pCloud Review: Cloud Storage to Backup Facebook, Dropbox

pCloud is a cloud storage service that can backup and synchronize files on Windows, Mac, and Linux.  It gives users 10 GB of free storage space, although this can be increased to 20 GB by referring friends.  It can also backup other cloud accounts such as Facebook and Dropbox.

pCloud web interface

Editor's Rating:
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User Rating:
Rating: 4.0/5 (47 votes cast)


  • Sync, backup, and share files
  • 180 day file history
  • Custom synchronization types
  • Fantastic file sharing capabilities


  • Slow upload speed
  • Files not stored encrypted
  • No phone or live chat support

The Bottom Line

pCloud is a great file backup, file synchronization, and file sharing service.

pCloud Plans and Pricing

pCloud has one free plan and three paid plans to choose from.

10 GB Free

  • 30 day file history
  • Free email support
  • Earn up to 20 GB by referring friends

500 GB

  • $3.99/month
  • 180 day file history
  • Priority email support

1 TB

  • $7.99/month
  • 180 day file history
  • Priority email support

Backup Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa

One of the most unique features about pCloud is that it lets you backup other online services.  You can link your Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, and Picasa accounts, and all your files will be automatically copied to your pCloud account every 3 days.

Link pCloud to other accounts

When linking accounts, you can choose to backup all folders, or only specific folders.  I linked my Dropbox account, and watched as my files were automatically copied to my pCloud account.

I could see pCloud really taking off as a way to backup Facebook photos and such, never mind the ability to backup files on desktop computers, which I’ll get to next.

pCloudSync – Backup and Sync on Your Desktop

pCloudSync is the software that runs on your computer, backing up and synchronizing files to the cloud.  It works on Windows, Mac, and even Linux.

pCloud has several ways to synchronize files:

  • Two-way – files on your computer will be sync’ed to the cloud and vice versa.
  • Upload only – files are uploaded to the cloud only
  • Download only – files are downloaded from the cloud only

pCloudSync on Windows

Each folder can have its own sync type.  So your Documents folder could be a two-way sync, while your Pictures folder could be upload only.  It’s entirely up to you.

Since pCloud is a synchronization service, any changes to files on your computer are instantly synced to the cloud.  Likewise, any changes to files in the cloud will be immediately downloaded to your computer, assuming you’re doing a two-way or download only sync.

pCloud also supports LAN Sync.  Files are transferred directly between devices if they are on the same local area network.  This speeds up file transfers by bypassing the cloud.

File History and Recover Deleted Files

With any cloud storage service, the ability to restore files after a disaster is just as important as being able to back them up.

By clicking on the gear icon next to any file, I could select “Revisions” and see previous versions.  pCloud keeps a 180 day file history on their paid plans, which is well above the 30 day average for other cloud storage services.

Files can be undeleted by navigating to the Trash folder in the web interface.  From there, you can select and restore files to their original folders.  I liked that files could be sorted by the date they were deleted, which makes it easier to find the right files to restore.  I was told by pCloud support that deleted files remain on their servers for 180 days.

Share Files – With Upload Permissions

pCloud has three ways to share files and folders:

  • Invite others to a folder – They can modify the files as if they were their own.  Users don’t need an account to receive the invitation, but they will need one to view the files.
  • Download only (no account required)
  • Upload only (no account required)

Upload links can be set to allow a maximum amount of space and number of files.  When the upload link is created, an email address will also be generated.  You (or anyone else) can upload files by emailing them to this address.  Files can also be uploaded through the link, as well.

With publicly shared “download only” links, I thought the created photo galleries were fantastic.  Shared photos can be displayed as large thumbnails, or as a list of files.  Videos – even HD videos – are transcoded and can be played right in the browser.  Clearly a lot of thought has gone into pCloud’s support for media files.

pCloud does not have any daily bandwidth limits for shared links.

Mobile Apps

pCloud has apps for Android and iOS.  I tested the Android app and thought it was polished and easy to use.

The app has several options:

  • Set a password to access the app
  • Use mobile data
  • Automatic upload for photos and videos
  • Show/hide system files

From the app I could share files and folders, and create a public link.  I could also mark files and folders as favorites, to access them offline.

One thing I didn’t like is that I couldn’t zoom in when viewing photos.  Given how small mobile screen sizes are, it was a slight inconvenience when I wanted to enlarge a photo.


