pCloud vs Dropbox – The Ultimate Comparison

pCloud vs Dropbox


pCloud vs Dropbox – The Ultimate Comparison

pCloud vs Dropbox: It goes without saying that Dropbox is the most widely spread cloud storage, reportedly used by 500 million users. On the other hand, we’re looking at cloud storage that has just recently reached 10 million users. Bear in mind that they have been steadily raising their userbase in the past few years and that trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. Well, why is that happening? pCloud has quite a few compelling features that encourage people to use their service and even switch from Dropbox. We’ll compare the two and see which one takes the spotlight at the end. You can also check the separate reviews on pCloud and Dropbox.

pCloud

$4.99/month 500 GB
9.1

Pricing & Plans

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

File Syncing

10.0/10

File Sharing

8.5/10

Retrieving Files

8.5/10

Security

9.5/10

Support

9.0/10

Additional Features

9.0/10

Pros

  • Up to 20 GB of free storage
  • Amazing sycing solutions
  • Unlimited transfer speeds
  • Easy to use
  • Unlimited file sizes
  • Client-side encryption
  • Innovative lifetime plans

Cons

  • No client-side encryption in the free plan
  • No dedicated live chat/phone support

Dropbox

€11.99/month 2000 GB
7.9

Pricing & Plans

7.5/10

Ease of use

9.0/10

File Syncing

8.5/10

File Sharing

6.5/10

Retrieving Files

9.0/10

Security

5.0/10

Support

9.5/10

Additional Features

8.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quality sync options
  • Good file retrieving options
  • Diverse support

Cons

  • Semi-expensive
  • No backup feature
  • Limited sharing options
  • No client-side encryption
  • Prone to Patriot and CLOUD Act

Jump to:

Pricing & Plans
Ease of use
File syncing
File sharing
Retrieving files
Security
Online support
Additional features
Conclusion


Pricing & Plans

pCloud

pCloud is one interesting beast. You can get up to 20 GB of storage completely for free. Like all the other cloud storages they also offer the monthly plans which you can pay yearly to get a discount on the whole thing. But here’s where it gets interesting. They also offer lifetime plans. That’s right, for a one-time payment you receive 500GB or 2000GB of cloud storage for 99 years or until you die, whichever is shorter! They were the first cloud storage to bring this to the market a few years ago and it seems like it is working out for them and the customers. And it doesn’t end there. You can also go with lifetime family plans. They certainly made it to my “Best lifetime cloud storage plans” article.

Alongside the standard plans, they also offer additional protection for your files under their Crypto plan. A 10 days money-back guarantee is placed on all plans.


Lifetime Plans
Premium 500 GB
Lifetime
€175
500 GB Storage
500 GB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud
Premium 2 TB
Lifetime
€350
2 TB Storage
2 TB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud
2 TB Family
Lifetime
€500
Up to 5 users
2 TB Storage & Link Traffic
Go To pCloud

We have gone in detail about lifetime plans and figured out if they’re worth the money here.


Monthly Plans
Free
No payment
Free
Up To 20 GB Storage
50 GB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud
Crypto
Per Month
€3.99
Up To 20 GB Storage
50 GB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud
Premium 500 GB
Per Month
€3.99
500 GB Storage
500 GB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud
Premium 2000 GB
Per Month
€7.99
2000 GB Storage
2000 GB Download Link Traffic
Go To pCloud

The monthly plans presented above are true if you go with yearly payments.


Dropbox

Dropbox has been in this game for a while. They know what works and what doesn’t and have as such prepared a set of personal and business plans. They vary both in the storage they offer and the features you get. Having said that, there are also other features that aren’t part of these plans and need to be paid additionally. Remember that you can opt-in for yearly payments and that way save 17% on all plans. Another thing worth mentioning is that VAT still needs to be applied to all business plans.

