pCloud is currently the best online storage available on the market. In particular, the quality of its functionalities and its low prices earned it this 1st place. But pCloud also has an originality: lifetime plans. It’s all about making a one-time payment to take advantage of a lifetime of online storage space. This is unusual for a market that usually offers monthly or annual subscriptions.
In addition to the originality of this offer, the current promotion prices of 65% make the offer extremely attractive for medium and long-term savings.
- The current promotion (-65%) makes the purchase profitable in 3 or 4 years maximum.
- A unique offer on the online storage market
- The services and reputation of the pCloud are globally excellent, it is likely that pCloud will remain for a long time
More details on pCloud website
These plans deserve an in-depth analysis to understand their interest, so let’s go!
What is the pCloud Lifetime plan?
pCloud defines a lifetime subscription (or Lifetime pCloud plan) as being valid for the lifetime of its user, with a maximum limit of 99 years.
The offer is unique and not limited
pCloud is the first cloud storage to provide such an offering, so it’s quite revolutionary. In addition, there are no limitations on the use of the service. The set of features is exactly the same as if you take a temporary subscription (monthly or yearly).
Most other providers only allow monthly or yearly rentals of storage space.
What pCloud offers is therefore close to a real purchase. You buy an online storage space that you can use as you wish, with no time limit, and without having to take out your wallet regularly.
What is the advantage of a lifetime purchase?
A one-time payment for access to a lifetime storage space changes the way people think about online storage.
Buying a hard drive in the cloud
The purchase of a lifetime plan is comparable to the purchase of an external hard drive. Indeed, who would want to pay a sum every month or every year to be able to continue to use their hard drive?
The lifetime pCloud offering offers the same at the cloud level. The principle is to cumulate the advantages of a physical hard disk and those of a storage space in the cloud:
- a “hard drive” in the cloud can’t be broken or stolen,
- it can be consulted at any time from any device with an Internet connection,
- it allows you to easily share files with other people,
- In the case of pCloud, it also allows you to take advantage of a trash can and a history of each file to go back in case of error.
The main advantage is economic
From a financial point of view, the difference is colossal compared to traditional online storage services charged by the month or the year. As detailed below, the upfront payment pays for itself very quickly.
The cheapest online storage? Lifetime cloud pricing analysis
The idea of buying online storage that can be used for years is interesting, but is it cost-effective?
The answer to this question obviously depends on the rates applied by pCloud. So let’s analyze these prices to find out how long it takes for the pCloud’s Lifetime offer to pay for itself.
This is of course a long-term investment, but it is surprising how quickly it pays for itself.
There are two Lifetime offers at pCloud, which differ depending on the amount of storage. The first has 500GB of lifetime storage, while the second has 2TB (2000GB).
Current promotional rates
Currently and due to a 65% permanent promotion, the purchase of 500 GB for life is available at a price of €175, while the 2 TB space costs €350.
Payback in 3 to 4 years
It’s expensive at first glance: paying more than a hundred euros for cloud storage is not in the habit of the average online storage customer. However, pCloud has made the choice to make this purchase quick to pay for itself, no doubt to attract more customers. How long does it take for the lifetime purchase to pay for itself?
One might expect that a long period (5 years? 10 years?) of use would be required to make such a purchase profitable, but it is in fact much less time consuming.
Profitable offers in less than 3 years at monthly rates
The calculation is simple: a lifetime purchase of online storage (€175 for 500 GB or €350 for 2 TB) costs the same as about 35 months at the monthly rate (€4.99 per month for 500 GB and €9.99 per month for 2 TB).
The lifetime offer therefore pays for itself in 2 years and 11 months, i.e. a little less than 3 years of use compared to monthly rates! The situation is the same for the two available storage spaces: 500 GB or 2 TB.
In fact, pCloud’s monthly and annual rates are already among the lowest in the market. The price of lifetime plans is therefore also interesting when compared to all online storage providers on the market.
Profitable offers in less than 4 years at annual rates
Annual rates for storage space at pCloud are 20% cheaper than monthly rates. So what is the impact on the length of time it takes to “pay back” one’s purchase of online storage for life?
Let’s do the math: it takes about 3 years and 8 months for the lifetime purchase to be repaid. In other words, 4 years in annual payments cost more than a lifetime purchase of the same storage space.
