pCloud serves as both an excellent backup and work sharing tool. You can use it on any digital device and secure your files to the max with manual encryption. Best of all, you can pay a one-time fee for a lifetime subscription! Is it any wonder why we love pCloud? Learn more.
PCloud Review – 9 Pros & 1 Con of Using PCloud Cloud Storage
March 14, 2019
Founded in Switzerland, pCloud was a relative newcomer to the online storage market when it began in 2013.
Still, even as the new kid on the block, pCloud has proven their cloud storage is the optimum versatile solution for both personal and business users.
What really sets them apart are these two special features:
- Lifetime Subscription
For a nominal one-time payment, you can subscribe to their services permanently without any annual or monthly renewal fees.
- pCloud Crypto
For the best in data security, you can choose to lock your files with encryption on your device before uploading for storage. This secures it from any unwanted eyes and ensures that only you (and whoever you give the key to) has access to the file.
To date, pCloud has managed to win more than 6 million users and has gained ISO certification in the area of Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).
This includes big time clients like Uber, AirBnb, Twitter and Instagram.
pCloud is the first cloud storage to offer lifetime subscription. Charging at
$480 $175 for Premium plan and $980 $350 for Premium Plus, you will have the privilege to the storage forever. Learn more.
Pros of PCloud
We investigated user-friendliness, availability on different digital platforms, data integrity and security. And of course, whether the price is affordable. Before we show you our analysis, this video tour of pCloud will give you a better understanding on what pCloud is:
1. Never Lose A File Ever Again With pCloud’s Rewind System
Part of the reason why people use cloud storage as a backup tool is so that they have insurance if they ever lose a file due to a virus, corruption, error or simply saving the wrong version of an important file.
pCloud always makes sure that you have an intact copy of your file available for download by storing 5 separate copies of every file you upload onto their servers in 3 different locations at a secure data centre facility in Dallas, Texas. It is the ultimate safeguard against files being lost, stolen or corrupted.
Also, don’t you just hate it when you’re working on a file and due to a mistake, it ends up wrong. But your original work is lost because you saved over it?
Well, pCloud also has another feature called pCloud Rewind that tracks your file history for 30 days so that if you made a mistake with the current version and saved or accidentally deleted your file, you can easily rewind to a previous version.
For long term projects, you can also opt for the extended file history (EFH) add-on to keep previous file versions for up to 360 days just in case.
2. Top-Notch Security To Protect Sensitive Files
In an age where files containing sensitive information can be hacked into, peeked and even stolen or altered, security is always important to the cloud storage user and pCloud gives you the best with its client-side encryption service called pCloud Crypto.
To explain, all cloud providers use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) TLS/ SSL 256 bit encryption that lets the cloud storage system secure your files during transfer from your device to server.
Anybody that intercepts this file on its way to cloud storage will not be able to look into your file without the encryption key.
But that’s as far as it goes. Once it is uploaded into the cloud storage server, it is back in its original format and that means anyone who has access to the server can access the data. This includes not just pCloud staff but also any law enforcement and government authorities with legal access.
pCloud takes data security up to a higher level with an additional program called pCloud Crypto that gives you, the client, the encryption power.
This software enables you to encrypt your file on your computer or mobile first before sending it for storage. To unlock it, you will need to use the generated key called CryptoPass.
That way, even after it is encrypted again and decrypted during the transfer process, it still has pCloud Crypto to safeguard it against unwanted access against anyone who does not have your CryptoPass key.
pCloud is so confident that pCloud Crypto is not hackable. So much so that they have challenged hackers from top universities, including Berkeley, Boston, MIT and 613 other organizations to prove them wrong. Did they succeed? See the report here.
3. Convenient File Management On The Go
One of pCloud’s strengths is its availability on all digital platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux and even mobile systems like Android, iOS and Windows mobile. And with pCloud’s auto-sync feature, all files will always be effortlessly updated.
Imagine this: You are working on a powerpoint presentation from home on your laptop for an important meeting. Then as you board the taxi to go to the meeting, you get new information and need to change your slides while commuting.
