Your documents, music files, work files, and photos are at risk of being lost or tampered with if you are still using your physical hard drive and it gets corrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
What if your computer crashes or your office burns out? Will you still be able to get back your important documents?
How would you feel if we told you that you can securely and easily store files up to 10GB for free or pay a nominal lifetime fee and store up to 2TB to the cloud?
Yes, you can store your photos, documents, music, videos, and work files and access them on all devices everywhere at any time. Besides, you can keep your files secure with encrypted cloud storage.
That’s exactly what pCloud offers you. The service boasts more than 8 million users and is growing faster than its competition. The service is currently being used by Nike, Coca-Cola, ETIHAD, and many other big companies out there.
In this article, we take a closer look at pCloud, who is it for, pros and cons, features, and its pricing plan.
Table of Contents - Article Hierarchy
- What is pCloud?
- Who is pCloud for?
- pCloud Pros and Cons
- pCloud vs Dropbox: Which is better?
- pCloud Top-Notch Features
- The Final Verdict
Let’s get started
pCloud is a service that boasts the highest level of security for your documents and offers unlimited download and upload speeds. That’s why we recommend it for every user who is looking to store files to the cloud. Check customer service reviews of pCloud online to get a grasp of how people are enjoying using the service.
With pCloud, you can backup your entire WordPress website plus all your social media accounts. You can also backup files from other cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive to pCloud.
The good thing about pCloud is that the service doesn’t use your computer hard drive to host files.
Read our pCloud in-depth review and see whether it’s the best solution for storing your files.
What is pCloud?
pCloud is a powerful cloud storage solution that was launched in 2013 in Switzerland that allows individuals and businesses of all sizes to store and access files seamlessly.
The service is secure and easy-to-use and can be used on all devices and platforms such as smartphones, desktop, laptop, and web browsers.
The service stores files in a remote data center thus freeing up your device. Of course, it is not without its flaws, however, we can confidently recommend to anyone who wants to store files easily and securely to the cloud due to its strong multimedia features, high level of security, sharing capabilities, and excellent subscription plans.
The pCloud system offers supper fast and reliable file synchronization.
Some of pCloud’s drawbacks are that it lacks sharing options on both its free and premium versions (you can get collaboration options only when you chose the business plan) and to enable private encryption, you have to pay extra.
Some of these drawbacks are minor though and if that’s the same case for you, read on as we discuss the pCloud features in our in-depth review.
Who is pCloud for?
As mentioned earlier pCloud is cloud storage solution that means that it’s suitable for any user- individuals and businesses of all sizes.
The service offers many excellent features and can be used on almost all platforms. Well, some users have complained that the backup feature isn’t as powerful as such, but it allows you to save videos and photos as well as social platforms.
Surprisingly, you can also backup Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive to pCloud servers. What made us recommend pCloud for any user out there is that it offers the best security measures for online storage.
In fact, the pCloud founders offered the pCloud Crypto challenge where hackers are allowed to hack into their encryption features and unfortunately, no hacker has managed to break into their client-side encryption to earn $100,000 or an equivalent of that in Bitcoin.
pCloud Pros and Cons
Like any other cloud storage solution, pCloud has both good and bad sides. But the good sides outweigh the bad sides.
What makes pCloud stand out from other cloud storage services are two special features:
i. pCloud Crypto
pCloud offers the best data security by allowing users to lock their files by encrypting them in their devices before uploading them for storage. This way, only you or anyone else you give the key can access the files.
ii. Lifetime subscription
You can decide to choose the monthly or annual subscription plan, but you can also subscribe to their lifetime plan (pCloud is in fact, the first cloud storage solution to offer lifetime subscription) by paying a nominal one-time payment fee.
pCloud is also ISO certified in the area of Information Security Management Systems and Quality Management Systems.
Advantages of pCloud
- No more data loss (in case of fire, theft, or device malfunction or other disasters)
One of the reasons why people have shifted to cloud storage is that there is an assurance to get back files in case of a device virus attack, loss of data, corrupted files or any disaster.
When you upload files to pCloud, the system stores 5 separate copies onto their servers that are located in 3 different locations at a secure data center located in Dallas.
The pCloud Rewind feature also stores your file history for close to one month. This allows you to rewind to the previous version of your files in case anything goes wrong as you continue working on your work files or documents.
- Unmatched Security
These days hackers are everywhere. Files containing private information can be hacked into, get stolen, or changed within no minutes. For this reason, security isn’t optional anymore and pCloud offers the best security with its end-to-end encryption service known as pCloud Crypto.
Note that all cloud storage provides have Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) TLS/ SSL 256 bit encryption where your files are secured only when you are uploading them to the servers. That means that any user must have the encryption key to look into the files.
