Best Cloud Storage for Versioning 2021: Rewind Time (Kinda)

Branko VlajinAleksander Hougen
By Branko Vlajin (Writer) & Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-04-18T16:44:12+00:00

Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes. Using cloud storage for storing data and collaboration is appealing, but sooner or later, you (or one of your collaborators) will change something by accident and your previous music sheet, design or report has become a part of digital history, but it’s not lost forever. File versioning can help, which is why we’ve assembled the best cloud storage for it.

File versioning works like a history of your files. When you change a file, the service marks it as a newer version and updates its records. That enables you to  go back to one of the older copies when you make an unwanted change.

Versioning can help you against file corruptions, including those caused by ransomware. Ransomware will encrypt your files and demand a payment to decrypt them. If you have proper versioning you can just roll back your files and avoid giving in to hackers.

In this article, we’ll focus on the services that provide the best cloud storage with versioning. Before we start, let’s go over our criteria.

Best Cloud Storage for Versioning 2021

  1. 1
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    5-Unlimited GB
    $ 500
  2. 2
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    10-2000 GB
    $ 399
    Save 20 %
  3. 3
      Free
    • 4
      • Sync Folder
      • File Link Sharing
      • Folder Sharing
      • Versioning
      2 GB - 3 TB
      $ 999
      Save 17 %
    • 5
      • Sync Folder
      • File Link Sharing
      • Folder Sharing
      • Versioning
      15 GB - 30 TB
      $ 167
      Save 16 %

    What Makes Cloud Storage the Best for Versioning

    First, of course, is versioning itself. Some services offer file versioning for a limited time, such as 15 or 30 days. Others place no restrictions. Since only looking at file versioning might show services as closely matched when they aren’t, we’ll also look at other aspects of the service.

    Value is dependant on the price of the service and what you get for it. The more plans the service offers, the better, because you can choose a plan that fits your needs. It’s always good if you can use a free plan or trial before deciding to subscribe.

    Good security is another important aspect, as you want your data to be safe. We’ll turn our attention to the kind of encryption that the service offers and whether it uses it both at-rest and in-transit. Zero-knowledge is preferable, because it prevents anyone other than you from reading your data. Two-factor authentication is important, too, as it helps you if someone steals your password.

    1. Sync.com — The best cloud storage on the market with unlimited versioning
    2. pCloud — Secure cloud storage with an extended history add-on
    3. Icedrive — Cloud storage newcomer with solid versioning
    4. Dropbox — An established cloud storage service with some of the best versioning controls available
    5. Google Drive — Excellent versioning and collaboration at the cost of privacy

    Using versioning to roll back your files should be a straightforward experience. That goes for the rest of the service, too. You don’t want using it to be a complicated chore. We’ll look at how the interface works, if the design is attractive and which operating systems the client runs on.

    A good, stable connection is necessary to upload files quickly. Getting one depends on the infrastructure of the cloud storage service, your ISP and how close you are to the servers. Another great feature to have is block-level transfer, which makes uploading faster by transferring only parts of the file that undergo a change.

    1. Best Cloud Storage for Versioning: Sync.com

    Sync.com was founded in Toronto in 2011. Since then, it’s gained a reputation for foolproof security and user privacy. That’s why we placed it at the top of our best cloud storage ranking (compare online storage using our handy chart). The service also benefits from Canada’s strict privacy laws.

    By default, Sync.com will let you store old file versions for up to 30 days, but you can adjust the duration, if you like. Subscribing to the Personal Pro plan will enable you to store unlimited versions indefinitely and they will not count against your storage quota. That goes for deleted files, as well.

    Personal Pro will cost you $49 a year for 500GB of storage or Best Cloud Storage for Versioning 2021: Rewind Time (Kinda), which is easily one of the best deals in cloud storage. There’s also a free plan, if you want to test the service. Using it, you’ll get 5GB of free storage. If you need more, you can get a gigabyte for every friend that you refer (up to 20GB).

    Unlike some, Sync.com takes security seriously. It uses 256-bit AES, along with TLS protocol, to protect transmissions in transit to the data centers from eavesdropping. Keep in mind that Sync.com is zero-knowledge compliant, so, if you lose your password, it will not be able to retrieve it for you. It’s our top pick among the best zero-knowledge services.

    Two-factor authentication is available to help you, even if your password is not weak (read our strong password guide, if you don’t know how to make one). Enabling it is always a good idea.

