pCloud Review: the Best Cloud Storage & Syncing Service

by Marko Milijic

pCloud is a cloud storage and syncing service known for its advanced security, competitive pricing, and unique features. The generous 10GB of free space and lack of speed limitations for free accounts drive in a lot of users. 

But is this the best personal cloud storage for you? 

In this pCloud review, we dive in deep to find out! 

What are the perks of using pCloud? How much does it cost? Is it the best cloud storage on the market? 

Let’s answer your questions: 

pCloud Pros Vs. Cons 

To give an honest assessment, we need to compare the advantages and disadvantages of pCloud.

pCloud Pros

The main perks of choosing pCloud include:

  • Secure cloud storage 
  • Unlimited file size
  • Unlimited speed
  • 10GB of free space
  • Up to 2TB virtual drive
  • Smooth third-party integrations
  • Built-in media player
  • File versioning
  • Great value 

pCloud Cons

But, pCloud does have some downsides.

  • Client-side encryption costs extra
  • Free accounts deleted after six months inactivity
  • Email support only

Device Compatibility 

The pCloud download for PC is available on:

  • Windows (7 and later)
  • Linux (Ubuntu 14.04, Fedora 21, Debian 8 or later derivative distributions)
  • macOS (OS X 10.9 and later).  

Download pCloud mobile apps on: 

  • iOS (11.0 and later)
  • Android (5.0 and later)
  • Windows phone. 

pCloud Overview

Intuitive, integrated, and secure, pCloud keeps your files safe without compromising on user experience. Take advantage of up to 2TB of storage for half the price of a physical hard drive. And, enjoy additional perks like the built-in video player and smart file sharing functionality. 

Ease of Use 

You can access your files through the pCloud Drive desktop application, the mobile apps, or the browser extension. Their interface was pleasantly surprising – user-friendly but without any annoying pop-up tutorials. All functionality is easily accessible and intuitive. 

The Best pCloud Features 

pCloud offers everything you’d expect from an online storage service – they keep your files safe and accessible, sync up automatically, and provide popular app integrations (including social media). 

But there’s more: 

The platform has a bunch of unique benefits that set it apart from other cloud storage services. 

Generous Free Storage Quota

pCloud comes with 10GB of lifetime free storage. But, there are three things you need to know: 

  • You unlock the storage as you sign up. For instance, verifying your email adds 1GB, uploading a file adds another 1GB, etc. 
  • If you remain a free user, make sure you stay active. Inactive pCloud free accounts get deleted after six months. 
  • You can add 10GB of additional free storage by inviting friends. For every user that registers through your link and verifies their email, you get 1GB of room. And, invites also enter you to win 500GB space for a lifetime.

With the friend invite top-up, the free online file storage builds up to 20GB without functionality limitations. This free space offer is better than virtually any of pCloud’s competitors – even Google Drive only includes 15GB. Mega, on the other hand, promises 50 GB but gives you 15GB + 35GB temporary bonus storage that eventually expires. 

File Versioning

Have you ever edited a document and wished you didn’t? pCloud can help. Their file versioning includes a 15-day rewind for free users and 30 days for premium accounts. 

Built-in pCloud Video & Audio Player

You can play media files from within the cloud. Both the web and mobile applications come with a built-in media player. pCloud iOS users will love this feature – it allows you to create playlists and play music without using iTunes. 

Fair Share Files 

Shared files don’t take up your personal space. Even when you have edit access, the data remains on the other person’s account. You don’t have to worry about big folders getting shared with you – they won’t affect your quota in any way. 

pCloud Transfer

Use this pCloud service to send files of up to 5GB. You don’t need a pCloud account to use it, either. Just go to transfer.pcloud.com, enter the recipient’s email address, and upload the file. pCloud offers more spaces than competitors: WeTransfer only offers 2GB and Dropbox – 100MB. 

Integrations 

pCloud has integrations for many popular applications. 

Use the browser extension for Chrome, Mozilla, or Opera to save files directly from the Internet. The Lightroom plug-in (for Lightroom Classic 5.0 – 7.0) allows you to export photo edits directly into the cloud, so they don’t take up space on your hard drive. You can also sync pCloud with Facebook and Instagram to backup your favorite moments. 

pCloud Security 

pCloud keeps your information safe – whether you’re a free or paid member. All files are stored on at least three server locations using TLS/SSL encrypted channel. But, you can also upgrade to military-level security with pCloud Crypto

The advanced pCloud encryption plan comes with end-to-end encryption, meaning you only upload protected files to the cloud. With this client-side encryption, even if authorities request your data, pCloud can’t provide it because it doesn’t hold the crypto pass.  

