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Yandex cloud service offers 10GB of storage for free

The new and free Yandex.Disk service is providing users with 10GB of online storage accessible from any PC and various mobile devices.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

A new Web site is offering 10GB of online storage for free. The catch? It's only in least for now.

Launching today as a beta version, Yandex.Disk (English translation) is the latest in a growing lineup of cloud storage sites, letting people store files online and access them from computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Files stored locally and online can be synchronized among multiple devices to ensure that the versions stay consistent. So the same document you save on your desktop PC can be accessed and edited on your mobile device. You can view and launch your files directly from the Web, from a Windows or Mac client, or from a Yandex.Mail app on iOS and Android devices.

"Yandex.Disk is a cloud service, a virtual folder that can be safely used for file storage," Anton Zabannykh, Yandex's head of personalized services, said in a statement. "If your personal computer or laptop catches a virus or breaks down, your files will be safely stored on Yandex.Disk. Currently, Yandex.Disk is integrated with Yandex.Mail, and we have plans to link it with other services offered by Yandex."

The service is currently available by invitation only, so users have to e-mail the site to grab an account.

Okay, that all sounds fine. But what about us non Russian-speaking people? Yandex will be launching an English version that it promises is "coming soon."

Of course, a host of online storage sites are already vying for our attention, including, Mozy, DropBox, SkyDrive, and Apple's iCloud, some with better deals than Yandex.

As just one example, Microsoft's SkyDrive offers 25GB of free storage.

So what exactly will distinguish Yandex? We'll have to wait and see when the site finally opens up in English.