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Best Cloud Storage for Versioning in 2023

A cloud service’s file version policy typically isn’t the first consideration people have before signing up, but perhaps it should be. Losing files without the ability to recover them, especially due to factors outside your control, is a sinking feeling. Fortunately, this article will discuss the best cloud storage services for versioning.

Jason Stagnitto
By Jason Stagnitto (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-10-10T20:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska

Cloud storage services offer a wide range of features to entice people to trust them with storing their data. One benefit that typically doesn’t take center stage from a marketing angle is file versioning. However, choosing the best cloud storage for versioning could be the difference between reverting and recovering your work or losing it forever.

Key Takeaways:

  • MEGA and Sync.com offer some of the best file versioning in the industry.
  • Many of the best file versioning benefits are locked behind paid plans.
  • File loss due to ransomware or reverting in a collaborative project anywhere in the world demonstrates the importance of file versioning.
  • The best file versioning comes down to the number of file histories and the number of days they’re retained.

Chances are, you’re familiar with version control or simply versioning, as this is the process of having older versions of a file to fall back on if something goes wrong. Sometimes the problems are self-inflicted; we’ve all messed up editing or accidentally deleted a document before. 

Other times, events happen that are beyond our control, such as a ransomware attack. Whatever the situation, knowing you can go back in time, gain access and retrieve a document or a folder is invaluable peace of mind.

Most, if not all, cloud storage providers offer some form of file versioning. However, what you can see — and for how long — varies. Because of the differences, we’ve picked out five of the best choices that provide the most robust file versioning features. For comparison, see how these providers stack up in our list of the best cloud storage services.

  • 06/25/2022

    Updated Sync.com’s versioning, plans and pricing information.

  • 10/10/2022 Facts checked

    Rewrote this article and updated this of cloud storage service options for 2022.

  • Versioning in cloud storage is the ability to view older versions of files and folders, and if needed, revert to a previous iteration. The more versions you see — and how far back you can see them — the better.

  • We believe that the best cloud storage for versioning is MEGA. However, Sync.com takes the top spot as the overall best cloud storage. Ultimately, the best cloud storage is the one that works for you.

Top Cloud Storage Services for Versioning

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    400 GB – 50 TB starts from $4.23 / month (save 17%) (All Plans)
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    1000 GB – Unlimited GB starts from $6 / month (All Plans)
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    – Unlimited GB starts from $4.17 / month (save 25%) (All Plans)
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    150 GB – 10 TB starts from $1.67 / month (save 39%) (All Plans)14-day money-back guarantee
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    100 GB – Unlimited GB starts from $5 / month (save 29%) (All Plans)

What Makes the Best Cloud Storage for Versioning?

The best cloud storage for versioning contains features and policies that provide generous file version storage and ease of access and recovery. Peace of mind comes from having access to many file versions for the greatest length of time. 

Still, even the most user-friendly file versioning policy isn’t enough if the rest of the service falls short. We will evaluate the cloud storage services not only for versioning, but also for other standout features and compare free accounts (if available) with paid options. Here is a quick snapshot of our five best cloud storage for versioning.

  1. MEGA — Up to 100 previous versions with no time limit
  2. Sync.com — Unlimited number of versions for up to 365 days 
  3. pCloud — No limits on the number of versions but for only 30 days, with one-year versioning sold as an add-on
  4. Icedrive — Limit of 10 version for up to 180 days for paid accounts
  5. Box — Up to 100 versions with no time limit for the higher-priced accounts 

With its top-notch security and privacy, generous cloud storage on its free plan and a smart algorithm for its file versioning, MEGA takes the top spot. Sync.com, often one of the best and most secure cloud storage services, also offers excellent file versioning. 

Both pCloud and Icedrive offer good file versioning options, but the better version controls come with paid accounts. Box’s business plans, while expensive, provide similar file versioning limits as our top choices.

The 5 Best Cloud Storage Providers for Version Control

Each of the following cloud storage services brings a lot to the table. Let’s go into more detail about these five options, starting with our overall top choice, MEGA.

1. MEGA

mega account
MEGA’s user interface makes it easy to navigate your files.

More details about MEGA:

  • Pricing: 20GB free, $8.47 per month (one-year plan) for 2TB
  • Provider website: mega.io

Pros:

  • Generous free storage
  • Strong security & privacy
  • Excellent file versioning

Cons:

  • Not great for collaboration
  • Higher prices for paid plans

MEGA offers one of the most generous file versioning features. No matter the number of files you upload, MEGA keeps 100 versions of all your files — no matter when you created or edited them — using a smart algorithm. 

