As we come to rely more on the cloud, a single cloud app to manage all of your cloud apps suddenly makes sense (one cloud to rule them all, in Middle Earth terms). The pickings for such services, called multi-cloud management apps, are unfortunately few and far between at the moment, which brings us to the subject of this CloudHQ review.
CloudHQ, primarily a business tool (but fine for home use), provides cloud-to-cloud transfer services. The goal of this application is, specifically, setting up automated routines for cloud-to-cloud sync and cloud-to-cloud backup.
In that, it closely resembles another multi-cloud management service, MultCloud (read our MultCloud review). We actually like MultCloud much better than CloudHQ, in fact, but CloudHQ still ranks among the best multi-cloud management apps available, even if that’s because of lack of competition.
While useful, CloudHQ leaves much to be desired and is probably too expensive because of that. We’ll run down all the pros and cons as we cover features, costs and user experience in the upcoming review. We’ll also cover what cloud services CloudHQ supports.
If you’re in need of cloud storage rather than management, have a look at our best cloud storage guide. We also have a similar overview of the best online backup services. Now, on to business.
Alternatives for CloudHQ
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Cloud-to-cloud sync
- Many cloud services supported
- WebDAV support
- Easy to use
- No sync scheduling
- No file sharing
- No file previews
- No desktop or mobile apps
- No one-time transfers
CloudHQ specializes in cloud-to-cloud sync. The entire experience is web-based, meaning no desktop or mobile apps are available to access files like you’ll find with Otixo and odrive.
Although, to be fair, neither Otixo nor odrive are capable of cloud-to-cloud sync, either. They’re multi-cloud management tools of a different sort, which you can learn more about in their own reviews (read our Otixo review and odrive review).
Instead, CloudHQ more resembles MultCloud by focusing on automated file-transfer relationships between two or more cloud services. File sync can either be one-way, letting you backup one cloud to another, or two-way.
We’ll cover supported cloud apps below, but they include an assortment of cloud storage services, email services and other web-based applications.
While we like the CloudHQ web application for its simplicity, there are a few missing features we’d like to see in the future. Headlining those misses is the inability to schedule file synchronization. Instead, you’re forced to stick to continuous sync. On top of that, one-time bulk file transfers aren’t supported, so we don’t recommend using CloudHQ for data migration.
Another problem we have with CloudHQ is that, although you can browse files stored in connected cloud accounts, you can only see metadata (filename, size, creation date and owner).
There’s no option to preview files like you can, to a degree, with MultCloud. Also, MultCloud lets you share files, while CloudHQ does not, outside of emails.
Overall, CloudHQ works well enough for setting up file transfers but that’s about it. While no multi-cloud management tool we’ve reviewed here at Cloudwards.net really “does it all,” CloudHQ is more limited in features than most.
CloudHQ has a free plan and subscription options. The free plan lets you sync free cloud accounts but not premium accounts, which is an interesting limitation. That means, for example, that if you have a free 15GB Google Drive account, you can integrate that with CloudHQ for free. However, if you have a Google Drive subscription, you’ll need to upgrade.
There are three CloudHQ subscription plans: Premium, Business and Enterprise.
1-year plan $ 9.83/ month
$118.00 billed every year
Save 50 %
1-year plan $ 25.00/ month
$300.00 billed every year
Save 50 %
For CloudHQ Enterprise, you’ll need to contact sales for a price. For Premium and Business, you can sign-up online and either pay for a year in advance or go month-to-month. The base Business plan is usable by three users; after that, you’ll need to pay per additional user.
Compared to MultCloud, CloudHQ is overpriced for single users. MultCloud Premium is $70 per year, close to $50 less than CloudHQ. On the other hand, MultCloud doesn’t have a multi-user plan. At $300 per year for the first three users and $70 per additional user after that, CloudHQ Business provides more value overall than its Premium plan.
If you decide to go with a subscription plan and aren’t satisfied, so long as you cancel service within 30 days you can request a refund under the CloudHQ money-back guarantee.
Supported Clouds and Protocols
CloudHQ supports a range of cloud storage options, web-based email services and other cloud applications. Integrating them into a cloud-to-cloud plan is pretty simple, requiring only your credentials, and is something we’ll look at in more detail when we talk user experience.
Supported names include Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, all popular cloud storage options for homes and businesses. We were also very happy to see that CloudHQ supports Egnyte Connect, a favorite among our editing team, as you can read about in our Egnyte Connect review.
|Google Drive||OneDrive||Dropbox||Egnyte Connect|
|Box||SharePoint||Amazon Drive||Amazon S3|
|Outlook.com||iCloud Mail||Yahoo Mail||FastMail|
Of the best cloud IaaS services, only Amazon S3 is directly supported. However, that should let you connect to Wasabi, too, which is 100 percent compatible with S3 (read our Wasabi review).
Web-based email services supported include Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail and iCloud Mail. Some of the other supported cloud applications of note include Salesforce, Basecamp, Slack, Asana and two of the best cloud note-taking apps in Evernote and OneNote.
The WebDAV protocol is also supported by CloudHQ, which will let you connect cloud services that aren’t fully backed by the software, so long as those services also support WebDAV.
Luckily, that includes one of our favorite cloud storage services, pCloud (read our pCloud review).
The overall list of services backed by CloudHQ isn’t bad. MultCloud offers a few more, including pCloud, Mediafire, HiDrive, OwnCloud and options for photos like Google Photos and Flickr. However, the difference is relatively unimportant, especially with WebDAV support.
