Cloud storage has revolutionized the way in which we preserve our valuable data and there are many companies that offer this technology. Thanks to cloud storage, you can keep a large amount of documents, photos, videos or songs, without using up all the space on your computer or mobile phone. You can access your files and even share them, without having to rely on CDs, external hard drives or other physical storage options. It is likely that the first name that comes to your mind when someone mentions cloud storage is Dropbox. The service has millions of users across the world and for many, Dropbox has become the default way to save their data.
However, just because Dropbox is the most popular cloud storage solution available, it doesn’t mean that it is the best. The truth is that Dropbox doesn’t offer strong encryption to protect your data so if you are worried about security, you may need to consider a different solution to preserve your files. One of the best alternatives is pCloud, a service that brings you all the advantages of cloud storage, with a higher level of security. It is designed to protect your data and it offers a great selection of features, including some that aren’t available with Dropbox. Founded in Switzerland in 2013, pCloud is making its way to the lead in the world of cloud storage and in this review, you can find out more about it.
pCloud’s website is easy to navigate and it presents information in a clear way, helping potential customers (including those who are not familiar with cloud storage) to understand what the service offers. pCloud has desktop software for Windows, macOS and Linux (Ubuntu 32-bit and 64-bit) and there are mobile apps available for Android and iOS. The installation is simple, even for Linux users, who usually have to use terminal commands. With pCloud, all that you need to get the service running on all the platforms supported is to download the software and install it. The interface is user-friendly and all the features are neatly organized, facilitating easy access. There is also a folder called pCloud Help that contains a practical guide that will take you through all the functionality and features that pCloud supports.
How does it Work?
pCloud is a cloud-based file storage service that allows you to save documents, photos, videos and music, easily and without taking up space on your computer, if you don’t want it to. Even if your computer or mobile phone can’t hold all your files or if you don’t have your devices near you, pCloud will enable you to expand your collection and get access to your data whenever you need it. By keeping your files in the cloud, you will have the possibility of accessing them and even sharing them, no matter where you are. You simply need to log in to your pCloud account.
As previously mentioned, the interface of the pCloud drive is easy to use and all the options are straightforward. Once the service is running on your device, you can create folders to start saving your data in the cloud. It is possible to create a folder with just one click and you can give it the name that your prefer. Then, you will be able to upload your photos, documents, videos and music tracks. Uploading is very simple and there are no file size limits. You can upload files, folders or select the Remote upload option.
There are multiple options available for each file and folder that you keep in pCloud. You will be able to rename them, create archives, download, copy, share them and more. The Upload Manager will show you the status of your uploads and the practical search option will allow you to find specific files without hassle. To share files, you can get a download link that you can post on Facebook or Twitter, or send via email. This is a convenient way to share photos with your family and friends. If you need to receive large files, you can get an upload link and share it with others so that they can upload the data through it. This way, you will be able to get the files directly on your account.
You can also share folders with others and manage what files they can access or edit. This is ideal for collaborating in projects with your colleagues or classmates and gives you control over the way in which the information is handled. Apart from supporting file sharing, pCloud offers syncing capabilities. You can access your pCloud drive from any computer to edit your files. Unlike Dropbox, pCloud allows you to sync any folder, not just one. It should also be noted that with pCloud drive, all the changes made in your folders are automatically backed up to the cloud. In addition, pCloud features a built-in media player that lets you stream your music or videos on all your devices. You can enjoy your favorite songs or watch your family videos within the app.
pCloud uses TLS/SSL encryption to protect your files when they are transferred from your computer to their servers. Files are saved in different server locations in a highly secure data storage area. One of the reasons why pCloud may be a better option than Dropbox is the strong security that it offers. Apart from offering weak encryption, Dropbox holds the keys for file decryption so they can get access to your data at any time. With pCloud, users who want the highest level of security can opt for Crypto, a solution that allows them to protect their most valuable files with client-side encryption.
With this type of protection, only you will have the keys to access the data. You create the password and no one else has access to it. Crypto offers an encrypted folder where you can keep confidential files and since zero-knowledge privacy is applied, not even pCloud can get access to them. This additional option is available for $3.99 per month and it is the best choice for customers who value privacy. Online surveillance and hacking are big concerns for online users, but with Crypto you can protect your most important files from prying eyes.
The fact that pCloud is based in Switzerland, where privacy protection laws are very strict, is another reason to consider this service provider as a reliable solution to protect your files.
pCloud offers three plans, starting with a free solution that provides up to 20GB storage and 50GB for download link traffic. If you only need to share a few files once in a while, the free plan is a good solution and it offers considerably more than other free plans, including Dropbox’s 2GB option. Next is the Premium plan, which gives you 500GB of storage and 500GB for download link traffic. It costs $4.99 per month, but if you pay in advance for one year ($47.88), the monthly price is reduced to just $3.99.
If you manage a large amount of media files and need to share them on a regular basis, you can opt for the Premium Plus plan, which provides 2TB of storage and 2TB for download link traffic. This plan costs $9.99 per month. If you get the annual plan for $95.88, you can save money in the long term since it reduces the monthly cost to $7.99 per month. pCloud offers a 10-day money back guarantee and there are also Business plans for customers with a higher storage demand.
pCloud is an excellent choice for users who need to store photos, videos, music and more easily and securely. The pCloud drive allows you to extend the capacity of your computer and you can get access to your files from any computer, using the web interface or from your mobile device with the help of the apps. pCloud is not only more secure than Dropbox, it is also faster and more affordable.
Basic functionality in pCloud is relatively good and cheap, but custom synced folders don’t work with many files. On my premium account, I tried syncing a directory with 100.000+ files but only about 4GB in size. The Linux desktop client could not handle it, the upload stalled or was very slow (0-10 kB/s on a 100 Mbit/s uplink). However, the standard folder did sync fast, so it was not a network issue. Support advised removing the config folder and reinstalling the client which did not help, and they also told me to sync folders with fewer files, which is ridiculous. Support is only in EU working hours.