But there’s more: 

pCloud uses a better authentication system than its competitors. They use a tree of hashes (or Merkle tree), instead of partial authentication, which is vulnerable to attacks. 

The other pCloud Crypto advantage over other services is you can have encrypted and non-encrypted folders in the same account. To access the encrypted files, though, you have to enter your pass. This way, even if other people use your computer (or it gets stolen), they couldn’t access your private files. 

pCloud Crypto is $4.99 per month (for monthly plans), $3.99 (for annual plans), or $125 for lifetime access. Get a taste of it with the 14-day free trial version. 

Setup 

Creating a pCloud account takes just a few minutes.

You can sign up on pCloud.com or your mobile device, providing an email and password. You can also register with your Google, Facebook, or Apple credentials and use the pCloud integration to backup your data from these accounts. 

On PC, they prompt you to install pCloud Drive, but it’s not obligatory. Throughout the pCloud access points (browser, desktop application, mobile apps), the interface is intuitive, and the system guides you through. 

The installation and pCloud sign-in on my Android phone went smoothly. The app immediately offered to backup pictures and videos. It did the job impressively well, syncing up my gallery in under 15 minutes. The pCloud Android app is user-friendly and well-rounded – you can access your folders (encrypted folders, too), view images, play media, and open office documents.

The app reviews for pCloud iOS are also overwhelmingly positive.

High-Speed Speed pCloud Upload and Download 

The platform doesn’t set any speed limitations. Whether you’re a paid member or trying it out for free, you can enjoy fast pCloud download, upload, and synchronization. When I tried it out on mobile, syncing up 1312 pictures and 147 videos only took under 15 minutes. 

pCloud Pricing Plans 

Affordable, high-quality service is what makes pCloud one of the best online storage options on the market. 

Free Forever

Signing up for pCloud is free, and so are their mobile and desktop applications. Basic accounts get 10GB of space, expandable to 20GB if you invite friends. pCloud guarantees unlimited upload and download speeds for all free accounts.  

But, if you plan on using the cloud for backup, this is probably not enough. When I signed up for my pCloud account, this was the first problem I ran into. The free space ran out as I was backing up my files. To make sure you have enough storage, upgrade to a Premium or Premium Plus. 

pCloud Premium (500GB)

With the Premium plan, you get 500GB of storage. The yearly subscription is $47.88, while paying per month will set you back $4.99. You can also opt for the pCloud unlimited lifetime access plan – it costs $175 and pays off in under five years. 

But, if you work with large files (especially media), it might be time to upgrade to pCloud Premium Plus:

pCloud Premium Plus (2TB)

The 2TB plan costs $95.88 if you pay per year or $9.99 in a monthly subscription. But the most cost-effective option is pCloud lifetime. For a one-time payment of $350, you get 99 years (or a lifetime, whichever is shorter) of file storage. 

And, unlike buying a hard drive, cloud storage doesn’t get broken or lost. 

pCloud Family

Only available for lifetime plans, this option lets you split the 2TB space between five user accounts. It’s going to cost you $500, as opposed to 5*350=$1750 if you buy separate accounts. Different family members can have their own space and, if you purchase pCloud Crypto, everybody can take advantage. 

pCloud Business Pricing

pCloud Business costs $7.99 per user/month for annual plans or $9.99 per user/month if you pay per month. Each user gets a private account with 1TB of storage. This is the only plan that includes end-to-end encryption to protect your company’s sensitive data. It also comes with a one month free trial for up to five users. 

pCloud Support

While there is no phone or chat support, I’m happy to report that the pCloud team was very efficient over email. For this pCloud review, I contacted them twice and both times customer support responded within 24 hours

The knowledge base is extensive and easy to navigate, though, for some reason, the search function didn’t work on my browser. I’m guessing this is a temporary glitch. So, since it didn’t make the experience worse, no points down for pCloud support. 

pCloud User Reviews

pCloud is one of the best cloud storage options, according to Reddit. Other home crowd storage reviews on pCloud are also very positive, the platform receiving appraisal from various authority reviewers. But pCloud user reviews do mention some common issues: 

