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  • Free Storage: 10 GB
  • Social Media Integration : Yes
  • Mobile Apps: Android and iOS
  • Zero-knowledge Encryption: Yes
  • Document Integration: /
  • Document Editor: /
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • Bitcoin Payments: Yes
  • Storage: Up to 2 TB

minimum price:

£4.29/month

Visit Website

pCloud Review

14 million people use pCloud as their trusted cloud storage service, and its popularity continues to grow. But is the client-side encryption, fast file syncing, and dedicated media player worth the money? Continue reading this pCloud review to find out.

pCloud Review

minimum price:

£4.29/month

Visit Website
  • Free Storage: 10 GB
  • Social Media Integration : Yes
  • Mobile Apps: Android and iOS
  • Zero-knowledge Encryption: Yes
  • Document Integration: /
  • Document Editor: /
  • Free Trial: Yes
  • Bitcoin Payments: Yes
  • Storage: Up to 2 TB

works on:

Windows Windows
Mac OS Mac OS
Linux Linux
Android Android
Apple Apple

Best For

Video storage

STRENGTHS

  • Lifetime subscription
  • Affordable price
  • Integrated media player
  • Fast syncing

WEAKNESSES

  • Limited customer support
  • Doesn’t offer unlimited storage

There are a lot of cloud storage services on the market these days, and it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. To ease your decision-making process, I will do a detailed pCloud review.

I’ll start with an introduction to pCloud, and then move on to discuss its features in more detail. Next, I’ll describe other people’s experiences with the service. Finally, I will provide some alternatives available on the market.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

What Is pCloud?

pCloud is a cloud storage provider that offers individual, family, and business plans. With pCloud, you can store any type of file (audio, video, image, text,  etc.) or back up your PC. This cloud storage provider allows you to access your files from any device with an internet connection.

pCloud was launched in Switzerland in 2013 by its CEO and founder, Tunio Zafer. Since it’s located in Switzerland, the company must adhere to strict Swiss privacy laws, meaning you won’t have to worry about the safety of your files.

When you join pCloud, you designate the data region where your files and personal information will be kept — either the United States (Dallas, Texas) or the European Union (Luxembourg).

Furthermore, pCloud is one of the few cloud storage services that offer a lifetime subscription plan. This means paying once and having access to your account for life.

Interface

You can access pCloud through your web browser, a mobile app, or a desktop app called pCloud Drive.

The pCloud app’s interface is user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to sort and search through your files pretty much the same way as with your operating system’s file manager. Creating folders and uploading and downloading files is extremely easy with pCloud.

pCloud’s browser interface allows you to add files with a drag-and-drop function or the upload manager. It does a great job of showing your uploaded files and media, allowing you to play your videos and music online. Note that you can’t drag a file out of pCloud and drop it on your desktop using the web interface. This can only be done through the app.

Moreover, you can’t access options like Share, Rename, Copy, Delete, Move, etc., through a right-click menu on the web interface. Instead, you have to use the overflow […] menu.

The web interface allows you to preview (but not edit) Microsoft Office documents, unlike Apple’s iCloud Drive. iCloud doesn’t even let you preview a .doc file.

Overall, the pCloud web interface is solid, but it’s not as smooth and easy to use as Google Drive and Dropbox.

 

Ease of Use

The process of joining pCloud is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll be asked to enter your email and pick a password to create your account. Or, you can choose to continue with your Apple, Facebook, or Google account.

pCloud Registration Process | CyberCrew

Next, you’ll have the option to choose the data region for storing your files — European Union or the United States. Then, after accepting the terms and conditions, privacy policy, and intellectual property policy, you can go ahead and create your account.

After your account is created, pCloud will encourage you to download the app to set up a virtual drive on your system. This virtual drive will turn your documents folder into a sync folder by default. This means your documents will be automatically synced to pCloud, and any further changes you make to the original folder will be automatically incorporated into your pCloud account.

