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Icedrive vs pCloud

Icedrive vs pCloud: Which Cloud Storage Option Wins in 2024?

If you’re in the market for cloud storage, you’ve likely considered Icedrive and pCloud. Since both services offer similar features, it can be tough to decide. We put the two cloud storage providers head-to-head in our Icedrive vs pCloud article.

Jason StagnittoJackie LeavittEugenie Tiu

Written by Jason Stagnitto (Writer)

Reviewed by Jackie Leavitt (Chief Editor)

Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu (Editorial Assistant)

Last Updated: 2024-02-02T11:56:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing.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

4.3
4.3
  • Excellent privacy & security
  • Generous free plan
  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Great value
  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Fast syncing
$3.08 / month(save 22%)(All Plans)
$4.17 / month(save 24%)(All Plans)

Key Takeaways: pCloud vs Icedrive

  • The main difference between pCloud and Icedrive is the additional cloud features pCloud brings, some paid, such as a password manager, or free, like its dedicated section for music and a robust music player.
  • Both services have an encryption folder. Icedrive’s comes with its paid plans, while pCloud charges extra for private encryption, even with some of its paid plans.
  • Icedrive and pCloud have free 10GB accounts, making it easy to try either.

Anyone in the market for personal cloud storage has plenty of excellent options to choose from. Two such are Icedrive and pCloud, which rank among the best cloud storage services. Of the two, pCloud has been around longer and has a few more features. However, Icedrive has plenty of appeal as a secure and private cloud storage solution. Let’s see how the two stack up head-to-head in our Icedrive vs pCloud comparison.

Among the value propositions for both services are affordability and ease of use. Additionally, both offer lifetime subscriptions, which pay for themselves if you stick with a service long enough. However, a few differences, like file versioning and paid plan flexibility, make choosing between the two an important decision.

  • 07/08/2021

    Updated article to reflect the addition of two-factor authentication to Icedrive.

  • 07/09/2023 Facts checked

    This article was rewritten to include new features and updated pricing plans.

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    150GB – 10TB$3.08 / month(save 22%)(All Plans) 14-days money-back guarantee

How Did We Rate pCloud vs Icedrive

We’ve reviewed a lot of cloud storage services. When writing our pCloud review and Icedrive review, we used each service in real-world situations to see what it does well and where it might falter. We also test its features comprehensively and get a feel for the navigability of the platform. As such, we have a diverse background through which to compare these services.

Icedrive vs. pCloud: Similarities & Differences

Looking at the two services, it’s apparent that Icedrive and pCloud have much in common. However, there are also key differences that might make one or the other better for you. Let’s take a closer look. 

500GB – 10TB$4.17 / month(All Plans)150GB – 10TB$3.08 / month(All Plans) 14-days money-back guarantee
ReviewReview
Sync
Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder
File Sharing
File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links
Productivity
File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV
Security
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption ProtocolAES 256-bitTwofish
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server LocationUSEU
Support
24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase
Misc
Free Plan

Similarities

Icedrive and pCloud have much in common, primarily in terms of pricing, storage capacity and security. Let’s explore these similarities in more detail.

Multimedia File Preview

File preview is a standard feature of cloud storage services, and both Icedrive and pCloud let you preview most file types, including multimedia. However, even if you pay for a subscription, neither service adds any additional functionality with file previews.

Icedrive will open images in a browser window; however, that’s about it. pCloud takes it one step further and allows you to start a slideshow of whatever images are in the folder. You can share images from the preview, and a “three-dots” menu pulls up options like download, print or file information.

icedrive preview files
Icedrive’s file preview lets you open most file types, but not much else.

Both services let you play videos from a web browser. pCloud gives you the same additional options for videos as it does with images. Icedrive does not include any additional functionality for video previews.

For music, both Icedrive and pCloud have a web-based music player. As with images and videos, pCloud’s built-in media player lets you load or save a playlist and shuffle or repeat songs. Icedrive’s just plays the music file.

