Although you could still transfer and sync files between multiple computers and various devices, it wasn’t until Dropbox arrived that cloud storage and file syncing services started to take off.
Yet, in town, Dropbox is not the only player. The Swiss-based pCloud has a fantastic range of features at a price point that makes sharing big files with friends and family or synchronizing them through all your devices a very appealing option.
If you’ve never been to Switzerland, we’ve been struck by how clean and tidy the whole place is, because it’s mostly immaculate. We mention this because there is the company behind pCloud, and this product has the same regimented and polished air as a traditional Geneva or Zürich lane.
How will a company that was only released in 2013 take on existing platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, Box and the rest of the sector?
PCloud provides all the basic features of a sharing and synchronization service you would expect. In addition to an elegant web interface, pCloud now has customers for all primary desktop operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS devices.
The service makes it easy to share files and directories individually or in groups without much effort. There is also no limitation on the size of the data you share, as long as they are within your subscription plan’s storage limits.
You can also use the mobile app to sync any local folder from your phone into your pCloud account, in addition to sharing it. The service provides block-level synchronization, which means transfers can be much smoother as only parts of the files that have changed need to be synchronized.
As regards confidentiality, all file transfers are carried out through an encrypted TLS / SSL channel to ensure that your data remains safe. Also, pCloud claims to copy your files in five separate server locations to protect against data loss and to ensure availability. The company also offers double-factor authentication for added protection.
Although you can share files of all kinds on pCloud, it’s handling of media files is worthy of special mention. The service ‘s web interface includes audio and video players which allow you to play the shared media files directly from pCloud itself.
For example, you can build and manage playlists using the audio player. Then there’s the video player that lets you view the videos in picture-in-picture mode to help you continue to use your browser when viewing the video if can also create slideshows for shared images of some sort.
Social network backups are one of the specialities of pCloud too. You can connect your pCloud account to popular social networking services such as Facebook and Instagram without much effort, among others, to back up data from your social media accounts to your pCloud account.
Its competitively priced plans are another attraction for pCloud. You can register for a free account allowing you to upload and sync up to 10 GB of files. You can also use the service openly to transfer data up to 5 GB in size and can even automatically be encrypted.
There are mainly two paid plans, depending on the amount of data you choose to access. The unlimited package provides 500 GB and, if you want to pay for the year, costs $3.99 / month or $47.88. And there’s the 2 TB Premium Plus account which, if you pay for the year, would cost $7.99 / month or $95.88.
It is also worth noting that pCloud provides, unlike most of its competitors, a one-time payment lifetime plan which is valid for 99 years. When you want to make a one-time lifetime purchase, the Premium and Premium Plus cost $175 and $350 respectively.
There is also a Family package available only as a lifetime package. It costs $500 and allows you to share 2 TB of space with four other users of pCloud. When you’re an Enterprise client, there’s a company software pCloud.
All pCloud accounts provide the same set of apps, whether free or payable. There is also a range of add-on services to which you can apply for additional benefits.
One is called Expanded Geschichte. By default, pCloud holds files that you have removed in the Free plan for 15 days and with the Paid plans for 30 days. You may also extend this time by paying out $39 / year to 360 days. Then there’s pCloud crypto, which is adding $47.88 client-side encryption to your account. This add-on helps you to encrypt your data using a multilayered algorithm.
PCloud is so sure in their protection they offered $100,000 to someone to crack their program, which none of the 2860 participants could have even after six months of trying.
You can manually register with the service to get going or use the single sign-on to log in to your Google or Facebook accounts. The company has a variety of files with sample data out of the box to help you get started by testing the functionality of their sharing.
The software has excellent file management skills and enables you to filter and scan reasonably quickly through your shared files, using almost the same tools as you get in your operating system with the file manager. When you have tons of data of different types within a folder, you can also check for files and filter the results based on file types.
You can drag and drop files to the pCloud web app from your desktop or use the upload manager who also lets you keep an eye on the data when they are transferred to your pCloud account.
PDrive’s web interface has a six-step wizard at the top of the interface to ensure you are using the software to the fullest. The role is to make sure that you use every feature of the service. It will direct you, for example, to install the desktop and mobile applications. Completing each move will unlock more storage space as an incentive.
The multi-platform desktop client is very intuitive and is installed in the status bar as a web applet. It attaches to your file manager a virtual drive which is a mirror copy of your pCloud account.
Any files put on this drive will be synchronized automatically with your pCloud account and can be accessed from anywhere via the web interface.
There’s even an offline mode that makes the shared files accessible even when you’re not linked to the Internet. Helps you to work on the files while offline, and then synchronize the changes automatically as soon as you are connected to the Internet.
You can also share the files directly from the pCloud virtual drive with your friends and family. To share a folder, you can use pCloud to submit email invitations and choose whether to allow them to edit the content of the shared folder or show its contents when you want to share using the links, pCloud lists two different URLs. There is one that will allow the recipients to access the folder’s contents, and another if you want them to be able to upload content to the folder too.
The mobile app provides one more option — a setting for uploading videos and images directly from your phone to pCloud. It will upload all pictures and videos by default, but you can change its settings to limit uploads.
Including their desktop client, pCloud also offers Firefox, Chrome and Opera browser extensions. When enabled, you can use the extension to save audio, video, and images to your pCloud account directly from a web page. You can also save a text list, which will be automatically saved as a text file.
PCloud has a simple and efficient framework that does what most people expect from a cloud storage provider, and the new pricing plan structure is an all-encompassing bargain.
Our only criticism is that it has no modes of communication for business users, but the number of customers who want that is not huge.
Further people need to try pCloud, as it might be the ideal solution for all of them.