One of the essentials of our ever-expanding digital world is storage. With billions of files created per day, individuals and companies grow increasingly reliant on a more reliable repository, cloud storage.
Cloud storage offers easier and more efficient file management compared to those heavy bulky hard disks we used to buy. Our increasing demand for cloud-based storage resulted in the rise of numerous cloud storage providers and pCloud is one of them.
With the growing need to expand and preserve data, I tried multiple cloud storage services. Here is a complete pCloud review 2021 to help you understand whether or not it’s the suitable cloud service you’ll need.
I’ll discuss its top features, its pros and cons, and candid information on other cloud services to broaden your range of choices.
Let’s get to the gist, shall we?
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What is pCloud?
pCloud like any other cloud-based storage provider provides users with a way to store, maintain and access files off-site. Established in 2013, pCloud was created for one main purpose: make cloud storage extremely user-friendly.
pCloud is based in Switzerland that caters to a worldwide audience. Its main purpose is to provide users with an easier way of storing and accessing files.
On top of that, pCloud provides extra security features keeping sensitive company files and user copyright files an extra shield against unwanted eyes.
pCloud is among the top-rated cloud service providers not only because of its user-friendly interface. On top of ease of use, pCloud deals are quite rare and highly sought after especially for individual users, it offers:
pCloud provides access through multiple devices, it’s compatibility allows you to store and manage your files across multiple platforms. One of its perks is the pCloud subscription plans that fit all types of budget. It is amongst the very few cloud services that provide lifetime subscriptions making it an ideal long term storage provider.
Who are its target users?
Initially intended to cater to the needs of individual users, they designed pCloud with a convenient interface. It has an auto system integration making it easy for even tech-noobs to learn, use, and master.
Though it was primarily geared towards individual users, pCloud has expanded its primary target market to businesses and larger corporations. With massive media files and the need for quick file management between members of a team, pCloud simplifies corporate systems even further.
Once installed, it is automatically incorporated in your File Manager. With an easy click and drag storage, it acts as part of the system making file transfer and access simpler.
Why is the pCloud app necessary?
Is pCloud safe?
Yes! Let’s get straight to the point here, pCloud offers security protection over your files. All subscriptions offer end-to-end encryption. This means that only you and those who you grant access to your files can see and view your files. You also have the full authority to grant or limit a person’s access to certain files on your pCloud storage.
Cloud offers one of the best protection services but this only applies to subscribed users. Free users aren’t covered under the pCloud Crypto policy. You have to pay extra if you want to have the best file security.
However, it already offers great privacy and basic protection over your files. Unless you’re using a ridiculously easy password or you have very little protection over who gains access to your computer and files, anyone can access your pCloud's storage.
pCloud review 2021: What are its best features?
pCloud is among the highest-rated cloud services in the market and it’s time to know why.
I’ve already mentioned some of the best pCloud features. But in this part of our pCloud 2021 review, let’s delve deeper into the benefits you can get in using this cloud storage service.
Online and offline file management
The pCloud app acts as your virtual disk drive. The virtual drive is a cloud extension of your computer or mobile phone’s storage capacity expanding your storable space up to 2TB.
Naturally, all your files are uploaded on the cloud. Every file and document you edit are also directly saved on the cloud as well.
pCloud always gives you the option to sync your files offline allowing you to access your file even when you’re off the grid. You can choose the option to save your files locally by folder and not by individual file.
Easy-to-master user interface
One of the perks of using pCloud is its easy navigation. Unlike other cloud services, you need to open your web browser or the local cloud app on your phone or on your computer. The pCloud app, on the other hand, has an auto-integration with your File Manager.
Once installed, it automatically creates a drive on your File Manager. This pCloud file transfer feature is ideal for all types of users.
Whether you’re an individual rushing to find and edit your files or a member of a corporate in quick need to share files to your teammates, pCloud file transfer simplifies it for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to the pCloud app or you're a tech Pro, the app is very easy to use and master.
What I love about it is that it also doesn’t take much space on my RAM and disk usage. As someone who has multiple devices, I have some with a less powerful processor. Opening more than 6 apps on one of my computers takes a heavy toll that it slows down.
pCloud doesn’t add to that heavy load because I don’t have to open the app to access my files.
The best cloud storage service always comes with the latest files security, and pCloud has that. I came to realize after trying out multiple cloud services that pCloud is among the top cloud storage providers that come with the best file protection.
Needless to say, I don’t have to worry about my files being accessed by a third party. The pCloud Crypto folder is an advanced feature that offers client-side encryption.
