While it costs something to add files to ArDrive, it’s always free to explore the public files that others have uploaded. So the first way to use ArDrive for free is to try out our Public Drives. You don’t even need an ArDrive account to use them.
Public Drives are open to the world for anybody to see at any time. They can include photos, books, videos, art, research or other files curated by ArDrive users who want this content to stay around permanently for public use.
How do you access one of these Public Drives?
It’s as easy as clicking on a link to see them and get your first taste of ArDrive.
There are a lot of Public Drives being put out into the wild, but I would suggest you try one of these:
- 51 Books in the Public Domain - curated by drkiddo
- ArDrive Official Public Drive - pictures, videos, presentations and other permanent content from the ArDrive community.
So if you click the above link for 51 Books in the Public Domain it will automatically take you into ArDrive and you will see your new Public Drive in the left hand menu with the title ‘Books’. All the books in this new Public Drive will appear in the center of your screen.
Within this Public Drive is a vast collection of classic books from the history of human civilization. You can download any of the digital books that are in the Public Drive for free. Download the complete works of William Shakespeare or War and Peace or Little Women - pretty cool!
To download all you need to do is select the book of your choice and press the symbol at your top right.
Voila! The book is now yours!
If you’re not into classic books, feel free to explore other featured Public Drives.
Share a Public Drive
Even if you don’t have an ArDrive account you can also share this Public Drive with anyone you want.
Hit the Share icon up at the top right and a window will pop up in the middle of your screen. You can copy the link in the box and send it to anyone you want and they will be able to access the Public Drive in the same way that you just did.
As you can see, Public Drives are a great way to archive and share collections of content from the permaweb. It's always free to share Public Drives and to download files on ArDrive.
Uploading Files to ArDrive for Free
Uploading files through ArDrive does have a cost. It may be less than a cent to upload several documents - and there are never any recurring fees beyond that - but uploads still require payment.
Even so, there is a way to try out ArDrive and upload a few files for free.
Get some local currency
Tokens with blockchain technology work the same way local currencies do with countries. If you are visiting the island nation of Vanuatu and want to buy something at a shop, you'll need the local currency (Vatu). Similarly, if you want to use the Arweave network (and ArDrive) you need to get the AR token.
Fortunately, the Arweave network provides new users with enough AR token to get started uploading a few files for free.
To prevent scammers from accumulating tokens, Arweave requires you to use your Twitter account to verify that you are human. If you aren't on Twitter, you can create a Twitter account for free, then use it with Arweave. Once you’ve gone through Arweave's verification process, they will send you a bit of AR.
It is simple and straightforward and our Get Started page walks you through it all.
If you’d like to upload more files, you can buy more AR tokens. You will be surprised at how little it costs to upload hundreds of documents.
Hit the Get Started button below to get your own ArDrive account and see everything permanent data storage can do!