pCloud review: test of the online storage platform

Like many other people, you may encounter a storage capacity problem on your PC or Smartphone. Pcloud, promises to be one of the various solutions to this inconvenience. This platform allows you to save your professional or personal files so as not to clutter your device. This is a great promise, but you still need to know if the service provider actually lives up to your expectations. For you, we tested the Google Drive or Dropbox challenger.

pCloud has American friendliness, but with Swiss seriousness

pCloud suggests personal use of the digital cloud. It is a Swiss service which has already conquered the Americans and Asia. It is also gaining ground in Europe. In addition to storing large files, it also offers other services, including content sharing. Onedrive’s opponent has more than 15 million users. This portfolio is substantial for a relatively young company. Its creation dates back only to 2013.

The application is available with subscription or in free mode. It aligns different arguments to attract individuals and professionals. This app has the particular merit of being complete and accessible on different media connected to the Internet. Fully multilingual customer service is available to provide further information. Furthermore, the price remains affordable for the majority. Don’t worry, this article goes into detail.

Storage platform accessible with any operating system

Accessibility probably remains the spearhead of pCloud. This online storage service is multi-device. You can save files from a computer and then view them from a Smartphone and vice versa. In addition to PCs, tablets and all devices connected to the Internet, including the car dashboard, allow access to the platform.

If you’re on a computer, you can open pCloud from any web browser. On the official website https://my.pcloud.com, you will have to give your login and a password. An account requires an email address like Skype and other online services. Once connected, you have several services available: backup, consultation and file sharing. Everything is managed from a very intuitive interface.

Built-in virtual disk drive for your convenience

To make your life easier, pCloud Drive offers direct access to your files saved online. The desktop application is a virtual disk drive. It opens up your content stored on distant servers in just a few clicks. This configuration saves you from using Google Chrome or another browser. It is a program compatible with the main existing operating systems, including Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Installing pCloud Drive on a PC takes just a few minutes. Furthermore, the service is complementary with access from a browser. Synchronization takes place to the nearest second. Regardless, the time saving remains palpable if you open your files from a virtual drive. In fact, you will not have to enter the login and password each time you log in. Another major advantage is that file sharing is also integrated into the desktop app.

Convenient for accessing your files on the go

Mobile users are not left out with pCloud. The service is available on Android and iOS. Mobile phone or SmartTV owners will be able to take full advantage of the different features offered. This solution is recommended for accessing files if you are outside the home or outside the office. Indeed, encryption meets the security requirements of companies with front office teams constantly in the field. It is a multi-platform tool from which a seller can upload technical sheets, catalogs, etc.

The mobile application is particularly effective with its automatic upload functionality. It allows you to save videos or photos instantly. In systematic mode, there is no dialog box asking you if you want to save what you have just filmed from your laptop device. It is also possible to listen to music or watch multimedia content in the application, without using a player or downloading. MP3, Avi, PDF, JPEG and all file formats are compatible.

File manager with proximity servers

All file types can be backed up to pCloud. The platform accommodates videos, photos, but also texts, spreadsheets and other office presentations. The user can open and modify them at any time from their account or the dedicated application. The service provider deploys a sprawling network of servers to manage content. The Swiss company’s hardware installations are mainly located in the United States to be closer to its American customers. Data centers are also located in Luxembourg.

The pCloud user can choose the server that suits them. The powerful computers are located mainly on American soil, in the state of Texas. However, geographic proximity to your content ensures faster loading speed. In any case, each 256-bit encrypted file can be duplicated 5 times to ensure backup in the event of a hardware problem. In any case, the owner of the files can organize their storage space according to their convenience. he has the right to rename content, move or archive with ease.

Innovative file sharing system

Subscribers on pCloud can easily share files. Whether on PC or mobile, the process remains simple. You will just have to click on a folder until the sharing option appears. The automatically generated URL can be copied and given to your loved ones or a colleague. Above all, you can allow your contacts to upload content to your storage space. The people you want will be able to download whatever they want to extract.

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To secure certain files, you can use a password. The pCloud locking system protects sensitive folders. It is also possible to schedule an expiration date. Once this time has elapsed, the object disappears. For their part, companies will be able to personalize documents with logos, instructional messages and other options specifically intended for professionals.

