When it comes to online storage providers, there are many criteria to consider. It’s especially annoying when you can’t choose between two services. What is more important, a solution known for the ease of online collaboration or rather a solution optimized on the security and confidentiality of user data? In this article, we will compare the most important features of two services, pCloud made in Switzerland which has seen a rapid evolution in recent years and Google Drive, the giant with more than 800 million users.
Advances in technology offer more and more opportunities for collaboration. At the same time, security becomes a major concern. In the Google Drive vs pCloud debate, which service comes out on top? Let’s take a closer look.
Security and privacy
Let’s attack this comparison between pCloud vs Google Drive with an extremely important point: security and confidentiality.
The usefulness of online storage without good security is questionable. To combat cyberattacks, cloud security uses protocols that authorize your data in transit and encryption that works in transit and at rest. Encryption algorithms can be AES 128 or 256 bit, while TLS protects your data during transfer. Two-factor authentication is useful if your password is stolen.
Google Drive uses 128-bit AES encryption to encrypt your files when stored on its servers. It’s not 256-bit AES encryption, but it gets the job done. During transfer, the TLS protocol protects them. Two-factor authentication is available for better security.
However, privacy is an issue for Google. The company also scans your emails and personal files to provide you with personalized ads, tailored search results and more.
pCloud has its own add-on called pCloud Encryption, which you can get for €4.99 per month or Lifetime for €125. You also have the option of storing your data on the pCloud server in Luxembourg for GDPR protection.
pCloud uses the TLS protocol to protect data in transit to servers. Once your data completes one of its data centers, it is replicated to at least five servers. On these, your files are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption. Two-factor authentication is also available.
Google Drive is not very good at privacy and does not reach the level of encryption of pCloud, so it is pCloud that wins this first part.
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The cost of storage is determined by the price of subscriptions. The amount of space it provides for its price determines its value. It is also interesting that a service offers a free plan or a trial version, so you can test it before you buy it.
Both pCloud and Google Drive offer a free plan. pCloud’s free plan offers up to 10 GB of storage space, in just a few steps after signing up. Google Drive’s free plan gives you a generous 15GB of storage space and the same features as premium users. These include its range of Office apps, Google Photos and other services that integrate with Google.
If you want to store data of more than a few gigabytes, it doesn’t matter which online storage solution you choose: you will have to pay for it. Both Google Drive and pCloud offer premium subscription services, which give you much more storage space. The question is which of the two offers the best formulas?
pCloud only offers two paid plans: Premium 500 GB and Premium Plus 2 TB. The first plan costs €4.99 per month, while the second will cost you €9.99 per month. If you pay by the year, prices drop to €49.99 and €99.99, respectively.
What sets pCloud apart from other online storage providers, especially Google Drive, is its lifetime plan. If you like the service and try to use it long term, you can purchase a lifetime subscription to get better value for money. A lifetime subscription at pCloud for Premium 500GB costs €175 and Premium Plus 2TB is €350.
Google Drive offers more flexibility with its paid plans. If you don’t need a lot of storage, you can get 100GB for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. If you need more, Google has introduced a 200GB plan for $2.99 per month and $29.99 per year. Finally, the 2 plan costs €9.99 per month or €99.99 per year.
In summary, the prices of both solutions are similar for the 2TB plan and although Google offers more options, pCloud offers you the possibility of obtaining a lifetime plan with a unique one, which makes it very attractive in terms of price payment compared to Google Drive. Depending on the plan options or types of subscriptions you want, a different service will take priority. On the other hand, Google gives you ample storage space for its free account with all the premium features included. So we attribute this trick to Google Drive.
Once you’ve uploaded your files, you’ll probably want to share them. This operation must be easy, fast and able to go directly to large social networks, pCloud or Google Drive users and people without an account. You should also remove appropriate content controls, so you can limit unauthorized access through password protection, expiration dates, and permissions.
Let’s see the pCloud case. You can also share files and folders using the web interface or the pCloud Drive desktop app and mobile app.
pCloud users can be prompted to access and edit folders. Upload links allow anyone with access to drop content directly into your folder and download links allow them to view and download your files.
You can easily differentiate your shared files from files shared with you. The service also provides a helpful table that shows statistics about your shares. To prevent unauthorized access, you can set passwords and expiration dates to protect your links.
Sharing files and folders with Google Drive is easy. You can generate a link and copy-paste it or send it by e-mail. People with access can view, comment on, or edit the files based on the permissions you set. Although permissions are available, other content control features, such as expiration dates and password protection, are not. You can find out what others have shared with you by going to the “Shared with me” folder, but there is no such folder for the content you have shared.
It’s clear that pCloud offers more sharing features and has much better content controls to protect your shares, which is why this round goes to pCloud.
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File synchronization is a method of keeping files stored in several different physical locations up-to-date. It allows users to always access the latest version of a file from different devices. This feature is very useful for people using more than one device and for team collaboration.
Google Drive and pCloud use different sync methods, which affects sync speed and ease of use. While both automatically save files, Google goes through a longer process of uploading and uploading the entire document to sync. This may cause delays if you try to access the latest version of the document from another device. Also, if you lose your internet connection while Google is syncing your files, you may lose the work you’ve been doing.
Accessing a document from a different device than the one from which edits were sometimes minimized can cause a delay. For example, if you made changes on your desktop computer, opening the file from your mobile phone may not show the changes immediately. Often you have to close the app and reopen it to see the changes.
pCloud, however, offers block synchronization. This feature allows for faster sync speeds because it updates only changed parts of files instead of the entire file. This feature is not yet available from Google. With pCloud, you also don’t have to wait as long if you want to access the latest version of your file on another device. pCloud does not limit upload speed or file size. This round again goes to pCloud.
Collaboration and productivity
Finally, to finish this pCloud vs Google Drive duel, we take a look at features that have become increasingly popular and useful, such as online collaboration, media players, integration with third-party apps.
Google stands out in this category for its wide range of features. This is the old Google Office suite and now Google Workspace which includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.
Google Drive also has a library of third-party products that includes hundreds of tools it can integrate with, many of which are free. You can preview images and stream video and music files. Google Photos, a stylishly designed photo management app lets you easily keep your photos organized and accessible. With seamless integration with Google Drive, you can access your photos from any device, anywhere.
pCloud also lets you preview your photos and play media files, but it has a few other features. Your photos are not resized when you upload them. pCloud’s audio and video player is convenient and easy to use. You can access your files from any device and the interface is very intuitive. Whether you’re at home or on the go, pCloud makes it easy to stream your favorite videos and listen to your favorite songs. You can easily create playlists of your audio files, ideal for music lovers.
If pCloud offers interesting features, it does not yet offer the possibility of online collaboration, which is in great demand today, especially in the business and education sectors. Both services offer some very useful features, but Google Drive has more integrations and collaboration capabilities, so it wins this game.
There are many quality online storage services out there, of which pCloud and Google Drive are some of the best. They both have their own strengths and areas for improvement, but in the end, in our opinion, it’s pCloud that deserves the top prize. Google Drive is still a good option, depending on your needs, if you need to work with documents and collaborate with other people at the same time. pCloud, for its part, is the first to offer a lifetime plan with a one-time payment. The service offers better control mechanisms for sharing your files, instant data synchronization and finally, data protection subject to Swiss laws as well as unbeatable security.
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