pCloud is rich in features, has a very good reputation, offers quality tools, is secure and competitively priced… Our verdict on pCloud is that, overall, it’s the best online storage solution for a majority of users.

But why choose pCloud over the competition? And how can you make the most of it? The answers are below.

Discover pCloud

Try pCloud with 15 GB free

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  • Uncompromising security
  • Service and data hosted in your choice of Europe (Switzerland) or USA
  • Configurable personal encryption
  • 10-day money-back guarantee
  • Various storage capacities: 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB
  • 10 GB free space
  • Cost-effective lifetime packages (one-off payment)


  • PCloud Crypto personal encryption available at extra cost
  • Collaboration tools to be improved
Avis pCloud

Online file management

pCloud includes all the classic file synchronization features you’d expect from a cloud storage service.

Unlike other services, pCloud has no limits on the size of stored files. So it’s perfectly possible to synchronize your collection of multimedia files (HD movies, for example).

Other useful features, such as a recycle garbage can and file version history, are integrated into all accounts.

The adoption of the WebDAV standard is a major plus. It ensures compatibility with all external tools that also support WebDAV. WebDAV is a useful feature for online storage.

Location of storage servers

With pCloud, you can choose the location of the data servers to which you entrust your data.

You can choose to store your files in the European Union (Luxembourg) or the United States. This choice is made when you create your pCloud account.

This is a huge advantage, especially for European companies or individuals who don’t want their data to leave European soil.

Recycle garbage can

pCloud includes a Recycle Bin feature to restore your deleted files.

The length of time your files are available depends on the type of pCloud package you use. For a free account, the availability period is 15 days. This increases to 30 days for all paid accounts.

Versions and file history

pCloud saves successive versions of your files for a fixed period of time. This feature is essential when storing work documents. It allows you to list a history of your files and restore old versions in the event of a problem or data corruption.

Similar to the Recycle Bin, versions are kept for 15 days for free accounts, and 30 days for paid packages.

pCloud Drive: a virtual disk that doesn’t take up space on your hard drive

pCloud offers a feature called pCloud Drive. This is a virtual folder on your computer.

With such a virtual folder, your files are accessible without being stored on your computer. Data is downloaded on the fly from the cloud when needed.

The huge advantage of this type of virtual folder is that it doesn’t take up any space on your hard disk! This is particularly interesting when you have a large online storage space. In fact, it saves you an enormous amount of hard disk space.

However, you’ll need an Internet connection to make it work. File access is also slower than if files were stored locally on your hard disk.

General interface and ease of use

PCloud interfaces also offer a number of search functions by file name or folder, and a filter by file format.

Platforms and applications

pCloud for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS

pCloud offers applications for the main platforms of Windows, MacOS and Linux for computers, and Android and iOS for mobile devices. The effort made to develop a Linux-specific application will no doubt be appreciated by the users concerned.

The browser-based web application is elegant and comprehensive. All applications are easy to use and intuitive. In concrete terms, anyone who has already used online synchronized storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud will be at ease with pCloud too.

Cloud service security and privacy

In terms of security, pCloud is a serious and comprehensive service. 256-bit AES encryption applies to data transfer and storage.

To avoid data loss due to hardware problems, data is always stored in 5 copies, in at least three different centers. The aim is to ensure data retention even if a data center is destroyed.

As explained in our article on the security of online storage services, these measures are essential, but they don’t guarantee that anyone but you can view your most sensitive data. pCloud offers this in the form of the paid option pCloud Crypto.

pCloud Crypto: encrypt your data in the cloud

To ensure that no one (e.g. pCloud employees or the authorities) other than you can read your data, the principle of private encryption is essential. This involves encrypting your data on your device, before sending it to the storage servers. The decryption key remains in your possession only. Data encrypted in this way is unreadable once stored, even by the storage provider. In short, it’s a digital safe to which you alone hold the keys.

For more details, read our article on online storage security.

This principle is not offered by most of pCloud’s most frequent competitors (notably Dropbox, Google, Apple, etc.). Yet it is incredibly important for anyone wishing to keep data absolutely private (confidential documents, access codes).

pCloud offers a paying option Crypto which lets you choose which files to encrypt.

PCloud client-side encryption principle

The encryption principle is simple yet prodigiously effective. All sensitive files are encrypted on your computer. This is called private encryption or client-side encryption. The version sent and stored on pCloud servers is encrypted and unreadable. You are the sole owner of your decryption key (called Crypto Pass). It is never known to pCloud. So even pCloud has no way of accessing your data in readable form.

On the other hand, you are responsible for keeping the Crypto Pass, because if you lose it, your data will be lost. Not even pCloud could do anything for you.

It’s a pity that the pCloud Crypto option has to be paid for, but it offers the user a rare degree of freedom. In particular, it lets you choose which files should be encrypted via the option or not.