Personal Plans
Basic
No Payment
Free
Free plan for basic users. The storage limit can be increased through referrals.
2 GB Storage
Plus
Per Month
€11.99
Plan for average users that need more storage. Comes with additional features.
2000 GB Storage
Plus
Per Month
€19.99
Plan for average users that need more storage. Comes with additional features.
3000 GB Storage
Professional
Per Month
€19.99
Dropbox plan for advanced users that want advanced controls and features.
3000 GB Storage

pCloud vs Dropbox Round 1 Thoughts

Both pCloud and Dropbox offer a wide array of pricing plans and yet pCloud manages to stay ahead with a lot bigger chunk of free storage. Their monthly plans are also cheaper in comparison to Dropbox. The unique lifetime plans make them a very interesting option to look at from that perspective. The ability to pay once for cloud storage and not worry about monthly payments seems pretty great to me.

Pricing & Plans Winner: pCloud

Ease of use

pCloud

It has an interface that’s quite simple and easy to use. You can switch between the list and grid view. Uploading, sharing, collaborating, downloading and all other tasks are easy to execute with buttons being on appropriate and logical places. On the left, you’re also presented with a menu that forwards you to other options such as the Crypto folder, Shared files and Audio files for fast access. The interface feels responsive and seems to be able to cope with whatever you set out to do.

pCloud allows you to preview text and pdf files directly in the dashboard. You can also listen to music and watch videos.

pCloud User Interface
Dropbox

During the years their interface changed a lot and has come to what we have available now shown in the screenshot below. The interface feels responsive and is fairly easy to use. There are plenty of options available left and right. In fact, their cloud storage is quite known on the internet for its simplicity but that trend has been around for years now. I would say that all modern cloud storages nowadays are quite easy to use and easy to learn.

You’re also able to work on documents, watch videos and listen to music directly from the Dropbox dashboard.

Dropbox User Interface

pCloud vs Dropbox Round 2 Thoughts

Both pCloud and Dropbox have been around for quite some time. They have eliminated most of the bugs and quirks in regards to the interface and are both fairly easy to use. With slightly different structures and menus, there’s nothing that steals the show from another.

Ease Of Use Winner: Both

File syncing

pCloud

pCloud Drive is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is a client-side application that you install on your computer. It creates an imaginary drive to which you can save your files and the best part about it: It doesn’t take up any of your local storage capacity (which is basically what selective sync does with Dropbox) unless you save the files specifically for offline usage. You can at any time add, edit and delete the files from the Drive. All the changes you make on the drive will be recognized and applied to all your other devices and the website dashboard. Which is what the ultimate advantage of cloud storage is in the first place. Being able to access and work on your files from multiple locations at any time.

An option to Sync any folder on your computer is also available. That means there’s no need of copying the files directly to pCloud Drive but instead just leaving them where they are. A neat and useful feature.

You can also share the files directly from pCloud Drive.

pCloud Drive
Dropbox

Dropbox is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. The application creates an imaginary drive to which you can then save your files. Dropbox utilizes the so-called selective sync which means that you can select which folders you would like to keep on your hard drive and in the cloud and which ones you would like to keep just in the cloud. It makes for a nice feature that enables you to save up valuable storage on your computer. The Smart Sync they offer in their pricing plans is an advanced version of selective sync (it enables you to save files just locally or in a mixed state as well).

Sharing the files directly from the desktop is also available, however, there’s no option to sync any folder on your desktop.

Dropbox Drive

pCloud vs Dropbox Round 3 Thoughts

Both pCloud and Dropbox have come a long way when it comes to their client applications. Both offer them on all the major platforms with all the features one would expect (saving local capacity, sharing directly from the desktop etc.) There are very minor differences between the two and yet pCloud does have the ability to Sync any folder on your computer which is quite a cool feature. I believe it would be fair to give pCloud the round on that account but I would still like to commend Dropbox on their innovative ways to save local storage capacity.

