Best Encrypted Cloud Storage for 2021: Under Lock and Key

Aleksandar Kochovski
By Aleksandar Kochovski (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-03-22T11:23:09+00:00

In an age where not even large corporations and governments are immune from data breaches, security is an ever-growing concern, even for the average user. If you’re a cloud storage user, your sensitive data could be at risk from cyberattacks, so choosing the most secure cloud storage service is extremely important.

The first thing to look for when choosing a secure storage cloud is encryption. It’s what keeps your private files safe and stops hackers and the like from gaining access to your data. There are several cloud storage services that offer safe, zero-knowledge encryption, and we’ve created a list of the best encrypted cloud storage to help you make your choice.

We’ve taken many things into consideration when compiling this list to make sure that not only are these services secure but that they also offer their users all the features they need at a reasonable price. We’ve chosen only the cream of the crop when it comes to security and privacy, so you won’t find names with sketchy privacy — like Google Drive and Dropbox — on this list.

Sync.com is the clear winner, offering zero-knowledge encryption out of the box and some of the lowest prices for its cloud storage. pCloud has the best media playback on this list, but its zero-knowledge solution is a paid add-on, which costs it the top spot. There’s a lot more to find out about the cloud providers we’ve chosen, so take a closer look at our list below.

What Are the Top Encrypted Storage Clouds?

  1. Sync.com — Strong encryption and a great free plan
  2. pCloud — Awesome music player and cheap plans
  3. MEGA — Very large free plan
  4. Egnyte Connect — Top choice for business
  5. Tresorit — Secure Swiss service
  1. 1
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    5 GB - 10 TB
    $ 500
  2. 2
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    10-2000 GB
    $ 399
    Save 20 %
  3. 3
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    15 GB - 16 TB
    $ 589
  4. 4
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    1000 GB - 10 TB
    $ 1000
  5. 5
    • Sync Folder
    • File Link Sharing
    • Folder Sharing
    • Versioning
    1000-2000 GB
    $ 1450
    Save 19 %

1. Sync.com

Topping our list is Sync.com, a reliable cloud service that offers end-to-end encryption for all of its plans, both paid and free. Its encryption is zero-knowledge, just like all the other entries on this list, which means that only you have access to the encryption keys for your files. This means that even if someone manages to access your files, they will still be safely encrypted.

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Sync.com offers excellent prices across all of its paid plans. Its cheapest plan offers 200GB of storage space for just $5 per month, and there are plans that offer up to 4TB of storage for individuals and up to 10TB for businesses.

Plus, its free plan comes with 5GB of storage, and it’s just as secure. The only caveat is that all of its plans are yearly subscriptions and there is no option to pay a monthly fee.

Sync.com’s outstanding feature is its zero-knowledge security. Everything you upload to it is scrambled using 256-bit AES encryption, both while at rest and in transit.

It also adds another layer of security by using the TLS protocol to keep your files safe from man-in-the-middle attacks. Two-factor authentication further beefs up your security, so you can rest easy knowing your files are safe.

To add to its top-of-the-line encryption, Sync.com offers great sharing features and flexible file syncing options. It also offers previews for Microsoft Office and PDF documents. However, its strict security doesn’t allow for integration with third-party apps, and there aren’t many options for collaboration.

Sync.com has some of the best privacy for a cloud storage provider. Its servers are located in Canada, which means your files aren’t subject to invasive U.S. laws. This also means that it falls under Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which requires that you personally give consent for your personal information being shared.

Its security and privacy fulfill strict HIPAA requirements, which means that it is secure enough to store sensitive medical data. This sets it apart from the competition, and it’s especially apparent when comparing Sync.com to services with suspicious privacy, such as Dropbox.

Pros:

  • Free plan is zero-knowledge
  • Very good pricing
  • Strict server security

Cons:

  • No monthly payments
  • Slow speed
  • Ease of use could be better

2. pCloud

pCloud is another cloud storage provider with excellent security and privacy. The number-two entry on our list comes with the best free cloud storage plan there is, and it’s no slouch in the features department either.

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pCloud’s biggest draw is its pricing. It offers some of the greatest deals for its paid cloud storage, but its crown jewel is its spacious free plan, which comes with 10GB of free encrypted cloud storage.

However, zero-knowledge encryption is available only as a paid add-on called pCloud Crypto, which is why pCloud loses the top spot to Sync.com. All of the files that you put in your Crypto folder will be secured with 256-bit AES encryption and the TLS protocol, and only you will be able to decrypt them. Plus, two-factor authentication adds another layer of security.

Though pCloud doesn’t have as many features as Google Drive, it still has many useful features. Its media player is a standout, beating all of the competition in our best cloud storage for music standoff. pCloud is also great for sharing files, and its syncing capabilities are top-tier, too.

pCloud is based in Switzerland, which has some of the best privacy laws in the world — see our Swiss privacy laws guide — and falls under the General Data Protection Regulation. It has servers both in Switzerland and in the U.S., and users have the option to choose where to store their files. pCloud may surrender your information to law enforcement, though, but your files will remain encrypted.

