Review

pCloud Review


Review of: pCloud
Online Backup by :
pCloud

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On September 21, 2016
Last modified:September 21, 2016

Summary:

pCloud is new to the online backup market, but have already proven itself to be one to watch. Read about its features, plans, and more in our pCloud review.

Swiss provider pCloud is a newcomer to the Cloud backup industry but is already proving itself to be one to watch. This is due in no small part to its reasonably priced plans, great software across platforms, and user-friendliness. You can read a detailed pCloud review below or sign up now.
  • ProsPROS
  • Intuitive software
  • Great clients across platforms
  • 10-day money back guarantee
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited suspport options
  • Encryption costs extra

Visit pCloud »

Price Plans

Pricing

pCloud has three different plans on offer: Basic, Premium, and Premium Plus.

pCloud plans
The Basic plan is free and includes up to 20 GB of storage and 50 GB of download link traffic.

The Premium plan clocks in at $3.99 per month if purchased annually, or $4.99 per month if purchased monthly. It includes 500 GB of storage and 500 GB of download link traffic.

The Premium Plus plan costs $7.99 per month if purchased annually, or $9.99 per month if purchased monthly. As its price includes 2 TB of storage and 2 TB of download link traffic, it’s no surprise that it’s pCloud’s best seller!

Extras

Free trial

While not officially dubbed one, pCloud’s Basic plan can be considered an indefinite free trial. It includes the full range of features enjoyed by the paid plans – albeit at a limited capacity – and signing up for it only requires your email address.

Money back guarantee

Signing up for a pCloud paid account is risk-free thanks to its 10-day money back guarantee. If you decide that pCloud is not a good fit for your backup needs within 10 days of purchasing, you can email its support staff at support@pcloud.com, and they will issue you a refund – no questions asked!

Business plans

pCloud business
pCloud has a special plan in place for companies called pCloud Business. It’s hailed as the complete online storage and team collaboration tool, as it provides you with a single space to store, sync, and collaborate on business files with colleagues.

Features of the scalable pCloud Business plan include an integrated file sharing platform, invitation-only access, 1 TB of storage for each user, the ability to access data using any device, detailed activity logs, and access to all previous versions of files. Moreover, all pCloud business customers receive pCloud Crypto for free, which uses the maximum level of data security currently available on the market.

Customers can test out pCloud Business for free for 30 days before committing to a paid subscription. The ultimate cost depends on how many users will be using the backup service. The minimum is a five user plan, which rings up at $479.49 for a yearly payment or $49.95 per month for a monthly subscription. After that, it is an additional $7.99 per user for a yearly payment and $9.99 per user for a monthly subscription.

Payment methods

You can pay for a pCloud subscription using PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.

How does pCloud compare to the competition?

The average cost of a Cloud backup service is $5 to $12 per month. pCloud’s Premium Plus plan fits comfortably within this median, while its Premium plan is below-average and thus a great bargain considering the quality of the service.

Visit pCloud»

Features

Online backup or Cloud storage?

Cloud storage.

With its limited storage space (only in comparison to providers that do unlimited storage – pCloud’s paid plans offer plenty of space!), optional free subscription, well-developed sync and share options, and availability on all of the compatible devices, pCloud can best be classified as Cloud storage.

Want to learn more about the difference between online backup and Cloud storage? We have an in-depth comparison in our Ultimate Online Backup Guide.

About pCloud

A relative newcomer to the Cloud backup industry, pCloud was founded in 2013 and is based in Switzerland. Despite the company’s young age, it has already proven itself to be one to watch. With its creative team, strong IT skills, and focus on creating user-friendly software for both individuals and businesses, it’s no surprise that it is 4 million users strong, with more joining each day.

Backup options

  • Manual backup
  • Automatic backup
  • Remote upload

How you backup your data to pCloud depends on which versions of its software you are using. If using the web browser version, you can only manually backup files (which includes everything from Word documents to music to photos). If you download and use the desktop version, you will be able to drag and drop files and folders directly into the pCloud Drive on your computer. After which, any changes made to these files or folders will be automatically saved and backed up by your pCloud desktop client.

pCloud Drive

Also noteworthy is pCloud’s remote upload feature. It’s worth mentioning because it’s a feature rarely offered by other Cloud backup providers. Simply put, it allows you to upload a file to your pCloud account from another place online by merely entering the link of that file.

Which operating systems is it compatible with?

