Lawyers have a lot on their plate, most of it including stacks of invoices, reports, research documents and other paperwork. Collecting all of those documents with sensitive information and organizing them might take hundreds of hours. It’s easier to keep them stored online, so that’s why we’ve created a list of the best cloud storage for lawyers.
An important reason for moving your important documents to the cloud is to avoid hard drive malfunctions, which would destroy your work (read our article about how long your hard drive will last.) You could rely on external drives, DVDs and flash drives, but they can get damaged or stolen.
Solid-state drives have a failure rate of less than 1 percent, which beats hard drives. However, solid-state drives experience more data errors. Plus, all these options are vulnerable to fires, floods or other acts of nature. Sure, cloud-storage data centers can also be destroyed, but those facilities are equipped to deal with the threat of such accidents.
The core strategy of how cloud-storage data centers protect your data is redundancy, which means they store multiple copies of your data in geographically separate locations. That’s similar to how RAID works. Data centers also protect against intrusion and theft.
If this has convinced you about the value of moving your files to the cloud, we can start with our list of suggestions. However, before we get to our top pick, we’re going to talk about the criteria we used to make our selection.
What Makes the Best Cloud Storage for Lawyers
It’s no surprise that strong cloud security should be our primary concern when choosing a suitable service. Lawyers have sensitive data, and it’s paramount that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Security should include features such as at rest encryption, ransomware protection, the SSL/TLS protocol — which protects your files during transit — and more. Two-factor authentication, which protects your account, is important, too.
For obvious reasons, the cloud storage service should have private, end-to-end encryption, which ensures nobody but you can read your data (read more about how zero-knowledge in the cloud works.)
Because lawyers are a busy bunch, the service should work fast and have a straightforward and enjoyable user experience. Its desktop clients should work on most operating systems and make it easy to sync and access files, too. All in all, the service should be simple enough that mainstream users don’t need to call an expert for help.
Lawyers might earn a lot of green, but we bet they don’t want to pay more than they need to. That’s why we’re going to look at how good the subscription plans are. It’s best if there is lots of storage space for cheap.
It’s also good if a service has more plans, which makes it easier to find a suitable one for your setup. If you need a lot of space, though, read our unlimited cloud storage guide.
Sharing is also important because lawyers collaborate with others and need to send their files in an easy and secure way. That’s why we’re going to look at what sharing options are available and how secure they are.
Content control options — such as expiry dates, password protection and permissions — help with that (read our article about how to securely store passwords in the cloud.) Now that we’ve detailed our criteria, we can start with our top pick, Sync.com.
Best Cloud Storage for Lawyers: Sync.com
Our long-time readers won’t be surprised about the fact that Sync.com is at the top of this list. It is, after all, the service that sits at the top of our online storage comparison. The biggest contributors for that are Sync.com’s strong security and privacy.
Sync.com uses AES 256-bit encryption to scramble your files at rest and the TLS protocol to protect them from man-in-the-middle attacks while in-transit to its servers. The service also provides private, end-to-end encryption (read more in our article about the dangers of public Wi-Fi.)
Plus, you can make use of two-factor authentication to help protect your password from hackers. That shouldn’t prevent you from taking the steps to set up a strong password, though.
Sync.com uses RAID architecture for servers in its data centers to prevent hardware failures from leading to data loss. The data centers are also SOC 1-certified. Thanks to those features, Sync.com is also at the top of our most secure cloud storage list.
It’s easy to use Sync.com, regardless of whether you use its desktop, web or mobile clients. The desktop client works on Windows and macOS, but not Linux, though. If you want a service that works well with the penguin, read our best cloud storage for Linux roundup. You can launch the desktop client via the taskbar icon, and the rest of the experience is simple.
If you’re on a different computer, you can access the same set of features using the web client. Its interface is fast and clear, which makes it easy to spot what you need.
The smartphone apps are streamlined and are available for Android and iOS. You can use it to automatically upload photos and videos to the cloud, access your cloud files and make them available offline.
Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
Before putting your lot in with Sync.com, you can use the free plan, called Sync Starter, to test the service. It gives you 5GB of free storage, which isn’t much, but you can complete a several-steps-long process to get 1GB of bonus storage. Plus, you get 1GB for every person you refer, up to 20GB.
Those who want a personal plan can choose between Personal Pro 500GB and Personal Pro 2TB. The former costs $49 per year, which comes to about $4 per month, and the latter costs $96 per year, which is $8 per month, making it one of the best deals in cloud storage. You have to pay for the whole year in advance, though.
It’s easy to share files or folders as links. Sync.com will encrypt them, even on a free account. You can send them via email or copy and paste them. Regardless of the method, you can set a password using a free account, delete a link to stop sharing or enable enhanced privacy, which enables end-to-end encryption on shared links.