Content size and multimedia synchronization

Important point of this test, pCloud does not impose file size limitations. You will have no difficulty saving your videos in HD. This is a real advantage since competitors apply volume restrictions, especially when their service is free. With this Swiss service provider, you will get value for your money. Furthermore, it is possible to create backups of your content on social networks. The Third-party option allows you to import files from Facebook, Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s convenient to keep everything in one place.

Synchronization is done automatically on pCloud. The platform instantly saves the changes you make from any medium. This way, the documents you have saved on PC will also be immediately updated in the mobile application. You will have no worries about this, especially with the pCloud Drive reader.

Storage capacity expansion and file restoration

The desktop app lets you make pCloud an extension of your local drive. The Word documents or JPEG images you work on are kept on secure servers. You can save the changes at any time. Each item is kept for 12 months. This is a very practical feature for keeping your files if your laptop is stolen or breaks down.

Your storage space includes a trash bin. Deleted files stay there for 15 days. At the end of this period, they are automatically deleted. Restoration is still possible if you decide to do so before the deadline. The latter is extended to one month for premium mode users. This feature allows you to save old versions or documents that you deem unnecessary for a while. Anyone can change their mind and pCloud editors know it.

Rather reassuring level of security

It’s completely natural to feel that slight pang in the heart when entrusting a confidential file to a service provider you barely know. pCloud is reassuring with its TLS/SSL encryption technology. If you trust Swiss bankers, then you should do the same with an online storage manager. Please note that the Swiss Confederation applies strict jurisdiction regarding respect for data confidentiality on the Internet. It has not signed any agreement with the European Union and the United States.

pcloud security

pCloud servers use a security protocol that reduces the risk of hacking to an infinitesimal level. Your data is in good hands with the pCloud Crypto option. This additional offer allows you to encrypt content from your computer. Another detail to note, your files are physically kept on 3 or 5 servers. A data center fire should not affect you. Furthermore, two-step authentication makes access to your account too difficult for the best hackers. The Swiss service provider holds the GDPR certificate.

When it comes to pricing, the Swiss service provider stands out

Before talking about money, know that pCloud is available in a free version. The features are relatively limited since it is more of a trial period in order to upgrade to paid mode. If you take the plunge, you will have several offers. Choose between 500 GB and 2 TB. It is possible to subscribe to an annual or lifetime subscription depending on your needs.

  • The Lifetime plan entitles you to storage space for 99 years. This century of backup will cost you a single membership payment.
  • The annual plan requires you to make a payment every 12 months.

In both cases you have several byte capacities to choose from.

  • With the 2 TB of the Premium Plus plan you can pay €95.88 per year or pay €350 in one go and enjoy the Lifetime pack.
  • If you opt for a total space of 500 GB, the lifetime subscription costs €175. You will have to pay €47.88 every year if you do not wish to commit.

For the entire catalog, you have the option of requesting a refund within 10 days if the service does not meet your expectations.

A word about the free version

This test concerns both the premium mode and the free version of pCloud. This is a welcome offer to allow you to discover the different features. You do not have to switch by paying. However, capacity is limited. The free 10 GB will not be enough if you keep videos of large documents. For comparison, entry-level phones with 16 GB of memory are full in less than a half year just with photos and app downloads.

It is possible to stay in free mode on pCloud for an indefinite period. To do this, you must create an account by providing information such as your email address. Until proven otherwise, the service provider has not revealed its intentions to monetize your personal data. On the other hand, conditions such as downloading the mobile application or authenticating your email entitle you to more space. In short, it’s a possible solution if you want to take advantage of the Cloud without paying anything.

Our 10-point conclusion on pCloud

On the positive side:

  • Simple and easy to use pCloud is available in free mode
  • 256-bit encryption is reassuring. It’s even better with the Crypto feature.
  • The effectiveness of multi-support and instant synchronization are appreciable.
  • The lifetime subscription is a good thing. In addition, it remains financially accessible.
  • Customer relations are functional, especially with a wealth of frequently asked questions.

Some points to improve:

  • 10 GB is too tight. This capacity available in free mode is subject to conditions.
  • The 2 TB of the LifeTime plan is insufficient to store the documents of a lifetime.
  • The fact that the servers are located on American soil presents a risk.
  • Support via instant messaging wouldn’t be too much of a ask.
  • Prices are on par with watches and Swiss chocolates