pCloud is currently the best online storage available on the market. In particular, the quality of its features and its low prices have earned it this 1st place. But pCloud also has an original feature: lifetime plans. This involves making a one-off payment to take advantage of online storage space for life. This is unusual for a market that usually offers monthly or annual subscriptions.

In addition to the originality of this offer, the current promotion price of 65% makes it extremely attractive for both medium- and long-term savings.

These plans deserve in-depth analysis to understand their appeal, so let’s get to it!

What is lifetime cloud storage according to pCloud?

pCloud defines a lifetime subscription (or pCloud Lifetime plan) as being valid for the lifetime of its user, with a maximum limit of 99 years.

The offer is unique and unlimited

pCloud is the first cloud storage provider to propose such an offer, so it’s quite revolutionary(Icedrive now also offers such deals). What’s more, there are no limitations on the use of the service. The full range of functions is exactly the same as if you were taking out a temporary (monthly or annual) subscription.

Most other providers only allow you to rent storage space by the month or year.

So what pCloud offers is very similar toa real purchase. You buy online storage space that you can use as you see fit, with no time limit, and without having to pull out your wallet on a regular basis.

What’s the advantage of a lifetime purchase?

A one-off payment to access storage space for life changes the way you think about online storage.

Buying a hard disk in the cloud

Buying a lifetime plan is comparable to buying an external hard drive. After all, who wants to pay a monthly or annual fee to keep using their hard drive?

The pCloud lifetime offer does the same thing on a cloud scale. The principle is to combine the advantages of a physical hard disk with those of storage space in the cloud:

  • a “hard disk” in the cloud cannot be broken or stolen,
  • it can be accessed at any time from any device with an Internet connection,
  • it makes it easy to share files with others,
  • in the case of pCloud, it also provides a recycle garbage can and a history of each file, so you can go back if you make a mistake.

The main advantage is economic

From a financial point of view, the difference is colossal compared to traditional online storage services billed by the month or by the year. As detailed below, the initial payment pays for itself very quickly.

The cheapest online storage?
PCloud Lifetime pricing analysis

The idea of buying online storage space that can be used for years is an interesting one, but is it cost-effective?

The answer to this question obviously depends on the prices charged by pCloud. So let’s take a look at these prices to see how long it takes for pCloud’s Lifetime offer to pay for itself, or “pay for itself”.

Of course, this is a long-term investment, but it’s surprising how quickly it pays for itself.

There are three Lifetime offers from pCloud, which differ according to the amount of storage. The first offers 500 GB of storage for life, compared with 2 TB (2000 GB) for the second and 10 TB (10,000 GB) for the last. The 10TB online storage space is only available as a lifetime purchase (no monthly or annual subscription).

Current promotional rates

Currently, due to an open-ended promotion, the 500 GB lifetime purchase is available for €200 instead of €570 (-65%), while the2 TB space costs €400 instead of €1,140 (-65%). The 10TB space is available at €1,200 instead of €6,000, an 80% discount!

Payback in 3 to 4 years

It’s expensive at first glance: paying over a hundred euros for free storage isn’t what online storage customers are used to. However, pCloud has chosen to make this purchase quickly profitable, no doubt to attract more customers. How long does it take for the lifetime purchase to pay for itself?

One might expect a long period (5 years? 10 years?) of use to pay for such a purchase, but it’s actually less.

Offers pay for themselves in 3 years at monthly rates

The calculation is simple: a lifetime purchase of online storage space (€200 for 500 GB or €400 for 2 TB) costs the same as around 40 months at monthly rates (€4.99 per month for 500 GB and €9.99 per month for 2 TB).

The lifetime offer therefore pays for itself in 3 years and 4 months, compared with the monthly rates! The situation is the same for the two storage spaces available by subscription: 500 GB or 2 TB.

In fact, pCloud’s monthly and annual rates are already among the lowest on the market. The price of lifetime plans is therefore also attractive when compared to all online storage providers on the market.

Offers pay for themselves in 4 years at annual rates

Annual storage rates at pCloud are 17% cheaper than monthly rates. So what’s the impact on the time it takes to “pay off” your online storage purchase for life?

Let’s do the math: it takes around 4 months for the lifetime purchase to be repaid. In other words, 4 years in the form of annual payments cost as much as a lifetime purchase of the same storage space.

Once again, these times are identical for the 500 GB and 2 TB spaces.