You can also create team folders using the web client, which you can protect with permissions, such as read-only or read-and-write. It’s easy to see why Sync.com is at the top of our best cloud storage for sharing list.
Sync.com does a great job in every category. It’s secure, cheap, easy to use and provides strong content-control options when sharing. That said, it’s user experience could be more polished, and the option to pay per month would be welcome. If you want to know more about the service, read our Sync.com review.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Good security
- Competitive pricing
- UX needs some polishing
- No monthly plans
- No Linux support
pCloud is a Switzerland-based company that ranks just behind Sync.com in this list and our overall comparison. Still, the difference isn’t huge, and pCloud also provides you with strong security, good ease of use and capable sharing options. However, pCloud charges extra for its private encryption. pCloud calls it “pCloud Crypto” and charges you $3.99 per month to use it. We advise that you get it, considering the U.S.’s laws and regulations.
Plus, some of our readers have reported that, if you don’t use Crypto, pCloud will scan your files to make sure nothing violates its conditions of use. If your files do, they will be removed.
Besides private encryption, pCloud uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect files at rest and the TLS/SSL protocol to protect files during transfer. When files reach one of its data centers, pCloud creates five copies and distributes them to at least three servers.
pCloud’s data centers are under guard and have 24/7 surveillance. Additionally, it uses two-factor authentication to protect your account if someone steals your credentials.
It’s easy to use pCloud’s desktop client. You can access it using the system tray icon or the pCloud drive in your system files manager. The interface is not attractive, but it’s clear and intuitive.
Other Reasons We Like pCloud
Before you enter your credit card details, you can make sure that pCloud is a good choice by using its free plan, which gives you up to 10GB of storage space. That’s a great offer and one that helped pCloud make our best cloud companies with large free service plans roundup.
There are only two personal plans, but that’s enough, because they are competitive. Premium provides 500GB for $4.99 per month, which is brought down to $3.99 per month if you pay for a year in advance.
Premium Plus sets you back for an equivalent of $7.99 per month, if you pay for the whole year, and provides 2TB of storage. If you opt to pay for a month, you will pay $9.99.
To share a file or folder with your collaborators using pCloud, you need to add their names or emails. Others can use upload links to upload files to your cloud.
You can set passwords and expiry dates to protect links, but both require subscribing to a premium plan. pCloud provides a helpful table that shows statistics for your shares, too. Note that you can only share files that aren’t encrypted with pCloud’s zero-knowledge encryption add-on.
As we’ve said, the difference between pCloud and Sync.com comes down to free vs. paid zero-knowledge. It’s not a small difference, and it’s one that puts pCloud second in this list. Still, pCloud has a lot of upsides that go beyond the scope of this list. You can read more about them in our pCloud review.
- Great value
- Generous free storage
- Strong security
- Private encryption is a paid add-on
Like the previous services, Tresorit is on this list thanks to its wide arsenal of strong security features. Because of them, though, Tresorit doesn’t come cheap.
Tresorit uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect files at rest, zero-knowledge encryption to protect your privacy and the TLS protocol to prevent attacks that target files during transfer. Plus, it provides two-factor authentication to protect your account in case someone manages to steal your credentials.
Tresorit held an open hacking challenge, but nobody managed to crack the service’s defense. If you want to learn more about Tresorit’s many security features, read its security whitepaper.
Tresorit also keeps its servers in Microsoft Azure data centers in Ireland and the Netherlands. Microsoft Azure has strong security, as you can read in our Microsoft Azure review.
On top of that, Tresorit replicates your files on multiple servers in a data center to reduce the risk of data loss and increase the availability of your files.
Tresorit’s desktop client works on Linux, as well as Windows and macOS. It’s clear and attractive, but it’s also more complex to use than the average desktop client because you need to create individual sync folders, called “tresors,” to sync files.
Besides the desktop client, you can also use the Tresorit web app to access your cloud storage. It features a minimalistic design that makes it easy to navigate.
Tresorit’s smartphone app works on Android and iOS. You can use it to upload photos and videos from your phone, access your cloud storage and make files available for offline use. Plus, it has a passcode lock to make it more secure.
Other Reasons We Like Tresorit
It’s hard to like Tresorit’s prices, but at least there’s a free trial that you can use before deciding to pay up. The cheapest plan is Premium, which charges $10.42 per month and only gives you 200GB of storage space. Solo, the other personal plan, provides 2TB of space for $24 per month.
If you need storage for the entire law firm, you can use one of Tresorit’s business plans. Small Business is $20 per month per user for 1TB of storage for each user. Business is currently on a 50-percent discount, which makes it $12 per month per user.
You can share files and folders using the web or desktop app. To share content with specific individuals, you can send a link via email or generate a link and copy and paste it. You can share a folder by generating a link or inviting users via email.