Desktop: OS X (10.8 and up), Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10), Linux (Ubuntu 32 bit and Ubuntu 64 bit)

Mobile: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 10 Mobile

File sharing

  • Invite to Folder feature
  • Option to allow others to view or edit your content
  • Can modify permissions or suspend collaboration
  • Download and Upload Links feature

pCloud’s file sharing options are fairly standard, albeit with a small twist. Its Invite to Folder feature allows you to easily share your folders with others, and you have the option to allow them to edit your content. pCloud makes it easy for you to manage your existing shares through any one of its platforms, and you can suspend collaboration or modify permissions whenever you wish.

pCloud also has a neat Download and Upload Links feature. When you generate download links, those who receive it can download your data to their desktop or mobile. Upload links, on the other hand, gives them the ability to upload files of their own to your pCloud account.

Visit pCloud »

Sync options

  • Sync across all desktops and mobile devices
  • Sync using the pCloud Drive desktop application

You can instantly synchronize your files between your pCloud storage and all of your compatible devices. Any files that you upload to your desktop will appear on every other device you have linked to your pCloud account, with the same going for all the others. You can set this all up – including automatic synchronization – through the desktop application pCloud Drive.

File versioning and deleted file recovery

  • File versioning up to 30 days for free accounts
  • File versioning up to 180 days for paid accounts

pCloud stores previous versions of your files, so you don’t have to fret if you accidentally deleted your current one. How long it stores these versions, however, is entirely dependent on what type of plan you have. Basic accounts only have file versioning for up to 30 days, while Premium and Premium Plus accounts have former versions of their work at their disposal for a whopping 180 days.

Visit pCloud »

Social Media Backup

  • Backup Instagram, Facebook and Picasa
  • Regular automatic updates once connected

pCloud is a rarity in that it provides its users with the option to backup the photos and videos from their Instagram, Facebook, and Picasa accounts. In order to set up this feature, users simply have to go to the My Uploads menu and click the Social Backups option. Once you select your desired accounts, you simply have to click Start and the initial backup process will begin.

Once you setup the pCloud social media backup, you can promptly forget about it. This is because, once connected, pCloud will automatically backup any new uploads made to your social media accounts on a regular basis.

pCloud made a helpful short video that walks you through the process:

Security

  • pCloud Crypto add-on
  • Encryption key
  • Zero knowledge policy
  • 4096-bit RSA for users’ private keys
  • 256-bit AES for per-file and per-folder keys

While we are in general more than happy with pCloud’s services, we were disappointed to see that there are no security and privacy measures readily built-in to any one of its plans. Rather, if you want to have your data safeguarded, you will be required to sign up for pCloud Crypto. The feature is available for a 14-day free trial, but after that, you will be required to pay $3.99 per month for annual plans or $4.99 per month for monthly plans.

pCloud Crypto
While the fact that you need to pay extra to secure your backed up files and folders rubs us the wrong way, given that a lot of providers include such measures in their subscription prices, pCloud Crypto is worth the extra expense.

pCloud Crypto features include encrypting data on a user’s computer, only uploading encrypted versions of files and folders onto pCloud’s servers, and the generation of an encryption password (Crypto Pass) that users use to unlock their data.

Best yet, pCloud applies a zero knowledge policy, which means that your encryption key is not stored anywhere on its servers. Instead, it is only available to the one who created it: You.

On the technical side of things, pCloud Crypto uses 4096-bit RSA encryption for users’ private keys and 256-bit AES encryption for per-file and per-folder keys. It claims these protocols make pCloud Crypto unbreakable. To prove its point, pCloud even staged a challenge in which it dared 2860 hackers from all over the world – with participants including attendees of Berkeley, Boston University, MIT and 613 other organizations – to try to breach its system. None managed.

pCloud Crypto Challenge

Customer Support

Resources

pCloud help center

pCloud has an impressive help center on its website where you’re bound to find the answer to any and all questions you may have about the service or software. Set up in FAQ format, it is neatly categorized as General, pCloud Drive, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Web, pCloud Crypto, Business, and Affiliate. All in all, it has the answers to hundreds of questions – that range from the common to the particular – with each answer written in a clear, concise manner.

Contacting staff

  • Online contact form
  • Email support
  • Support only available in English

If, for some maddening reason, you don’t find the answer to your question in pCloud’s great help center, you can contact staff directly via the email address support@pcloud.com, or via the contact form on its website.

We were a bit let down by these limited options, to be honest. We think that pCloud would benefit greatly from a helpline or live chat that users with pressing issues could use to get immediate answers. As it is, they need to wait for an unknown amount of time, as pCloud simply states that it’ll “get back to you shortly” and doesn’t say anything about how many hours or days people should expect to wait before they receive a reply.

We were also disappointed to find during our pCloud review that the provider only offers customer service in English, especially given that its website is available in 10 languages.

Response time and quality of service

We decided to test out the Swiss provider’s customer service by sending them a query regarding pCloud Crypto via the online contact form. Upon submission, we were simply shown a “Your message was sent. Thank you!” message. We did not receive a support ticket or the like in our email account’s inbox.