In this way, less sensitive files that you didn’t want to include in pCloud Crypto retain all the advantages of a less “private” service that requires data to be readable on the server: files can be previewed online, archived, etc.

PCloud Crypto pricing

PCloud Crypto is priced as follows:

  • 4.99 for monthly payments.
  • 49.99€ for annual payment (17% savings over monthly payment).
  • 150€ for a lifetime payment (i.e. around 2.5 years of use with monthly payments, or 3 years with annual payments).
  • A free 14-day trial period to test the service.

Our opinion of pCloud Crypto

The pCloud Crypto option is interesting because it lets you enjoy the benefits of private encryption without suffering any of its drawbacks.

Indeed, private encryption, with pCloud as with other services, limits certain practical functions (such as file preview or search).

with pCloud’s Crypto option, you can easily select the files to be encrypted (by placing them in the dedicated folder). In this way, the rest of your files enjoy all the convenience of a service without private encryption, while your most sensitive files remain confidential.

If you need this option, don’t hesitate to test the service for free for 14 days, then purchase the lifetime option if you can.

Online file sharing and collaboration

Document sharing on pCloud

pCloud offers a wide range of possibilities for sharing your files online with other people (not necessarily pCloud customers).

  • Folder sharing. You can grant access to a folder in your pCloud space, choosing whether recipients can only view or also edit files.
  • Link to a file. For a given file, you can generate a link to that file, enabling recipients to download the desired file. This feature also provides the number of downloads of your data. For companies, it’s possible to customize the download page to suit your needs: colors, image, title and description.
  • Upload link. You can send an upload link to one or more recipients, who can then upload and add files directly to your pCloud storage space. This is particularly useful when someone needs to send you large files.

Note that pCloud also offers a family storage package (with 2TB of space to be shared between up to 5 people). This offer is described in more detail in the Prices and offers section.

pCloud for collaborative working in the cloud

Collaboration features are not pCloud’s strong point. If collaborative aspects are your main motivation for using a cloud storage system, pCloud won’t be ideal.

In this case, we recommend that you take out a free Google Drive account to complement your pCloud space. Indeed, Google Drive, while problematic for its privacy issues, is hard to beat when it comes to collaborative working.

Multimedia content in pCloud

PCloud’s multimedia content functionalities are highly appreciated. Whether it’s photos, videos or audio files, pCloud applications include a media player that lets you preview and play these documents. The same applies to the online storage site, which can be accessed via a web browser.

PCloud storage offers and prices

When it comes to pricing, pCloud is well positioned among the competition. The service offers reasonable rates compared to the competition, particularly in relation to its better-known rivals such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

In fact, it’s the only cloud storage service to offer lifetime plans . With these plans, you make a single payment to use pCloud services for life. The current rates for these plans are attractive, as they pay for themselves quickly (between 3 and 4 years, depending on the plan, for lifetime use).

If you’ve tested pCloud’s services and know they meet your needs, this is a welcome opportunity for long-term savings.

What’s more, a 10-day refund period is offered in the event of dissatisfaction. So it’s easy to test pCloud’s storage space against your real needs.

We regret that the zero-knowledge encryption offered by pCloud is a pay-as-you-go option. But it leaves a great deal of control to the user. In fact, you choose which files are encrypted by placing them in a dedicated folder.

Free cloud – a generous offer with few limitations

The free offer provides a generous 10 GB of space, allowing you to get an idea of the service on offer before committing to an annual or lifetime package.

There are no particular limitations to the free package, apart from the length of time it takes to access files in the recycle garbage can or old versions of files. These are reduced from 30 days for paid packages to 15 days for the free package.

The password and expiry date features on sharing links are exclusive to the paid packages.

Premium – inexpensive cloud storage

The Premium package provides 500 GB of data, with a choice of monthly, annual or lifetime billing.

Monthly billing: at €4.99 per month, this works out at around 100 GB per euro invested. That’s over 30% more than the nearest offers from Google Drive and Mega (200 GB at €2.99/month).

Annual billing: at €49.99 per year, this represents a saving of 17% compared with monthly billing over a year.

Lifetime billing. At €200 for a one-off payment that entitles you to pCloud features for life, this is clearly the most attractive plan over the long term. A quick calculation shows that this plan pays for itself in 4 years compared to an annual subscription.

Premium Plus – a low-cost 2TB online plan

The Premium Plus plan provides 2TB (2000GB) of data, with a choice of monthly, annual or lifetime billing.

Monthly billing: at €9.99 per month, it comes to around 200 GB per euro invested (i.e. twice as much as the Premium offer). This is half the price of Dropbox or Mega for the same space, for example.

Annual billing: at €99.99 per year, this represents a saving of 17% compared with monthly billing over a year.

