For starters, it’s important to understand that there are essentially two competing standards concerning encryption.
The first one encrypts data during transportation, to protect data as it is in transit through the public Internet.
Then, once the data reaches a provider’s storage network, it is decrypted.
After which, the data gets encrypted with yet another encryption algorithm for storage purposes.
This type of encryption isn’t the strongest because an employee can get their hands on your data if they have its encryption key.
However, it will certainly prevent a hacker or ISP from seeing what kind of data you’re transmitting.
The second type of encryption is known as local encryption. With local encryption, a customer’s data gets encrypted before it ever leaves the local computer.
The data is encrypted in the same format with the same key, as it traverses the public Internet and when it sits on a storage server.
This form of encryption is the strongest, but it does have some tradeoffs. The real advantage on offer here is practically ironclad security.
Not only is it safe from hackers and ISPs, but employees of a storage service are powerless to decrypt locally encrypted data.
Without the correct encryption key, no one in the world can view your data.
However, it does have drawbacks. The main drawback is that it takes a fair amount of CPU and memory resources to encrypt data.
Furthermore, the encrypted data file is typically larger than an unencrypted version of the very same data.
Which creates dramatic amounts of overhead, drastically increasing the amount of time it takes to upload and download files successfully.
If you’re using a new computer, with a lot of CPU power and a high-speed Internet connection, this particular drawback likely isn’t a large concern.
Conversely, if you’re on a moderately slow Internet connection, even small file backups and transfers can take as long as an hour. So the real trade off is between impenetrable security and fast transfer speeds.
If a user is only taking advantage of cloud storage for data that isn’t sensitive, it makes a lot of sense to go with a provider who doesn’t offers zero-knowledge security.
Imagine a greedy hacker vying for:
Personal account information
Other sensitive info
Only to find that he’s captured the latest Game of Thrones episode (who cares?).
On the other hand, imagine that you need to send business documents, personal family photos, and images, or other sensitive material.
Would you want to run the risk of that data being intercepted purely because of impatience?
The quick and smart answer here is no.
So, in light of facts we’ve just gone over, let’s take a closer look at the five best cloud storage services for encryption.
A Canadian Dropbox competitor, Sync.com offers the highest level of private encryption and has a fantastic attitude towards privacy.