File Syncing Winner: pCloud

File sharing

pCloud

pCloud offers multiple ways of sharing files:

  • Share a download link – Creates a link to files or folders in your pCloud account that you can share with friends and co-workers. They can see and download the files even without a pCloud account.
  • Share an upload link – Provide a link to your personal cloud space where friends and co-workers can upload their files for you. Your folder, their content.
  • Invite to a folder – You can invite other people to your folders so you can collaborate with them on any of your files. You can control who can edit or view the files.
pCloud Share Options

When it comes to the links you’re able to:

  • View link statistics (total downloads, total traffic, weekly traffic statistics)
  • Make a short link
  • Add a password to the link (Premium)
  • Add an expiry date to the link (Premium)
  • Add branding to the link (Premium)
Dropbox

With Dropbox you’re able to:

  • Share a link to folders/files
  • Invite specific people to a folder (to edit or just to view)
Dropbox Share Settings

You have a few options when it comes to the links:

  1. People can edit or just view
  2. Put a password on your link (Professional)
  3. Add an expiry date on your link (Professional)
  4. Disable downloads for your link (Professional)

Dropbox introduced limits to the sharing links:

Free accounts:

  • 20 GB per day: The total amount of traffic that all of your links and file requests combined can generate
  • 100,000 downloads per day: The total number of downloads that all of your links combined can generate

Pro accounts:

  • About 200 GB per day: The total amount of traffic that all of your links and file requests combined can generate
  • There’s no daily limit to the number of downloads that your links can generate

pCloud vs Dropbox Round 4 Thoughts

In short, pCloud provides more options in the free plans when compared to Dropbox. When it comes to the premium plans both offer about the same but you might want to go with pCloud if you want to put branding on your links (which is a cool feature to have in every line of work). Dropbox does offer more bandwidth though so that’s important when sharing to a larger audience or very big files frequently. pCloud limits could be enough for you though so calculate how much bandwidth you need and decide after that.

File Sharing Winner: Both

Retrieving files

pCloud

pCloud features a trash bin and a versioning system. You can recover files and versions for up to 15 days in the free plan and up to 30 days in the pro plans. Getting extended file history (EFH) will make that time longer: 360 days for both the trash bin and all the versions.

pCloud Rewind is another great future that enables you to look at your account as it was in the past and recover files from that time. The same timings that are written above apply here as well!

pCloud Rewind
Dropbox

Dropbox likewise features a versioning and recovery system. You can recover files and versions with:

  • Basic and Plus accounts – Up to 30 days
  • Professional accounts – Up to 180 days

They also offer the Dropbox Rewind feature that lets you take your account back in time. That feature is available only to Plus and Professional accounts.


pCloud vs Dropbox Round 5 Thoughts

Both cloud storages are quite good in this area. I find the Rewind feature great and you can get it with pCloud and Dropbox. In regards to the time, you must ask yourself for how long would you like to keep your deleted files/versions and make your decision based on that (taking into account the prices for all the plans as well).

Retrieving Files Winner: Both

Security

pCloud

pCloud has their servers (owned by them) located mostly in the US, with cache and proxy servers in several points in the EU. Your files are stored in at least 3 different server locations within highly secured storage areas. Every single file is divided and stored in 15 different racks and servers. The system is live with up to 5 racks/servers down. To guarantee your files’ safety, pCloud uses TLS/SSL encryption, applied when information is transferred from your device to the pCloud servers. You can also optionally subscribe to pCloud Crypto which encrypts your files client-side. That means nobody but yourself can access those files, not even the cloud storage administrators or government authorities.

pCloud Crypto is the thing you should pay attention to here. In fact, pCloud is the first cloud storage provider to offer both client-side encryption and server-side encryption. You might ask yourself, what are the advantages of that? Why not simply do client-side encryption across all files and with that disable any sort of access by the government authorities? There’s one big downside. Encrypted files can’t be accessed by anyone. Even the servers and processors don’t understand the data. That way all possible applications such as image previews, playing videos and music directly in the cloud, previewing documents,… aren’t possible.