Storing and deleting files doesn’t follow a strict “first in, first out” process. Instead, the versioning process uses the number and frequency of file versions, ensuring you can access either the newest or the oldest files.

Better still, the data used to keep these versions does not count against your total storage allotment. You can see this on the MEGA main dashboard under “used storage.” 

MEGA’s storage allotment for its free plan is one of the most generous among its competitors. With 20GB of free storage (easily extendable to 35GB for a year), interacting with the user-friendly interface and seeing how their file versioning works is a low-risk option.

Excellent Security

MEGA places user security and privacy at the forefront of its service, although not without a potentially vulnerable issue. A standout feature is its end-to-end, user-controlled encryption. This puts privacy in your hands and works well with their zero-knowledge encryption. All files on MEGA are encrypted, including data in transit. 

Additional features include customizing and password-protecting links to shared files and two-factor authentication. The main caveat is to remember your password and export your recovery key. You will lose your data and account access if you forget either of those, and MEGA can’t help you. 

While these features cement MEGA as a secure cloud storage provider, they make real-time collaboration somewhat challenging.

mega prices
MEGA offers several plans to accommodate all your data needs.

Top-notch security and privacy features, plus a generous storage allotment for a free plan, make MEGA an easy choice. The lowest tier for MEGA’s paid subscription keeps them competitive at around $5.07 per month for 400GB of storage, billed monthly or annually. You can increase that to 2TB for $8.47 per month.

For more pricing and features, read our full MEGA review

Free
  • : 20GB
Pro Lite
  • : File transfer: (monthly plan) 12TB (yearly plan)
  • : 400GB
Pro I
  • : File transfer: 2TB (Monthly plan) 24TB (yearly plan)
  • : 2TB
Pro II
  • : File transfer: (monthly plan) 96TB (yearly plan)
  • : 8TB
Pro III
  • : File transfer: 16TB (monthly plan) 192TB (yearly plan)
  • : 16TB
Business (3TB)
  • : Per user (minimum 3)
  • : 3TB
Business (10TB)
  • : Per user (minimum 3)
  • : 10TB
Business (10TB)
  • : Per user (minimum 3)
  • : 50TB

2. Sync.com

sync.com versioning
Sync.com’s clear web interface displays all your files or photos for easy access.

More details about Sync.com:

  • Pricing: 5GB free, $24 per month (one-month plan) for 6TB
  • Provider website: sync.com

Pros:

  • 365 days of file versioning
  • Excellent privacy policy
  • Unlimited file sizes

Cons:

  • Sync speeds are a bit slow

Sync.com scores highly in many metrics as one of the best overall cloud storage providers. One of these reasons is its versioning policy. Sync.com saves the changes you make to all your files and holds a copy of each version. 

The Pro Plan comes with up to 365 days of file versioning and recovery. Solo Basic and Team Standard have 180 days, while the free accounts get 30 days. Fortunately, the data used to hold file versions does not count against your overall cloud storage allotment.

Sync.com’s file versioning makes it easy to find and restore files to a previous version. Each file has a version history accessible through the web panel. Restoring versions is as easy as clicking the “restore” button. 

Sync.com only allows individual file restoration, making it a lengthy process to pull back multiple files. However, you can restore deleted files using the “show deleted files” link. In the event of a catastrophic loss, paid accounts can take advantage of “account rewind.”

File Size Limit

At 5GB, Sync.com’s free account storage allotment falls short of some of its competitor’s services. However, the unlimited file size is a fantastic feature that other cloud service providers can’t match. 

If 5GB of free storage is too limiting and paying for a yearly plan isn’t an option, free account users can increase their storage limits by up to 25GB. Sync.com offers a referral plan, so each subscriber you refer adds 1GB to your account.

sync.com free account
Sync.com’s cloud services have plans for individuals and teams.

Sync.com offers competitive pricing for individuals and teams. There are two paid options for individuals: $24 per month for 6TB of storage and $6 per month for 1TB. However, except for a select few plans, such as the Pro Solo Professional, all plans require annual payments, offering no option to pay monthly. 

