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Best Encrypted Cloud Storage

Best Encrypted Cloud Storage in 2024: Secure File Storage & Transfers

If you plan to store sensitive data, you’ll want to choose the best encrypted cloud storage. In this article, we list five of the top choices. Sync.com and pCloud top our list, as both offer excellent security and privacy.

Jason StagnittoAleksandar KochovskiJasna Mishevska

Written by Jason Stagnitto (Writer)

Reviewed by Aleksandar Kochovski (Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-01-18T20:14:39+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Keeping your data on a server — either yours or a company’s — comes with the inherent risk of a data breach from a cyberattack. It’s the reality of our digital world. Storing your data with an encrypted cloud storage company helps to eliminate some of those threats, which makes choosing the best encrypted cloud storage a critical decision.

Key Takeaways: Online Storage With Encryption

  • Sync.com is our top choice, offering secure cloud storage services with affordable prices and great cloud features.
  • pCloud gives all accounts excellent cloud features and solid security and privacy. However, its zero-knowledge encrypted folder costs extra.
  • IDrive has great security and privacy in a hybrid cloud backup and storage solution. However, you must enable zero-knowledge encryption when you sign up.

Strong encryption should be the primary consideration when choosing a cloud storage provider. Encryption maintains the security of your files — especially your private ones — and protects them from data leaks or outright theft. 

Zero-knowledge encryption is crucial for cloud security. Without it, your confidential files are not fully protected. Our list of the best encrypted cloud storage providers gives you five zero-knowledge options — with many included on our list of the best cloud storage services — to help you make the safest choice to protect your data.

  • 09/29/2021

    Rearranged and updated list to include IDrive.

  • 12/02/2021

    Added Internxt as an honorable mention.

  • 06/24/2022

    Updated Sync.com’s plans and pricing to include its month-by-month options.

  • 07/30/2022

    Updated to reflect an increase in IDrive’s free plan to 10GB of storage.

  • 02/03/2023 Facts checked

    Rewrote the article; updated for 2023 to reflect changes in encryption.

  • 05/23/2023

    Updated to remove IDrive’s discontinued free plan.

Top Encrypted Cloud Storage Apps

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    200GB – Unlimited GB$5 / month(All Plans)
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    500GB – 10TB$4.17 / month(save 24%)(All Plans)
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    150GB – 10TB$3.08 / month(save 22%)(All Plans) 14-days money-back guarantee
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    2TB – Unlimited GB$9.06 / month(save 16%)(All Plans)
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      100GB – 5TB$0.25 / month(All Plans)

    What Makes the Best Encrypted Cloud Storage?

    All the cloud storage services on our list have the best encryption in the industry due in part to offering zero-knowledge encryption. With zero-knowledge encryption, only you have access to your data. Some cloud storage services offer an encrypted folder, while others provide zero-knowledge coverage of your entire account. 

    However, even the most secure cloud storage won’t be helpful if it lacks features. While we focused heavily on security and privacy, we also considered cost, file sharing and other features, such as ease of use and speed. The following five cloud storage services offer the best combination of encryption and performance.

    1. Sync.com — Zero-knowledge for the entire account, free or paid
    2. pCloud — Great cloud features; zero-knowledge costs extra
    3. Icedrive — Fast and sleek cloud storage; paid encryption folder.
    4. MEGA — End-to-end encryption on the 20GB free plan
    5. IDrive — Cloud storage and backup features with zero-knowledge

    Sync.com takes the top spot with its excellent combination of security, offering end-to-end encryption for all accounts, and affordable prices with competitive storage allotments. pCloud has some of the best features for a cloud storage provider, including excellent overall security. However, zero-knowledge costs extra.

    Icedrive implements Twofish encryption for all account holders, making it a secure cloud storage provider, though only paid users can access the zero-knowledge folder. Like Sync.com, MEGA has zero-knowledge for all account holders, although it has fewer features than its competitors. IDrive offers the best cloud storage and backup features with end-to-end encryption for account holders. 