It is for that reason that pCloud has both the client-side encryption (zero-knowledge) where you can place your important files and the server-side encryption where you can place music, videos and other stuff. That is if you wish to view them directly in the cloud. You can still opt-in to upload everything to your Crypto folder and unlock that whenever you need it.

pCloud also offers two-factor authentication.

They have no security breaches on their record and it looks like it will stay that way.

Dropbox

Dropbox files are encrypted using 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Dropbox uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect data in transit between Dropbox apps and their servers; it’s designed to create a secure tunnel protected by 128-bit or higher Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption.

Two-step verification is available for an extra layer of security to log in. You can choose to receive security codes by text message or via any Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP) apps, such as Google Authenticator.

I have to point out that Dropbox was hacked back in 2012 which resulted in a leak of 68M encrypted passwords and emails. The issue has been patched immediately but who says it can’t happen again.


pCloud vs Dropbox Round 6 Thoughts

A lot of people are searching for cloud storage that has their servers located outside the US. That is due to the Patriot act and the Cloud act that is present in the US. It allows government agencies and authorities to request personal data from cloud storage providers. But how do we act here? Both pCloud and Dropbox have their servers located in the US. Well, pCloud allows you to surround your files with client-side encryption. That disables any kind of interference from the government, they simply can’t do anything about it. Dropbox, on the other hand, suffered a massive hacking blow in 2012 with no client-side encryption amongst their features. The winner is clear.

Security Winner: pCloud

Online support

pCloud

pCloud offers an extensive FAQ base with hundreds of questions answered. There’s a high chance that one of the questions you have will be amongst them. If your question isn’t there you can still contact their support team which usually answers the same day, unless you sent the e-mail in late hours. They’re usually very helpful and provide useful feedback. I’ve also observed their support team in action on their social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) where they are very active and eager to help their users. After contacting them personally they made a great impression on me, proving that they do care about their own customers. What it does sadly lack is the option for you to call them directly if you need technical support.

pCloud FAQ Support
Dropbox

Dropbox has created an FAQ base which contains quite a few answers. In addition to that, they have a full-blown forum where people post issues and solutions to different problems. If you don’t find the answer there you can contact Dropbox support via email, chatbot or Twitter support. Their Pro plans feature priority email and chat support. Phone support is available to big businesses only.

Dropbox community
pCloud vs Dropbox Round 7 Thoughts

The forum alone makes Dropbox one hell of a beast. A lot of users means a lot of interaction and assistance. Apart from that, we can compare the email and social media support quite evenly, with Dropbox having an edge in regards to phone support for big businesses.

Online Support Winner: Dropbox

Additional features


Mobile Application

pCloud

pCloud application is available on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile. You’re able to back up your photos and videos with their Automatic Upload function. There’s even an option to auto-delete them as they’re uploaded to the cloud which pretty much makes your mobile storage enormous (if you go with one of their paid plans). You’re able to listen to music and watch videos directly in the application with their integrated players. Your files can also be made accessible offline by favouriting them (selective sync).

The application allows you to do pretty much everything you can do on the website dashboard or on your desktop which makes it a great utility if you’re on the move a lot.

Dropbox

Dropbox supports iOSWindows Phone and Android systems. The Dropbox mobile application allows you to access your files anywhere you are. It feels the same as if I would be browsing on my computer. It also adds an additional feature to upload your photos automatically. I guess you could call that one way to backup your photos. Overall it’s a nice looking interface, and the whole application is well made.


pCloud Additional Features

Public Folder

The Public Folder functionality allows you to upload files such as images to which you can then link or embed in your files. It replaces the need for websites like imgur.com. Comes with the premium plan.

pCloud Public Folder
pCloud Save & Remote Upload

pCloud Save is an extension for the following browsers: Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox. It allows you to save images, text content and other files directly to the cloud from the web. That eliminates the need to download them to your desktop and makes for a great time-saver.

pCloud Save Image

Remote Upload is a feature that has the same functionality as the pCloud Save extension. Simply take a link to a video or an image and place it directly in the pCloud upload manager. The files will then be downloaded directly to the servers of the provider, eliminating the need to save them locally first.