Client-based vs. server-based encryption
It means that only you can decrypt your most important files. Server-side encryption, or server encryption, is the basic file encryption offered on free storage users.
It stores your files in its data centers. In this case, pCloud stores your files in 3 different locations to ensure that you gain access to them if one of these locations fail.
Server encryption uses TLS and SSL encryption on your basic files. pCloud automatically encrypts your data whenever you store them on your pCloud drive.
Client-side encryption, simply put, encrypts your files on your computer and not on the server. It is perfect for individuals or companies who need larger storage for highly sensitive data. I prefer using client-side encryption simply because pCloud doesn’t have a copy of my files on its unencrypted form.
So even if hackers end up breaking through the server protection, they won’t have access to any of my files. Plus, only I have the encryption key to decrypt my personal files.
Quick file sharing
pCloud file transfer has never been easier. One feature that makes pCloud unique is that anyone can access your files whether or not they are pCloud users.
Using the pCloud app on your device or on its web interface, you can share or transfer your files in 3 ways:
Via invitation to access
You can easily collaborate by sharing private folders to other pCloud users by sending an ‘Invite to Access’. You can also limit who can ‘Edit’ and just ‘View’ the files on your shared folders.
Limitations: You can only use this pCloud feature with other pCloud users.
Download or upload links
Conveniently share large media files (photos and videos) by sending your recipients the download link to your files. What’s great about this is that the files are dynamic. So, your recipients will always get to view the latest update on files you’ve made changes to.
In the same manner, sending recipients an upload link allows others to add large files to your folder from their local devices.
Limitations: Upload links are only applicable to pCloud users.
Direct link access
The pCloud offers your very own Public Folder directly accessible in an index directory. This is a unique pCloud feature where you can use your cloud storage as a hosting service.
You can use it to embed visual media, share multiple files of any size and even create a static HTML website.
Limitations: You are limited to 2TB of data storage and nothing more than that.
File tracking with pCloud versioning
Save multiple versions of your files with pCloud file versioning. You can recall previous changes you’ve made on files in your pCloud app.
You can check the changes you’ve made on your folders on your entire drive using the Rewind feature. You can see the changes you’ve made in the past 15 days or up to 30 days for free users and subscribers respectively.
You can revisit every change you’ve made on a file and restore these versions. However, you can go only as far back as 15 days of changes (on the free plan) and up to 30 days (on the premium plan).
Extended file history
Although you’re given a 15- or 30-day history of your files (backup), you can keep a record of all the changes and deletions you’ve made in the past 360 days. It’s like a recycle bin access where you can still retrieve some of your files with ease.
Multiple device synchronization
One of the pains of losing or having a device broken is losing all the files in it. We’ve probably lost one or two flash drives, had a broken hard disk, or even had our phone stolen. The betrayal of devices also means the complete loss of our data.
One of the latest pCloud updates allows us to access our files throughout all our devices. pCloud doesn’t limit the number of devices logged into a single account.
pCloud has block-level sync, it speeds up file updates making your recently edited files available on other devices in real-time. You can do the same thing with your mobile images and videos. You can automatically upload all your files to pCloud anytime by turning the auto-upload on.
Interestingly enough, you can link pCloud with other popular cloud storage service providers like Google, DropBox, and One Drive.
You can also sync it with social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram allowing you to have easier access to your media files.
Large file uploads and media preview
One of the highlights of pCloud storage is its large file transfer. Unlike most cloud storage services that give a 25MB limit, pCloud doesn’t have that. That makes it ideal for professional photographers and video makers with massive media file sizes.
My favorite pCloud update made just recently includes a built-in player. You can create your own music playlist and play it directly from your cloud storage.
The video player also allows you to view media directly from your cloud without opening other video players.
pCloud pricing packages
Price is everything when it comes to getting the most out of the lowest price. pCloud deals offer multiple pricing packages. From those with a tight budget to those willing to spend on advanced features, there’s an array of pCloud pricing packages to choose from.
Anyone can create an account with pCloud absolutely free of charge. With a free account, you’re given a 10GB storage space.
It also comes with the basic SSL security transfer where your files are safe and protected. You’re also not limited to uploading large file sizes.
On top of that, you also get file versioning and link sharing. In a free account, file versioning allows you to access changes you’ve made on your files for up to 15 days only.
pCloud prices start off with the monthly plan that offers all the benefits of a free subscription with the additional benefits:
To get 500GB on top of your 10GB free storage, it costs $4.99 or $59.88 annually.
