- 10GB free version
- Simple to use
- End-to-end encryption
- Automatic backups
- Easy file sharing
- Limited types of backups
- Unable to restore full system
- Maximum cloud space of 2TB
Based in Switzerland and featuring end-to-end encrypted backups, pCloud is one of the most private cloud services on the market. Better yet, it’s ideal for both beginners and advanced users, and subscriptions support an unlimited number of computers and smartphones. Beyond just privacy, pCloud offers peace of mind by creating 30-day file versioning, which can be extended to one year for an extra fee. In other words, you won’t have a heart attack if you mistakenly delete an important file. The platform also allows you to automatically sync any folder on your device and stores all your data in an easy-to-follow file structure. Last but not least, sharing documents is as simple as one-two-three, allowing you to even give other people access to specific folders. Prices start at $3.99 per month, but it’s possible to test pCloud first through its 10GB free version.
pCloud is a user-friendly online backup service that creates a separate drive on your computer that looks like an external hard drive. To back up your files, you have two options: manually add the files to pCloud’s drive (the same way as you do with Google Drive) or include the folders you want to back up in pCloud’s settings. In this case, the platform will continuously back up any changes automatically, which can be stopped and resumed anytime you want. Unfortunately, pCloud doesn’t offer different backup options and isn’t able to make full system recoveries. Still, you can throttle internet and disk usage in the settings so that the software doesn’t slow your computer down. pCloud also comes with 30-day file versioning, which may be extended to one year at an extra cost.
The platform synchronizes data across all devices instantly, making pCloud the perfect solution for those who want to access their files anywhere. Plus, the software allows for native editing – you just need to open the document inside pCloud’s drive or online file manager.
Managing files with pCloud is child’s play. Since pCloud uses the same folder structure as modern operating systems, your documents are saved in a logical way. Plus, you can change or delete your files regardless of which device you’re using. Automatic backups are all stored in the ‘pCloud Backup’ folder. There, you’ll find dedicated folders for each device, and the system also comes with a search function to make things easier.
If you want to share files with pCloud then you’ll be happy to know that the process is effortless. Just right-click on any document or folder inside pCloud’s drive and you’re given the option to either create a shareable link for the file or offer access to the full folder. Sharing is similarly straightforward if you’re using the mobile app or online platform.
It’s simple to select the folders you want to sync automatically. pCloud is able to automatically find local folders, such as ‘My Images’ and ‘My Videos’, but you can also add any folder you want within the system’s settings. The difference between this and a backup is that you’ll lose the document if you delete the file on your device. However, data backed up by pCloud will stay untouched on the cloud, even after you delete it from your computer or smartphone.
pCloud screams security by being based in Switzerland and using zero-knowledge architecture. By automatically encrypting files placed in your ‘Crypto’ folder – where you can store your most sensitive data – the software ensures that your information is safe from criminal eyes. In fact, not even pCloud itself is able to read your data, as only you have access to the encryption key. The company is so proud of its encryption system that there’s a recurrent encryption challenge where hackers try to exploit pCloud for a $100,000 reward. So far, no hacking attempts have been successful. Our only problem is that it’s not possible to allocate automatic backups to your ‘Crypto’ folder, meaning that you’ll always have to manually add the folders first.
But when it comes to a cloud service, privacy isn’t enough – your files need to be secure too. Imagine if your backed-up data just disappeared for no apparent reason… Of course, pCloud does everything in its power to prevent this, and that’s why your files are saved on three different servers. So if one of them fails, there are still two backups.
pCloud works virtually on anything. It supports Windows (from XP to its latest version), macOS, and Linux. On mobile, it works for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile. The best part is that pCloud offers an unlimited number of connected devices, allowing you to sync any supported piece of equipment you own. Regardless of what device you’re using, pCloud lets you manually back up files through its mobile-optimized online platform. But the easiest way to keep your files secure is by installing the software’s dedicated apps.
On desktop, the software creates a pCloud drive where you add the files you want to back up. It’s even easier to share files with others, as you just need to right-click on the file and select the appropriate function. Meanwhile, the mobile app’s sharing capabilities only work within the app, where you need to create a sharing link. Still, when enabled, the software automatically backs up and syncs all files stored on all your devices, saving you the monotonous work of manually saving each photo you take.
Ease of Use
Using pCloud is a breeze. To create an account, you just need to go to the company’s website and sign up for free. From there, you can either start using the online platform right away or download the desktop or mobile apps. To make things even simpler, your main pCloud folder includes a ‘getting started’ guide that comes with various tips to make the most out of your account.
pCloud Disk Usage Settings
pCloud Speed Settings
When it comes to pCloud’s applications, they’re extremely easy to work with and come with dedicated tutorials. Everything is quite intuitive, which is further improved by the apps’ modern look. As a great extra feature, the mobile app prompts you to automatically delete anything that has been stored in the cloud to save your mobile’s internal storage.
Before getting into pCloud‘s pricing details, it's worth mentioning the generous free plan available. Users can get the first 10GB of storage without paying a dime by creating an account and following the tutorial. Another way to get this free space is by inviting new users to the platform – each successful referral offers you 1GB. However, we recommend doing this when pCloud is hosting one of its recurrent 500GB Lifetime account giveaways, as these invitations also count towards your participation points.
When it comes to paid accounts, pCloud provides a wide array of plans and prices. If you don’t want to commit to long billing cycles, you can get the company's monthly plan, which costs $4.99 per month for 500GB and $9.99 for 2TB. Still, pCloud rewards annual subscribers with a 20% discount. Plus, there's a lifetime plan that costs $175 (500GB) or $350 (2TB). Compared to the yearly subscriptions, these are only worthwhile for those who stick with pCloud in the long run, as you’d only start to make savings after using the service for more than three years and seven months.
Finally, if you want to share the 2TB with your family, consider getting the Family lifetime plan that supports up to five people and only costs $100 per user. pCloud also provides dedicated Business plans, which companies can try out via the 30-day free trial available.
Although pCloud scores highly across all categories, customer service is where the company lacks the most. It doesn’t offer 24/7 support and doesn’t come with live chat, which is standard in the online backup industry. Instead, you’re left with email as the only way to contact pCloud directly, and replies can take several days to arrive in your inbox. Fortunately, the company includes a lot of materials on its website. From FAQs to thorough guides and video tutorials, this is the place to go when you have any questions. Additionally, pCloud is active on Facebook and Twitter, where it replies to customers’ tweets and instant messages.
Overall, pCloud is a great solution to back up and sync your files. Its modern-looking apps and logical folder structure make it easy to use, and it’s simple to set up. Still, it’s not perfect. Some would agree that 2TB isn’t enough and that the company could benefit from having more expensive subscriptions offering more cloud space. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a solution that backs up servers or your entire system, pCloud is not for you. Still, pCloud does an excellent job with everything else, such as file syncing and sharing. Plus, the 10GB free version is one of the best on the market. The paid plans are also affordable, and it’s nice to see a company that offers various payment cycles that cater to all types of users.