Being one of the oldest and trusted cloud storage service, DropBox is still not that much successful. Low amount of free storage is one of the major downsides of DropBox due to which people resist using it. Also, DropBox has been quite popular in data leaks. So, in this article, we’ll be doing pCloud vs DropBox comparison to know which is the best in value and security.
Despite differences between pCloud and DropBox, both have been featured on a lot of big tech websites as leading cloud storage providers. We all know that DropBox is quite popular and being used from years successfully. Due to some obvious reasons, DropBox and pCloud are two big alternatives to each other. So, let’s dive into the detailed comparison review between these two and know which one is the best.
This comparison review of DropBox vs pCloud has been updated (4 September 2019) on multiple requests of retesting the speed by our readers. Resultingly, we have updated the speed by testing it again. Previously, there was some issue with our internet connection due to which the results were surprisingly bad. If you have any suggestion or questions, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below.
pCloud vs DropBox – Let the fight begin
DropBox as we all already know about it doesn’t require any introduction. pCloud is the new tool in the market which not that popular as DropBox is. As per the claims, DropBox is being used by 50+ million people worldwide. But also, we can’t deny the fact that DropBox has been in news for multiple data leaks. So, just for basic information, let’s take an introduction of DropBox and pCloud especially. You can also skip this section and move to further review.
DropBox – Work Better, Safe, and Together (Seriously?)
No one can deny the fact that DropBox is one of the easiest and seamless cloud storage application available in the market. Launched in 2007, it is still one of the best in the industry among cloud storage solutions. In 2012, DropBox suffered zero-knowledge encryption which dropped its rankings among the most secure cloud storage solutions. DropBox is the easiest to use the application on all mobile, desktop, web, and tablet platforms. A free account gets 2 GB storage which is least in the market. Also, the paid plan for DropBox is the most expensive in the industry. So, those who think DropBox doesn’t need any introduction, you need to revise this thought.
pCloud – Best Secure Encrypted Cloud Storage
It is an easy to use cloud storage service which gives 10 GB of free space to every user for a lifetime. pCloud has been among one of the finest and stable cloud storage service so far. A lot of websites have featured it as best cloud storage services and there is no question over that. Previously, pCloud stored data in US data centers only but now it has complied to EU privacy regulations and stores the data in European locations. One downside about pCloud is that when you need to collaborate your files with someone else, you need to pay extra for collaborations features. So, if you are looking to collaborate with a big team, pCloud may not be the best solution for you.
Now, let’s move to the practicality among these two and start with our pCloud vs DropBox comparison.
Who is faster in File Sync?
Synchronization speed means to download and upload speed of files is a priority concern while choosing cloud storage service. Those who don’t know about it, File sync works as a middleman between your files and cloud storage account to which you are saving files. Its a folder which will be on your desktop, whenever you copy something in that folder, it will start it’s sync with the server and put it on your cloud account so you can access it anywhere.
To check out the sync speed and efficiency, we are taking a 376.2 MB video file and will try uploading it to both services using the same internet and system. So let’s see which works fast.
File synchronization client is made available by pCloud on all major platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. Using their desktop client, you can directly upload files from your computer without logging in to any web portal or application. So, the only thing you need to do is to put files in folder, and it will automatically put files in your cloud account so you can access it anywhere.
pCloud offer it’s pCloud Drive which is a unique feature. Using pCloud Drive, it will automatically create a partition on your computer which will be cloud storage but still visible and accessible on your computer while connected to the internet. It keeps sync with your account, so your files will always be in sync with the latest changes and updates by you. Even services like DropBox doesn’t offer this feature. See in the image below for more information:
Difference between downloading and uploading speed was like difference of land and sky. We saw a lot of fluctuations in speed like the uploading speed was ranging between 200 Kbps to 1.2 Mpbs. Also, the same applied in downloading files with pCloud. The reason for this fluctuation can be the placement of servers, they treat premium customers on faster servers. Despite the fluctuations, pCloud completed uploading the file faster than DropBox.
We tested uploading speed and downlading speed of pCloud. Here are the results we got during the test:
The difference in downloading speed between pCloud and DropBox was like land and sky. Our file got downloaded within 1.5 minutes while pCloud took about 14 minutes doing the same. Although, the reason why pCloud file downloaded slowly was that we used a free plan. Premium users will be getting a very good downloading and uploading speed in pCloud also.
Like pCloud and many other cloud storage solutions, DropBox also offers their desktop client which is available on all major platforms. You can directly upload files from desktop to your cloud account and access it on connected devices.
There are few reasons why DropBox is faster. Firstly, they use multiple data centers, so the nearest will be provided to you which simply means that the speed will be faster. pCloud maintans data centers in US and EU countries. So, for people living in the US and EU countries, the speeed will be faster and very similar to what DropBox offer.
DropBox uses block-level file copying which means that only the changed part of a file will be uploaded to the server. This is the reason file upload is faster with DropBox. Also, DropBox is an established company which has more resources to utilize to provide better performance. We hope that pCloud will catch it up soon.
In case of uploading the file, pCloud was faster than DropBox. Downloading speed is the thing where DropBox wins by a big margin.
Points table so far: DropBox (1), pCloud (0)
Ease of File Sharing
Cloud storage is not only about storing your files on the cloud. Sharing is also an important concern. For example, you need to share a file with someone, how would you do that? probably by the sharing link or something like that. All the cloud storage companies now take it as an important concern. Both pCloud and DropBox has its sharing features, let’s see which of these two is providing the best sharing options.
pCloud offers you multiple sharing options like URL sharing, file with password protection, email sharing, invite to the folder, file sharing with an expiration time, link shortening, and link branding. It is a lot. Branding is a unique feature which allows you to customize file download page with your logo, headline, and a description (click here to see example).