Free accounts get 15 GB of one-time Remote Upload traffic while premium users get an unlimited amount.

pCloud Backups

You can backup multiple platforms directly within the pCloud dashboard: Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and OneDrive. It makes for a useful feature if you are using multiple cloud storages or you would like to save your pictures that have been uploaded to the social media.


Dropbox Additional Features

Dropbox Paper

It allows multiple users to work on the same document at the same time. You can insert images, make headings, comment on certain parts of the text and all sorts of other stuff. It has its own system (not integrated Google Docs or Microsoft Office).

Dropbox Paper
Dropbox Transfer

It does pretty much what it sounds like. It allows you to send large files to anyone, even people that don’t have a Dropbox account. The professional plan enables branding, passwords, expiration dates and increases file size.

Dropbox Showcase

Only available in the Professional plan. It allows you to make presentations that you can share with partners and clients and follow the stats in regards to them.


Conclusion

pCloud vs Dropbox: We’ve gone pretty much over every aspect of these two cloud storages. If we take a look and sum up:

  • pCloud provides more free storage and cheaper plans. They also offer unique lifetime plans.
  • Both are easy to use and have modern interfaces.
  • Both provide selective sync but pCloud also enables you to sync any folder on your desktop.
  • pCloud provides a wider array of sharing options but Dropbox offers more sharing bandwidth.
  • Both offer the Rewind feature that helps you retrieve files. pCloud offers a longer time frame but you must pay additionally.
  • pCloud without a doubt offers better security and privacy. Dropbox with its data breach in 2012 can’t compare with client-side encryption offered by pCloud.
  • Online support is better with Dropbox due to the massive forums. They both provide equal email and social media support.

After going all these points once again I believe it’s only fair to give pCloud.com the winners cup. They simply offer more for less money.


Winner: pCloud.com

Hopefully, we’ve gone through everything that you wanted to know about the comparison pCloud Vs Dropbox. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comments section down below and I’ll answer shortly!

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.

17 thoughts on “pCloud vs Dropbox – The Ultimate Comparison

  • October 19, 2019 at 16:46
    Permalink

    Drawing a comparison between pCloud and Dropbox is just like comparing an infant with a grown man. It is just a comparison that is totally out of point. pCloud is just way better and considering the pricing too, I like it much better for what they offer. However, as great as this appears, I would want to know if I have my information elsewhere, how can I get them to pCloud. 

    Reply
  • October 19, 2019 at 16:15
    Permalink

    Well! Going by the review here and analysis comparing the pCloud and Dropbox, I can adjudge that the pCloud is much better than the Dropbox and I will surely like to switch over to this place to ensure that I can have a much better service. But then, I was using Dropbox before, Is there a way I can get my files on Dropbox to pCloud?

    Reply
    • October 20, 2019 at 19:09
      Permalink

      pCloud has designed a great way to tackle that. You don’t have to store all the files you have on Dropbox locally and then upload them to pCloud. Instead, you can make use of their Backup feature that allows you to create a backup of another cloud storage. Simply back up your Dropbox account -> That will then create a folder inside your file manager on pCloud that contains all the data from Dropbox. At that point, you can then just move away from Dropbox.

      Reply
  • October 19, 2019 at 10:30
    Permalink

    Hello

    Very interesting your article

    I use Dropbox for my own use, at the moment that is, but I think I should look more at pCloud now.

    pCloud has more value than Dropbox when it comes to pricing and plans, security and much more, the things people use and need the most in cloud storage.

    It struck me that you can present and share with your partners and customers and follow the statistics on them.

     Thank you for this review.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 04:53
    Permalink

    You really made a great post!