That said, our worries were put to rest when we receive a helpful response a mere few hours later. The message was personal (a welcome change from bot ones) and answered our question in a way that was clear and to the point. They also encouraged us to ask further questions if we had any. Based on our experience, we’d give top marks to pCloud customer service!

Visit pCloud »

The Process

Signing up

Signing up for any one of pCloud’s plans is a simple process. All you have to do is click the Sign Up button on the upper right corner of its homepage, after which you will be prompted choose whether you’d like an annual or monthly plan, and a Basic, Premium or Premium Plus plan. An email and a password are all that’s required for the Basic plan, while paid plans require payment details. After you sign up, you’ll receive a welcome email from pCloud asking you to verify your email address.

For the purpose of this pCloud review, we signed up for a Premium Plus account.

Using the software

Browser

Once you’re all signed up, you will be immediately taken to the web browser-based version of pCloud. This is compatible with all browsers. Here, you can manually upload files, create folders to better organize your data, sign up for pCloud Crypto, manage your shared files, backup from third party sites and software, and upgrade your account.

pCloud browser
Download links for pCloud for desktop and pCloud for mobile are also conveniently located in the bottom left corner of the screen.

pCloud Drive

We decided to download the desktop software pCloud Drive to see how it compared to the incredibly user-friendly web browser version. To start, we clicked on the aforementioned button the web browser version and were immediately taken to a download page that included in-depth descriptions of all of pCloud Drive’s features.

pCloud review
After clicking the download button, we were taken to a helpful installation page that provided included directions and images that walk you through the three-step setup process.

install pCloud
We were set up in minutes and were free to explore all that pCloud Drive had to offer. This included features not included in the web browser version, such as file synchronization with any other devices linked to your pCloud account, sync folder management, shared folder management, automatic backups (even when offline), and taskbar access.

Other noteworthy features are its Speed and Disk Usage sections, which can be found under the Settings tab. The Speed section allows you to set your upload and download speed limits.

pCloud speed
The Disk Usage section, allows you to manage the minimum disk space and disk cache size so that you have complete control over how much space pCloud takes on your computer.

pCloud disk usage

How to cancel your account

If you decide that pCloud is not the Cloud backup provider for you, you don’t have to jump through hoops to cancel your subscription. pCloud provides clear-cut instructions for you in its help center.

If you paid for your account with a credit card, all you have to do is visit the pCloud website while you are logged in and click on the gear icon in the top right corner. If you select Manage Subscription, you will be redirected to a page where you can view your active subscription. Click Cancel on said subscription, and any future scheduled payments will be automatically withdrawn.

If you paid with PayPal, on the other hand, the process is slightly different. You will have to log into your PayPal account, click on the My Account tab, click History, choose Subscriptions from the Show menu, and press Submit. After which, click on your pCloud subscription and select Details. On the Transaction Details page, you will be able to cancel your plan, which will stop all future payments that were scheduled for however many months were left on your subscription.

If you paid via any other kind of payment provider, you would have to directly contact pCloud’s support team via its email address or online contact form.

Visit pCloud »

pCloud Review Conclusion

We liked

  • 10-day money back guarantee
  • Plenty of file sharing options
  • Software is stylish and user-friendly
  • Social media backup
  • Great clients across platforms
  • No-fuss cancellation policy
  • pCloud Drive easy to use and manage
  • Quick upload and download speeds

We weren’t too sure about

  • Limited support options

We hated

  • Users have to pay extra for encryption

Most young backup providers have some growing pains to get through, but in our pCloud review we’ve found that the Swiss provider has proven itself to be the exception and not the rule. Despite only having been founded in 2013, pCloud has developed a well-rounded service that boasts stylish, intuitive software. We were really impressed by how easy pCloud was to set up and use, as well as by its quick upload and download speeds, wide variety of file sharing options, and no-fuss synchronization. While we weren’t too pleased with its limited support options and the fact that users have to pay extra for encryption, the positives of pCloud far outweigh the negatives. Give pCloud a go for yourself today by signing up for one of its plans via the link below!

Visit pCloud »


Published on: September 21,2016.
Katrina Canadian writer currently living in Hungary. Avid lover of travel, technology, politics, fashion, and French music.

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2 responses to “pCloud Review

    Hi, Great review. Made me rethink the cloud storage I was using. I am on pCloud for a week or two.
    pCloud Drive is a killer feature. I am using a MacBook Air with a rather small SSD so I really dig the idea of having all the data I need without taking up local space on my disk.

    Awesome service.
    Their newest release uploads screenshots instantly and gives you a link to share with someone!
    Best cloud ever.

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Price
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