Dropbox is a very popular service amongst genealogists. I have often mentioned Dropbox in my previous articles. (See https://goo.gl/sTtLwu for a list of my previous articles that mention Dropbox.) However, Dropbox certainly is not perfect.
My biggest complaint with Dropbox is that it has a rather weak method of encryption for storing your data on Dropbox’s servers. (See https://goo.gl/G7cxNF for an explanation of Dropbox’s encryption weaknesses.) Dropbox employees can read your personal data. If Dropbox receives a court order demanding they supply copies of your personal data to some government agency, the company must do so. Also, in theory, if a hacker ever gains access to Dropbox’s servers, that person possibly could also read your data. The odds of a hacker gaining access are slim but not impossible.
Next, Dropbox only provides 2 gigabytes of storage space free of charge, significantly less than that of most of its competitors.
One new service is “just like Dropbox, except (1.) it is faster than Dropbox, (2.) it can encrypt every bit of data before storing on the company’s servers, making the service much more secure and (3.) it offers 10 gigabytes of free storage space with the option to obtain 20 gigabytes at no charge if a user makes some bonus steps.
pCloud is an online file storage service “in the cloud” that is almost unknown. However, in my opinion, pCloud should be considered seriously. Though far from the biggest name on the market, the company has a lot to offer, especially for those who are looking for a simple, easy-to-use, free service. It is a good alternative for those who are considering Dropbox or Google Drive or any of several other cloud-based file storage services.
pCloud is an online storage service for all of your photos and videos, your favorite music, and personal and work documents. You can make sure your files are always with you when you need them, and share easily with friends, family, coworkers and partners so you are always on the same page.
If you are looking for a safe and secure place to store backup copies of your critical files, you should consider the following:
pCloud is a Swiss company. Swiss laws prohibit Swiss-based companies from disclosing a user’s private information to anyone, not even to the Swiss government. That means if a repressive government (China, the Arab countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.) obtains a court order against pCloud demanding that pCloud turn over your private files to that government, pCloud will ignore the court order and the Swiss government will also back up pCloud’s right to do so.
NOTE: While pCloud is a Swiss company, the servers are actually in Norway, a country with similar laws that prohibit divulging private data.
Unlike other cloud-based file storage services, pCloud (optionally) does not take space on your computer.
pCloud offers an encrypted option for an additional $3.99/month. This is in addition to the data transferred to pCloud’s servers which is always sent via TLS/SSL protocol. pCloud Crypto offers client-side encryption, i.e. the encryption process is performed on your device. The encrypted version of your files is uploaded to the pCloud servers and the plain text files never leave your computer. Your files can be encrypted and decrypted only with your Crypto Password that is known only to you. Even the pCloud system administrators will be unable to read your (encrypted) data.
pCloud can share (unencrypted) files and folders even with users that are not pCloud users.
There is no size limit on individual files. That is, unlike Dropbox, pCloud can even store an 8-gigabyte video file.
pCloud is faster than Dropbox and with Crypto also is more secure because of private encryption.
pCloud has apps for Windows, Macintosh OS X, iPhone and iPad iOS, Android, and Linux.
pCloud can sync ANY folder, not just one folder the way Dropbox does.
pCloud has built-in audio and video players so you can stream music or video and watch it on your computer or tablet or smartphone while it is streaming.
If 20 gigabytes isn’t enough storage space for you, 500 gigabytes is available for $3.99 US per month, or 2 terabytes (2,000 gigabytes) may be obtained for $7.99 per month. I suspect that 2,000 gigabytes will suffice for most people.
pCloud users also can view the history of all file changes, open previous versions and restore them if necessary. History and old versions are available for at least 30 days.
There are dozens of cloud-based file storage services available today. If you are looking for one that is better than Dropbox, I suggest you investigate pCloud at https://goo.gl/WkTuyp before making a decision. Check out the “Plans and Pricing” page at https://www.pcloud.com/cloud-storage-pricing-plans.html.