pCloudFREE to $350
- Good Support
- Generous Free Option
- Share files with users who don't have an account
- It's small, quick to install and gives a quick overview of what space you have and which folders are synchronized.
- Very slow when you have a bad connection
- Traffic limits on the Business Option
The Tesla of Cloud Storage
Awsome Cloud Storage
pCloud is a clean and easy to use application that does what most people want from a cloud storage service, and the current structure of the pricing plan is a bargain across the board . It is a worthy alternative to Dropbox that out of the box offers more storage (10GB compared to 2GB at Dropbox.).
Detailed review of pCloud
Welcome to this pCloud review, where we will investigate some positive aspects of choosing this secure cloud storage provider. pCloud has been active since 2013 alone and has faced competitive successes and failures, an advantage used to attract more than two million customers, including big names such as BMW, Coca-Cola, Uber, and Twitter.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for everyone. Further down, we will evaluate pCloud in different categories to help you make an informed purchasing decision. We then expect you to understand why we have named pCloud number two in our list of best cloud-free storage services for 2017 and who has one of our favorite cloud storage services in general.
If you think you prefer a different service, take a look at our comparison of the best cloud storage services. If you just want to continue and jump, go to pCloud and get your first 10GB of free storage.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Although we consider the fact that we have to pay for encryption to be a weakness, because competitors like Sync.com and SpiderOak offer it for free, this is just one way to look at it. For those who are not interested in this feature, additional cost savings will be an advantage. And even if you pay for this feature, pCloud still offers excellent value for money.
As the last newcomer to the cloud storage market, pCloud was given the opportunity to see what worked well and what didn’t work for other providers. In addition, pCloud has added innovative functions that are not often used.
When you start pCloud for the first time, a quick instruction screen appears. Then you have a minimal interface similar to Dropbox. What is not immediately clear is that with the pCloud taskbar icon you have access to a window environment with a decent set of functions.
Most users will probably prefer the pCloud web interface to the desktop tool. It is more attractive, easier to use and contains more functions.
One of these functions is an image display, which allows you to view your saved photos without visible loss of quality, and includes a perfect slide show mode for your slide shows.
The web interface of pCloud also features an audio player that allows you to play songs directly from your browser, making it an excellent cloud storage service for storing your music collection. You can also play other types of audio.
Playing video is another interesting option. Of course, the playback capacity depends on the quality of the connection and the video playback, but the player itself works very well.
If you have saved content with other cloud storage and backup providers, you can also backup it to pCloud.
To protect users against unwanted file changes and even damage, pCloud maintains previous versions of files for 15 days for free users and 30 days for subscribers. For some, this period is not enough, so you can add extended file history (EFH) to keep earlier versions of your files 360 days.
The cost of the add-on is USD 39.99 per year. Just to be clear, this protection also applies to deleted files, so the costs will probably be worth it for many.
pCloud offers a generous 10GB of free storage space to which everyone can subscribe. In addition, you can earn an extra gigabyte of storage space for every friend you report, up to 10 GB more.
There are two subscriptions available for private users: Premium and Premium Plus.
Annual subscriptions offer a 20% discount. If you have purchased a Premium Plus subscription on an annual basis and find it superior to your needs, you can downgrade it to a regular Premium account and the cost difference will be shown as credit in the next billing cycle.
In addition, pCloud has recently started offering life plans that should allow you to stay in business for some time. These plans are a lot, so if you are sure that pCloud is there for you, it is worth it.
If the 2 TB you get with Premium Plus is not enough, you can also create a customized plan with all the storage space you need.
Subscribers also have the option to add unconscious encryption for $ 4.99 per month if you switch from month to month, or $ 47.88 if you pay a year in advance (which works at $ 3.99 per month).
pCloud is not the cheapest online storage provider, but with all inclusions, excellent cross-platform experience, well-executed web interface, fantastic file-sharing system and many other integrated tools, the prices represent excellent value for money. It really only depends on whether you intend to use all of these things.
Synchronizing and sharing files
File sunchronization was performed flawlessly during testing. When you enable file synchronization on the pCloud drive, this will change the behavior of the drive. If a change is detected in a client-side file, pCloud loads the new version of the file and overwrites the saved version. If the server-side version is newer, pCloud downloads it to the local archive and overwrites the copy.