Sharing files is also made easy with pCloud. All you need to do is click on the Copy Download Link from the drop-down menu and share it with your contact. However, be careful if you are using the free plan — the file you share won’t be encrypted.

 

File Syncing and Sharing

pCloud offers real-time file syncing across all your devices, so you can always have the most up-to-date version of your files. It is considered one of the best file syncing services on the market, offering offline access as well. This means you can sync file and folder copies both on your local device and in your secure file storage cloud.

Moreover, pCloud serves as a virtual drive, allowing you to free up your hard drive space. Using pCloud Drive, you can browse through your cloud files as if they are on your hard drive. Once you close the files, they return to the cloud.

With pCloud, you can share files from your computer, desktop app, mobile app or web interface. The storage provider allows you to share links directly to your shared files, or you can invite pCloud users using email.

Another option is to grant read-only or read-and-write access using the shared link. You can also protect your file with a password and set an expiration date. Finally, the stats page allows you to see how many times the file has been downloaded and the total download traffic.

Privacy

pCloud takes data privacy and security seriously — it is the first cloud storage service to offer both non-encrypted and encrypted folders in the same account.

pCloud’s unique client-side encryption makes sure that all your files are safely guarded against any unauthorised access. According to its official website, using client-side encryption means performing the encryption process on your device.

The encrypted version of your files is uploaded to pCloud’s servers, and the plain text files don’t leave your device. Even pCloud, as a service provider, will never know what kind of data you store on your account. Only your Crypto Pass can encrypt and decrypt your files.

Crypto Pass is a sequence of letters or numbers you use to access your files via pCloud Crypto and encrypt and decrypt your Crypto Folder contents.

When it comes to selecting your preferred data region, you should be careful. If you opt for the United States servers, keep in mind that the US is the Five Eyes Alliance, an association of five nations, all of which have the power to access user data as they see fit. If your files are stored in the US, you can request to have them moved to Luxembourg, but this will cost you $19.99 (roughly £15).

pCloud collects information about your IP address, device, operating system, referral source, browser type, and browser version. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your IP address with the storage provider, you can easily bypass this with the help of a VPN.

Speed

Users have reported great upload and download speeds while using pCloud. In addition, the service allows you to limit these speeds if you want to send large files or if you are moving a lot of files around. Limiting the upload and download speeds can be done in settings, but note that it’s set to unlimited by default.

Another great thing about pCloud is that it uses block-level sync to speed up the process of syncing files that have been edited. In a nutshell, block-level sync means that your files are divided into smaller pieces, and only the parts that have been changed are synced.

So, for instance, if you edit a large file, the syncing process will be done in a matter of seconds instead of minutes, which can come in handy if you edit a lot of large files.

Security

With cybercrime on the rise today more than ever, it’s essential to keep your data safe and protected. This is where pCloud’s security features come in handy. However, some of them will cost you extra.

pCloud uses TLS/SSL encryption to protect your data in transit. This means that all the data you upload to pCloud is encrypted before it even reaches its servers.

In addition, pCloud offers two-factor authentication (TFA) to add an extra layer of security to your account. TFA is a method of confirming a user’s identity by combining two different factors — something they know (username and password) and something they have (a code sent to their phone).

The service also offers the option to encrypt your files using client-side encryption. As I’ve mentioned before, this means your files are encrypted on your device before they are uploaded to pCloud’s servers. The files are then decrypted on your device when you want to access them. Only you can decrypt your files — not pCloud, not the law and not a rogue hacker with access to the storage provider’s servers.

To prove how high its level of security is, pCloud launched a challenge that lasted six months, promising a reward of $100,000 (roughly £76,030) or its Bitcoin equivalent to hackers who could beat its client-side encryption. Around 2,860 hackers entered the challenge, and none were able to beat the encryption.

pCloud Security | CyberCrew

pCloud Crypto

pCloud calls its zero-knowledge encryption pCloud Crypto. If you want access to this feature, you’ll have to pay £4.29 a month. However, if you are subscribed to the Business Plan, you’ll get it for free.