But look, once the file has been uploaded to the cloud service, it retains the original format so anyone with access to the server can access the files particularly the staff of the cloud storage provider and or law enforcement and government agencies.
With pCloud, security is on another level. The service allows you to encrypt your files before uploading them (whether on your mobile, laptop, or desktop computer.
- Accessible on all digital platforms
pCloud is available on all digital platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows mobile). Besides, the pCloud auto-sync feature keeps your files updated automatically.
- Backup Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud storage services
Chances are that you are wondering how to switch to pCloud because you are already using other cloud storage providers we’ve mentioned above.
Wonder no more because pCloud allows you to upload files from other providers seamlessly.
- Excellent mobile-friendly app
pCloud’s mobile app is designed with a simple interface that enables you to upload, arrange, and share your files at your fingertips.
With the app, you can organize your files into the following categories:
Offline files: If you want to access files without connecting to the internet.
Crypto folder: Store confidential files using the highest security.
Shared folders: These are files you will want to share with friends, workmates or any user.
- Online virtual hard drive
In the past (or even today) people used to buy external hard drives to save files just in case there is insufficient storage space in their computing device. But this makes it hard to share files and it doesn’t guarantee the security of your files.
With pCloud Drive (a virtual online hard drive that allows you to save your files and folders on the internet), you can enjoy automatic syncing of your information, access all information online with ease, or even share files with other users. It works the same way as your external hard drive but with enhanced features and accessibility.
- Access your files conveniently
When uploading files with other cloud storage services, you must select files one by one through their interface.
pCloud allows you to upload your files by just dragging and dropping them to the platform or the pCloud Virtual Drive.
pCloud’s media player plugins allow you to organize and listen to music or video online right from the web portal.
- Share files and folders easily with others
To share files or folders with pCloud, you generate download or upload links then send them to people you want to collaborate with. Other people can then download or share files with you with the same links. This pCloud’s feature allows people to collaborate remotely.
Disadvantages of pCloud
The founders of pCloud took their time to learn from other cloud storage providers before launching their own and that’s perhaps what has made them develop a product with fewer drawbacks which include:
- Lacks live chat or phone support.
- The free plan does not offer client-side encryption.
pCloud vs Dropbox: Which is better?
Dropbox is one of the ancient cloud storage providers out there. However, many Dropbox users have migrated to pCloud and for various reasons. Below is a side by side comparison of pCloud and Dropbox.
Upload and Download speed
The effectiveness of a cloud storage service is determined by the download and upload speed. A good cloud storage service provider offers faster download, upload, and syncing speed. This allows users to access and manage files conveniently.
pCloud beats Dropbox when it comes to speed of downloading and uploading files.
Well, Dropbox will secure your files when transferring them to their servers. But that doesn’t restrict other users, especially their employees to access clients’ files. pCloud, through their pCloud Crypto, ensure only clients have access to their files and no one else unless you give someone the key.
Value for Money
Everyone is looking for value for the money they invest in a service. When it comes to cloud storage, you want a service that offers enough storage at affordable prices and with high-security levels.
When it comes to price, Dropbox’s Business plan is offered at $16.58 per month for 1TB of space whereas pCloud’s Premium Plus subscription for 2TB of space will cost you $7.99 per month. Besides, Dropbox doesn’t offer a lifetime plan while pCloud has a lifetime subscription.
With Dropbox, you can only track your file history for up to 120 days while pCloud’s Extended File History feature allows you to track file history for almost a year. This makes pCloud a suitable cloud storage provider for long-term businesses.
As you can see, pCloud wins as the best cloud storage service in all the features and functionalities it offers.
But that’s not all, pCloud still has plenty of other goodies.
Keep reading as we uncover them.
pCloud Top-Notch Features
pCloud offers top-notch features that are incomparable with other cloud storage services out there. For instance, pCloud Drive allows you to access your files on the internet, the same way you could on your external hard drive. The virtual drive allows you to free up space on your computer hard drive. The drawback of using pCloud Drive is that you must have an internet connection to access and work on your files.
That being said, let’s take a look at each of the pCloud’s unmatched features.
Pricing & Plans
pCloud pricing and plans beat Dropbox’s, Amazon Drive, and Google Drive yet still offering value for your money in terms of storage space and duration.
That’s why it’s ranked the best cloud storage provider by users.
To sign up for pCloud services, you just need your email address and a good password. When you sign up for the first time, you get a 10GB free plan together with an extra 4GB of space when you download their smartphone app.
Additionally, you get 1GB of pCloud storage space if you refer another user to their service.
You can either decide to use the free plan, premium or subscribe to the lifetime plan depending on your needs of the size of your business.
pCloud Premium 500GB plan is $4.99 per month but you can pay it annually for $3.99. Their Premium Plus 2TB plan is $8 per month.