Just open pCloud on your mobile, access the powerpoint file and fix it from there. Next time when you access it from your laptop, you will already have the latest version.
Imagine a similar scenario where you have to amend your file but your laptop or mobile is not available. Your friend nearby has his laptop open and offers to let you use it for a while. But because your cloud storage account is limited to just your laptop and mobile, you’ll have to pay extra charges to access it from a different device… or do you?
With pCloud, we tested that possibility and were pleasantly surprised to learn that our files could be accessed from several different devices at no extra charge.
Some cloud storage providers actually tie your account to one computer, laptop or mobile device. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our files could be accessed from several devices without extra charges.
4. Store Your Files From Other Online Platforms With Ease
If you have previously already used a Cloud storage provider like Google Drive or Dropbox, no worries. pCloud is also able to exchange information easily with other 3rd party services and allows you to upload from other sites with ease.
This includes social media like Facebook, Instagram and Picasa.
For example, when we connected with Facebook, our albums were backed up and the folder structure was kept intact with our Facebook images categorised in their respective directories.
They are even looking into integrating themselves to backup WordPress sites in future so it does look like pCloud will soon be able to connect to other commonly used online sites and services.
5. Smooth User-Friendly Mobile App
Speaking of other platforms, have you had a chance to experience pCloud’s mobile app yet?
The app offers a simple interface that gives us the convenience of uploading, arranging and sharing our files as we like it literally at our fingertips.
For example, when you touch the top left corner to access the left slide-in menu, there are four buttons for you to access the different kinds of files accessible through your device: document, audio, video or visual.
You can also arrange your files depending on how you want to utilise them:
- Crypto Folder
For secret files you wish to give the highest security
- Offline Files
For files you want to access when your phone has no internet line
- Shared Folders
For files you want to share with the public
You can also share files and view your share statistics easily using My Links to monitor how your files have been distributed.
You also have the option on how you want to organise the structure of your folders and files. You can edit them individually, or in bulk and add new folders as well.
The search icon makes it easier for you to trace down the file of your choice and the share icon next to each folder gives you the freedom to share and link as well.
If you’re a new user and need assistance on how to use it, pCloud Help provides comprehensive guidance to learn how to effectively use the app.
We can do all of these within the mobile app and whatever we have done it will be synchronized across all the devices that we have connected with pCloud, instantly.
But don’t take our word for it. Download the app and experience it for yourself.
6. pCloud Drive – Your Online Virtual Hard Drive
If you have a lot of data and not enough space on your computing device, you may think of purchasing an external hard drive to archive all that data. But still, carrying a physical device does not make it easy for you to work or share files when you are on the go.
Instead, how about a virtuall hard drive with the added convenience of online access, automatic syncing of all information and integrated file sharing?
We found the answer in pCloud Drive, a desktop application, that allows you to store your files and folders online that works just like having an extra hard drive on your computer, only even better because it is easily accessible online anytime anywhere.
7. Archive All Your Essential But Hardly Used Data In A Data Vault
Speaking of storing data, whether you are running a business with a lot of files to manage or just wanting a place to store your personal files without using your computing space, you can use pCloud to safely archive your precious data.
With pCloud’s high network security, the added advantage of Crypto encryption for sensitive data and a lifetime subscription option, you can store all your essential information indefinitely and yet get easy access to them from any device of your choosing.
8. Easy Access To Your Files
Most times, when you want to upload your files onto your cloud storage account, you have to go through the cumbersome process of using the interface to click and select your files individually.
With pCloud, we found uploading is really easy by just dragging and dropping the file to the web portal or the virtual drive.
Also, pCloud has a media player plugins installed in its system for easy listing, organising and playback of video, picture and music files.
9. Collaborate On Your Files Easily With Others
File and folder sharing is very simple with pCloud. With the simple click of a button or a touch, you can generate download or upload links to be sent to people in your contact list. This will allow them to download your files or share files with you in that assigned folder.
You can even invite them to co-manage an assigned folder for work purposes. For the serious business user, this serves as a powerful remote working tool.
Cons of pCloud
Because pCloud has had a chance to learn from other cloud storage products before producing its own, it doesn’t really have cons as a versatile product.