Some other services provide client-side encryption for free, but some don’t even offer this feature.

pCrypto lets you choose which files you want to encrypt, and anything that goes into the encrypted folder will be impossible for the server to read.

Your files that aren’t kept in your pCloud Crypto will still be protected by industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption to reduce the risks of man-in-the-middle attacks.

Pricing

I find pCloud’s pricing plans reasonable, especially the lifetime option. However, if you don’t want to spend money on cloud storage, you can check out its free version, which offers up to 10 GB of free cloud storage space.

After creating your account, you will initially get 2 GB of storage space with the possibility to unlock eight more. You can do this by first verifying your email, uploading a file, downloading the desktop and mobile app, and finally, inviting others to sign up.

Moving on to the paid plans. There are three paid plans to choose from:

  1. Individual
  2. Family
  3. Business

Individual Plan

There are two types of Individual Plans — Premium and Premium Plus.

The Premium Individual Plan offers 500 GB of storage, 500 GB of shared link traffic, fair share, shared link branding, and 30 days of trash history.

Upgrading to a Premium Plus Individual Plan will give you the same benefits but increase the storage and shared link traffic to 2 TB.

pCloud Individual Monthly Plan | CyberCrew

The monthly subscription will cost you the most — £4.29 for the Premium Plan and £8.59 for the Premium Plus Plan. By opting for a yearly subscription, you will get a 20% discount which means you would pay £42.99 for the Premium and £85.99 for the Premium Plus Individual Plan.

Finally, the lifetime option will give you the best deal — 65% off. To get a lifetime Premium Plan, you will pay only £149 once, and you’ll be set with your account for life. A lifetime option for the Premium Plus Plan costs £299.

pCloud Individual Lifetime Plan | CyberCrew

 

Family Plan

The Family Plan offers up to 2 TB of lifetime storage and premium pCloud features for you and up to four people from your family for £430.

pCloud Family Plan | CyberCrew

This plan is an excellent way to save up and split the storage space according to everyone’s needs. Plus, everyone will get their own password.

Business Plan

pCloud’s Business Plan facilitates collaboration between team members, allowing them to store and sync all their business files. In addition, this plan includes special features such as teams and access control, shared folders, comments to files and folders, and activity monitoring.

pCloud Business Plan | CyberCrew

The Business Plan has a yearly and monthly subscription calculated per user. A yearly subscription comes down to £7.24 per user/month, while a monthly subscription is £8.99 per user/month.

Mobile App

The pCloud mobile apps are available for both Android and iOS. Once you download the app and log in, you can turn on the auto-upload option for photos and videos. 

pCloud Mobile App | CyberCrew

The app’s interface is similar to the web interface, and it’s relatively easy to navigate. Just click the plus sign at the top of the screen to add a file and select the files you want to upload. Once they’re uploaded, pCloud will advise you to delete the original files from your phone memory to free up some space.

Making files available online is also an option, which will allow you to play music and watch videos on the go.

Customer Support

The extensive FAQ section on pCloud’s website includes advice on different issues you might encounter. Unfortunately, a live chat option isn’t available. 

You can talk to an agent if you call the company’s Swiss number, which is only available during Swiss office hours. Fortunately, UK customers shouldn’t have an issue reaching pCloud’s support line since the two countries only have a one hour time difference.

You have two more options to reach pCloud — via email or contact form on the web page. In most cases, you’ll receive an answer within a day or two.

pCloud Competitors

If pCloud isn’t the right fit for you, there are plenty of other cloud storage providers you might consider. I suggest checking out the following cloud storage solutions:

  1. Google Drive
  2. Dropbox
  3. IDrive

pCloud vs Google Drive

Google Drive is the most used cloud storage and file sharing service, owing its popularity to the incredible ease of use and countless features. If you own a Google account, you already have access to 15 GB of free Google Drive storage space.

