pCloud is rich in features, has a very good reputation, offers quality tools, secure and interesting prices compared to the competition … Our opinion about pCloud is that it is globally the best best online storage for a majority of users.

But why choose pCloud over its competitors? How do you get the most out of it? The answers are below.

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  • Uncompromising security
  • Service and data hosted in Europe (Switzerland) or the United States as desired
  • Configurable personal encryption
  • Satisfied or your money back for 10 days
  • Free 10GB of space
  • Very economical lifetime plans (one-time payment)


  • PCloud Crypto personal encryption as a paid option
  • Collaboration tools to be improved
Avis pCloud

Online file management

pCloud includes all the classic file synchronization features expected from a cloud storage service.

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

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

The adoption of the WebDAV standard is a significant plus. It ensures compatibility with all external tools that support WebDAV as well. WebDAV is one of the useful features for online storage.

Location of storage servers

With pCloud, you have the choice of where to store 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 do not want their data to leave European soil.

Recycle Bin

pCloud provides a recycle garbage can feature to restore your deleted files.

The length of time your files will be available depends on the type of pCloud plan you use. For a free account, the availability period is 15 days. This increases to 30 days for any paid account.

Versions and file history

pCloud saves successive versions of your files for a fixed period of time. This feature is essential when you store working documents. It allows you to list a history of your files and restore old versions in case 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 plans.

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

pCloud offers a feature called pCloud Drive. It 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 does not take up any space on your hard drive! This is interesting, especially when you have a large online storage space. It is indeed a huge saving of hard disk.

Be careful, you need an Internet connection to make it work. Access to files is also slower than if the files were stored locally on your hard drive.

General interface and ease of use

The pCloud interfaces also offer some search features by file name or folder, and filter by file format.

Platforms and Applications

pCloud for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS

pCloud offers applications for the major 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 complete. All applications are easy to use and intuitive. Specifically, anyone who has used online sync storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud will be comfortable with pCloud as well.

Cloud service security and privacy

In terms of security, pCloud is a serious and comprehensive service. AES 256-bit encryption applies for 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 that the data is retained 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 do not guarantee that no one but you can view your most sensitive data. pCloud offers this in the form of the paid option pCloud Crypto.

pCloud Crypto: encrypting 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. The encrypted data is unreadable once stored, even for the storage provider. In short, it is a real digital safe to which only you have the keys.

For more details, read our article dedicated to the security of online storage.

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

pCloud offers a paying option Crypto that allows you to choose the files to be encrypted.

Principle of pCloud client-side encryption

The principle of this encryption is simple but 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 the pCloud servers is an encrypted and unreadable version. You are the sole owner of your decryption key (called Crypto Pass). It is not known to pCloud at any time. Thus, even pCloud has no possibility to access your data in a readable form.

On the other hand, it is your responsibility to keep the Crypto Pass, because if it is lost, your data will be lost. Not even pCloud could do anything for you.

It is a pity that the pCloud Crypto option has to be paid for, but it offers the user a great deal of freedom that is quite rare. In particular, it allows you to choose which files should be encrypted via the option or not

Thus, less sensitive files that you did not want to include in pCloud Crypto retain all the advantages of a less “private” service that requires the data to be readable on the server: files can be previewed online, archived, etc.

PCloud Crypto pricing

PCloud Crypto prices are as follows:

  • 4,99€ for a monthly payment.
  • 47,88€ for a yearly payment (20% savings compared to monthly payment).
  • 125 for a lifetime payment (that is, a little over 2 years of use in monthly payments, or a little over 2.5 years in annual payments).
  • A free 14-day trial period to test the service.

Our opinion on pCloud Crypto

The pCloud Crypto option is interesting because it allows you to take advantage of the benefits of private encryption without suffering from its drawbacks.

Indeed, private encryption, with pCloud as with other services, limits some very practical features (such as previewing or searching for files).

pCloud with its Crypto option makes it very easy to select the files that will be encrypted (by placing them in the dedicated folder). This way, the rest of the files enjoy all the comfort of using a service without private encryption, while your most sensitive files will remain confidential.

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. Otherwise, it’s best to opt for annual billing to reduce the price by 20%.

