The internet is a fun and interesting place that’s full of opportunities, until it’s not. Criminals might steal your credentials, someone might read your secret information and the government might be browsing through photos of your trip to Egypt. You want to protect your data in the cloud, so we’re going to tell you about the most secure cloud storage, starting with Sync.com.
Considering the number of hacks and malware attacks in 2017, there’s no question security should be your top concern. Ransomware can take your cloud data hostage and demand a payment for its release, but our ransomware protection article can help you avoid it. Malicious individuals might steal your password, which could cause all hell to break loose.
It’s no secret that governments spy on their citizens, with laws such as the USA PATRIOT Act and CLOUD Act giving them permission. The PRISM surveillance program in the U.S. is one example of that. With those in play, it’s paramount that you ensure the privacy and security of your information on the web.
Before we get to the rankings, we’re going to define the criteria we used to choose the most secure cloud storage.
Most Secure Cloud Storage 2018
What Makes Cloud Storage the Most Secure
Well, security makes a cloud storage service secure, and that depends on the encryption it employs, at-rest and in-transit, and the protocol it uses. For instance, the TLS protocol helps protect against man-in-the-middle-attacks. Two-factor authentication is handy if someone steals your password and private encryption ensures that only you can read your data.
Nobody wants to empty their bank account to pay for cloud storage, so we made sure you wouldn’t need to by selecting services that offer the best deals. The more plans a provider offers, the better your options will be. A free plan or a trial is a plus, too, since that’ll let you test the service before subscribing.
We also wanted a straightforward user experience because that’s better than having to call IT to help you transfer files to the cloud. We looked at which operating systems the apps worked on, as well as how attractive and easy to use they were.
You want fast speeds, which depend on how close you are to a server and your internet service provider. We looked for services that let you tweak transfer settings to improve your connection and use a block-level transfer algorithm to speed up the process of updating files that have already been uploaded by only sending the parts that have changed.
Most Secure Cloud Storage: Sync.com
Sync.com was founded in Toronto in 2011 and has built a reputation for strong security and user privacy, which helped it top this list and our cloud storage comparison. Since it’s based in Canada, you get the benefit of Canadian privacy laws, too, which are among the best in the world.
Its reputation stems from the fact that it uses AES 256-bit encryption to scramble files and the TLS protocol, which protects data from eavesdropping during transfer to data centers.
The key to that 256-bit encryption is generated on the server and encrypted with an RSA 2048-bit public key. Once it’s on the client side, only the private key — which only the client has — can decrypt it. Not only does that make it zero-knowledge, but Sync.com is among the best zero-knowledge services on the market.
The protocol that transports that information is SSL/TLS. Sync.com doesn’t rely on SSL for essential security, though, as it can’t be trusted on its own. It’s applied as an extra layer on top of the 2048-bit RSA and 256-bit AES encryption used for each file. That means if the SSL is breached, your files would remain encrypted and inaccessible.
Two-factor authentication is available to protect your password from hackers who’d like to steal it, but it’s a good idea to make it strong, regardless. Version history, restore and rewind protects against malware, but only for 30 days if you subscribe to the free plan. If someone takes your device, you can remotely lock it out, so nobody can get your files in the cloud.
Business plans offer more security features, such as HIPAA compliance, General Data Protection Regulation compliance and global compliance. In addition, you can remotely delete files when revoking access to shares and manage permissions for shares per user and per file.
See the complete list of features here.
Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
The free plan, Sync Starter, provides 5GB of storage, which is less than our best deals in cloud storage. Still, it’s enough to test the service and see if it works for you. If you go through a several-steps-long process, you can get 1GB of additional storage. You can also add 1GB per referral up to 20GB.
Personal users can choose between two plans: Personal Pro 500GB and Personal Pro 2TB. The first costs $49 per year, while the second costs $96 per year and is one of the best deals in cloud storage.
Business plans start with Business Solo, which provides 2TB for $96 a year. Business Pro offers 1TB per user for $60 a year. A minimum of two users is required and the maximum is 50. If you need more storage, you can subscribe to the Business Pro Advanced plan, which supplies up to 10TB of storage per user for $180 a year.
Sync.com follows the common model of sync that consists of a sync folder and taskbar icon. The web client is attractive and intuitive to use and has the same features as the desktop and others that enhance the experience.
Smartphone apps are available for Android and iOS. You can use them to work with files offline and upload photos and videos to the cloud. If you want to learn more about Sync.com’s features, read our Sync.com review.