This is not always what you want, especially when you delete a file, because the file disappears immediately from the client and server. That is why synchronization is normally not a good option for new users.
With pCloud it is easy to share content with other users. In fact, you can share any folder on your pCloud drive with anyone, even if they are not pCloud subscribers, provided they have an email address.
In addition to sharing folders, you can also share individual files by creating links that point to it. Unlike most other cloud storage services, pCloud also allows you to create download links that others can use to share files with you.
You can set expiration dates for shared shortcuts and protect them with passwords. These security features can help you limit the damage that can be caused by malicious access to your shared file space.
If you use the add-on for unconscious encryption, you can only share files that are not encrypted with it.
You can view and edit your pCloud account from an iOS or Android device and from a Windows, Mac or Linux operating system.
You can use the desktop application to share and manage folders with other pCloud users. You can also determine the amount of disk space used from your computer. You can also set a limit on the speed at which you upload and download and the amount of bandwidth that you use for uploading and downloading.
With the desktop program of pCloud you can view all your shared links and add synchronization folders so that you can store and manage all your local files on your online account.
The mobile application is very well built, giving you access to every function that the website also offers. This means that everything that is possible on the website is also possible within the app, for example: filtering files, managing shared links, searching in your account, creating favorite folders, viewing recent activity and much more.
Offline files can be enabled from a mobile device by adding them as a favorite, so the file is then downloaded to your computer so that it is also accessible when you do not have an internet connection.
You can also enable automatic upload to the mobile app, all your photos and videos will then be automatically uploaded without any intervention on your part.
Speed is a controversial topic at pCloud. It seems that there are many factors that can affect the download and download speed.
The pCloud test, which you can see on YouTube, indicates that files can be uploaded 500% faster to pCloud than to Dropbox.
Of course, the speed depends on important factors such as your internet connection.
Security and confidentiality
The security of pCloud appears to be very good. To date, no major attacks on the service are known and no loss of security is known.
If you have purchased the Crypto add-on, your files are protected by unconscious encryption, which means that only you can decrypt your content. Without Crypto, pCloud retains control of your encryption key.
All traffic on the road is protected by TLS encryption, which is basically a standard feature that you would expect from any service. The encryption level used is 256-bit AES. Read the cloud security primer for more information about TLS and AES.
However, if they hide behind Crypto’s private encryption, law enforcement can demand anything they want, all they get is encrypted files, without even pCloud itself being able to break the password.
The customer service
pCloud offers excellent customer service. A telephone number is provided, but this is not intended to answer general questions. Customers are generally encouraged to send an email or use the online contact form on the website.
One of the advantages of pCloud, which still has a relatively small user group, is that support responses can go faster than you have experienced with larger services such as Dropbox or Livedrive. My supporting question, which I did not consider urgent, was answered in twenty minutes.
We recommend that you send support messages by e-mail as the online form is not very well designed.
Best cloud storage for professionals
pCloud is great cloud storage for professionals. Let’s look at some use cases:
Best cloud storage for professional photographers:
Photographers need cloud storage because a local backup is never safe. No matter what anybody says cloud storage is a must if you want your files as a photographer to be safe and as an added bonus you can access your photos from any device anywhere.
pCloud offers some awesome features for professional photographers, the best being you can see previews and thumbnails of almost all RAW files in both the web and the mobile versions of pCloud. And as most professional photographers are Mac users they can see them also in pCloud drive for macOS.
Best cloud storage for Musicians:
Musicians also need cloud storage because a local backup is never safe. pCloud is a great choice for storing your files thanks to the lifetime option. Never lose that song again for as long as you live. Another solid option is DJ backup.
Best cloud storage for personal use
pCloud is great cloud storage for personal use as well. Let’s look at some cases where pCloud will come in handy:
Best cloud storage for photos
pCloud is awesome for personal use. It is one of the best solutions out there for backing up your pictures. We all want our photos to remain forever in our possession because they hold great sentimental value. That’s why it’s a sensible decision to make a backup of all of them.
Modern cameras and even smartphones take awesome pictures but they are also large files that take up a lot of space. Icloud on iPhones offers only 5gb free space and Google photos only lets you store small size photos and videos for free.