  • Customer support is only a contact email & knowledge base. There is a company number on the site, but I couldn’t get a hold of their team. Considering email support was responsive and informative, I don’t see that as a huge issue. 
  • End-to-end encryption costs extra. pCloud Crypto will set you back $4.99 per month (for monthly plans), $3.99 (for annual plans), or $125 for lifetime access. 
  • Free accounts are deleted after six months of inactivity. You can see it in the terms and conditions, but people who missed it lost precious files. 

pCloud Review: Our Verdict 

pCrowd is a safe and affordable cloud storage service that offers a generous free plan and unique functionality. Some of my favorite features included the built-in media player, the file versioning option, as well as the advanced encryption of pCloud Crypto. Though I wish there were more customer support channels, their email service was quick and efficient. Overall, pCloud is one of the best online storage options for both personal and business accounts. 

pCloud Alternatives

While pCloud is a reliable cloud storage option, how does it stack up to competitors? 

pCloud Vs. Dropbox

Security is the first thing that stands out when we compare Dropbox and pCloud. While neither offers end-to-end encryption out of the box, pCloud does give you the option to upgrade. With Dropbox, however, you have to go to a third-party service for top-notch security. 

Even worse: 

Dropbox has already suffered a significant data leak. Their system was hacked in 2012, exposing the passwords of 68 million users. pCloud’s security, on the other hand, has never been breached, even though they offered $100,000 to anyone who beats their system. 

pCloud also boasts features like built-in media player and data versioning for free accounts. The overall free account experience on pCloud is better – they give you more space (10GB Vs. just 2Gb on Dropbox), unlimited file size, and unlimited download and upload speeds. 

If you decide to upgrade, pCloud is much more affordable with plans starting at just $4.99.

pCloud Vs. Sync

While Dropbox doesn’t have zero-knowledge encryption, another pCloud competitor does. But, Sync still lacks several key aspects: 

  • Sync is pricier and less flexible. You can only pay per year, and the monthly price is still higher. 
  • It doesn’t go above 1TB, while pCloud offers up to 2TB to premium users. 
  • Sync has very basic features. You can’t preview or edit files; there is no media player; you can do very little without downloading the files first. 

That said, Sync does have one major selling point – their client-side encryption is entirely free. To get the best of both worlds, make sure you protect your sensitive information with the pCloud Crypto add-on. 

Common Questions about pCloud

Here are the answers to your most common doubts that come up in pCloud reviews

Is pCloud Any Good? 

  • With 10GB of free storage, no speed limits, and unique features like the built-in media player, pCloud is one of the best cloud storage options on the market. 

Is pCloud Free?

  • Yes, pCloud does have a free version. You get 10GB of storage space with no limitations on file size, upload & download speed. pCloud Crypto, their end-to-end encryption add-on, also comes with a free 14-day trial. If you want to get the most out of pCloud, consider their premium plans that give you up to 2TB of storage. 

Can pCloud See My Files? 

  • The standard TLS/SSL encrypted channel protects your files as they make their way to the server. But, pCloud can unlock and view your data. For sensitive data, it’s best to purchase the end-to-end encryption add-on. With pCloud Crypto, the company couldn’t open your files, even if the government served them an order because they wouldn’t have your pass. 

How to Use pCloud?

  • Sign up at pcloud.com or download the mobile app to get started. To get the most out of pCloud, make sure you install pCloud Drive. The desktop application works as a virtual hard drive, keeping your files safe and accessible. You can also drag-and-drop files directly into your account.
  • Use the pCloud app to back up your phone gallery, access files, and even play music with the built-in player. If you run out of space, you can upgrade directly through the app.
  • Get your 10GB of free storage today on pCloud.com!

Is pCloud Safe to Use? 

  • Yes, pCloud is a secure cloud storage option. The company protects your files by using TLS/SSL encryption against malware and storing them in at least three separate server locations. If you want to add an extra layer of safety, consider the pCloud Crypto upgrade that adds client-side encryption. 

Is pCloud Better Than Dropbox?

  • pCloud has several features that make it better than Dropbox. From improved security to the built-in media player and much lower prices, we’d choose pCloud anytime. 

pCloud Review: Final Thoughts

pCloud offers top-notch file security, generous storage space, and several unique benefits. Their free accounts come with 10GB of storage and no limits on file size or download and upload speeds. Premium accounts start at just $4.99 per month, and you can save even more by choosing the lifetime access option or opting for a Family membership. pCloud is easily one of the best cloud storage services out there.

Try it for free today!

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