Lifetime billing. At €400 for a purchase that entitles you to pCloud services for life. As with the Premium offer, this purchase pays for itself in 4 years compared with an annual subscription.

Custom Plan – 10 TB for life

Another offer, called Custom Plan, for 10TB (i.e. 10,000GB) is also available with pCloud. Unlike the previous 500 GB and 2 TB offers, this one is only available as a lifetime offer, with no monthly or annual subscription. This means you’ll have to pay a substantial sum to access it, but with the promise of expectional profitability over the long term.

Lifetime billing. 1200 € for a purchase that entitles you to pCloud services for life, with 10 TB of space. Please note that the price of €1200 is an 80% discount on the actual price of €6000.

pCloud Lifetime: what about online storage for life?

As we mentioned earlier, pCloud is unique in that it offers a choice of 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB lifetime cloud storage.

These are worth investigating, as they change the way we think about online storage and payment.

We’re used to thinking of online storage as a temporary service, rented for a limited time. As such, subscriptions (monthly or annual) seem to be the most natural form of payment.

pCloud reverses this by allowing you topurchase online storage space. This is no longer a rental, but a one-off purchase, making thestorage space usable for life.

Is it profitable?

The question of profitability arises: how long does it take to amortize the purchase of a pCloud Lifetime online storage space?

As a reminder, thanks to the current -65% promotion, the pCloud Lifetime offer currently costs €200 for 500 GB, or €400 for 2 TB. As for the 10TB space, it’s on an 80% discount for a current price of €1,200.

We have calculated the amortization in our article dedicated to pCloud Lifetime. Here are the results.

PCloud Lifetime offers pay for themselves in 4 years (compared with a person taking out an annual subscription).

For example, after 4 years’ use of the lifetime storage space, you will have paid as much as you would for the same online storage space at the annual rate. After 6 years, the storage space will have cost half as much as with a monthly subscription.

The payback period is therefore very short, given that cloud storage is a service that will certainly still be relevant in 5 or 10 years’ time. The spaces on offer (500 GB, but more particularly 2 TB and 10 TB) are large enough not to become useless before the purchase has paid for itself.

In short, it’s clear that the price paid for one of these offers will turn into a very substantial saving after a few years.

What about the 10 TB plan?

The profitability of the 10 TB plan is more difficult to calculate, since it is not available with a monthly or annual subscription. On the other hand, it is possible to see that it costs very little in terms of the price invested per TB. In fact, this offer costs €120 per TB, whereas the 2 TB plan for €400 costs €200 per TB. The cost per terabyte is therefore 40% lower for the 10-TB plan.

For a closer look at these offers, see our article dedicated to pCloud lifetime storage.

pCloud for the family – family storage sharing

pCloud offers another original formula: a cloud space dedicated to families. This corresponds to a choice of 2TB or 10TB of storage space, accessible only as a lifetime offer worth €600 for 2TB or €1,500 for 10TB (lifetime use for a one-off payment).

With this offer, up to 5 users can share storage space, with the following features :

  • you control the distribution of storage space between family members,
  • each member has his or her own private space (not accessible to others).

We regret that this offer is only available via a lifetime purchase, and not via conventional monthly or annual billing. This could put off potential customers. The possibility of a 10-day refund in the event of dissatisfaction is therefore welcome.

Please note that there is no way to convert an existing lifetime plan(Premium, Premium Plus or Custom) into a family plan.

For more information, please see our full test of pCloud Family.

For Christmas 2021, pCloud is offering a huge promotion for its family shareable storage.

PCloud pricing review

The storage space sizes offered by pCloud are varied (10 GB for a free account, 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB for paid accounts). They are also representative of users’ needs.

pCloud has a number of very positive features:

  • Variety of billings available: monthly, annual, or lifetime (a huge advantage of pCloud all its competitors except Icedrive, which also offers lifetime plans).
  • A family-friendly offer that could fit your needs perfectly if you want to share and manage an online storage space with other people (up to 5 users in total).

The only shadow in pCloud’s pricing policy is that the Crypto option is not free. Fortunately, the rest of the rates are very low to balance the bill.

If you need this option, don’t hesitate to test the service for free for 14 days, then buy the lifetime option if you can.

View pCloud rates

pCloud and its competitors

pCloud vs Dropbox

Dropbox is another serious competitor to pCloud for online storage. It’s still one of the most popular options, having democratized cloud storage in its day. Both services enjoy a good reputation with the general public, although Dropbox is better known.

Today, however, we feel that pCloud is well ahead of Dropbox, both in terms of functionality and price.