Pros:

  • Free plan is best in class
  • Servers in Switzerland
  • Excellent media playback

Cons:

  • Zero-knowledge privacy is a paid feature
  • No third-party integration

3. MEGA

MEGA.nz is a secure cloud storage provider that makes it super easy to share files, and it offers a large amount of free storage, too. However, its reputation is somewhat tarnished by its connection to founder and former director Kim Dotcom. We explain all the controversy surrounding MEGA in our MEGA.nz review.

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MEGA Web Interface
The MEGA web interface, displayed in a web browser.

MEGA is a zero-knowledge cloud service that uses the TLS protocol and AES encryption, but it’s only at 128 bits. Though this is technically less safe than 256-bit encryption, it’s still virtually uncrackable.

Users have their own encryption key that only they can access, and you can encrypt both files and sharing links, so the whole service is very secure. Plus, there is two-factor authentication to keep your login data safe.

Its free plan offers 50GB of cloud storage for the first month, but after that period it’s downgraded to 15GB. MEGA’s pricing is decent, though its plans aren’t as cheap as pCloud’s. The cheapest plan gets you 400GB of cloud storage for $5.39 per month, but there are larger plans, too, going all the way up to 16TB of storage.

MEGA has a bit of a sordid history regarding its privacy, and it was criticized by its founder for selling a majority of its shares to Chinese businessmen. However, we didn’t find any faults in its privacy and data collection policies. Plus, your data is kept on servers in New Zealand, Canada and several European Union countries, which means MEGA has to comply with the GDPR.

Pros:

  • Tons of free storage
  • Secure file sharing
  • Servers in EU countries

Cons:

  • Poor customer support
  • Slow speed
  • Not good for collaboration

4. Egnyte Connect

The final entry on our list of the top secure cloud storage providers is Egnyte Connect. It’s a little different than the other entries on the list because it’s an enterprise file syncing and sharing provider. It offers excellent productivity features, and it’s great for collaboration, which makes it a perfect choice for small businesses.

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One thing to note is that Egnyte’s zero-knowledge solution only comes included with the Enterprise plan, and its price depends on the number of users. That said, its other plans are inexpensive, but they have limits for both a maximum and a minimum number of users. Egnyte’s Team plan can be used by individuals, and it offers 1TB of storage for $10 a month.

Egnyte is a productivity powerhouse. It even comes close to giants like Dropbox and Google Drive on our best cloud storage for collaboration list (read our Egnyte vs Dropbox comparison). It has great native task management tools, plus it comes with Trello integration. It also integrates with plenty of third-party apps, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office Online.

Needless to say, Egnyte’s security is top-notch. It encrypts your files using the standard 256-bit AES encryption, and the TLS protocol keeps your files safe in transit. The security of its data centers is admirable and it has plenty of certifications to prove it. Egnyte also lets you keep your data on personal servers if you need more control over the safety of your servers.

Egnyte offers more granular control over employee devices, too. You manage their devices and set passwords for them. Plus, if your employee loses a device, you can do a remote wipe of the device’s data so that no one can gain access to your business’s sensitive data.

Pros:

  • Great for collaboration
  • Very secure servers
  • Business-oriented features

Cons:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption is a paid feature
  • Have to pay for premium support

5. Tresorit

Tresorit is a very secure cloud storage service, and it boasts some of the most powerful encryption tools. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive entry on this list, and it’s complicated to use. Find out more about its features in our full Tresorit review.

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Compared to the other entries on this list, Tresorit’s pricing seems high. There is no free plan, but there’s a 14-day free trial for the paid plans. The cheapest plan offers 500GB of storage space for $11.25 per month, and you can get 2.5TB of cloud storage for a monthly price of $28.13. There are also business options for multiple users, which are more reasonably priced.

Tresorit’s most attractive feature is its security. It uses the same industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption and the TLS protocol for security, but it handles your data a little differently than the competition. Its encryption is zero-knowledge, so the encryption keys are only kept client-side. Two-factor authentication further helps to prevent bad actors from gaining access to your data.

Tresorit keeps all of your files in special folders called “tresors” (the German word for vault), which are encrypted individually and can be protected with a password. Each tresor is separate from the others, so even if someone hacks into one of your tresors, they will not be able to access the rest of them.

Pros:

  • Great security features
  • Based in Switzerland

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Complicated setup

Final Thoughts

The entries on this list are the most secure cloud storage solutions out there, and each is an excellent choice in its own way. They all offer zero-knowledge encryption and take extra special care to prevent anyone from getting access to your sensitive data.

Even with this tough competition, Sync.com still manages to eke out a victory over the rest, with its first-class security and zero-knowledge free plan. It also offers the most bang for your buck with its cheap paid cloud storage plans.

pCloud comes close to the finish line, but stumbles because of its paid zero-knowledge option. It’s one of the most capable cloud storage providers on this list, sporting a great free plan and advanced media capabilities.

MEGA offers the most free cloud storage of the bunch, and its servers are scattered around the world for added safety. However, the controversy around its founder and its ties to China raise a few eyebrows.

Egnyte Connect is the best cloud solution for business on this list, offering features uniquely tailored for both budding enterprises and mature companies. It’s also the best for collaboration because of its integration with a wide variety of third-party apps.

Tresorit is a secure choice, but it lacks the features to make it to the top. Its Swiss-based servers and unique folder organization earn it high marks, but its prohibitive prices are a letdown.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree with the services we’ve chosen, or would you rather see another cloud service in this roundup? Let us know in the comments below.