pCloud Review Summary
Highly secure cloud storage for personal or business use
Describe: pCloud is a cloud storage service provider with a solid set of plans. It offers high levels of encryption at prices that rival those of Google. Apart from that, one of its most attractive features is the support for streaming media directly from the cloud.
offer price: $4.17
Currency: American dollar
Application category: cloud storage service
author: Timothy Shim (Editor/Writer at WHSR)
- Ease of use – 8/10
- Features – 9/10
- protection – 9/10
- money value – 8/10
- Customer Support – 7/10
- Simple file management system
- Great security features
- Lifetime Plans – Pay Once, Use Forever
- Supports online media streaming
- Your choice of data storage area
- Full GDPR compliance
- pCloud has dedicated mobile apps
- Limited support options
- The web interface looks a little buggy
Pros: What I love about pCloud
1. Simple file management system
If you’ve used a web file storage service before, pCloud’s interface will be familiar. The left side of the screen provides quick access to directory browsing and many pCloud features. In the main view area, you will see an expanded view of the currently selected directory.
The basic use of pCloud should be familiar to most people. As the name suggests, you can simply drag the files you want to copy into the window, and it will upload them to Cloud Storage. It is simple yet effective.
Navigating this system is easy as it is not much different from the others. The only thing you’ll need to learn is some of the terms pCloud uses. For example, “Back” is a slightly more unique feature that allows you to completely restore your account to its previous state.
2. Overall, great security features
At its most basic level, pCloud implements a security system similar to many cloud storage providers. SSL/TLS encryption protects data transferred to and from pCloud’s servers. It is safe but also standard.
The pCloud backend is more interesting because it distributes your data across at least three separate locations (within the region you specify). This provides an extra layer of data flexibility that ensures you won’t lose anything.
For added security, you can pay extra for a pCloud service called Crypto. This feature provides client-side encryption capabilities. While it may add some resources on your device, only your device will have the keys to unlock your content.
3. Lifetime Plans – Pay Once, Use Forever
While I’ll cover pCloud’s subscription plans later, there’s one distinct feature that needs a special mention. pCloud offers lifetime plans which means you pay a one-time fee and can use pCloud services forever. Well, as long as the company is alive, at least.
It’s an excellent way to avoid paying hefty annual fees or buying hardware that you’ll have to monitor and replace constantly. Remember that you are paying for a full service, not file storage alone.
4. Supports online media streaming
Perhaps the most exciting feature of pCloud is its native support for media streaming. There are cloud storage providers that allow this – Google, for example. However, not many implement it with the convenience that pCloud did.
Your media files (video and audio) are uploaded and processed like any other files. To run it, pCloud has native web-based applications to handle. The experience is similar to Youtube, with options to change streaming quality, size, and more.
The video plays in either 514p or 1528p, the latter being slightly better than the 2k format. Even though it’s not 4K, it still works in question.
5. Your choice of data storage area
Another thing that many cloud storage providers don’t usually offer is letting you choose the data storage area. This feature is not as important for individuals but more important for business users.
Some provinces have restrictions on where companies are allowed to store and process data. If you’re on those sites, pCloud has you covered. When registering, you can choose either the US or Europe to store the data.
6. Full GDPR compliance
Thanks to strict privacy regulations in the Eurozone, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018. The framework shows how companies in the region are allowed to store and manage personal information.
pCloud is fully GDPR compliant and will notify you in real time if there is a data breach, allow you to confirm how the information is being processed, and even ensure that the information is completely removed if you want to.
7. pCloud has dedicated mobile apps
Like any other good web-based service, you can access pCloud from almost all devices. This includes the usual desktop systems, but there are also applications for mobile devices. I loved the Android version of their app.
pCloud has expertly designed the app to offer all the features available on their web interface, yet it is light enough for a smaller mobile screen. It was also fast and fast, something that many service providers seem to struggle with.
Cons: What I don’t like about pCloud
1. Limited Support Options
Customer support on pCloud is only available via email. It’s a bit limited and not quite what I would expect from a web based service in this digital age. Live chat would have been better, but at least, they could provide a ticketing system to ensure more transparency in customer support.
However, this is not the end of the world as the response times you have indicated have been reasonable. I emailed customer support and received a response within an hour. Customer support was polite and professional too.
2. The web interface looks small and buggy
When I first signed up for pCloud and logged into my account, the navigation seemed a little weird. Clicking on the navigation options gets me out of my account every time and having to sign in again.
I made this issue part of my conversation with the support team, and they gave me a simple solution – clear browser cache. While that worked, it was good that this didn’t happen at all.
pCloud plans and pricing
pCloud has extensive subscription options that fall under either annual or lifetime subscriptions. I previously discussed the lifetime plan, where you pay a flat fee up front. Annual subscriptions are paid in lump sums as well.
The plans come in three main categories; Individual, family and work.
- individual plans They come in at $49.99/year and $99.99/year for 500GB and 2TB of storage, respectively. There are monthly plans available in this category, but these costs more in total at $0.499 per month and $9.99 per month. If you choose the lifetime arrangement, the prices to consider are $175 and $350.
- family plans It appears to be only available as a lifetime subscription at a fixed price of $500. For that price, you get 2TB of shared storage for up to five people. There are no annual or monthly options to even consider.
- Action plans Available in monthly or yearly varieties. You need a minimum of 3 people for business plans with rates starting at $29.97 per month or $287.64 per year. Each user gets 1 TB of storage space.
Average cost is $9.99 per user/month for monthly subscriptions or $7.99 per user/month for annual subscriptions. One thing to note is that the prices are fixed and do not go down as the number of users increases. There is also a maximum of 99 users unless you contact the sales team directly.
Unlike individual and family plans, pCloud business users get 180 days of trash history and access level management features.
There is a free plan available!
For those who are overwhelmed by the diversity of plans, don’t worry. Hop on to the pCloud website and sign up for their free “Basic” plan. This is correct; They offer a free introductory account for you forever to test the system. It’s only 4 GB.
Verdict: Should you sign up for pCloud?
pCloud is one brand in a seemingly very crowded market space. However, it has managed to focus on areas that seem essential to users these days – media file handling and security. These special areas also make them suitable for a broad base of the audience, and thus the variety of plans available.
Although the prices are not lower than most competing sites, the lifetime subscription plans are a solid value proposition. You also don’t buy with a well-known data-sharing brand like Google or Microsoft. Simply put, there are many advantages to looking at pCloud as your cloud storage provider.