Online file sharing and collaboration

Share documents on pCloud

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

  • Sharing a folder. You can give access to a folder in your pCloud space, choosing whether recipients can only view or also edit the files.
  • Link to a file. For a given file, you can generate a link to that file that will allow recipients to download the desired file. This feature also provides the number of downloads of your data. For companies, it is possible to customize the upload 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 feature is very useful when someone needs to send you large files.

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

pCloud for collaborative work on the cloud

Collaboration features are not the strong point of pCloud. If collaborative aspects are your main motivation for using a cloud storage system, pCloud will not be ideal.

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

Multimedia content in pCloud

The features related to multimedia content are appreciable. Whether it’s photos, videos or audio files, the pCloud applications contain a media player that allows you to preview and play these documents. This is also the case for the online storage site, which can be accessed from a web browser.

Offers and prices of pCloud storage

When it comes to its prices, pCloud is positioned very well among the competition. The service offers reasonable rates compared to the competition, especially compared to its more well-known rivals such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

It is also the only cloud storage to offer plans for life. With these plans, you make a one-time payment to use pCloud services for life. The current rates for these plans are advantageous, since 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.

Plus, there’s a 10-day refund period if you’re not satisfied. It is therefore easy to test the pCloud storage space against your real needs.

We regret that the zero-knowledge encryption offered by pCloud is a paying option. But it leaves a lot of control to the user. Indeed, you choose which files will be encrypted by placing them in a dedicated folder.

Free cloud – a generous and not very limited offer

The free offer provides a generous 10 GB of space and allows you to get an idea of the service offered before committing to an annual or lifetime plan.

The free package does not suffer from any particular limitations, apart from the accessibility times of files in the recycle garbage can or old versions of files. These are reduced from 30 days for the paid packages to 15 days for the free package.

The password and expiration date features on the sharing links are exclusive to the paid offers

Premium – cheap cloud storage

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

Monthly billing: at €4.99 per month, that’s about 100 GB per euro invested. That’s more than 30% more than the closest offers from Google Drive and Mega (200 GB at €2.99/month).

Annual billing: at €47.88 per year, this is a 20% saving compared to monthly billing over a year.

Lifetime billing. At €175 for a one-time payment that entitles you to pCloud features for life, this is clearly the most interesting plan over the long term. A quick calculation shows that this plan pays for itself in just under 3 years of monthly billing, or just over 3.5 years of annual billing.

Premium Plus – cheap 2TB online plan

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

Monthly billing: at €9.99 per month, it comes to about 200 GB per euro invested (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 €95.88 per year, this is a 20% saving compared to monthly billing over a year.

Lifetime billing. At €350 for a purchase that entitles you to pCloud services for life. As with the Premium offer , this purchase pays for itself in just under 3 years of monthly payments, or just over 3.5 years of annual payments.

pCloud Lifetime: what about online storage for life?

We talked about it above: pCloud has the originality to offer a choice of 500GB or 2TB lifetime cloud storage.

These are worth looking into because they change the way we think about online storage and payment.

We are used to thinking of online storage as a temporary service, which is rented for a limited time. Thus, subscription (monthly or yearly) seems 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-time purchase that makes 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% off promotion, the pCloud Lifetime offer currently costs €175 for 500 GB, or €350 for 2 TB.

We have already done the calculations in an article dedicated to pCloud Lifetime. Here are the results.

The pCloud Lifetime offers pay for themselves in less than 3 or 4 years (depending on whether you compare it to a person who would take out a monthly or yearly subscription).

For example, after 3 years of using the lifetime storage space, you will have paid less than for the same online storage space at the monthly 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, as cloud storage is a service that will certainly still be relevant in 5 or 10 years. The spaces offered (500GB or 2TB) are large enough that they won’t fall into disuse before the purchase is amortized.

In short, it is very likely that the price paid for one of these offers will turn into a non-negligible saving after a few years.

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

pCloud for the family – sharing storage space with the family

pCloud offers another original formula: a cloud space dedicated to families. This is based on the Premium Plus offer (2TB of space), which is only available as a lifetime offer for a value of €500 (lifetime use for a single payment).

By subscribing to this offer, up to 5 users can share the storage space, with the following features

  • you control the distribution of the storage space among your family members,
  • each member has his own private space (not accessible by others).

We regret that this offer is only available through a lifetime purchase, and not through a classic monthly or annual billing. This could discourage potential customers. The possibility of a refund within 10 days in case of dissatisfaction is therefore salutary.

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

For more information, you can read our test of pCloud Family.