We have calculated the precise savings for the 500 GB and 2 TB 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).

Savings on 500 GB lifetime space

YearsCost of 500 GB annual subscriptionSavings with lifetime storage
4199,96 €0 €
8399,92 €199,92 €
10499,90 €299,90 €
15749,85 €549,85 €

It takes 4 years to fully amortize the purchase of online storage.

But once this period has passed, each year the savings climb enormously. This is because you’re using the space “for free”, whereas with a subscription you have to pay again each year. For example, after 8 years of use, you’ll save around €200 compared with an annual subscription over the same period, and €300 after 10 years.

Savings on 2TB space for life

YearsCost of annual 2Tb subscriptionSavings with lifetime storage
4399,96 €0 €
8799,92 €399,92 €
10999,90 €599,90 €
151499,85 €1099,85 €

As with the 500 GB space, the first savings on a 2 TB online space are realized after 4 years of use. From then on, savings increase even more rapidly (€99.99 per year), with savings of around €400 after 8 years, and over €1,000 after 15 years!

What about the 10 TB space?

It’s not possible to make the same calculations for the 10TB cloud storage space(Custom Plan), as there is no subscription for the latter, which is only available via a one-off payment.

On the other hand, it’s easy to see that the price is still well below that of the 500 GB and 2 TB plans when we consider the cost per terabyte. The €1,200 10TB plan costs €120 per TB. The 2TB plan, for example, costs €200 per TB.

The price per TB is therefore 40% lower on the 10 TB Custom Plan. So this offer is even more attractive in the long term, if you can afford the €1,200 price tag of course.

The best value for money on the market

So it doesn’t take long to get a return on your pCloud storage purchase. It’s certain thata 2TB storage space will still be useful in 3 or 4 years’ time, when its purchase will have paid for itself. The same goes for the 10TB offer, which will remain a storage space.

Please note, however, that the current prices are the result of a huge promotion (-65% for 500 GB and 2 TB, and -80% for 10 TB), the end date of which is unknown. Without this promotion, the time required to recoup the purchase would be over 10 years!

With this promotion, pCloud has chosen to attract potential customers with a very attractive offer. These lifetime offers undoubtedly make pCloud one of the cheapest cloud storage solutions on the market over the long term. Only Icedrive can match this quality/price ratio, as it also offers lifetime deals at similar rates.

Overall, pCloud’s services are very good(pCloud came first in our overall ranking of the best online storage solutions).

The investment is therefore more than worthwhile for anyone looking for an excellent cloud storage service for the long term.

Why is it so easy to make the most of?

Realizing how little time it takes to monetize a lifetime plan with pCloud, it’s natural to ask why these offers exist and how they benefit pCloud.

A temporary promotion

First of all, it should be noted that the current pCloud lifetime plan rates are a temporary promotion. This is a 65% reduction on the initial price.

PCloud lifetime plan prices with discount.

Current prices are €200 instead of €570 for a 500GB lifetime plan, €400 instead of €1140 for 2TB of storage, and €1200 instead of €6000 for 10TB (see screenshot above).

Needless to say, the payback period will explode if the promotion ends. Without the promotion, it will take more than 10 years to recoup the purchase. This information completely changes the appeal of these lifetime plans.

The problem is that the end date of this promotion has not been communicated. It’s likely that pCloud reserves the right to end the promotion at any time if the company feels it has attracted enough customers.

Incidentally, these prices have already been increased in the past (October 2022) and it is likely that further increases will occur in the future.

So if you’re interested in investing in storage space for the long term, it’s best to do it soon.

The aim of these offers: to raise pCloud’s profile

Clearly, the lifetime offer and the price reduction from 65% to 80% have a promotional purpose. Despite being a solid and reputable service, pCloud appeared later than its best-known 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 the inexpensive lifetime offers are clearly a way of getting the word out about pCloud and attracting customers who can themselves recommend pCloud to others.
Today, pCloud has over 9 million users, and has therefore succeeded in its gamble.

Storage for life 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 doesn’t occur to most people looking for a gift idea. One of the reasons for this is that they are usually subscriptions. What’s the point of giving a gift for which you’ll have to renew payment after a few months or a year?

The arrival of pCloud’s Lifetime offer for online storage changes all that. It’s now possible to make a one-off payment, making it a real gift!

For whom is such a gift suitable?

A storage space with unlimited duration can be useful for many categories of people in reality. Anyone who has personal data and is likely to need it regularly will find such a gift practical.