    The 5 Best Encrypted Cloud Storage Services

    Sync.com tops our list, as it has affordable prices, great cloud features and excellent security. Its free 5GB offering makes it easy to get going, allowing you to safely store your data with zero-knowledge encryption. The other four services will keep your files safe and secure, and offer their own unique feature sets.

    1. Sync.com

    sync account
    Sync.com offers secure cloud services for your entire account with zero-knowledge protection.

    More details about Sync.com:

    • Pricing: 5GB free, $8 per month (one-year plan) for 2TB
    • Provider website: sync.com

    Pros:

    • Zero-knowledge everywhere
    • User-focused privacy policy
    • Affordable plans

    Cons:

    • Slower speeds
    • Dated UI

    All accounts with Sync.com enjoy zero-knowledge encryption, whether your account is free or paid. It’s one of very few services that covers your whole account with zero-knowledge security. This makes Sync.com one of the most secure cloud storage providers available, but it also means that if you lose your login credentials, Sync.com can’t help you get them back.

    Digging deeper, Sync.com encrypts your data at rest with 256-bit AES encryption, while the TLS protocol protects your data while in transit, securing it from man-in-the-middle attacks. 

    Enabling two-factor authentication — which you should — increases your protection against cybercrimes. Even if your login credentials are compromised, without the secondary authentication information (such as a four or six-digit code), your account remains safe.

    Customer Privacy First

    Sync.com’s privacy is every bit as good as its encryption. With its servers maintained in Canada, your account files and data fall under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This act requires an account holder to provide express permission to those looking to access your personal information. 

    Working in conjunction with privacy is Sync.com’s compliance with HIPAA requirements. This means any sensitive or confidential medical information remains protected and private. Not all cloud storage services can make this claim, such as Dropbox, which has notoriously questionable privacy practices.

    sync cta
    Sync.com is one of the most affordable cloud storage services.

    A free plan with Sync.com comes with 5GB of storage. If you need more, its paid plans offer affordable pricing, such as 2TB for $8 per month, billed annually at $96. To learn more, check out our Sync.com review.

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

    2. pCloud

    pcloud account
    pCloud ranks highly among secure cloud storage services, though you have to pay for zero-knowledge security.

    More details about pCloud:

    • Pricing: 10GB free, $8.33 per month (one-year plan) for 2TB
    • Provider website: pcloud.com

    Pros:

    • Excellent privacy & security
    • Robust cloud features
    • Fast speeds

    Cons:

    • Zero-knowledge costs extra

    pCloud offers excellent security and privacy, and has one of the best free cloud storage plans available. This is due to the wealth of cloud features accounts get, even free ones. 

    Features include robust file sharing, synchronization, and excellent media preview and playback, especially for music. It has a dedicated music player and tops our list as the best cloud storage for music.

    Encryption with pCloud comes in the form of a folder rather than full-account protection. Additionally, the encrypted folder isn’t accessible on a free account, or even a paid one. 

    Enabling zero-knowledge, client-side encryption requires an extra paid add-on called pCloud Crypto. Any files uploaded into the encrypted folder have client-side encryption using the AES-256 cipher.

    Swiss-Based Privacy

    pCloud maintains its home office in Switzerland, which many consider to have the best privacy laws in the world. However, pCloud maintains two data regions: one in Dallas, Texas and the other in Luxembourg. Account information that resides on the Dallas servers could be subject to subpoena under U.S. privacy laws. Data that resides on the Luxembourg servers face no such possibility. 

    Both new and existing users have the option of selecting or changing a region. New users have this option via a dropdown when first creating an account. If you want your data stored in the EU, make sure to choose this option. You can request pCloud to move your data to a different region if you already have an account. However, this change comes with a one-time $19.99 fee.

    pcloud data center choice
    pCloud offers affordable paid plans, but pCloud Crypto and extended file history are separate paid add-ons.

    pCloud makes it easy to get started with a free plan of up to 10GB. If you need a paid plan, pCloud has some excellent prices, including a 2TB account for $8.33 on an annual plan. If you want to make a long-term commitment, you could opt for one of its lifetime plans as well. We cover everything this service has to offer in our pCloud review.

    3. Icedrive

    icedrive account
    You can feel confident that your sensitive data remains protected with Icedrive’s encryption.