That’s where pCloud comes in. They are the only cloud storage provider that offers a lifetime storage option, which means you pay once and get 2 terabytes of storage for the rest of your life 😱.
Best cloud storage for security cameras:
Most security cameras offer local backups and/or SD cards to back up the footage. Like explained before local backups are never a good idea, so a cloud storage option like pCloud is the perfect solution to keep all your security cam footage safe and accessible from anywhere on any device.
Again the lifetime option of pCloud is awesome because for a one time fee you can back up your security camera footage easily and safely.
Best cloud storage for GoPro videos:
The lifetime option of pCloud is nice to store your GoPro videos forever, but GoPro offers unlimited storage for $4,99 a month, which is also a cheap option.
Best cloud storage for Lightroom:
pCloud offers an official pCloud plugin for Lightroom making it possible to upload photos directly to your pCloud account, how awesome is that. Professional photographers, your lives just got easier.
Ease of use
pCloud has desktop clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are also applications for Android and iOS. We start by examining the desktop client, which is comparable to all supported platforms.
The pCloud desktop client is similar to the Dropbox interface (see our Dropbox review for more information), which is good but can also be confusing for new users who expect a Windowed environment. An application window is available, but it is not immediately clear how you can access it.
Just like Dropbox, pCloud adds an icon to the taskbar so that you can communicate with pCloud Drive. This is a virtual disk that is created in the file system and uses pCloud to synchronize and save files. You will see the pCloud virtual disk in your usual system file manager (eg, Windows Explorer).
This virtual disk should not be confused with the “drive” and “sync” folders that pCloud adds to your personal folder. These are empty unless your pCloud is currently installed as a virtual disk and synchronization is enabled.
Synchronization is not recommended for beginners because it entails much greater risk than manual file transfer. When you synchronize a file, it is automatically downloaded or downloaded to one of the connected devices, depending on whether the copy on the server or the local copy is the most recent. Many new users confuse synchronization and backup, with disastrous results.
However, unlike Dropbox, pCloud provides access to a desktop tool in the window. Compared to the colorful interfaces of systems such as SpiderOak and Livedrive, the pCloud interface is a bit exciting, but still very logically designed. It is easy to navigate and the seven buttons on the main menu are easy to read and understand.
These buttons work in the same way as an interface with tabs but without tabs. Each of them will open a different interface or “page” that gives access to the controls it contains.
The “account” page is the best place to start, with a usage counter, so you can see how much storage space has already been used.
You can use the settings page to set bandwidth limits.
You can also prevent pCloud from deleting your device.
If you need help, you will find shortcuts on the “Help” page.
A great feature missing from the desktop client is the ability to monitor files while downloading, which can only be done using the online download manager. This means that if you want to skip a single large file, you cannot do this.
The only way to pause synchronization while it is in progress is through the system tray icon. Less experienced users will find it difficult to understand because they are expected to be able to do this from the desktop client synchronization page.
The mobile application client is another area where pCloud shines. Often, mobile applications only have the ability to view files and most are very limited even in this task. The pCloud client is more mature and allows you to edit certain documents. Although this is only useful for tablet users, it is still a good feature.
The mobile application can also do similar things to the web client, such as viewing images, playing videos, and playing audio files.
The browser interface is the simplest and most user-friendly for new users. Where this interface may be less useful is when you have to transfer very large files that your browser would have problems with. In that case, the office customer is preferred.
You can access all your pCloud tools in one place via the browser interface. You can view or edit documents, create a slide show of your favorite photos, watch movies, and listen to music. Some examples of these tools can be found in the “Functions” chapter at the beginning of this overview.
Best pCloud features
Lots Of Useful Plugins
pCloud offers several plugins making your life easy. You can make a back-up with the click of a button with plugins for WordPress and Lightroom. There is also a Chrome plugin so you can make backups from your browser.
10gb Of Free Storage
When you sign up to pCloud you get 10B for free forever. Even if you decide to never upgrade you can use the 10gb to store some important files you don’t want to lose.
Lifetime 2TB option
pCloud is the only cloud storage provider that offers a lifetime option. Meaning for a one time fee you can store your backups and sensitive files, videos and photos for as long as you live.