Pricing & Lifetime Plans

Icedrive and pCloud offer differing plan sizes, making it hard to make a direct comparison on price. However, when you account for the different storage amounts, it’s clear that the two services have very similar pricing. Looking at annual plans, Icedrive charges $3.99 per month for 150GB of storage. pCloud doesn’t have an equivalent plan, but the closest is 500GB for $4.17 per month, which is slightly better value than Icedrive’s cheapest plan.

However, Icedrive’s 1TB plan blows the smallest pCloud plan out of the water, as it also costs $4.92 per month, meaning you pay the same for double the storage. That said, pCloud’s 2TB plan compares favorably here at $8.33 per month. Finally, if you need a lot of storage, you can opt for Icedrive’s 5TB plan for $15 per month.

Both pCloud and Icedrive offer a lifetime subscription. As it’s impossible to predict the future and know how long a company will remain in business, there’s always a risk with such long-term commitment. However, if you plan to commit a service, a lifetime plan eventually pays for itself.

icedrive lifetime plans
Icedrive’s lifetime plans are among the most affordable.

Icedrive’s lifetime storage plans come in three flavors: 150GB for $36.99, for or 10TB for $30. You’ll see similar options with pCloud: Its lifetime plans offer 500GB, 2TB or 10TB of cloud storage space for $199, $399 and $1190, respectively. The benefit of lifetime plans comes from the one-time cost — pay one of the above prices and you get that storage amount for as long as you keep your account.

Pcloud Lifetime pricing plan 2023
pCloud’s lifetime choices have several different storage limits.

Our Icedrive vs pCloud lifetime article compares the lifetime plans in more depth, so if you’re considering one, it’s worth reading that article. Additionally, we cover the best lifetime cloud storage options, if you’re looking at lifetime cloud storage in general.

Security

Cloud storage services wouldn’t survive if they didn’t protect all your data during transfers (uploading, downloading and sharing) or while storing it on their servers. Icedrive and pCloud accomplish this by using two different encryption protocols.

When you transfer your data, Icedrive and pCloud both use TLS/SSL encryption protocols. When sharing files or folders, these protocols protect the handoff of information from man-in-the-middle attacks. This type of cyberattack happens when a malicious entity redirects or intercepts your transfer from your intended recipient.

pCloud uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data while at rest on its servers. This encryption protects against brute-force attacks, which happen when a cybercriminal tries to access your account using trial and error to guess your credentials. Icedrive uses an encryption protocol called Twofish, which is technically more secure than AES 256-bit because it’s less widely used.

Privacy

Both pCloud and Icedrive offer zero-knowledge encryption options for users. pCloud’s comes in the form of pCloud Crypto, a paid add-on. Icedrive offers zero-knowledge encryption to everyone on a paid plan. The privacy policy for either service explains what data it collects and how it uses or shares that data.

pcloud encryption
The encryption folder on pCloud comes as a separate paid add-on, except on business plans. 

Between the two, Icedrive does a better job of collecting the minimum necessary data, such as your login information. Icedrive does not use third-party tracking or analytics software. pCloud collects more data, including, in some instances, information from your friends or contacts if you provide their email addresses. 

Additionally, pCloud may be legally bound to share your data depending on the jurisdiction. Since pCloud operates a data center in the U.S., American laws such as the Freedom Act or Patriot Act could come into play. The same can be said for Icedrive, as it has a data center in the U.S. 

Icedrive also has a data center in Germany, while pCloud maintains an EU data center in Luxembourg. Both Icedrive and pCloud fall under some of the best privacy laws for data stored in the EU and adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

File Sharing

Icedrive and pCloud make sharing easy, as both let you create a link to files and folders that you can then copy, paste and share. Additionally, you can share folders by using email addresses. 

Icedrive displays icons when you select a folder or a file. At the top of the page, you can create a link by clicking on the chain icon, or you can invite others to collaborate by clicking the person icon. Any collaborators you add must have an Icedrive account.

pcloud file sharing
pCloud’s paid plans gives users sharing options to secure and protect shared files or folders.

