Interview with Anton Titov – CTO of pCloud

Interview with Anton Titov, pCloud CTO

This Switzerland-based cloud storage company is beating some of the biggest names in the cloud storage space right now. Read the interview below!


“I created pCloud because I knew I could do better than other cloud storage companies.”

~ Anton Titov, CTO of pCloud

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 5-Minute Read

It’s 6 PM in Slovenia. I’m about to get on a Zoom chat with Anton Titov, the CTO of the increasingly popular cloud storage company named, pCloud. Now, I know an interview with the CTO of a cloud storage company isn’t on your list of “Can’t-Wait To Read,” but I assure you… It’s an interesting one and you might even get something out of it at the end!

pCloud has quickly become one of the leading cloud storage software companies due to its unique selling point, which is:

2 TB of cloud storage for one payment… backed by a “military-grade” encryption system that is 100% impenetrable.

To prove their system can’t be “hacked,” pCloud offered $100,000 to anyone that could “crack” their system. They gave the challenge to students attending Berkley, MIT, Boston, and 613 other top organizations. 6 months went by and no one has succeeded.


Anton arrives in our Zoom chat meeting room.

When I see him on camera, right away I think to myself, “”Cloud storage company” is last on my list of guessing what Anton does for a living.” With shoulder-length slick black hair, a finely groomed goatee, and a lean build, Anton could be seen as a member of a heavy metal band from Norway.

He’s quiet, polite, and feels as though he’s not an interesting person.

He speaks as if he’s just an average person that was raised in a normal household like everyone else. “Learning computer programming at age 12 while living in Sofia, Bulgaria… on a computer that was severely outdated… is far from ‘normal’.” I tell him. “In a good way of course.”

Anton doesn’t like being “front and center” when it comes to attention. “That’s kind of hard to do,” I tell him, “…you created a cloud storage software that is disrupting an entire market.”

Anton laughs like he doesn’t think what I say is true. But stats don’t lie, pCloud proudly displays that over 10,000,000+ of people “switched over” to pCloud as their #1 provider for all of their cloud storage needs. And in a market that hasn’t been “shaken-up” in years, pCloud is making waves in all the right ways.

Anton doesn’t see himself as a “disruptor” but someone that knows computer programming and knows how to make something better.


pCloud car

Dejan: So how has the pCloud project started in the first place? What triggered the idea?

Anton: I first created pCloud because I wanted something faster and more reliable to use for when I’m out driving rallycross.

I like to listen to music while driving and I wasn’t happy with the speeds of the other cloud storages…

But it was mainly my friends that pushed me to make pCloud into what it is today…

My friends wanted to send me stuff all the time but the files were too big or it was too slow to download.

So I created an early version of pCloud and told them to send me files that way.

But they wanted something faster, something they could share instantly.

pCloud car 2

That’s when I came up with a “download link” option in pCloud where you can take any file big or small and it will generate a link for you and send it instantly.

Dejan: Instantly?

Anton: Instantly. Our sharing capability is one of the best. Others may be doing it now. But I know pCloud was the first… we really perfected it.

Dejan: So, why did you want to go “bigger” and provide this service for others?

Anton: Cloud storage was underserved at the time. It was too expensive for what you get. And it was slow. And people found it “confusing” or hard to use.

Plus, no one was doing a “virtual hard drive.”

pCloud created a way to share and see files without downloading them to the device’s hard drive.

And where I live, the Internet speed used to be very slow. Not so much now, but at the time, using something like Dropbox was very very slow.

So I wanted to create new cloud storage system that would be fast even with less Internet speed.

Dejan: Security and privacy are nowadays a huge factor on the internet. Users are more careful about what they do online. Did Edward Snowden and the NSA have anything to do with the creation of pCloud?

Anton: I mean… [pause] I don’t want to say it was the main factor. But privacy and security are very important, yes.

You saw what happened to Dropbox back in 2012?

(Referring to when 68 million users had their Dropbox login information hacked and put on sale on the “dark web.”)

I was part of that group that got hacked. And I knew I could fix the problems they were having.

Dejan: Your plan was to make a secure space for users with pCloud?

Anton: Yes. I knew how to make it better and make it absolutely secure and private. No one has access to anyone’s account at pCloud. Not even me.

The user holds the key at all times. We have no way of “hacking” into the servers and getting information. The user chooses who has access.

Dejan: What about governments and authorities?

Anton: No one. No one can have access. Our company is based in Switzerland. We abide by their rules when it comes to the privacy of data. They have one of the most strict laws when it comes to the data of the individual.