If 15 GB is not enough storage, you can always upgrade to a Basic, Standard, or Premium Google One plan.  Check out Google Drive plans and prices in the table below:

Basic Standard Premium
Storage space 100 GB 200 GB 2 TB
Price £1.59/month

£15.99/year

£2.49/month

£24.99/year

£7.99/month

£79.99/year

Compared to pCloud, Google Drive is cheaper and easier to use, but the former offers better privacy and security, as well as more file sharing and syncing features.

pCloud vs Dropbox

Dropbox is the company that pioneered the concept of cloud storage and file syncing across multiple devices. One of its best features is Smart Sync — choose whether your files are stored locally or online-only, allowing you to free up hard drive space on your computer. 

Dropbox does an outstanding job handling large files, having no size limit for files uploaded through the desktop or mobile app. 

Dropbox has three plans you can choose from — Freemium, Plus, and Family. 

Freemium Plus Family
Storage space 2 GB 2 TB 2 TB + 6 users
Price Free £9.99/month £16.99/month

Although pCloud has proven to have extraordinary speed, it still can’t measure up to Dropbox. Furthermore, Dropbox is better for collaboration, but pCloud is still the safer option thanks to its zero-knowledge encryption feature.

pCloud vs IDrive

IDrive’s primary focus is online storage. Unlike most other cloud storage providers, IDrive will automatically back up your entire device, saving you the trouble of manually moving the files you want to protect into a sync folder. 

One of IDrive’s many compelling features is the Drive Express disk mailing service, which involves backing up bulk data to an external drive sent to you by IDrive. 

IDrive offers great value for your money, offering two paid plans with a generous amount of storage. Still, you can always use its free version.

Storage space 5 GB 5 TB 10 TB
Price Free $79.50 (around £58)/year $99.50 (around £73)/year

IDrive best suits organisations looking for maximum storage space at a minimal cost. If that doesn’t apply to you, pCloud is a better choice because it outperforms IDrive in almost every category.

Customer Reviews

The online storage provider’s users have nothing but positive experiences with this storage provider. Most of the five-star reviews praise the expertise of the customer support team. 

The Family Plan has gotten a lot of attention, and customers believe it’s terrific deal. The endless features pCloud offers, and the reliability presented keep customers coming back for more.

On the other hand, more than a few customers have complained about their lifetime subscriptions being cut off without receiving a notice. The reason for all the account deactivations is always “Suspected Fraud”.

Also, some users find the provider’s plans overpriced and some features not worth paying extra for.

Final Verdict

To conclude this pCloud review, I’ll point out that it is one of the safest online cloud storage providers you can get your hands on. 

With its user-friendly interface, zero-knowledge encryption, excellent file syncing and sharing capabilities, pCloud is a perfect solution for keeping your files secure. 

Many different pricing options are available, so it’s more than certain you will find one that matches your needs. Consider subscribing to the Lifetime Plan to save a few pounds!

FAQ

Can pCloud be trusted?

Yes, pCloud is one of the safest storage providers on the market. Alongside the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, you can use pCloud Crypto to ensure that only you can access your files. Furthermore, once you’ve used pCloud’s zero-knowledge encryption, not even the storage provider can see your encrypted files.

Is pCloud better than Google Drive?

When it comes to safety and price, pCloud is the clear winner. However, if you already have a Google account and want to integrate Google’s web-based office suite, Google Drive would be better suited to your needs.

Can pCloud see my data?

No, if you encrypt your files with pCloud Crypto, pCloud has no way of viewing your data. This is part of the client-side encryption pCloud provides — the key for decryption is only available to the user, not the service provider.

Is pCloud worth the money?

Yes, pCloud is definitely worth the money! You can use it on any device and secure your files with manual encryption. In addition, you can get yourself a lifetime subscription that’s a lot cheaper in the long run.

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