End-To-End Encryption vs Client-Side Encryption – Learn More Today

End-To-End Encryption vs Client-Side Encryption

Cloud Storage Client Side Encryption vs. End-To-End Encryption

I am sure a lot of you have heard of these two concepts, but what's the difference and which one is better? Client-side encryption is the best way to secure your files online within a cloud storage.

Well, they are two entirely different security measures just from the start.

End-to-end encryption

The concept of the End-to-end encryption is that, when there's a communication between two parties, they're the only ones that can access the files. It prevents Internet providers or telecommunication providers to access the conversation or the files since they don't have the decryption keys needed to decrypt the communication.

This kind of protected communication is necessary in telecom services and cloud services. If your company doesn't offer this, there will always be a chance that someone is eavesdropping on your conversation or going through your files.

The real question is how secure is this concept with cloud service? There are multiple ways that this kind of protection could get hacked:

  1. End-to-end encryption guarantees that information is exchanged safely between endpoints. In any case, in an attempt to break the encryption, a meddler may mimic a message recipient (between key trade or by substituting his open key for the recipient's), so messages are scrambled with a key known to the assailant. This is known as a man-in-the-middle assault.
  2. Endpoint security - The end-to-end encryption does not specifically address dangers at the endpoints themselves. Every clients' PC can be hacked to take his or her cryptographic key to read the recipients' decoded messages. Indeed, even the most flawlessly encoded correspondence pipe is just as secure as the PC on the other side.
  3. Backdoors - Often the companies themselves implement backdoors (intentionally or non-intentionally) which can be used to bypass the encryption.  In 2013, information leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that Skype had a backdoor which allowed Microsoft to hand over their users' messages to the NSA despite the fact that those messages were officially end-to-end encrypted.

Client-side encryption

The concept of client-side encryption is different, though. Your data is encrypted locally before it even starts transmitting to the other side. That also means that you are the only one that can open or access your files. This encryption can be used to create the Zero-Knowledge platforms that some of the cloud services use. It's at the moment the best security solution available out there. Security of your files is important therefore it's also relevant which cloud storage you're using. 

The best cloud storages that use client-side encryption are listed down below.



pCloud utilises the so-called Crypto Folder to which you can upload your files. Those files are then encrypted by you, and only you have access to them. No one, even pCloud's administrators, will have access to your content. You also have to keep in mind that if you ever forget the password to your Crypto folder all of your files will be lost, since there's no way to open the folder without it.


Sync.com logo

Sync uses "Zero Knowledge" platform which guarantees your privacy by encrypting and decrypting your data client-side. Moreover, the encryption keys that are used to encrypt your files aren't in the hands of Sync, but only you. Even the password to your account is unknown to them.


Mega Cloud Online Storage Review

Mega is known for its good security protocol. It uses AES encryption to secure files. In addition to that, they don't keep any of your passwords or master keys, only you have access to them. The only way to recover your lost password is with the master key which you receive upon registration. This makes Mega one of the more secure cloud services on the market.

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What do you think about "Client-side encryption" ? Share your opinion in the comment section down below!

Dejan Miladinović

Hey there! I am the founder of cloudstorageinfo.org. My website is dedicated to people that are interested in cloud services and anything related to them. Hopefully, you found the post written above useful and intuitive. I would be happy to discuss it more in the comments section. If you have any questions ask them down below and I'll answer them shortly.

6 thoughts on “End-To-End Encryption vs Client-Side Encryption – Learn More Today

  • February 5, 2018 at 17:25

    Your articles are really educational, I’m learning as I want to try to backup my iPhoto, Photos, and may taxes. My taxes are on an external drive in an encrypted file so don’t I already have client-side encryption? This might seem to be a simple question, but I’m old and trying hard to learn.

    • February 7, 2018 at 20:27

      Hello Bill,

      If you’re already using your own encryption software, then there’s no need for a cloud storage that offers client-side encryption. In essence, you’re creating that yourself. It usually means “less hassle” if you go for a cloud storage that offers it so you don’t have to do it yourself but it can still be done with no problems.
      Let me know if you have any other questions!


  • March 10, 2017 at 11:28

    I’d heard of both End-To-End Encryption and Client-Side Encryption but I had no idea what their differences were.
    Seems to me that the most protected is the Client-Side Encryption as you the key holder is the only party to access the cloud storage whereas End-To-End Encryption, seems to have security disadvantages due to pc hacking and bypassing the encryption via the backdoor method.

    With regards to pCloud, Sync and Mega, which would you say is the more secure? They all appear super secure to me, guaranteeing privacy as the encryption takes place before it’s uploaded to the cloud leaving you the only one who can access the data however as you say, if you lose the encryption code you’re doomed.

    Thanks for explaining the difference,

    • March 10, 2017 at 13:03

      Hello Simon,

      To be honest with you, I believe they’re all secure cloud storages. If you want maximum security, go with pCloud’s Crypto plan or just go for the Sync. Great stuff on both of those cloud services and I would pick between those two. pCloud currently also has a Lifetime Special&Mega Offer which is something that is worth looking at. You basically get lifetime cloud storage for a one-time payment, something that not many cloud storages offer.

      Hopefully that helps and thanks for stopping by.


  • January 24, 2017 at 23:51

    Thanks for the sharing about the encryption method and I really learn a lot from your sharing. I believe Mega will be more suitable for me as there is a fail safe option of using the master let,in the event that I forget my password.

    For client side encryption,does it meant that the recipient need to take the password from me in order to open the file that I send?

    • January 25, 2017 at 00:12

      Hello there,

      First of all thanks for stopping by and I do understand your choice of picking Mega. It’s definitely one of the safes cloud storages out there.

      In the case of client side encryption – When you share files with someone else they don’t have to put in the password to open them, unless you specifically design the “share link” to be password protected.

      Hopefully that helps you out!



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