Again, these times are the same for the 500GB and 2TB space.
We have calculated the precise savings for the 500GB and 2TB offers in the tables below. The savings are calculated in relation to the annual subscription (the savings are even greater in relation to the monthly subscription).
Lifetime savings with 500 GB of storage
|Years||Cost of the 500 GB annual subscription||Economy with lifetime storage|
|4||191,52 €||41,52 €|
|8||383,04 €||233,04 €|
|10||478,80 €||328,80 €|
|15||718,20 €||568,20 €|
It takes 4 years to fully amortize the purchase of online storage and make an initial saving of more than 40 €.
But once this period is over, every year the economy climbs enormously. Indeed, you use the space “for free”, whereas the subscription requires you to pay again each year. For example, after 8 years of use, the savings are more than €233 compared to the annual subscription over the same period.
Lifetime savings of 2 TB of space
|Years||Cost of the subscription 2TB annual||Economy with lifetime storage|
|4||383,52 €||33,52 €|
|8||767,04 €||417,04 €|
|10||958,80 €||608,80 €|
|15||1438,20 €||1088,20 €|
As with the 500GB space, the purchase of a 2TB online space makes its first savings after 4 years of use. From then on, the savings increase even faster, with more than 400 € of savings after 8 years, and more than 1000 € after 15 years!
The best quality/price ratio on the market
We can therefore see that pCloud made the choice with this promotion to attract potential customers with a more than attractive offer. These lifetime offers undoubtedly make pCloud the cheapest cloud storage on the market in the medium and long term.
The time needed to make the purchase of storage space at pCloud profitable is therefore short. Certainly, a 2TB storage space will still be relevant in 3 or 4 years, when its purchase will be profitable.
Be careful however, the current rates are the consequence of a 65% promotion for which the end date is unknown. Without this promotion, the time needed to make the purchase profitable is 8 or 10 years! More details are given below.
Overall, pCloud services are very good (pCloud is at the top of our overall ranking of best online storage).
The investment is therefore more than interesting for those looking for a good cloud storage service for the long term.
Why is it so easy to make money from the pCloud Lifetime plans?
Realizing how little time it takes to make a lifetime plan profitable at pCloud, I wondered why this type of offer existed and how it could benefit pCloud.
A temporary promotion
First of all, it should be noted that the current rates for lifetime pCloud plans are a temporary promotion. This is a 65% discount from the initial price.
The current rates are therefore €175 instead of €480 for a 500GB lifetime plan, and €350 instead of €980 for 2TB of storage (see screenshot below).
Needless to say, the length of time it takes to become profitable will explode when the promotion is over. Without the promotion, between 8 and 10 years will be needed to make the purchase profitable. This completely changes the interest in these plans for life.
The problem is that the end date of this promotion has not been communicated. It is likely that pCloud reserves the right to stop the promotion at any time if the company believes that it has attracted enough customers.
If you are interested in investing in storage space for the long term, it is therefore advisable to do so quickly.
Objective of these offers: to promote pCloud
It is clear that the lifetime offer as well as the 65% price reduction is for promotional purposes. Although being a solid and reputable service, pCloud appeared later than its most famous competitors (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).
It has been difficult for the company to carve out a place for itself in the highly competitive cloud storage market. That’s why low cost, lifetime offers are clearly a way to get the word out about the pCloud and attract customers who will be able to recommend the pCloud to others.
Today, pCloud has more than 9 million users and has therefore succeeded in its bet.
Lifetime storage as an original gift
One of the interesting consequences of these lifetime cloud storage offers is that they become an original gift idea.
Offering online storage space does not come to mind for most people looking for a gift idea. One of the reasons for this is that they are subscriptions. What’s the point of offering a gift that needs to be renewed after a few months or a year?
The arrival of the Lifetime pCloud offering for online storage changes the game. It becomes possible to make a single payment and make it a real gift!
For whom is such a gift suitable?
Unlimited storage space can be useful for many categories of people in reality. Anyone who possesses personal data and is likely to need it regularly will find such a practical gift.
Such storage space is quite simply the promise of accessing your files from anywhere, from any computer, iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.