The lack of a monthly payment option for most plans could be a roadblock for those not ready to make an annual commitment but who need more than 5GB of storage. Despite the yearly pricing, there are many positives about Sync.com, including desktop apps for Windows and Mac, which we cover in our extensive Sync.com review.

Free
  • : 5GB
Pro Teams Standard
  • : Price per user
  • : 1TB
Pro Teams Unlimited
  • : Price per user
  • : Unlimited GB

3. pCloud

versioning backup pcloud rewind
pCloud’s web interface makes it easy to navigate through your account.

More details about pCloud:

  • Pricing: 10GB free, $9.99 for 2TB
  • Provider website: pcloud.com

Pros:

  • Competitive paid plans
  • Fast sync & upload speeds
  • Music & video integration

Cons:

  • Zero-knowledge isn’t free
  • Extended file history isn’t free

pCloud’s versioning capabilities provide excellent support for users to retrieve or restore files with ease. The main drawback is how long pCloud holds on to versions of your files. For free accounts, 15 days is the maximum for file version storage. Paid plans get 30 days. 

pCloud doesn’t seem to cap the number of revisions for your files. After the 15- or 30-day mark, the oldest version of a given file will no longer be available for restoration.

If up to 30 days of version history isn’t enough, pCloud offers greater versioning storage capacity — with a catch. Extended file history is a paid add-on service, separate from their individual subscriptions, and will run you an additional $39.99 per year. Instead of 30 days, extended file history covers 365 days. 

Having file versions saved for a year locked behind a paywall isn’t great when the same feature comes included by some competitors. It is worth noting that the extended file history does not apply to files in the trash. Deleted files follow the same 15- or 30-day limits.

Music and Video

One area where pCloud looks to separate itself from the competition is its focus on streaming music and playing videos through its web interface or apps. There’s also an integrated, full-featured music player for any uploaded music files. 

pCloud doesn’t limit file sizes, which is perfect for video file storage and sharing, using the web or downloading the app for Windows, iOS, Linux or Android. There’s also a video player that allows you to view your uploaded videos on the website, with the option to make them viewable offline. 

pcloud prices
pCloud’s plans are affordable and include the option to purchase a lifetime plan.

pCloud offers competitive pricing options with comparable storage allotments. pCloud prefers you to choose the annual or lifetime options; however, monthly options do exist. 

If you stick with a cloud storage provider for the long term, then a lifetime plan of a single $99.99 payment for 2TB pays for itself after three years. Other options include the lifetime family plans of 2TB or 10TB to share among five people. Our pCloud review goes into detail about everything the service has to offer.

4. Icedrive

storage versioning Icedrive
Icedrive’s sleek user interface stands out for its simplicity and style.

More details about Icedrive:

  • Pricing: 10GB free,  $4.17 per month (one-year plan) for 1TB
  • Provider website: icedrive.net

Pros:

  • Excellent user interface 
  • Strong security & encryption
  • Virtual desktop drive

Cons:

  • Stingy paid storage allotments

Icedrive is one of the newer services on the market and offers file versioning that falls just a touch short compared to others. On its launch in 2019, Icedrive offered unlimited file versioning, which gave the service excellent appeal. Perhaps that wasn’t sustainable, as Icedrive changed its file versioning policy to 180 days for all paid accounts.

Where Icedrive’s file versioning falters is the number of versions and days allotted. Paid subscribers have the past 10 versions of a given file within those 180 days. The free plan has only five previous versions and is severely limited to just three days. 

Because of this, it’s hard to rely on the free file versioning for Icedrive, especially for larger collaborative projects or projects that go through many iterations.

User Interface

Icedrive excels with many features, with a true highlight being its user interface. While all user interfaces are subjective, the modern feel and minimalist design set Icedrive apart from its competition. The clean UI presents a friendly and approachable experience and includes file previews. 

Icedrive’s mobile and desktop apps share the same design and functionality features, making the transition between them feel seamless. While not a direct user interface extension, Icedrive’s virtual drive for Windows functions like File Explorer, which creates a familiar feel. 

icedrive pricing
Icedrive’s competitively priced paid plans also include a lifetime option.

Icedrive offers several pricing and storage options, with the least expensive option being 150GB for $19.99 per year. This plan is an excellent option if your storage needs aren’t extensive, although it’s only available as an annual option. 

Monthly paid options start at $4.99 per month for 1TB. Similar to pCloud, Icedrive offers lifetime plans for 3TB or 10TB. There’s a lot to like about Icedrive, as we cover in our Icedrive review.