    More details about Icedrive:

    • Pricing: 10GB free,  $4.92 per month (one-year plan) for 1TB
    • Provider website: icedrive.net

    Pros:

    • Strong encryption & privacy
    • Virtual drive on desktop
    • Media preview & playback

    Cons:

    • Paid zero-knowledge folder
    • Limited customer support

    The founders of Icedrive built its cloud storage with encryption at the forefront, and, to its credit, Icedrive is a very secure cloud storage service. While many competitors use the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, Icedrive opted to use Twofish encryption, which is technically more secure (though both encryption protocols are practically uncrackable).

    Much like pCloud, Icedrive offers a fully encrypted folder but does not cover your entire account. Files uploaded to your account’s encrypted folder enjoy zero-knowledge security. The folder isn’t available to free users, though paid users don’t have to pay anything extra for it.

    Fast Transfer Speeds

    Often, we note that cloud storage with strong encryption suffers from slower upload and download speeds. That’s not the case with Icedrive, which is something of a technical feat. Icedrive had the fastest upload and third-fastest download speeds in our latest round of cloud storage speed testing.

    For our independent tests, we upload and download a 5GB folder twice that contains a mix of audio, video, pictures and document files. Additionally, we cap upload and download speeds at 100 Mbit/s from a virtual Windows machine located in Dublin, Ireland.

    icedrive paid plans
    Icedrive’s plans have smaller storage amounts than some competitors, but are easier on the budget. 

    Icedrive has 10GB of storage on the free plan and offers some of the most affordable paid plans available. The 1TB plan goes for $59 per year or $4.92 monthly. Icedrive also offers lifetime plans. Check out our Icedrive review to learn more.

    4. MEGA

    mega account
    All MEGA accounts have zero-knowledge privacy as a standard feature.

    More details about MEGA:

    • Pricing: 20GB free, $9.06 per month (one-year plan) for 2TB 
    • Provider website: mega.io

    Pros:

    • Robust free storage
    • EU servers
    • Robust zero-knowledge

    Cons:

    • Slow speeds
    • Expensive

    MEGA’s early days suffered damage to its reputation through its connection to former founder Kim Dotcom. Today, MEGA offers one of the most generous free accounts, with 20GB of storage in a secure and private cloud storage solution. 

    All MEGA accounts have full zero-knowledge security, and it uses AES 256-bit encryption and the TLS/SSL protocol to protect data at rest and in transit.

    As is the case with Sync.com, this level of security also means MEGA can’t help if you lose or forget your password. File sharing links are encrypted, and with paid plans, you can add password protection to them as well. Other security features include two-factor authentication and a secure chat client. 

    GDPR-Compliant Security

    Despite some dark history from the Kim Dotcom days, which includes selling shares to a Chinese businessman, MEGA has righted the ship and now offers top-notch privacy to accompany its security. MEGA maintains servers in New Zealand and the EU, making it GDPR-compliant no matter where your data is stored.

    MEGA also offers a secure chat app, which sets it apart from other cloud storage providers. Secure chat encrypts all your instant messages, video calls or shared files with other MEGA account members. Many of the most popular chat apps can’t make this claim. While the secure chat requires a MEGA account, your communications with team members remain private and secure.

    mega cta
    If you need more than MEGA’s free 20GB account, it has several plans to choose from; note pricing will change because MEGA bills in euros.

    MEGA’s main draw is a hefty 20GB free plan, the most of any secure storage provider. However, MEGA’s paid plans run higher than its competitors, with the best value plan offering 2TB for around $108.69 or $10.86 per month. 

    Business options have flexible storage and pricing, costing $16.32 per month per user with a minimum of three users. Check out our MEGA review to learn more.

    Free
    • 20GB
    Pro I
    • File transfer: 2TB (Monthly plan) 24TB (yearly plan)
    • 2TB
    Pro II
    • File transfer: (monthly plan) 96TB (yearly plan)
    • 8TB
    More plans
    Pro III
    • File transfer: 16TB (monthly plan) 192TB (yearly plan)
    • 16TB
    Business
    • Price per user (minimum 3)
    • Unlimited GB

    5. IDrive

    idrive account
    IDrive protects your sensitive data as a hybrid backup and storage cloud provider.

