A best cloud storage for Linux article is a tough thing to write, and not because there are too many choices to sort through. As any Linux user probably knows, it’s the exact opposite: many of the best cloud storage solutions, including Google Drive and Sync.com, don’t play well with Tux.
Dropbox is an option, but beyond that it can be tough to know where to look.
The good news for Linux users, who tend to think outside the box, is that the list starts off with a good one that isn’t, in fact, Dropbox. pCloud, long a favorite in our cloud storage reviews library, earns the honor of top marks once again.
After that, well, things get a bit trickier. In fact, we had to bend the rules some to keep one cloud storage service from cracking the list. We won’t name names.
Best Cloud Storage for Linux 2018
What Makes Cloud Storage the Best for Linux?
For starters, it helps if the cloud storage service in question works with Linux. In particular, we looked for cloud storage services with actual Linux clients. While you can use Google Drive with Linux using third-party clients like Insync, we decided to keep things native.
After that, we more or less looked at the same things we always look at when evaluating cloud storage, but through a pair of Mint-colored glasses, which came with a nice belt clip for our smartphone. So, rather than place extra emphasis on ease of use, like we might with small child or Apple user, we heaped more importance on security.
Four of our entries are, in fact, zero-knowledge cloud storage services, meaning they support private end-to-end encryption. Also, we figured Linux people do things like build their own personal cloud storage, anyway, so we didn’t worry too much about user-friendliness (though our two top picks, pCloud and Dropbox, both excel when it comes to user experience).
Now, onto the rankings.
Best Cloud Storage for Linux: pCloud
pCloud is more than just cloud storage with a Linux client. It’s a cloud storage service that tends to show up quite a bit on our “best of” lists here at Cloudwards.net. In short, we’re a little obsessed.
While not as secure as Tresorit, our number three pick, pCloud has a zero-knowledge add-on called Crypto for those that don’t want to risk their files falling into enemy hands. It also has an extended file-history add-on that gets you 360-days of versioning. Why not 365? It’s all part of the allure.
What we like most about pCloud, though, is the user experience. The web GUI, desktop client and mobile apps are all very well-designed, as you can see in our complete pCloud review. Better yet, you can stream music and movies with pCloud, and it’s our top pick for photos.
For bargain shoppers, it doesn’t get much better than pCloud, either, which ranks on our list of best deals in cloud storage. You can get 10GB for free and 2TB costs $2 less with pCloud than a 1TB subscription does with Dropbox.
As you can imagine, it’s also one of the top Dropbox alternatives. That should appeal to Linux users who prefer to keep away from mainstream, which itself has security benefits (it’s a less tantalizing cybercrime target).
- Cheap plans
- Play media
- Zero-knowledge costs extra
- Extended versioning costs extra
Dropbox maybe no longer holds the title for most active users, having been passed by Google Drive, but its still absurdly popular. Hundreds of millions of users don’t just sign-up for a service for the fun of it, either: Dropbox is very good.
Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, basically invented the sync model now commonly used by most cloud storage services. On top of that, Dropbox continues to set trends in sync, beyond being able to sync computers running Linux.
Dropbox makes use of block-level sync to give it a speed advantage over just about every cloud storage service not named Egnyte (read our Egnyte review, even though there’s no Linux support).
Dropbox also has a new approach to selective sync called smart sync. This feature lets you still see content in the Dropbox sync folder in your computer file system that you’ve turned sync off for (meaning its only in the cloud, not also on your hard drive). Unfortunately, this feature requires the rather expensive, $20 Dropbox Professional subscription.
Aside from sync, Dropbox is also probably best tool on this list for collaboration. It’s one of the best cloud storage for business options, which you can read about in our best EFSS guide. Dropbox integrates with Office Online and Dropbox Paper is pretty good notes app (though if that’s a priority, check out our best note-taking apps).
- Office Online integration
- Good user experience
- Fast syncs
- Not great value
- Not zero knowledge
- Big cybercrime target
Earlier, we let slip that Tresorit is probably the most secure cloud storage for Linux, and we meant it. Tresorit provides zero-knowledge encryption by default, so you don’t have to pay extra for it like with pCloud.
In fact, we have no problem saying that only personal cloud storage that comes to mind that matches the Tresorit security approach is Sync.com. If you’re not beholden to Linux, read our Sync.com vs Tresorit article to find out which one comes out on top. If you are beholden, just forget we said anything.