Sharing with pCloud works the same way. When hovering your cursor over a file or folder, you’ll see the “share” option appear. For folders, you can create a link or invite others with an email address. Sharing folders with email requires the recipient to be a pCloud user. Clicking the share option for files creates a link you can share with anyone.

icedrive share files in folder
Those on Icedrive’s free plan can’t access additional settings. However, users with a paid plan can adjust link settings to add passwords or a link expiration date.

Both services offer security settings for shared links. These options include adding a password, expiration date and allowing or limiting downloads. These options, on both services, are only available with paid plans. 

Free Accounts

Both Icedrive and pCloud have free plans, and both come with 10GB of personal storage space. Icedrive’s free account can be found midway down the “plans” page, which you can access by clicking “get started” on the homepage or “plans & pricing” in the footer. Once you enter your information and verify your email, you can access your free 10GB account.

pCloud advertises its free 10GB storage space on its homepage. However, realistically you’ll only get 7GB, as you start out with 2GB and unlock a further 5GB by completing some basic tasks with the service. Unlocking the remaining 3GB requires inviting three friends to use the service.

Differences

Despite the similarities between the two services, there are some noticeable differences to address. The most apparent is that pCloud offers other features such as backups, a dedicated media player and better file versioning.

File Versioning

Depending on which service you use and whether you have a free or paid account, file versioning can vary significantly between Icedrive and pCloud.

Icedrive is the more restrictive of the two. It limits versions with the free plan to three per file and will only keep these three versions for 15 days. Paid plans get 10 versions of a given file, which remain available for 180 days. There’s not a lot of flexibility with Icedrive, making it a frustrating choice for those who have project documents with many revisions.

pCloud calls its file version feature “rewind,” and it’s not as intuitive as Icedrive’s or many other cloud storage services. With rewind, free accounts can access previous file versions for 15 days. Paid individual accounts get 30 days while business accounts have 180 days. pCloud doesn’t limit the number of file versions, and it offers the option to purchase extended file history as a separate add-on — making it the more flexible choice.

Backups

Whether cloud storage comes with additional backup features may not matter to some people. Icedrive has a backup feature tied to its mobile app called the Backup Wizard. The Backup Wizard is a separate feature from automatic camera uploads. However, it’s only available with paid accounts.

pCloud includes a backup feature at no extra cost, even for free accounts, although it’s not a true cloud backup service, as it doesn’t have advanced tools such as the option to use network attached storage. You can check our article for more information on the difference between cloud storage and backup. However, it is a flexible addition to any plan. Just note that whatever data you back up will count against your storage allotment.

pcloud backup
You can backup data from your computer, images and videos from mobile devices, and even data from third-party apps with pCloud.

With pCloud backups, you can download the desktop app and set up one-time or recurring backups for your desired folders. The pCloud mobile app lets you automatically upload images and videos on a mobile device. pCloud also supports third-party backups with OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Photos, among others.

Cloud Features

In terms of features, pCloud offers more of them than Icedrive. A good example is the dedicated audio tab included in every pCloud account. This tab takes any music files you upload and lets you sort them alphabetically or by song, album, artist or playlist.

pCloud also has a password manager. It works like other password managers, providing strong passwords and autofilling them when you visit a website. It is a paid service that doesn’t come with paid plans. However, it is an option that Icedrive does not have.

If you have images or other branding items, you can use them to customize folders you plan to share with other people. This gives your public-facing folder a professional appearance. 

Finally, anyone who visits pCloud can use its free and secure 5GB file transfer service, even without an account.

Plan Choices

Icedrive offers three options: Lite, Pro and Pro+. All three offer annual billing, while the Pro and Pro+ plans can be paid for monthly. As with other services, paying yearly equates to a lower average monthly cost. Icedrive does not offer family or business plans. We explore more in our Icedrive pricing guide.

icedrive paid plans
Icedrive only has three paid plan choices and does not have options for families or businesses.

pCloud only has two options for individual plans: Premium 500GB and Premium Plus 2TB with either monthly or annual payment options. If you choose the lifetime plan, it offers a custom 10TB option. For more, check out pCloud lifetime plan article.

pcloud plans
pCloud gives you additional plan options for families and businesses.

pCloud also has two family plans, one offering 2TB and another offering 10TB. These plans are lifetime only. Businesses with three or more users can choose from two business plans. The Business plan has 1TB of storage per user, while the Business Pro plan comes with unlimited storage. Additionally, business plans include pCloud Crypto. For more, check out our pCloud pricing guide.