    More details about IDrive:

    • Pricing: 10GB free, 5TB for $5.80 per month (one-year plan)
    • Provider website: idrive.com

    Pros:

    • Backup & cloud storage app
    • Zero-knowledge encryption
    • AES 256-bit encryption

    Cons:

    • No unlimited backup

    IDrive classifies itself as a cloud backup provider. However, it makes our list due to its hybrid approach to cloud storage (check out our guide to cloud storage and backup to learn the difference between the two). 

    Whether you use its backup or cloud storage features, your data will have zero-knowledge protection and excellent privacy. However, you must enable zero-knowledge encryption when you create your account. If you choose the default key setting, you will not have zero-knowledge encryption, and you can’t enable it later.

    IDrive has a privacy policy that is clear and user-friendly, despite having all of its data centers located in the U.S. It’s worth noting that U.S. privacy laws favor the government, with the Freedom Act and Patriot Act being two examples. However, if you enable a custom private key with your account, only you can decrypt your data, making it safe from potential prying eyes.

    Physical Data Restoration

    Uploading or backing up a few gigabytes of data isn’t a huge task for most systems, and IDrive’s speeds won’t get in your way. However, large amounts of data can bog down a computer and take a long time. For this, IDrive offers a service called IDrive Express. 

    With IDrive Express, you get sent a physical hard disk to upload a backup, or restore files, then send it back. IDrive will add uploaded files from the physical hard disk to your account. IDrive offers this service free once per year with paid personal plans. Business plans can take advantage three times per year. Any subsequent backups run $59.95, and restorations will cost $99.50.

    idrive cta
    IDrive’s paid plans support several computers at different storage amounts. 

    IDrive offers very affordable options, especially if you want to use the backup features. Plans for one computer start at $9.95 per month for an impressive 5TB of storage. 

    You will save money if you opt for the annual option, which costs $69.65 (an average of $5.80 per month). The Team and Business plans will be best for business users. Check out our IDrive Review to learn more.  

    Basic
    • No credit card required.
    • 10GB
    Personal
    • One user, multiple computers. Plans starting from 5TB up to 100TB. Big discount for first-time signup.
    • 5TB
    More plans
    Team
    • 5 computers, 5 users. Starting at 5TB up to 500TB. Big discount for first-time signup.
    • 5TB
    Business
    • Unlimited users, multiple computers and servers. NAS devices. 250GB storage. Starting at 250GB up to 50TB. Large discount for first-time signup.
    • 250GB

    Final Thoughts

    Choosing cloud storage with the best encryption is difficult, but going with one on our list will keep your data safe and secure. Sync.com separates itself from the competition by offering a great combination of included zero-knowledge security, affordable prices and great features. That’s not to say pCloud, Icedrive, MEGA or IDrive aren’t excellent options.

    Sync.com and MEGA offer zero-knowledge as a standard feature. pCloud requires an additional cost to unlock this feature, while Icedrive makes it available to paid accounts only. With IDrive, if you don’t enable it when you sign up, you can’t retroactively enable it. However, since all have zero-knowledge encryption, there’s no wrong choice.

    Although not in this list, Internxt is a newcomer on the scene that also offers excellent privacy and security features. You may want to check it out in our Internxt review.

    Are you going to choose one of these secure cloud storage services? Is your current cloud storage secure? How important is cloud encryption? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article.

    FAQ

    • Sync.com rates as the most secure cloud storage service. It has zero-knowledge encryption for your entire account and offers affordable paid plans.

    • Very few cloud storage services have unencrypted cloud storage, though not all are zero-knowledge. All of the providers on our list have excellent security features.

    • Sync.com, pCloud, Icedrive, MEGA and IDrive all offer end-to-end encryption, which protects your data from third-party intrusions when you transfer it from your device to cloud storage servers.

    • For any data you store on a cloud storage provider that you consider personal, sensitive or confidential, you’ll want to ensure it is encrypted. Stand-alone encryption programs, like Cryptomator, protect your data before you upload it.

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