Tresorit doesn’t have as polished a user experience as pCloud or Dropbox. However, that’s only a small reason it doesn’t rank higher for Linux users, who as we mentioned, are used to difficult things. The bigger reason that sank Tresorit is its cost.
If not for its high price, Tresorit could have vied for the number one spot thanks to strong privacy protection. So, for those Linux people that can afford to spend a few bucks, Tresorit’s worth a look on a 14-day free trial.
- 25GB of free storage
- No file-size limits
- Also a backup service
- No free plan
MEGA has Linux client, but overall it isn’t a service we rate highly. You can read all about the reasons why in our MEGA review, but in short we’ve found the sync buggy and some of the mechanics, like file sharing, a bit clumsy. Also, there’s no file versioning.
However, there are some pretty compelling reasons to at least give MEGA a try. For example, it offers 50GB of free cloud storage. That, in fact, is the most generous complimentary storage offer we can think of it, leading to a mention on our list of best free cloud storage.
MEGA is also a zero-knowledge cloud storage service, like Tresorit and pCloud. We have pCloud vs MEGA head-to-head review, in fact, if that’s an internal conversation you’re having (it shouldn’t be).
As a zero-knowledge service, the company should never know what you’ve got lurking in your 50GB. However, as a company owned by Chinese businessmen, you’ll need to decide if Chinese government’s unfriendly approach to privacy calls into question the safety of the feature. Overall, though, Linux users should feel comfortable enough with MEGA.
- 50GB of free storage
- Secure file sharing
- Expensive plans
- Buggy sync
- Poor user experience
For our fifth and final pick, as mentioned earlier, we sort of cheated because options were running short. Rather than go with a subpar service, we landed on IDrive. The catch is that IDrive is more of an online backup than a cloud storage solution. We ranked it highly in our best online backup guide, in fact.
The reason we allowed it in this article is that IDrive is also a cloud storage service, even if it doesn’t always get credit for that. When you purchase an IDrive subscription, you get separate pools of online backup and cloud storage space. So, the 2TB plan gets you 2TB backup and 2TB of storage.
When it comes to cloud storage, IDrive can actually do everything you’d expect it to, too. That includes file sync based on a sync folder and file sharing.
On top of that, IDrive lets you opt into private encryption, which extends to both backup and storage. That technically makes it a zero-knowledge cloud storage service. On top of that, it has a Linux client. So, we voted “yes” on IDrive.
The only real issue with IDrive is that as a backup service, it’s kind of slow. We tend to hear lot of complaints about it taking months to backup hard drives, which is a shame because IDrive is priced nicely at just over $50 a year for 2TB. Still, for cloud storage for Linux, we’ll take it over hUBIC.
Wait, we weren’t going name names. Oh well, can’t delete it now: we don’t believe in editing here at Cloudwards.net. For the morbidly curious, read our Hubic review to see why Linux users should run the other way.
- Unlimited device backup
- Inexpensive plans
- Sync capabilities
- Harder to use than Backblaze
- No unlimited backup plan
- No two-factor authentication
Honorable Mention: ownCloud
Okay, so we actually do have one more suggestion that’s not hUBIC. Earlier, we mentioned the option of building your own cloud storage solution. If you’re really looking to bolster your nerd credentials beyond Linux, fellow open-source software ownCloud is probably the best cloud storage option for you.
It does everything that a good cloud storage service does, including file sync and sharing. It also supports Android and iOS. Most relatively, it has a really nice Linux desktop client.
Before you go this route, though, you’re going to need a place to store files. You can purchase your own server if you want to set up your own data center in your (mom’s) basement, but then you might run into data safety issues. Alternatively, you could consider an IaaS option like Amazon S3 or Wasabi (read our Wasabi review).
Finding cloud storage for Linux is a bit like … well, finding any software for Linux. The cupboard isn’t empty, but for whatever reason, many established companies don’t feel like giving the open-source operating system a fair shake.
In that regard, kudos to Dropbox for not going the route of Google Drive. We have our issues with Dropbox, but platform support (and sync) isn’t one of them. That said, we landed on pCloud as the top choice for Linux users for a reason.
Like Dropbox, pCloud feels refined. More importantly to the Linux crowd, it’s more secure than Dropbox, while also providing some of the best overall value of any cloud storage solution. While Tresorit is actually even more locked down, pCloud’s price tag makes it any easy choice for number one.
Have your own thoughts on cloud storage for Linux? We bet you do. Share below, and thanks for reading!