Its initial speeds are average for a cloud storage service and, since it lacks block-level copying, you can’t boost them after the files have been uploaded. If transferring uses too much of your system resources, you can throttle the sync process.
There’s an option to limit monthly uploads and downloads if you have a limited data plan, too.Sync.com goes to great lengths to ensure users’ privacy and security, provides it for cheap with competitive subscription plans and tops them off with good ease of use and speed. Those marks help it take the crown.
- Excellent security & privacy
- Great support
- Good user experience
- No block-level sync
- No monthly plans
Besides being secure, Egnyte Connect is one of the best enterprise file synchronization and sharing providers.
Egnyte Connect uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data before it’s uploaded, but the service doesn’t qualify as zero-knowledge because it decrypts your files to read metadata and keeps a record of your password. You can use Boxcryptor, a private encryption add-on, to avoid that. Keep in mind, though, block-level sync won’t work with it.
Egnyte Connect’s data centers are secured against physical intruders with 24-hour surveillance, biometric controls and guard patrols.
Business plans get two-factor authentication, which will protect you if someone steals your password. You can lower the chance of that happening by setting minimum password requirements. You can also set up password rotation and account lockout, as well as get access to centralized device management and Egnyte Key management.
Business and Enterprise plans include mobile security features, such as remote device wipe and offline access restrictions. Enterprise even has single sign-on integration.
Other Reasons We Like Egnyte Connect
Single users can choose the Team plan, which is good for one to three people. It targets businesses, but 1TB for $10 per month is a good deal for individuals, too.
Egnyte Connect has three business plans: Office, Business and Enterprise. Office requires at least five users and gives you 5TB of online storage for $8 per user per month. For more than 25 users, you need the Business plan, which provides 10TB of storage and costs $15 per user per month. You have to talk to Egnyte about the Enterprise plan if you have 100 or more users.
The desktop client uses the common sync folder model — a system tray icon and a sync folder on your hard drive. It’s available for Windows and macOS.
The web client is easy to use, quite capable and has many features. The same goes for the mobile app. You can use it to open and edit your files in the cloud, including .pdf and Office documents. The mobile app can also transfer content from your phone directly to the cloud. It’s available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
Egnyte Connect took twice the time other services needed to upload a 250MB folder, but EFSS providers are generally slower on initial uploads. Subsequent uploads were faster, thanks to its block-level sync algorithm. In fact, it was better than all other services except Dropbox.
- Fast block-level sync
- Good security
- Affordable business pricing
- No Linux support
- Not zero-knowledge
- Not the cheapest option for individuals
A somewhat new service, pCloud is based in the U.S. and ranks near the top of our best cloud storage list. Your data will fall under U.S. cloud laws and regulations, though, which is not to be taken lightly.
It uses the TLS/SSL protocol to protect data during transfer and AES 256-bit encryption to protect files at rest. When those files reach one of its data centers, five copies are created and distributed to at least three servers.
You can use zero-knowledge to protect your privacy if you buy the Crypto add-on for $3.99 a month. In that case, only you will be able to access files in the Crypto folder because it’s protected by a password no one else knows. Before subscribing, you can test the add-on with a 14-day free trial. There’s no two-factor authentication, so make a strong password.
Other Reasons We Like pCloud
Like Sync.com, pCloud only offers two personal plans, but they are great value. Premium gives you 500GB for $47.88 a year, while Premium Plus provides 2TB of space for $95.88. If you decide to use the service long-term, a lifetime plan will save you a lot of money.
Before paying up, you can test the service with its free plan, which offers a generous 10GB of storage. Going through a lengthy process can net another 4GB of free storage after registration. Plus, for every friend you refer, you get 1GB of additional space up to 20GB.
The desktop client is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. In fact, pCloud is our best cloud storage for Linux. Using the client is straightforward and enjoyable. You access it the same way you would other services — via the system tray icon or the pCloud drive in your system file manager. The interface is dark, but clear and intuitive.
If you’re on a different computer and need to use it, you can use the web interface. It has more features, offers a streamlined experience, gives you access to all of pCloud’s tools in one place and it’s fast. The only flaw is that it’s not good for transferring large files, so you should use the desktop client for that.
The mobile app delivers. You can use it to automatically upload photos and play audio and video files. It’s available for Android and iOS. To learn more about the service’s user experience and other features, read our pCloud review.
Upload speeds are comparable to other services, but the connection isn’t as stable as it should be. It does tend to reach higher speeds more often, though. That said, there’s no block-level sync.