However, there are extra services pCloud provides that must be purchased separately from your subscription:
- pCloud Crypto
For the best in file security, you pay extra for the pCloud Crypto add-on to encrypt your files manually on your device
- Extended File History (EFH)
If you need to keep track of the history of your files for lengthy periods of time, you will have to go with Extended File History which will track of all file versions and updates for a year
* More on the pricing of these add-ons below.
pCloud’s Plan and Pricing
pCloud has 2 different subscription plans and 2 separate add-ons for you to choose from.
All plans come with free access to both the mobile and desktop applications, SSL security transfer, unlimited file size uploading (theoretically but it depends on what space you have available), file versioning, link sharing (both up and down).
The difference for all plans, whether Premium or Premium Plus is in how much storage and download traffic space you are allotted:
Premium Annual provides 500 GB storage and download link traffic along with 30 days of file history. Premium Plus Annual, for more data heavy users, upgrades that to 2 TB storage and download link traffic.
You can also get the same benefits on a permanent basis for an affordable one-time payment of $175 and $350 respectively.
Especially if you plan on being a long term Cloud user, this will benefit you in the long run because you will not need to renew any subscription fees EVER!
So far this is the only cloud storage provider that gives you that option. And as you can tell from the long list of established clients that pCloud serves, they will be here to stay so you never have to worry about this subscription expiring…
We have done some research and analysis on pCloud Lifetime subscriptions. Make sure to check it out at our pCloud lifetime review.
Besides the above, you can add on the following services for extra security and file backup measures:
If you still just want to dip your feet in the water before taking a swim, the Free Trial gives you 10 GB free storage online (+ 4 GB when you completely set up pCloud on your computer and mobile) and 50 GB download traffic from shared links monthly. Your file history will only be kept up to 15 days.
How does pCloud compare to Dropbox?
Dropbox has been around for more than 10 years as a cloud storage provider and in 2016 launched Project Infinite allowing them to provide services on par with pCloud… or is it?
184,987 people have already moved over from Dropbox to pCloud and for good reason. Bud don’t take our word for it. Here’s a quick comparison so you can decide for yourself:
pCloud VS Dropbox: Upload and Download Speed
One key factor to determining what makes a good cloud storage provider is speed. The faster your downloading, uploading and syncing speed, the more convenient it is to access and manage your files.
pCloud did some real-time speed tests against DropBox with a video file sized at 1.12 GB and here are the results:
Upload Speed – Dropbox (5 mins 34 seconds) vs pCloud (54 seconds)
Download Speed – Dropbox (1 min 34 seconds) vs pCloud (37 seconds)
pCloud VS Dropbox: Data Security
Both pCloud and Dropbox will protect your files during file transfer to their servers. However, that’s where it stops for Dropbox. And while Dropbox terms highlight that they have strict policies to police their employees, the fact remains that your files can be accessed by them.
However, pCloud gets rid of that option with pCloud Crypto. With that added security measure, the encryption is performed manually on your device so that not even pCloud can access the data you store in your account unless you give them the key.
pCloud VS Dropbox: Affordability and Value For Money
As with anything else, you will definitely be looking for value for money in terms of storage space for that duration.
We did a comparison and found that Dropbox’s Business plan offers $16.58 (inclusive of tax) per month for 1 TB of space while pCloud’s Premium Plus package offers 2 TB storage at $7.99 a month.
That is 2 times the storage amount at half of the price!
And if you go for a lifetime subscription, you will only need to fork out one payment that is the equivalent of 3 and a half years annual subscription. With pCloud you really do save in the long run.
pCloud VS Dropbox: File Tracking
Dropbox provides file history services of up to 120 days while pCloud’s Extended File History allows you up to a year’s worth of tracking history which is better for keeping track of long term projects.
Verdict: do we recommend pCloud?
Definitely! pCloud is currently our #1 preferred storage provider because it supplies whatever a personal or business user needs with top-notch security at an affordable rate.
With a user-friendly interface available on all known digital platforms and up to 2 TB of space and a possible lifetime subscription, you really do get your value for money.
We encourage you to sign up for their free trial and test it our for yourselves.