    Other Reasons We Like Sync.com

    Working with the Sync.com desktop client is easy and consists of using your sync folder and accessing the client through the taskbar icon. You get all the features using the web client, too, plus others that enhance the overall experience.

    The desktop client is available on Windows and macOS, but not Linux (read our best cloud storage for Linux, if you need that).

    Sync.com Review & Comparison

    The smartphone app is available for Android and iOS. You can use it to work with files offline and automatically upload photos and videos to the cloud. Read our Sync.com review for more information.


    Pros:

    • Unlimited versioning
    • Competitive pricing
    • Good security

    Cons:

    • No monthly pricing
    • No block-level file copying

    2. pCloud

    pCloud is another service that’s at the top of our best cloud storage list. The service has been in business since 2013 and has reached eight million users. Among its clients are big names such as Twitter and BMW.

    Premium, Premium Plus and Lifetime plans store file versions for 30 days. You can use the Rewind feature to go back in time, see the previous file versions and restore them, if you needed. As long as deleted files and folders are in your Trash, you can restore them. Otherwise, they’re gone forever.

    You can pay $39 a year to gain access to the Extended File History add-on, which enables you to keep older versions for up to a year (from the date of purchase).

    The Premium plan will give you 500GB of storage for $4.99 per month, while Premium Plus provides 2TB for $9.99 per month. Both plans will keep your file version history for 30 days and allow you to make unlimited remote uploads.

    If you find pCloud to be a good fit, you can choose a lifetime license, which is a good deal. There’s also a free plan that gives you 10GB of storage and one additional gigabyte for every referral, up to 20GB total. We detail all the subscription options in our pCloud review.

    pCloud relies on TLS encryption to protect data in transit. For both in-transit and at-rest, it uses AES 256-bit encryption. For $4.99 a month, you can use the Crypto add-on and make sure your files are protected by a zero-knowledge encryption. pCloud stores your files in at least three secure server locations.

    Other Reasons We Like pCloud

    The desktop client is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, while the mobile app is available for Android and iOS. The desktop client adds an icon that’s used to sync and backup files to the system tray, which helps you interact with your Best Cloud Storage for Versioning 2021: Rewind Time (Kinda). The interface is drab, but it’s intuitive and easy to navigate.

    The mobile app is impressive, as it gives you the option to edit some documents, instead of just viewing them. It can also play video and audio files.

    New users will be at ease using the web interface, as it’s the simplest. All of pCloud’s tools are available. The only drawback is that it’s not useful when you need to transfer large files. It’s better to stick with the desktop client in that case.


    Pros:

    • Affordable plans
    • 365-day versioning add-on

    Cons:

    • Zero-knowledge encryption is a paid add-on
    • Connection speed is not stable

    3. Icedrive

    storage versioning Icedrive
    Icedrive offers unlimited versioning (for the moment) and great security.

    More details about Icedrive:

    • Pricing: 10GB for free, 1TB for $4.99 per month
    • Provider website: www.icedrive.net

    Pros:

    • Cheap
    • Great security & privacy
    • Gorgeous interface

    Cons:

    • Few collaboration features
    • No productivity integrations
    • No block-level sync

    One of the ways Icedrive is trying to get people’s attention is by offering unlimited versioning to all of its users, even those on the free plan. That means that you can restore a file or folder to a version as far back in the past as you want, and recover deleted items indefinitely.

    That said, we have reached out to Icedrive about this and they have confirmed that this probably won’t be the case forever. We don’t know the details of how it might change, but if we had to guess, this feature will probably be limited to paying users in the future.

    Store Your Files Securely With Icedrive

    Icedrive features an “encrypted storage” section where you can drop files that you want to be protected by zero-knowledge encryption. For now, this is limited to paying users, but Icedrive plans to expand its zero-knowledge encryption to all of its storage by the end of 2021.

    storage versioning Icedrive CTA
    Icedrive’s combination of features and cheap prices makes it a great bang for your buck.

    Icedrive offers one of the best deals on cloud storage in the world. For just $4.99 a month, you get access to 1TB of storage. Even better, you can pay for a lifetime subscription, which means you’ll never have to pay a recurring fee to maintain your cloud storage.

    If the current versioning policy would last forever, Icedrive would easily sit at the number one spot on this list. Limitations are coming, but in the meantime it’s an incredibly strong versioning tool, not to mention an overall excellent cloud storage service. Read our Icedrive review for more.