- Great value
- Good security
- Easy to use
- No two-factor authentication
- No block-level sync
- Zero-knowledge is a paid add-on
Tresorit is one of the most secure cloud storage services and it keeps your data on servers in Ireland and the Netherlands.
It uses the TLS protocol to protect your files in transit and AES 256-bit encryption to secure them at-rest. The service’s zero-knowledge practices keep your encryption key safe and your files private, which means it won’t be able to reset your password. While encryption won’t help with a stolen password, its two-factor authentication will.
Tresorit’s data centers are compliant with the latest ISO standards and run Microsoft Azure. They employ 24/7 security, surveillance and biometric scanning.
If someone steals your device, you can initiate a remote data wipe. If your files were corrupted by malware or someone made a mistake, you can use the file versioning feature to retrieve them. It’s limited to 10 versions on the Premium plan, but there are no restrictions on the others.
More expensive plans let you define security policies for a set of users, enable admins to monitor devices and revoke access from those devices if necessary. They also have GDPR compliance.
Other Reasons We Like Tresorit
Because of its security, Tresorit’s prices are steep and don’t compare well with other services. Premium is the cheapest plan, yet it costs $10.42 per month for 200GB. That’s more than some charge for 1TB. Solo, the other personal plan, provides 2TB of storage for $24 per month. It adds unlimited versioning and the option to sync 10 devices to Premium’s features.
The Small Business plan costs $20 per user per month and gives you 1TB of storage for each person. It adds the GDPR Data Processing Addendum, security policies, Outlook integration and team-level controls for shared files.
The Business plan usually costs $24 per user per month, but it’s currently 50 percent off. It improves upon the previous plan with advanced file controls and support.
The Enterprise plan comes with an admin API and staff training, but requires at least 100 users and costs $24 per user per month.
The desktop client makes you create folders called “tresors,” which means “vaults” in German, and sync them individually. That might be troublesome for some users. It has many features and is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
The web interface is similar to the desktop one, but doesn’t have the same options. It lacks the page for “recents,” but includes a link for “contacts.” There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well.
Tresorit is slower than other services, but that is, in part, due to its built-in private, end-to-end file encryption. It shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re working with large files, though. If sync takes too much of your system resources, you can throttle it. There’s no block-level sync, but there are other options you can read about in our full Tresorit review.
- Tough security
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Good platform support
- Slow sync speeds
Dropbox is a veteran among cloud storage services and developed the common model for sync and block-level technologies. It was breached in 2012, but the service has upgraded its security since then, especially for business users.
The encryption in question is AES 256-bit, which protects your files in the cloud, but leaves your metadata in plain text on a separate server. That’s normal for EFSS solutions, though, because they use metadata for indexing and enhancing the user experience.
Dropbox Business’s 120-day versioning capabilities will help against ransomware attacks, which hold your data hostage. If someone takes your device, you can wipe the data from it and two-factor authentication will keep you safe if someone steals your password.
The company has hardened data centers to thwart breaches and other issues, such as server failure and natural disasters.
Other Reasons We Like Dropbox Business
Plans charge per user and require a minimum of three. Standard costs $15 per month, or the equivalent of $12.50 per month if you pay for the year, and provides 3TB of shared space. For $20 per user per month, you get unlimited storage and advanced admin and user controls, SSO integration and phone support.
For more, you need to contact Dropbox to get an estimate on its Enterprise plan. It provides 24/7 phone support, account capture, advanced training for end users and admins and more.
Dropbox has been a leader in user experience for a long time. The desktop client is easy to use and follows the common sync model. It works on Windows, macOS and Linux. We prefer the web client, though, as it looks striking and clear. Navigation is intuitive and its drag-and-drop feature, along with other familiar options, makes the UX fluid and enjoyable.
The mobile app is available for Android and iOS and performs in a similar manner.
Like other EFSS solutions, Dropbox isn’t lightning fast on initial uploads. Subsequent uploads are much faster, though, thanks to its excellent block-level sync algorithm. Read more about sync in our Dropbox Business review.
- Good security
- Fast block-level sync
- User-friendly experience
- Limited to 1TB
- Not zero-knowledge
You can’t have enough security and privacy. Hackers, governments and malicious individuals want nothing more than to get your data for their own treacherous schemes. You’re not defenseless, though, as our picks have shown.Sync.com tops the list with its wealth of security features, including one of the best zero-knowledge implementations, AES 256-bit encryption, TLS and more. Its other characteristics, such as plans that offer great value, also play a part.
What do you think about our selections? Do you use another service that’s more secure? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.