Although pCloud states there are “No Speed Limits – Upload large files at the fastest speed achievable by your internet provider” this was not my experience.  During my speed tests, pCloud was slow when uploading my files to the cloud, but fast when downloading them.

When uploading files, my speed was between 1.8 and 3.1 megabits per second (Mbps).  That’s about 30 gigabytes per day, which would take over a week to upload 300GB of data to the cloud.  I performed these tests at multiple times on different days, to avoid random traffic congestion.

pCloud downloaded my files at 31.2 megabits per second (Mbps), which is extremely fast.  This maxed out my internet connection.

I would have liked to see higher speeds when uploading files, although I imagine it will be fine for most users.


pCloud uses SSL for transferring files to and from the cloud.  There’s a checkbox in the settings tab to enable or disable SSL, and by default it’s enabled.  SSL is the same encryption protocol used by banks and other financial institutions.  No one would be able to eavesdrop on your file transfers when using public WiFi at a local coffee shop, for example.

pCloud states files are stored in at least 3 server locations in a secure data center.  However, files aren’t stored encrypted.  I confirmed this with their tech support, although they say they’re working on adding encryption. pCloud recently added an option to encrypt files. When I asked about their encryption, pCloud had this to say:

Your passphrase never leaves your PC. Based on the passphrase the system creates your private key. The passphrase and the Private key get encrypted one more time by using 256 bit encryption. Only the Private Key is uploaded to our server in encrypted state. So we have no access to either the Passphrase and the Private key. The whole encryption process is handled on your device.

This way, the pCloud crypto folder provides zero-knowledge encryption. “The pass phrase of your Crypto Folder cannot be restored. Once reset all your data stored in your Crypto folder gets erased for security reasons.”


pCloud states all users get 24/7 email support, even on the free plan.  However, I contacted them and it took an entire day to receive a reply.  That’s not 24/7 by any means.  pCloud was helpful and thorough in their response, which was nice.

There’s no phone or live chat support.  There is a FAQ and basic online tutorial on how to use the service.

Who Should Use pCloud?

pCloud is good for users who want to backup, synchronize, and share files without file size or bandwidth limits.

I liked almost everything about the service. It has desktop clients for every major operating system, and the web interface is clean and easy to use. The ability to backup other online services (including Facebook) is a very unique and useful feature.

Despite all the positives, there are a couple things I didn’t like. For one, the upload speeds were below average. Also, files aren’t stored encrypted on their servers (nor is there any end-to-end encryption), so the privacy isn’t as good as other services.

More Screenshots

May 2015: Corrected pricing.

Feb. 2016: Updated security section to reflect pCloud adding encryption.


Product Name pCloud
Version 1.2.0
Operating Systems WindowMacLinux
Storage 500 GB
Monthly Price $3.99
Average Upload Speed 2.5 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)
Average Download Speed 31.2 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)

General Features

Free Trial yes
Free Online Storage 10 GB
Mobile Apps Android, iOS
Bandwidth Controls yes
NAS Support no

Backup Features

File Versioning yes
Keep Deleted Files 180 Days
Back Up to Local Drive no

Sync and Share Features

File Sync yes
Selective Sync yes
Public File Sharing yes
Collaborative Invites yes


Encrypted Storage yes
Encrypted Transfer yes
Personal Encryption yes
Zero-knowledge Encryption yes
Two-factor Authentication no


Phone Support no
Email Support yes
24/7 Support no
Live Chat no


Data Center Location(s) Dallas, Texas, USA

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund


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@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 2 years ago

  • Minit

    Thank you for the review. I am currently evaluating pCloud, using the free storage, to see if it’s for me. One great feature you did not mention is the audio player. You can access the audio player in the mobile apps, as well as the web app. With it, you can play all your speed music, in a clean and nice interface. It’s really impressive, although they have to work on it some more to make it really great. For instance, it seems to have trouble reading some meta data in some files. I’ve contacted the support about it.

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    • You’re welcome Minit. I haven’t used pCloud to play audio files, but that’s pretty cool!

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  • Hasan


    I think you must check out specific features that in their web site about “Encrypted Storage” and “Encrypted Transfer”. Because they says they are use “zero knowledge” technology for paid users and crypto


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    • Hi Hasan. Thanks for the info. I’m glad to see they’ve added client-side encryption.