    4. Dropbox

    It’s one of the oldest cloud storage services and where the common models for sync and block-level sync algorithms were invented. Dropbox also has more than 500 million users.

    Dropbox versioning keeps your files available for 30 days on a free or Dropbox Plus account, while the Professional and Business plans give subscribers 120 days of file versioning. It also allows you to restore deleted files.

    The Plus plan gives you 1TB of storage for $10 a month, which is a decent value. It includes features such as priority email support, remote device wipe and offline folders on mobile. Professional adds smart sync, showcase, full-text search and priority chat support and advanced sharing, but doesn’t increase storage space. It costs $20 a month.

    There’s a free plan, but it gives you a meager 2GB of storage. You can earn 500MB per referral.

    You won’t get zero-knowledge encryption by using Dropbox (read our Boxcryptor review, if you want an add-on to protect your privacy), but there’s AES-256 bit encryption to protect your files at-rest and in-transit.

    Dropbox decrypts your data when it arrives at the data center in order to access your metadata for indexing (Boxcryptor prevents this). The data is then re-encrypted. Two-factor authentication is available to further secure your credentials.

    Other Reasons We Like Dropbox

    The service has offered a polished user experience since its creation. The desktop client is simple, there’s a sync folder and a system tray icon for quick access. The web interface is attractive and gives you access to all the necessary information while being easy to navigate.

    The desktop client runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, while the mobile app is available for Android and iOS. You can turn on automatic uploads for photos and videos from your phone.

    While we have plenty of complaints that you can read about in our Dropbox review, one area where it keeps pace with or surpasses every other service is file sync. After the initial upload, the impressive block-level sync will upload your files much faster, which is why we ranked Dropbox high in our best cloud storage for sync article.


    Pros:

    • Very fast sync
    • MS Office Online Integration
    • Dropbox Paper

    Cons:

    • Only up to 1TB
    • Expensive
    • Not zero knowledge

    5. Google Drive

    Many people have Gmail accounts or Android phones, so it’s no wonder Google Drive has more than 800 million users. It helps that Google Drive targets home users and has a free, integrated office suite called Google Docs.

    Google Drive includes versioning, which keeps files available for 30 days. You can choose to override that for specific versions and keep them indefinitely. There’s also a way for you to see revisions that others have made, if you use Google Docs (and roll back to a previous version). Deleted files are kept in trash, until you delete them there, too.

    Google offers plenty of plans to choose from. The free plan gives you a generous 15GB of storage, which helps Google Drive land on our list of the best free cloud storage offers. The paid plans range from 100GB to 30TB, but they aren’t among the best value plans out there. The 2TB plan costs a hefty $19.99 a month. There’s no annual discount.

    Privacy has been a sore spot for Google for some time, because it came to light that it worked with the PRISM project. Google has denied giving access to the NSA. The service also scans your personal files and emails to give you personalized ads, custom search, and so on.

    Security features include AES-128 encryption that protects your files while they’re stored on the servers. It’s not as strong as AES-256, but it hasn’t been cracked, as far as we know. Two-factor authentication is also present.

    Other Reasons Why We Like Google Drive

    Google Drive has an attractive and intuitive web interface that’s similar to every other Google app. There are many features but you don’t feel overwhelmed by the number. It’s easy to navigate and you’ll probably be using it more than the desktop client.

    The desktop client uses the familiar sync model. You upload files by placing them in the sync folder. The taskbar icon lets you configure settings for your sync folder.

    Dropbox vs Google Drive
    Google Drive Home

    The mobile app comes installed on Android and it’s convenient if you need to get to your files on the go. You can use it to edit files, too, which is a nice touch. Many other cloud storage apps require you to download the file first.

    Google Drive works fast, but it would benefit from block-level file copying. Still, its speeds are similar to other services. Check out the speedtest results available in our Google Drive review.


    Pros:

    • Cost flexibility
    • Strong customer support
    • 15GB free storage

    Cons:

    • Weak security
    • Could be cheaper
    • No private encryption option

    Final Thoughts

    Consult our list and make sure you choose the right service for you. It will enable you to go back in time and fix those mistakes, while also protecting your files and storing them for cheap. Keep in mind what zero-knowledge can do for you while making your choice.

    For its unlimited file versioning and insanely affordable pricing, we like best of all when it comes to file versioning. It doesn’t hurt that the security top notch, either.

    Do you think we made the right choice or  do you like another service better for versioning? Tell us in the comments. Thank you for reading.