While we’d prefer a more feature-packed tool, one of the silver linings of using a multi-cloud management app with a very narrow focus like CloudHQ is that there’s not much to learn. That benefits the user experience overall, at least from an ease-of-use perspective.
Once you’ve created a CloudHQ account, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to run through the single user or IT admin steps when setting up a sync relationship.
Single-user setup can be used if you have login credentials for both cloud apps you intend to use as endpoints in the file-transfer process. The second option is intended for IT professionals who need to integrate multiple cloud accounts across an organization.
Choosing the single-user setup option, you’ll next be asked if you want to sync or backup one cloud account to another or if you want to backup multiple cloud accounts to a single cloud account.
To illustrate the CloudHQ process in general, we decided to keep it simple and only create a one-to-one cloud relationship. The next step is to actually pick those two cloud services and pick a relationship (one-way or two-way sync).
CloudHQ makes this pretty straightforward: there are two blank squares for cloud endpoints near the top of the screen. Below, you’ll see listings of all the cloud services supported by CloudHQ.
Click the first endpoint, then click the cloud service you want to add. You’ll be asked to log in and authorize CloudHQ to access it.
After, if it’s a cloud storage service like Google Drive that you select, you’ll be asked whether you want to:
- Sync your entire cloud account
- Create and sync a new folder
- Select and sync an existing folder
We chose the second option, creating a folder called “CloudwardsTest.”
Once that’s done, you can set up the second endpoint, following the same steps.
The next step is to decide if you want one-way sync or two-way sync, which you can change by clicking the small button between the two endpoints. Use one-way sync if you want to backup one cloud service to another, such as Evernote to Egnyte.
Once finished with both endpoints, you can make changes like excluding certain folders from sync, archiving files before they’re changed or deleted and, our favorite option, converting documents to the Google Doc format automatically when moved to Google Drive (read our Google Drive review).
If you’re satisfied and don’t want to set up a second sync relationship, click “start sync” to enable continuous file transfers. As mentioned earlier when we talked features, CloudHQ doesn’t let you schedule syncs.
You can, however, browse any files in connected accounts by clicking the “users & accounts” tab of the CloudHQ interface and then clicking “browse files and folders.” However, there’s no option to share files, preview files, search for files or even access files by launching the connected cloud service.
Overall, as we noted earlier, CloudHQ is easy to use. However, we’d be happy with a slightly harder learning curve in exchange for more flexibility.
Up next, we’ll be taking a look at CloudHQ security.
Some of the strong points include the use of OAuth when connecting to Google and Dropbox, which means that CloudHQ never knows your passwords for those two services. However, other services require giving CloudHQ your credentials, which the service stores in its own data centers. Credentials that are kept are encrypted at-rest, at least, using 256-bit AES.
CloudHQ doesn’t permanently store files, though it may temporarily cache content when accessing it. Any metadata stored by CloudHQ is encrypted at-rest using AES.
Communication with an API is encrypted using 256-bit SSL. The same is true of communication between your browser and the CloudHQ servers.
The service provides admin tools for managing and monitoring usage for Business and Enterprise plan subscribers. Capabilities include abilities to control who can use what cloud apps and monitor what data is shared and stored. You can also access audit logs of all account activity.
CloudHQ doesn’t provide any means to additionally encrypt cloud files beyond what the cloud services provide. That means there’s no option to apply private encryption, which frankly isn’t a surprise given CloudHQ’s limited purpose. If private encryption is a need, consider Otixo or a zero-knowledge service like Boxcryptor (read our Boxcryptor review).
More alarming is that CloudHQ doesn’t provide an option for two-factor authentication. That, however, seems to be a common trend of multi-cloud management systems, and it’s probably less of a concern with CloudHQ since the service doesn’t let you download, share or preview content.
Free account users aren’t provided any means of direct support, at least according to the CloudHQ subscription plan page. CloudHQ Premium subscribers get email support, while Business and Enterprise subscribers get email and phone support.
However, testing the service’s free account offering, we did email CloudHQ support and received a reply about two days later. Maybe we got lucky or maybe business users just get faster replies.
For DIY help, anyone can use the CloudHQ support page. There, you’ll find specific instructions for each supported cloud app. You can browse by category or use a search feature to find articles quickly.
Support articles are straightforward and make use of screenshots in some cases to help users out. CloudHQ’s online knowledgebase, in fact, is one of the few areas where we feel there’s a distinct advantage over MultCloud. Then again, the service is so easy to use, that you’re not likely to ever need it.
Our final take on CloudHQ is that it’s really simple to get the hang of but really short on features. Setting up cloud-to-cloud sync takes minutes and a decent range of cloud storage services is supported. However, we’d at least like to see one-time file transfers, file previews and better file-sharing options added, similar to what you get with cloud-to-cloud sync rival MultCloud.
What would make the service truly stand out would be a desktop client to bring all of your cloud storage sync folders together, supported by an option for private, end-to-end encryption. For those needs, however, you’re best going with a second service for now, with Otixo probably being the best option.
For what CloudHQ does do, it’s rather overpriced, too. MultCloud, for that matter, seems expensive, even though it’s about 40-percent cheaper than CloudHQ for solo users.
We actually like CloudHQ, overall. It’s just hard not to see what more it could be. Hopefully, as the multi-cloud management market matures in the coming years, either CloudHQ will take steps to provide more complete oversight of cloud apps or a service that does so will come along.
Give us your own thoughts on CloudHQ below, and whether you prefer it, MultCloud or another option for cloud-to-cloud sync. As usual, thanks for reading.