File sharing is quite easy in pCloud, you just need to click on options over a file and from there you can click sharing. The most preferred option is direct link sharing. If you want to prevent a file from unauthorized access, you can password protect it. Sharing features with pCloud are extraordinary and this also helps in preventing your files from any unauthorized access.
In DropBox, you can share files and folders directly from Desktop or your web interface. You just need to click on the share button and from there you can create a link which can be shared. Along with link sharing, the second option is sharing via email.
When you share files via email, you can grand permissions like edit and delete to the person you are sharing the file with. But, if someone wants to edit or delete files, they must be logged in a DropBox account.
Password-protected file sharing is only available to the business plans of DropBox. Using the mobile application, you cannot set expiration time and password to a file. DropBox is easy to use but in the sharing segment, it lacks some essentials features like standard password-protected files, expiration date, download stats, etc.
We’ve personally experienced that in some cases when there are a lot of downloads on a file in a free account, DropBox might disable further downloads to save bandwidth.
Points table so far: DropBox (1), pCloud (1)
pCloud vs DropBox – Security is the most important part
Security is the most important part when choosing a cloud storage solution. Your files on the cloud are more vulnerable as they are on your computer. While most of the attacks are caused by easy to guess passwords but many attacks still take place due to software bugs and breaches.
All cloud storage companies take care of the security to provide the best service to their customers. It is their responsibility to take care of the security of your data and also to ensure that their software and systems are well updated with the vulnerabilities. So, let’s see how pCloud and DropBox performs in security. Although we know that DropBox has been in news multiple times about data breaches, let’s look at both the providers here.
The best thing about pCloud is that it never been in news for data breaches. It has a clear security record with 0 incidents so far. Each file transfer is performed over a TLS/SSL connection which ensures security during upload and download. This helps in preventing any middle-man from accessing the file. So, only you and pCloud will be able to send and receive a file.
pCloud uses 256-bit AES encryption which is standard for all could storage services. 256-bit AES encryption is that strong that even a supercomputer might take billion on years to crack it. On the other hand, pCloud offer its Crypto addon which is extremely secure with end to end encryption. In pCloud Crypto, your file is encrypted when you upload it, and it keeps encrypted till you download it. This is zero-knowledge encryption in which you will be provided a password key for the file. The downside of Zero-Knowledge encryption is that if you lost the key, you can’t recover it.
Just like DropBox, pCloud also offer two-factor authentication which we usually know as 2FA. It makes your account more secure.
Like pCloud, DropBox also offers encryption but that doesn’t end to end. When you upload a file to the server, it uploads in an encrypted form and gets decrypted when it is uploaded on the server. So, when you again download it, it will be encrypted again. The reasons behind this encryption and decryption manner are because DropBox uses meta information from your files so that it can be indexed faster.
Where pCloud uses 256-bit AES, DropBox is using 128-bit AES encryption which is less secure than pCloud but it is faster and still extremely hard to crack. But, when the file is uploaded on the server, it is secured with 256-bit AES.
DropBox does offer two-factor authentication so you can double secure your account with security codes. When you log in, you can request DropBox to send authentication code on mobile or application like Google Authenticator which helps in keeping your account secure even if your password is known to another person.
Zero-Knowledge encryption is not available on DropBox which directly means that your files will be accessible by you are DropBox. Being based in the US, DropBox has this problem.
DropBox has been in news for many data leaks. One of the major incidents happened in 2012 when DropBox leaked 68 million account passwords. But, they claimed that only the Emails were leaked. In 2016, everyone got to know that not only emails but passwords were leaked in 2012 leak incident.
Points table so far: DropBox (1), pCloud (2)
Cost of Storage: How much you need to pay?
Security is the priority, and the money being equally important but obviously on the second number. Money is also an important factor when you are buying a cloud storage solution. I know that price is not a big concern but you should at least get worth of the money you are paying for. As we are doing proper comparison of pCloud vs DropBox, money is also equally important to be considered. So, let’s check out the pricing plans of pCloud vs DropBox and which is the best one in terms of money.
Without any doubt, if you are looking for any free cloud storage service then pCloud is the best for you. It offers 10 GB of free storage with all security and sharing options. Also, you can get 1 GB free each time you refer a user to pCloud. So, if you refer 10 friends, you will be having 20 GB of lifetime storage for free. For premium users, pCloud offers two different plans. First one is annual payment mode and seconds is lifetime payment mode. Let’s have a look at their plans.
Like many other cloud storage services, DropBox also offers a free plan but that is just 2 GB which is like a formality I think. Just like pCloud, they also have a referral program where you can 500MB of free storage on each referral. Additionally, there are three plans available for users. Let’s have a look at it.
Points table so far: DropBox (1), pCloud (3)
pCloud vs DropBox: The Conclusion
Before we conclude this pCloud vs DropBox comparison review, there are few things which need to be mentioned. DropBox comes with productivity apps integrated like DropBox Paper, Microsoft Office, where you can edit documents online. pCloud doesn’t offer any such integrations except media streaming, file comments, and file previews.
Keeping in mind about the things we analyzed in this pCloud vs DropBox comparison, we keep pCloud on top. Except for file sync speed, pCloud excels in every aspect from pricing to security. There is a big difference in price. Also, pCloud Crypto offers additionally secure space to store your confidential files.