If Tresorit intrigues you, and you think it might be a good match, read more about it in our Tresorit review.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Two-factor authentication
- Strong sharing capabilities
MEGA advertises as a privacy company, and that’s justified by its zero-knowledge encryption, which is available even to free users. Plus, it has other security features.
It uses AES encryption to scramble files at rest, but its level is 128-bit, which isn’t as strong as AES 256-bit. That said, nobody has been able to crack it, as far as anyone knows. Plus, it uses the TLS protocol to protect data during transfer.
Two-factor authentication is available to secure your credentials, too. Another upside is the fact that its source code is public, so anyone who wants to check MEGA’s security can do so.
MEGA’s desktop client is attractive and straightforward. It works on Windows, macOS and Linux. The web interface is fast, clear, user-friendly and lets you drag-and-drop almost anywhere to upload your files. Most services don’t offer such an easy way to drag-and-drop.
The smartphone app is available for Android and iOS, and they’re easy to use. Besides letting you access your files, automatically upload photos and videos, and make files available for offline use, you can also use the app to chat with other MEGA users.
Other Reasons We Like MEGA
The free plan starts off with 50GB, but 35 of those vanish after a month. You can go through certain steps to upgrade your space up to 45GB, but that expires, too. In the end, that leaves you with 15GB, which is still nothing to scoff at.
Pro subscriptions aren’t such a good deal. The first one, Pro Lite, costs $5.79 per month for just 200GB of storage. For $11.59 per month, you get 1TB of space, which is a decent deal if we turn a blind eye to other deals on the market. The remaining two plans aren’t great deals, either.
You can share your files with your MEGA contacts directly or by generating and sending a link. To share folders, you can generate a link or send an invite via email. If you use email, you can grant varying levels of permissions, including read, read-and-write or full access.
A nice touch is that, with its zero-knowledge shares, MEGA can’t see what you’re sharing. Others who want to access to your content will have to first use a decryption key. Paid subscriptions let you add expiry dates and passwords to your links, too.
MEGA is secure and private, but it doesn’t have the best pricing plans, and we also have reports that its speed can vary by a large margin. If you want to learn more about it, though, read our MEGA review.
- Great user experience
- Zero-knowledge shares
- Decent security
- Speeds can vary
- Prices could be better
Microsoft OneDrive is one of the most popular services, next to Google Drive and Dropbox (see how those services compare in our Dropbox vs. Google Drive review). OneDrive used to lack strong security features, but recently it upgraded them, which made it fit to be on this list.
That said, OneDrive lacks private encryption, which is the main reason it’s at the tail end of the list. OneDrive includes at-rest encryption that consists of BitLocker disk-level encryption and per-file encryption of customer content. Its level is AES 256-bit.
Plus, OneDrive uses the TLS protocol to secure files in transit to servers. Both Office 365 plans can detect ransomware attacks and help you restore your files in OneDrive. When OneDrive detects an attack, you’ll get a notification via email or its mobile or desktop apps, then you’ll be guided through the recovery process.
Like with most services, OneDrive’s desktop client consists of a sync folder and a system tray icon. It’s easy to use, but it only works on Windows and macOS. This isn’t a surprise, though, considering it comes from Microsoft.
The web app is straightforward, simple to navigate and lets you manipulate your files in the cloud. The interface has colors that highlight what’s important, clear lines of division and lots of negative space, which makes it pleasing to the eye.
Other Reasons We Like OneDrive
OneDrive has several personal plans. The 50GB plan is only $1.99 per month. This is a decent deal, but it doesn’t provide much storage space. Still, it might be enough for lawyers, if they only upload documents.
If you need more space, though, you can subscribe to the Office 365 Personal plan for $6.99 per month or $69.99 if you pay for the year. It gets you 1TB of storage.
If you want multiple users and need business features, you can subscribe to the OneDrive for Business Plan 1 or 2, which are part of a separate service called OneDrive for Business. If that intrigues you, read our OneDrive for Business review.
Business Plan 1 is $5.00 per month per user and offers 1TB of storage per user, while Business Plan 2 is $10.00 per month per user and offers unlimited storage.
OneDrive is a capable service, but one that doesn’t include private encryption and doesn’t support Linux. For more information about other OneDrive features, read our OneDrive review.
- Good security options
- No private encryption
- No Linux client
- Sharing needs updating
Choosing a service suitable for lawyers depends most on strong security and ease of use. We’ve reflected that in our list and pushed Sync.com and pCloud to the top, while Tresorit is third, thanks to its high prices. MEGA is a decent choice, but one that struggles to match the prices of the top two services. OneDrive is priced better, but lacks private encryption.
Do you know of another service that’s suitable for lawyers that we failed to include here? Tell us all about it and gives us your thoughts on the article in the comments below. Thank you for reading.