5. Box

box account
Box makes it easy to store, organize and navigate your files and photos.

More details about Box:

  • Pricing: 10GB free, $5 per month (one-year plan) per user (maximum 10 users)
  • Provider website: box.com

Pros:

  • Great for collaboration
  • Third-party app integration
  • Support Android & iOS

Cons:

  • Geared more for businesses
  • Prices are on the higher side

Box makes our list due in part to its flexible file versioning system, although the better versioning options are behind their paid plans. Still, Box’s integration with some of the most used productivity applications provides excellent flexibility with previous file versions. Another nice feature is the ability to preview versions before deciding whether to revert to them or not.

Any file uploaded or edited on Box has a version history, easily accessible within the file preview window. Box conveniently labels each version V1, V2 and so on. This simple labeling system makes it easy to remember and locate data for review or reverting. Reverting is as easy as clicking the “make current” option for the desired file.

Versioning is severely limited to one version for their free accounts. The lowest-priced plan gives you 10 previous versions, and that allotment increases as the plan price increases. For those who choose the Box Governance plan, you can save an unlimited number of revisions.

Third-Party Integration

One of the standout features of Box is its integration with third-party applications. Some of the most popular work within the Box interface. These apps include Office 365, Google Workspace and Slack. Box offers excellent native applications such as Box Notes, where you can collaborate with others in real time.

Box offers plenty of applications, including mobile options for iOS and Android, although desktop applications do not include Linux. Even with the impressive third-party applications, Box maintains a strong privacy and encryption record to protect your business information. 

Security features include two-factor authentication, AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest and in transit, and RC4 encryption for greater compatibility between systems and end users.

box prices
Box offers a range of business-focused plans perfect for enabling collaboration.

Perhaps because Box markets itself toward businesses, their price points tend to be higher than some of the other competitors. It offers a generous free plan with 10GB of storage. 

The personal Pro plan gets you 100GB for $14 per month, with a lower price if you opt to pay for the entire year. A business plan begins at $20 per month for three users and comes with unlimited storage and a host of other features. Our Box review covers everything important for individuals and businesses.

Honorable Mentions

It’s tough to discuss cloud storage for versioning and not mention some of the more prominent services in the industry. Google Drive and Dropbox have robust file versioning tools and (mostly) generous file version retainment. However, given their privacy or security issues, these two just miss out on our list.

Google Drive

google drive cta
Signing up for a Google Drive account is fast and easy.

Google Drive offers the option to save some files indefinitely with their “keep forever” choice. However, this option is not available on all documents. A search through Google Drive settings, support pages and help forums didn’t turn up any answers; still, it is easy to see recent activity on any file. With the “manage versions” options, reverting is easy enough, when available, with a right-click. 

Google Drive does not attempt to deceive you on how they use your data. Their advertising model is no secret; if you use Google Drive, your metadata is part of their algorithm. 

Finding a definitive answer specific to file version policy is difficult. Although, digging through the Google Drive Q&A forum reveals that non-Google files last about 30 days or 100 revisions, whichever comes first.

Dropbox

dropbox signup
It’s easy to get started with a free Dropbox account.

Dropbox, which kicked off the era of cloud storage, does not limit the number of file versions stored, which is great if you have a complex project or collaborate with a team. The restrictions come in how many days Dropbox holds revisions. 

The free or less expensive paid options have a 30-day limit. The more costly plans extend that number to 180 days, while the Advanced plan comes with one year file recovery and version history. These time constraints are comparable to other providers.

Although a renewed focus for Dropbox, security and privacy continue to lag behind industry competitors, due in part to a lack of zero-knowledge encryption, though users do have the option to enable two-factor authentication. Despite security improvements to data at rest and in transit, you’ll need third-party encryption applications to secure your files. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing a cloud storage service typically revolves around considerations such as the data storage limits, free or paid features and privacy and security. 

File versioning is sometimes an overlooked benefit, but it’s tough to understate the importance of restoring deleted files or folders or reverting to an older upload. Recovering from any event — from damage or loss due to ransomware to saving an important project — relies on file versioning. That’s why we also recommend getting a solid online backup service, as well.

What is your file revision experience with your cloud storage service? Were you able to backup and see older data, or download and save files from a previous version? Did you accidentally delete your data, and file versioning saved you? Were you able to recover a collaborative project because of file versioning? As always, thanks for taking the time to read our article.