Such storage space is simply the promise of access to your files from anywhere, from any computer, iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.

It could well be an ideal gift for a teenager or young adult, for example, who could then access their music, photos, movies or other files from anywhere, at any time.

A friend or family member who switches between computers, tablets and smartphones, or who’s worried about losing data, or wants to share files on a regular basis will probably also be receptive to a storage space that’s accessible for life.

Which online storage space to choose: 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB?

If you’re convinced of the benefits of buying online storage space with a one-off payment, you still need to decide which quantity is best: 500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, since it depends above all on the use you’ll be making of it and the budget available.

That said, let’s take a look at some useful information.

At LeCloud.info, we consider these three 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 generally use it to synchronize only part of his data online.

The aim is not to store all personal data in the cloud. Rather, it’s about managing a set of files that are likely to be used on several devices (computer, cell phone, tablet).

The fact that the size of files that can be synchronized on pCloud is unlimited will make this a practical task. You’ll be able to enjoy your largest files (HD videos, for example) without a problem.

For such use, 500 GB is enough, and you’ll have plenty of time before you have to clean up to save space. However, as lifetime online storage is designed for the long term, you should also bear in mind that 500 GB may not be so useful in 5 or 10 years’ time. Indeed, users’ storage needs tend to increase over time. For example, a 2 GB USB flash drive is much less useful today than it was 10 years ago.

2TB or 10TB: “hard disk”-type online storage

With 2TB or 10TB of space on the cloud, we enter the category of“hard disk”-type space. The purpose of such space is often to replace or back up a physical hard disk, in order to benefit from the advantages of the cloud. In particular, the peace of mind offered by a storage medium that won’t break down or be stolen, as a physical hard disk can.

Such storage space is large enough to give users the luxury of synchronizing all their important data, without worrying about freeing up space on a regular basis.

Mind you, synchronizing several terabytes of data in the cloud is a very time-consuming task, generally longer than copying the same files to a new hard disk. But once this is done, data access 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’ time?

As we saw above, the purchase of a lifetime plan pays for itself quickly, in around 4 years.

However, such a purchase is aimed at the long term, so we need to ask ourselves how long such a storage space will remain useful.

Despite the evolution of storage spaces, 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’s logical that a 2TB or 10TB space should remain useful for longer. If you’re aiming for the very long term, this is obviously the best option.

Going from 500 GB to 2 TB is not possible

This is an important point to make here. The pCloud rules are very clear: there is no advantage to switching from 500 GB lifetime space to 2 TB or 10 TB lifetime space:

  • If you’ve bought a 500 GB space and want to convert it to a 2 TB space, then you’ll pay the full price of the 2 TB (€400). The price already paid for the 500 GB will not be deducted from the invoice.
  • Storage spaces are not cumulative: you’ll end up with 2TB of data, not 2.5TB.
  • The same applies to upgrading from 2TB to 10TB.

We deplore this policy, as it forces potential customers to choose their offer carefully from the outset. Buying a 500GB plan and then upgrading to 2TB or 10TB means losing what you paid for the first plan.

This unfortunate choice is partly counterbalanced by pCloud’s refund policy: once your payment has been made, you will have 10 days to make a refund request if you feel that the storage space is not to your satisfaction.

pCloud for the family

If your aim when purchasing lifetime cloud storage space is to share it with your family, you’ll probably be interested in pCloud’s Family plan.

This family plan has the following features:

  • choice of 2TB or 10TB of disk space
  • 600 for 2Tb or €1,500 for 10Tb with lifetime purchase (only available as a lifetime plan)
  • Global storage space can be shared with other family members (up to 4 other users)
  • Each family member 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 amount of storage each one has
  • An existing lifetime plan (500 GB, 2 TB or 10 TB) cannot be converted to a Family plan

For more information, read our full review of pCloud Family.

Présentation de l'offre famille de pCloud
The pCloud Family plan presentation page.

Our opinion – Who are lifetime plans for?

PCloud’s lifetime plans are probably the most attractive offers on the market. The current promotion makes investing easy. The risk taken is very low, with only 4 years needed to recoup the purchase.

in our opinion, pCloud is the best online storage solution on the market, and we have no doubt that it will be suitable for a large number of private and professional users.

It could also make an interesting gift, because once the purchase is made, it’s a gift that the recipient will enjoy for life, at no extra cost.