Dejan: You’re also the one that started the lifetime 2 TB of storage for one payment. Tell me about that…

Anton: [Laughs] People were really happy about that one and sometimes I wonder why I’m giving away so much for such a great deal.

Dejan: It is a really good deal considering people are tired of the monthly payments and lack of customer support. People realize they save hundreds in the long-run.

Anton: Honestly. From a business and customer stand-point, it just makes sense. We provide people with an excellent product and then we focus our attention on serving that customer forever.

We build a community. A relationship with our customers… which as you know, most other cloud storage companies lack.


Thank you Anton Titov for agreeing to be part of this interview!

Feel free to check out pCloud down below!

Dejan Miladinović

Hey! Welcome to Cloudstorageinfo.org. My name is Dejan Miladinović and hopefully, your go-to guy for all cloud service things considered. I've been extensively testing and researching the cloud service market for the past 4 years and posting various reviews and tips on this very website. 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.

4 thoughts on “Interview with Anton Titov – CTO of pCloud

  • November 14, 2019 at 08:29
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    Nice interview! I was from China and now reside in Germany. My favorite features of pCloud are lifetime plan and virtual hard drive.

    One-time payment is quite appealing since previous cloud storage I use is a Cloud service from BaiDu, a Chinese company that shows no respect to customers’ privacy (To make it worse even share your data with government). I can use 5TB storage for free, but at what cost? For those ignorant Chinese people it’s fine but not for me. So when I realized that most other respectable cloud services are expensive and don’t provide large storage by one-time payment, I was astonished that pCloud can offer such a good deal while still keeping users’ files in secure servers.

    Virtual hard drive is another shining feature, IMO perhaps the best feature pCloud offers. I can’t find any competitor that supports local video playback like streaming online even Google Drive(not to mention Google will remove some videos based on copyright violation). I use this feature to watch Japanese animations, which I’m a huge fan of. Unfortunately Mandarin, English and German are all I’m capable of. Even though I’m willing to purchase Blu-Ray discs of certain animes that I love which I did purcahse 7~8 of them, it’s a shame that I can’t understand most of what voice actors say. Therefore unembed subtitles from Chinese or English translators are needed. With virtual hard drive, I can playback videos with any video player on my computer like potplayer or VLC(those video player clients support adding subtitles to the video and positioning them anywhere you like) as long as my network speed is fast enough. When I double click a video, it’s actually loading like watching Youtube videos. All of the data are stored in cache which can be deleted easily.

    There’s a simliar feature from Koofr. But they use WEBDAV to virtualize hard drive. When I open any video, it needs to be downloaded completely to cache before playback. Might as well download it locally.

    You might wonder if I watch videos like that then I must have downloaded them before. Why don’t I watch videos when they’re in local storage? Let me explain a bit more. Virtual hard drive shows its superiority when combined with online torrenting services that can send data directly to pCloud (or others like Google Drive and then use other all-in-1 cloud management services to transfer data from other Clouds to pCloud). Server-wise download is much faster than downloading locally to my computer. 80GB download of “Legend of Galactic Heroes” costs only 30min and transfer takes around 40min. Think about that efficiency and the fact that using online torrenting services with some high reputation VPNs if someone wants to take top-level precautions, you no longer need to worry about getting fined for torrenting coz what you access is your personal cloud storage.

    But I have to admit that offering lifetime plans constantly are truly worrisome from time to time coz I don’t really know how they benefit from it(may be from users who are skeptical to this and only use monthly paid plans?) pCloud has already offered enough for my digital life. I hope they can last as long as possible.

    Reply
  • October 3, 2019 at 13:28
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    Wow, I didn’t know before who the CTO of pCloud storage is. As far as I am concerned, he has created one of the best online system storages and that with a great deal too. One thing I am very fascinated about is the fact that it was his friends that made him build it. It goes to show how important it is good to have good friends. I was hoping you’d ask what development are coming or what new projects he is looking to do. It’s a great post here though, and I enjoyed this insight on your interview. Thanks!

    Reply
    • October 3, 2019 at 18:11
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      I’ll make sure to ask him that next time, thanks for your input!

      Dejan

      Reply
  • October 3, 2019 at 13:21
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    This is a very good one. It’s nice to have an insight on the CTO of the pCloud platform. Personally, I make use of pCloud now and I get to share and save all my stuff while being rest assured that it’s in a safe place. I didn’t know that they really did go as far as daring anyone to penetrate their encryption. That’s a big deal for me because now I’m even more assured than I was before about the platform. Nice job to interview Anton. He does sound like a simple casual person and maybe I too wouldn’t look at him as a person who would create the platform.

    Reply

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