It may well be an ideal gift for a teenager or young adult, for example, who could then access his or her music, photos, films or other files from anywhere at any time.
A friend or family member who navigates between computer, tablet and smartphone, or who is afraid of losing data, or would like to share files on a regular basis is likely to be equally receptive to a lifetime of accessible storage.
Which online storage space to choose: 500 GB or 2 TB?
If you’re convinced of the value of buying online storage with a single payment, you still need to decide which quantity is the most suitable? 500 GB or 2 TB?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends primarily on how you use it.
Having said that, let’s list some information that may be useful.
On LeCloud.info, we consider these two storage spaces to be in different usage categories called “light storage” and “hard disk storage”.
500 GB: “light” online storage
A user with 500 GB of online storage space will typically use it to synchronize only a portion of their data online.
The aim is therefore not to save all personal data in the cloud. It is rather to manage a set of files that are likely to be used on several devices (computer, mobile phone, tablet).
The fact that the size of the files that can be synchronized on pCloud is unlimited will make this task convenient. You will be able to enjoy your largest files (HD videos for example) without any problem.
For such use, 500 GB is sufficient and you will have time before you have to clean up to save space.
2Tb: online storage of the “hard disk” type
With 2 TB (or 2000 GB) of space on the cloud, we fall into the category of “hard disk” type space. The purpose of such a space is often to replace a physical hard drive to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud. Notably, the peace of mind offered by a storage medium that will not be broken down or stolen as can be the case with a physical hard drive.
Such storage space is large enough to give the user the luxury of being able to synchronize all their important data, without worrying about freeing up space on a regular basis.
Be careful, synchronizing 2 TB of data in the cloud is a very long task, usually longer than copying the same files to a new hard drive. But once this is done, access to the data becomes much more convenient and reliable as you enjoy all the benefits of cloud storage.
Will such storage space still be useful in a few years?
As we saw above, the purchase of a lifetime plan pays for itself quickly, in about 3 years (or 4 if compared to the annual plan).
However, such a purchase is aimed at the long term, so the question arises as to how long such storage space will remain useful.
Despite the evolution of storage space, I personally have no doubt that a 500 GB storage space will still be useful in 5 years time, when the purchase has long since paid for itself. Having said that, it is logical that a 2TB space will remain useful for longer. If you are aiming for the very long term, 2TB is of course the best option.
Upgrading from 500GB to 2TB is not a good idea.
I think it’s important information to give here. The rules of pCloud are very clear, there is no advantage to go from a 500 GB space for life to a 2 TB space for life:
- If you have purchased a 500 GB space and wish to convert it into a 2 TB space, then you will pay the full price of the 2 TB (€350). The price already paid for the 500 GB will not be deducted from the invoice.
- Storage space does not accumulate: you’ll end up with 2 TB of data, not 2.5 TB.
We deplore this policy, as it forces the potential customer to choose his offer carefully from the outset. Buying a 500GB plan and then upgrading to 2TB is like losing what you paid for the first 500GB plan.
This regrettable choice is partly offset by pCloud’s refund policy: once your payment is made, you will have 10 days to make a refund request.
If your goal when purchasing lifetime cloud storage is to share it with your family, you might be interested in the pCloud Family plan.
This family package has the following features:
- 2 TB of disk space
- 500 € for a lifetime purchase (only exists in the form of a lifetime plan)
- The total space of 2 TB can be shared with other family members (maximum 4).
- Each member of the family has their own private storage space (other members cannot access their data).
- As the account holder, you manage the list of family members, as well as the storage quantity of each one.
- An existing Lifetime Plan (500GB or 2TB) cannot be converted to a Family Plan.
Our opinion – Who are lifetime plans for?
Lifetime pCloud packages are probably the most attractive offers on the market. The current promotion makes investment easy. The risk taken is very low, with only 3 or 4 years to make the purchase profitable.
As pCloud is our favourite online storage, we have no doubt that it will be suitable for the largest number of people in a private or professional setting.
It can also be an interesting gift because once the purchase is made, it is a gift that the beneficiary will enjoy for life, at no extra cost.
- The current promotion (-65%) makes the purchase profitable in 3 or 4 years maximum.
- A unique offer on the online storage market
- The pCloud services are excellent overall, so the investment is reliable.