With pCloud for Family offers 2TB of storage space and 2TB of download link traffic. You are allowed to invite up to 5 family members to the service.
With the 2TB Family plan, you can get 30 days of trash history. This means that you can track your file history and restore to previous versions of the files in case of any disaster or problem.
The 2TB Family plan costs $1,400 but you get a discount of 65%. That means you will subscribe to this plan at $500.
The pCloud Business version costs $544/yr and accepts at least 5 users- which is equivalent to $9 per user per month.
Ease of Use
pCloud allows users to sign up with their Google or Facebook login credentials. It also has a beautiful and user-friendly interface similar to that of Dropbox. You can upload files by clicking on the upload link or just dragging the files to their web portal.
Sharing and encrypting your files with pCloud is also easy. You can also access your files on a different computer using pCloud’s web app. The pCloud smartphone app also allows you to work on your files while on the go.
Downloading and uploading files on pCloud is faster than on any other cloud storage service out there. Also, when uploading or downloading files, your other resources aren’t affected. That means that you will still use the internet without experiencing hitches.
pCloud security is on another level. The service uses the TLS protocol to safeguard your files against man-in-the-middle attacks. You can protect your data before uploading, when uploading, or even when the data is uploaded to the cloud.
The good thing is that pCloud stores 5 copies of your files across five servers which are then encrypted with AES 256-bit.
pCloud’s end-to-end encryption keeps your files protected, although you have to get the pCloud Crypto, an add-on that costs $3.99 per month. The good thing about getting this add-on is that no one will be able to access your data apart from yourself unless you give someone the access key. Encryption also keeps your data private(even the server or pCloud staff can’t understand what’s inside your documents). You also have the freedom to choose which files to encrypt and which ones not to.
The two-factor authentication will keep hackers who might have stolen your password from accessing your account. Just make sure you create a strong and hard-to-guess password.
pCloud is based in Switzerland, a country reputed for the best privacy laws when it comes to data and information. It’s also reputed for having the best privacy services including the ExpressVPN, ProtonMail, etc. And even though pCloud’s servers are located in the U.S. the company adheres to the Swiss laws.
But with the free account, you will not get end-to-end encryption so your files could be accessed by law enforcement or government agencies in case pCloud is issued with a warrant. The same applies if you don’t use the pCloud Crypto feature.
Unfortunately, for a company with a higher reputation, pCloud doesn’t offer telephone or live chat support although it has email support. Well, if you email pCloud’s customer support, you will get an answer the same day unless you email them late.
You can also contact their support team on their social media channels.
Also, there is an FAQs section on their website that is divided into categories with plenty of detailed answers to most frequently asked questions. Their answers aren’t touching on the technical part of their services though.
pCloud has a blog with plenty of articles about how to use their features, etc. The articles will educate you on how to get the most out of pCloud.
File Syncing & Sharing
Part of the reason why people prefer to store files in the cloud instead of saving them to a physical drive is to allow for sharing and collaboration.
pCloud enables syncing and sharing of files in three different ways:
With the web client, you can share files or folders via download or upload links. You can also invite other users to edit or just view files.
The upload link you share with others allows them to upload files to your folder or download your files on their devices.
The link you share can also be protected with a password and has an expiry date. You can also make the link short or leave it the way it is generated. Experts recommend leaving the generated link as it’s not guessable.
You can also share links with your social media users on Twitter and Facebook as well but this doesn’t apply to files encrypted with pCloud Crypto.
You can monitor your shares via the pCloud web app to see what you have shared with others and what they have shared with you.
pCloud is perhaps one of the few cloud storage providers with desktop clients that allow sharing of folders and files.
pCloud, through their smartphone app, allow you to share links as well. Syncing your files and folders is also easy. You just click on a folder and select sync to pCloud and your folder will be added to your pCloud account where it will be uploaded to the pCloud server.
You can also copy a file to your sync folder or sync it from the desktop client.
The Final Verdict
As you can see pCloud is the best cloud storage service for both individuals and businesses of all sizes.
The service has plenty of amazing features one of them being its multimedia feature that allows working with photos and videos.
Compared with other cloud storage providers(Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.) pCloud stands out due to its powerful features such as the pCloud Drive that works as a virtual hard drive to save space on your physical hard drive, the end-to-end encryption, file sharing, and privacy and many others as we have discussed them above.
The platform is easy to use and convenient. Besides, it’s not as costly as other cloud storage providers yet it gives users value for their money.
If you are looking for a powerful cloud storage service then look no further than pCloud.
If you have ever used pCloud, or you have a concern about it, let us know that in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading our pCloud in-depth review of 2020.
Jane Evans is data security and professional freelance writer who offers dissertation writing services to students from York. Being interested in data security, she loves traveling to meet businesses and people and educate them on data security. Find Jane on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.