    I have used Dropbox for some years back in college and I was really frustrated because of the breach. When we use it for a group work, it was very practical. Everyone had a password and could join to do their part of the work anytime. But now I understand that the same can be done with pCloud, that’s amazing because it offers more security. But, is it safe to assume that a cloud can’t be hacked?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • October 18, 2019 at 11:24
      Permalink

      Hello,

      Nothing is 100% safe. With pCloud Crypto, you’re most certainly not risking much though. The only way I can see this being hackable is via an error made by the front user rather than a weakness in their system. Take care of which software you download to your device and you should be fine!

      Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 04:30
    Permalink

    The idea if putting up such comparative review on these sites is very nice. Businesses are popping up and stop is saving data in a more reliable way rather than having to write them down and save in files or computers very important. In comparing this these sites, it’s pleasing to know they are legit sites and are pulling lots of people to take part in it. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I must admit I’m impressed with the competition pCloud is giving, going by the fact that its new and have covered some flops of Dropbox. However, it’s nice to know that Dropbox offers free data saving in the cloud. But it’s obvious which the better one is from this review. Best regards.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 20:57
    Permalink

    This looks absolutely amazing and it’s a lot cheaper than Dropbox. Thank you so much for the detailed information. I just have one major concern. If I do decide to switch, what happens to my files stored on Dropbox? How do I transfer all that data? I hope that there is a relatively easy way to transfer the data?!

    Reply
    • October 18, 2019 at 11:20
      Permalink

      Hello Alicia,

      pCloud has designed a great way to tackle that. You don’t have to store all the files you have on Dropbox locally and then upload them to pCloud. Instead, you can make use of their Backup feature that allows you to create a backup of another cloud storage. Simply back up your Dropbox account -> That will then create a folder inside your file manager on pCloud that contains all the data from Dropbox. At that point, you can then just move away from Dropbox.

      Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 13:05
    Permalink

    This I must say is a nice comparison, I believe not biased and very strict in analysis. For quite a while now, I’ve been using pCloud and I can attest to the fact that It offers more than any other I’ve been able to come across. In this article, it’s visible that if a sincere choice will be made, pCloud has more of the floor than Dropbox when it comes to pricing and plans, security and lots more as they are what most people look our for in cloud storage. Thanks.

    Reply
    • October 18, 2019 at 11:16
      Permalink

      Hey, thanks for the kind words and for sharing your experience with pCloud!

      Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 09:38
    Permalink

    I found this really useful as I’ve been meaning to get some cloud storage for quite some time now. If I hadn’t read this I probably would have just gone straight to Dropbox because that’s the name I know, I’d never heard of pCloud. I like the idea that pCloud has a better free starter option and it also sounds like your files are more secure with them. I’d probably choose them over Dropbox for those two reasons. Has pCloud ever been hacked like Dropbox was?

    Reply
    • October 17, 2019 at 17:46
      Permalink

      As far as I know and as far as the internet community knows, pCloud has never been hacked.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 22:26
    Permalink

    I never considered Dropbox to be worthy of my time and though it has been on the three android devices that I have used in the past, I never truly got warmed towards the use of it. I always favour the use of Google for my cloud storage rather than Dropbox and coupled with the fact that it was readily available on the devices made it look cheap to me. However, pCloud does seem somewhat interesting with some great offers that are making me consider them. Most things they odder with the free package is more than enough for anyone. I will check it out!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2019 at 22:22
    Permalink

    I think it is very fair that you gave pCloud the win here because, to me, it really is worth it especially after seeing what the owner has really done with the security on that platform. Many people make use of Dropbox but I think they too should try out pCloud. I also like the fact that pCloud has lifetime offers. Its the first time I’m seeing that on any cloud storage platform. Great comparison here.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 15:29
    Permalink

    Brilliant comparison! I had Dropbox once on my Android and got tired of fooling with it. I never bothered to learn all its features as I had no plans of buying the service. I had a call recorder on my phone and I wanted to save certain conversations where they wouldn’t get lost.

    The only cloud I use now is Google and I just use it to store pictures. I’m going to have to look more into pCloud now. But I’m still too miserly to pay for storage. Thank you for this review. I hadn’t even heard of pCloud until today.

    Reply

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