Which Is Better: Icedrive vs pCloud?

pCloud brings a little more to the table than Icedrive, although it’s not a runaway. Both services offer similar features with comparable storage amounts at competitive prices. Additionally, both have similar lifetime plan options, making a long-term commitment to either something to consider. While pCloud does offer more functionality, unlocking its full potential can become costly.

Icedrive is one of the most accessible cloud storage services to use, and it clearly puts a lot of focus on the user experience. Its streamlined, no-nonsense approach to cloud storage makes it ideal for anyone needing space to store data.

pCloud offers plans tailored to different customer groups and delivers a service full of features and functionality. Individuals, small teams, families and even larger businesses will find a plan that fits their needs.

We Recommend Icedrive If You Want…

  • A polished user experience: Icedrive’s user interface, layout and workflow is ideal for just about anyone, as it is an easy-to-use service. 
  • Affordable plans: On average, Icedrive offers less storage space per plan, but it also is one of the cheapest cloud storage services. 
  • Encryption Folder: Icedrive’s private encryption folder comes with all it’s paid plans, meaning you don’t have to pay an extra fee on top of your plan. 

We Recommend pCloud If You Want…

  • A wealth of cloud features: pCloud includes more features on its accounts, such as a desktop backup feature and a dedicated space for music. 
  • More robust file versioning: Although pCloud handles file versioning differently than most competitors, its versioning policy is generous enough for most people, even without the paid add-on. 
  • More plan options: Whatever the type and size of cloud storage you need, pCloud likely has a plan that meets your requirements, including options for families and businesses. 

If You Want to Consider Other Services, Check Out…

An excellent alternative to Icedrive and pCloud is Sync.com. Where Icedrive and pCloud offer a paid private encryption folder, Sync.com applies zero-knowledge encryption to an entire account. Sync.com also has a free 5GB account, making it easy to check out the service. Read our Sync.com review, Sync.com vs Icedrive or Sync.com vs pCloud comparisons to learn more.

Like Sync.com, MEGA brings private encryption to an entire account and has one of the most generous free plans at 20GB. Our MEGA review and Icedrive vs MEGA have more information. For those seeking more third-party app connections and collaboration tools, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are strong alternatives.

Dropbox is one of the original cloud storage providers. It works well with native apps like Dropbox Paper and supports Google and MS Office connections. You can read more in our Dropbox review.

If you want to stick with either of the previous ecosystems and centralize your cloud storage, Google Drive includes a host of Google Workspace apps and is easy to use. You can find more details in our Google Drive review, Google Drive vs Icedrive piece or Google Drive vs pCloud guide. OneDrive syncs and integrates seamlessly with MS Office. Our OneDrive review covers the service in greater detail.

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The Verdict: Why We Think pCloud Wins Overall

We give pCloud the nod in this head-to-head, as it brings a little more to the table for both free and paid accounts. This is particularly true if you spend money on one of the add-ons. 

Do you use either cloud storage service? If not, what are you using? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading our article.

FAQ: pCloud vs Icedrive Compared

  • Overall yes, as pCloud has more features than Icedrive. However, pCloud and Icedrive both offer excellent security and make storing and sharing your data easy.

  • Yes, Icedrive protects your data with TLS/SSL encryption for data in transit and Twofish encryption for data at rest. If you have a paid plan, any data you store in the encryption folder enjoys zero-knowledge encryption.

  • Icedrive is located in Swansea, U.K., and has servers in Germany and the U.S.

  • Yes. From using pCloud, we have found nothing erroneous about the service in how it uses your data.

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