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

Review of pCloud prices

The sizes of the storage spaces offered by pCloud are not very varied (10 GB for a free account, 500 GB or 2 TB for paid accounts). However, they are fairly representative of users’ needs

pCloud stands out for several very positive points:

  • Variety of available billing: monthly, annual, or lifetime (an advantage of pCloud over its competitors).
  • A family-friendly offer that could fit perfectly with your needs if you want to share and manage online storage space with others.

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

If you need the option, feel free to test the service for free for 14 days, then buy the lifetime option if you can. Otherwise, it’s best to take the annual billing to reduce the price.

View pCloud prices

pCloud and its competitors

pCloud vs Dropbox

Dropbox is another serious competitor of pCloud for online storage. It is still one of the most popular options today, as it was the one that democratized cloud storage in its time. Both services have a good reputation among the general public, although Dropbox is more well-known.

Today, however, pCloud seems to us to be well ahead of pCloud, both in terms of features 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 in the current online storage market.
  • The pCloud Crypto option, which although paid for, allows you to keep certain files completely confidential. Dropbox does not have a private encryption option like pCloud Crypto.
  • The free online storage of pCloud (up to 15 GB) outperforms Dropbox (only 2 GB).

The advantages of Dropbox

  • Due to its older popularity, Dropbox benefits from better integration with some 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 more complete features, and in particular the private encryption offered by pCloud Crypto that will let you keep certain files in a completely protected way (even pCloud won’t be able to read these files).

The lifetime offerings of pCloud also make it a great deal that even Dropbox can’t match: a one-time payment to access 500GB or 2TB 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 that of pCloud vs Dropbox, since Google Drive has the same problems as Dropbox. Indeed, we will note the lack of data confidentiality on Google Drive (all your files can be read or scanned by Google), while pCloud offers the Crypto option for this precise need. It is also regrettable that only pCloud offers lifetime cloud storage, which is extremely easy to pay for and avoids having to pay an additional subscription every month or year.

Google Drive, on the other hand, has the advantage of being integrated into the huge Google ecosystem (Google Docs, Google Photos, etc.). In terms of free online storage, both services are equal, with up to 15 GB of free space.

The advantages of pCloud

  • The pCloud Lifetime offers(full review of pCloud Lifetime) are simply unbeatable in terms of savings in the current online storage market.
  • The pCloud Crypto option, which although paid for, allows you to keep certain files completely confidential. Dropbox does not have a private encryption option like pCloud Crypto.

The advantages of Google Drive

  • Integration with the Google ecosystem.

pCloud or Google Drive: the conclusion

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

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

pCloud vs Sync.com

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

Advantages of pCloud

Advantages of Sync.com

  • Sync.com is cheaper on annual subscriptions, but does not have a lifetime online storage offer like pCloud.
  • Private encryption is included in the subscription, where pCloud offers it as a paid option.

pCloud or Sync.com: our opinion

If you are looking for ease of use or if you want a long term offer, then pCloud is the first choice, especially with its lifetime offer that will save you a lot of money in the long run (see our full review on pCloud Lifetime for a detailed savings).

You’d rather choose Sync.com if you want a yearly subscription and not a lifetime one, and especially if you need total privacy for your data. Indeed, Sync.com offers private encryption by default and on all your files, to ensure that only you can read their content. pCloud offers a paid option (pCloud Crypto) for a selection of your files.

Our opinion on pCloud

Despite the presence of behemoths like Google or 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. The Swiss company’s online storage service excels in all evaluation criteria and offers an unparalleled compromise, with a few good, original ideas(lifetime offers, space for the family and selective private encryption).

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

We also appreciate the low prices and the original possibility of making a payment for a 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 companies.

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

As for the price, pCloud is certainly the cheapest cloud service on average. For those who want to save money, the lifetime plan offer is the most interesting on the market since it can pay for itself in only 3 years.

To conclude, our opinion on pCloud is that it is a safe and viable long-term choice for experts and novices alike.

Logo de pCloud


  • Uncompromising security
  • Service and data hosted in Europe (Switzerland) or the United States as desired
  • Configurable personal encryption
  • Satisfied or your money back for 10 days
  • Free 10GB of space
  • Very economical lifetime plans (one-time payment)


  • PCloud Crypto personal encryption as a paid option
  • Collaboration tools to improve

Discover pCloud

Try pCloud with 15 GB free