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  • Jerry George

    pcloud stores Files forever, there is no files expiration time for all types of users including free users. This is number 1 feature you should mention it. Pcloud create links for files until u share, otherwise there is no link will available to look u r files.

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    • Those are good points. Not deleting free accounts due to inactivity is a great feature to have.

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      • Jerry George

        If those are good points, why can’t you mention it in this review page? If you dont update no one will follow u r site. May be u r beginner in site making I think.oh boy! u need to learn lot more things from me. Give me u r FB Id I will teach u some lessons on cloud technology.

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        • I generally only update reviews when there’s a new software release, or if there’s enough interest in a feature I missed. I think I misunderstood. Is this what you’re referring to? https://transfer.pcloud.com/ If so, it looks nice and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

          I also don’t need lessons on making a site or cloud technology. That’s a bit condescending don’t you think?

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          • Jerry George

            Just add this 2 features in review dont argue with me: 1)pcloud supports zipping function, 2)files expiration never. And also add that this features also for free users also.

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          • Don’t take it that hard… There are so many guys out there that have eaten smartness with a spoon 🙂

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        • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

          It seems like Jerry George is one of the owners of pcloud.

          I hate Geoff Akerlund for incompletely posting some of pcloud’s greatest features but telling him that he needs to learn from you? Come on. You can’t even get some of your spellings correct. That says a lot about being a programmer.

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          • dangph

            What evidence do you have that Jerry George is an owner of pCloud?

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          • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman


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          • dangph

            Oh, so no evidence then apart from your imagination.

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          • :D

            you didn’t understand what @Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman:disqus said..
            what he meant was… jerry george above, acts like the owner..
            of course he doesn’t think he is the owner.. lmao. i think we
            all know that.

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  • ricardo cardoso

    the uploads are still so slow even with a paid account, at this time i have a 7Mbps upload connection available (i checked with speedtest.net ) and the uploads are ridicule: 0,7Mbps

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  • Thomas Liotard

    I use the Plustransfer. It looks a bit faster then the other available, free options

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  • Gabor Lengyel

    Basic functionality is relatively good and cheap, but custom synced folders don’t work with many files. On my premium account, I tried syncing a directory with 100.000+ files and only about 4GB in size. The Linux desktop client (?) could not handle it, the upload stalled or was very slow (0-10 kB/s on a 100 Mbit/s uplink). However, the standard folder synced fast, so it was not a network issue. Support advised removing the config folder and reinstalling the client which did not help, and they also told me to try syncing folders with fewer files, which is ridiculous. Support is only in EU working hours.

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  • Incognito

    Convenient program. Normal prices. Good speed.
    I did not like it – it’s impossible to lower the tariff with the return of the difference in money. Only within 10 days.
    If you want to lower the tariff – you will simply be disconnected from the premium subscription without refund.

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    • Do you mean you can’t downgrade the plan? I’m not sure what you mean by tariff, sorry.

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  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    I’m shocked that pcloud got a slow rating on uploads. I have all the popular cloud storage services such as google drive, microsoft onedrive, amazon cloud (not aws, but I have S3 too), box.com, mimedia.com, yandex, and mail.ru (that’s right, they have 25 GB of free cloud), and the fastest upload that I got is from pcloud. Whereas the slowest is from amazon cloud.

    You need to do the test again.

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    • Thanks for the comment Jesse (tell Walt I said hi). The upload speed I got may have been a fluke or perhaps pCloud changed something since then.

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  • HA

    I am using it more than half a year (with 2TB subscription) and it is a really good service. No problem with the upload speed, uploaded with approx 100Mbps…

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  • Frank

    I love the music player capable that can play almost all of the music file type. The video player does do same, but this has a speed problem, most videos i upload that have converted to SD quality already but it can’t be set to SD quality when i preview it online, i don’t know it maybe need some propriterary file types or compress video.. Also, the music player have speed problem, even in MP3 files. I have 10mbps download and 2mbps upload, for upload files sometimes i need to reboot my router/modem in order to have good upload speed, it does have bandwidth limit so i can limit the upload speed because when upload speed is at peak, all my other devices are going slowly without reason (that is my ISP problem, not from this app). I also have no problems in sharing files/folder (I’m not using download/upload link). Overall, this is good for backups, but not in online preview. I rate it 3 stars.

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