.
  9. Organizer Lite: View several organizers in a single, streamlined display with this app. You can manage a calendar, birthdays, appointments, contacts and more.
  10. mySticky Lite: This iPhone version of Mac’s sticky notes let you tack reminders and lists over a virtual bulletin board.

Search

Let your iPhone guide you in general searches, job hunts and more.

  1. Inquisitor: This super fast search tool also makes suggestions for your searches.
  2. Last.fm: Search music, artists and more with Last.fm for the iPhone.
  3. Repairpal: This app will help you find auto repair shop and support.
  4. Job Search: Indeed.com’s search application lets you find jobs by location and job description.

Miscellaneous

This list of free iPhone apps includes laundry guides, an ebook library, recipe guides and plenty more tools to make your life at college more exciting and organized.

  1. MyGPA Calculator: Calculate your GPA per semester and cumulatively.
  2. BookShelfLT: Check out ebooks for your iPhone.
  3. Salsa: Practice for your ballroom dance class or for a night out.
  4. Laundry Pro Free: Look up North American and European laundry symbols and figure out how to care for your different garments.
  5. wikiHow: How to and DIY Survival Kit: Survive anything, including a hotel fire, long fall and nuclear attack, when you download this pack.
  6. Guitar Tuner: Use Guitar Tuner to tweak your guitar and get ready for gigs on campus.
  7. Intelliremote: Control your home theater that runs Windows with your iPhone.
  8. Free Driver’s Ed: Students practicing for the driving test can review topics and questions here.
  9. F-MyLife: This popular tool lets you commiserate with others who’ve had a bad day on F-MyLife.
  10. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner: Get ideas for cheap, healthy and/or comfort food meals.
  11. Hairstyle Lite: Instead of paying for an expensive visit to the salon, try out a new hairstyle by using this free app.
  12. iWrecked – Auto Accident Assistant: Log details from your car accident, call for help, take photos of the accident, and more.
  13. College Football Live!: Keep up with all the stats, scores and more for college football.”

-courtesy Best Universities