The advantages of pCloud

  • Much lower prices than Dropbox.
  • PCloud’s lifetime offers(full review of pCloud Lifetime) are simply unbeatable in terms of savings on today’s online storage market.
  • The pCloud Crypto option, although not free of charge, allows you to keep certain files completely confidential. Dropbox has no private encryption option like pCloud Crypto.
  • PCloud’s free online storage (up to 15 GB) outperforms Dropbox’s (just 2 GB).

Dropbox’s advantages

  • Thanks to its older popularity, Dropbox benefits from better integration with certain external tools (Microsoft Office, for example).
  • The speed of file transfers on Dropbox.

pCloud or Dropbox: the conclusion

In our opinion, for most people, pCloud is the winner of this duel. With its more comprehensive features, and in particular the private encryption offered by pCloud Crypto, it lets you keep certain files completely protected (even pCloud won’t be able to read these files).

PCloud’s lifetime offers also make it a choice offering that even Dropbox can’t match: a one-off payment to access 500GB, 2TB or 10TB of space for life is hard to beat.

pCloud vs Google Drive

How does pCloud stack up against Google Drive, the web giant that has taken on cloud storage?

The comparison is similar to pCloud vs Dropbox, since Google Drive has the same problems as Dropbox. Google Drive lacks data confidentiality (all your files can be read or scanned by Google), whereas pCloud offers a Crypto option for this very purpose. It is also regrettable that only pCloud offers lifetime cloud storage, which is extremely easy to make profitable and avoids the need for an additional monthly or annual subscription.

Google Drive’s advantage, on the other hand, lies in its integration into the huge Google ecosystem (Google Docs, Google Photos, etc.). In terms of free online storage, the two services are on a par, with free space of up to 15 GB.

The advantages of pCloud

  • PCloud’s lifetime offers(full review of pCloud Lifetime) are simply unbeatable in terms of savings on today’s online storage market.
  • The pCloud Crypto option, although not free, allows you to keep certain files completely confidential. Dropbox has no private encryption option like pCloud Crypto.

The advantages of Google Drive

  • Integration into the Google ecosystem.

pCloud or Google Drive: the conclusion

overall, pCloud is a better cloud storage space than pCloud. In particular, the lack of data confidentiality (private encryption) on Google Drive eliminates it for anyone looking to store sensitive files.

However, Google Drive also has strengths that pCloud can’t match, with its integration with the entire Google ecosystem. Fortunately, these features can be fully exploited via Google’s free 15 GB space, and complemented by pCloud’s lifetime paid space to store the bulk of your personal data.

pCloud vs Sync.com

pCloud and Sync.com have both become major players in online storage, but will suit different uses.

Advantages of pCloud

Advantages of Sync.com

  • Sync.com is cheaper on annual subscriptions, but doesn’t offer lifetime online storage like pCloud.
  • Private encryption is included in the subscription, whereas pCloud offers it as a paid option.

pCloud or Sync.com: our opinion

If ease of use is what you’re after, or if you’re looking for a long-term offer, then pCloud is the first choice, especially with its Lifetime offer, which will save you a lot over the long term (see our full review of pCloud Lifetime for details of the savings).

Sync.com, on the other hand, is a better choice if you want an annual subscription rather than a lifetime one, and especially if you need total data confidentiality. Indeed, Sync.com offers private encryption by default and on all your files, to ensure that only you can read their contents. pCloud offers a paid option (pCloud Crypto) for a selection of your files.

Our verdict on pCloud

Despite the presence of behemoths like Google and Dropbox on the online storage market, pCloud has managed to position itself at the head of the pack.

Who is the pCloud storage service for?

pCloud is an ideal solution for most users. Excelling on all evaluation criteria, the Swiss company’s online storage offers an unrivalled compromise, to which are added a few good original ideas(lifetime offers, space for the family or selective private encryption).

The seriousness with which data security is taken is one of the most appreciable aspects.

We also appreciate the low prices and the original possibility of making a payment for lifetime use of the service.

The only weakness in terms of functionality is the lack of collaboration tools. The difficulty for several users to work simultaneously on the same document is not always suitable for group work, especially in corporate environments.

Fortunately, the online file and folder sharing tools are very comprehensive.

As for price, pCloud is certainly one of the least expensive cloud services. For those wishing to save money, the lifetime plan offer is the most attractive on the market, as it can pay for itself in as little as 4 years.

In conclusion, our verdict on pCloud is that it’s a safe and viable long-term choice for experts and novices alike.

Logo de pCloud


  • Uncompromising security
  • Choice of service and data hosted in Europe (Switzerland) or the USA
  • Configurable personal encryption
  • 10-day money-back guarantee
  • Various storage capacities: 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB
  • 10 GB free space
  • Cost-effective lifetime packages (one-off payment)


  • PCloud Crypto personal encryption available at extra cost
  • Collaboration tools to be improved

Discover pCloud

Try pCloud with 15 GB free