For an extra 2TB storage, it will cost $9.99 monthly or $119.88 annually. Since it is a monthly subscription, you only get to pay for your subscription every 30 days.
There are 2 yearly pCloud subscriptions and the only difference between the two is the storage space provided. Both packages include everything on the monthly storage.
Premium 500GB. This is the low-cost pCloud pricing package set at $47.88 (at the time this pCloud review 2021 was written). You get to save $12 compared to purchasing the cloud service monthly.
Premium Plus 2TB. Perfect for power-users and professionals with the constant need to store and access very large files, the Premium Plus package costs $95.88 giving you a total of $24 in savings.
pCloud lifetime subscription
pCloud pricing packages offer a shockingly reasonable lifetime package. Not a lot of cloud storage service providers have this deal. pCloud lifetime deal offers a one-time fee payment granting lifetime access to pCloud.
You also get to enjoy the same features offered in any paid subscriptions. The only difference is that, you only have to pay once and enjoy the pCloud lifetime deal.
The 500GB lifetime purchase costs $175 while 2TB extra storage costs a total of $350. The lifetime deal gives you a free lifetime Extended File History.
pCloud also offers group subscriptions. Instead of different individuals purchasing different accounts, this pCloud deal offers a family or business packages.
You can set files management and data sharing in teams. This allows you to control which team gets access to which files and at which level of access.
You can also actively monitor the changes made with details logs and team commenting and sharing.
Individual users also get to enjoy file privacy allowing each member of the team to protect sensitive data.
This package also comes with a 30 day free trial.
pCloud offers two additional packages:
pCloud pros and cons
As great as pCloud is, it still has its pitfalls to consider. Here’s a quick list I put together for you to consider.
This review of pCloud won’t be complete if we don’t compare it to the best cloud storage service providers. Let’s get straight to it.
iDrive is a lower end cloud storage service compared to pCloud. Both cloud storages provide easy file upload and quick syncing.
Here are some features and benefits you need to know:
On the upside, iDrive provides a lifetime of file versioning. You can access different versions of your files ever since it was uploaded on the cloud.
It also has a larger storage space giving you up to 2TB per year at a lower cost. You can add up to 5TB annually if you choose to renew your contract with iDrive.
Unfortunately, its free subscription only offers up to 5GB of storage space. And it has a poor interface making it quite hard for non-tech savvy users to navigate and use the app.
Ranked as one of the best cloud storage service providers in the market DropBox is no doubt on top of the list.
Dropbox is ideal when it comes to file-sharing with wider collaborative options.
Dropbox comes with app extensions to automate updates and file back-ups.
Here are some notable features:
Dropbox may be a great place to store files but it doesn’t offer much compared to the competitive cloud storage services being offered by competitors.
Dropbox lacks security and external files can be searched and accessed by unwelcomed users. Still, despite its lack of update, it remains one of the best cloud service providers in the market.
Google drive is probably the top of the ladder for the best cloud storage service in the market.
It has its own tools and apps to access, edit and share files in real-time. Its team collaboration features make it ideal for small and even large businesses to remotely work with each other.
The notable benefits and features of Google Drive are:
Although GDrive allows you to store, manage, and edit your files in just one app, you need to secure your account with a powerful password.
Another great cloud storage option is Sync.com. With your privacy in mind, Sync.com offers its subscribers the ultimate default protection. Sync doesn’t have access to your files unless your files are set for public sharing.
It is one of the most user-friendly cloud storage mainly because of its multi-access point.
Here are other features you might like about Sync:
Though a newer and lesser-known cloud storage service, Sync has a lot to offer especially for businesses and corporations.
To learn more about this cloud storage, I made a full Sync.com review.
Putting it all together
Whether we want to send or collaborate files with team members, flash drives aren’t cut out for the job anymore. As we slowly transition from bulky and easy-to-break hard drives to cloud storage, saving our valuable data on a cloud server is nothing more than a way better option.
With many storage providers to compare, it’s no wonder that we struggle to find the best cloud storage service that fits our needs.
The pCloud app, though lesser-known, is a highly rated cloud service provider for the following reasons:
If you’re looking for a platform that will secure your sensitive files, then pCloud is a great solution. Since it offers end-to-end encryption, you’re sure to protect your files even from pCloud itself.
Since collaboration with other users is also very simple to use and master.
Although pCloud is a starting cloud service provider, it offers great features at highly competitive prices. I’ve compiled all the useful information you can get in this article.
Get the latest updates here and make the most of your cloud storage service experience with pCloud. You can register for free and get a lifetime 10GB extra storage space on the cloud!