pCloud is a cloud storage service that consistently sits near the top of our lists, including our roundup of the best cloud storage providers. pCloud Business brings pCloud’s excellent features and adds tools to create and manage teams. In our pCloud Business review, we take a deep dive into the service to see if it’s right for your cloud storage needs.
pCloud Business Review: Key Takeaways
- pCloud Business adds a dedicated space for member and team management.
- All business accounts include pCloud Crypto, which provides client-side encryption.
- pCloud offers two business plans, with the Business Pro plan offering unlimited storage.
On the surface, pCloud Business has several features that help it compete against the best business cloud storage services. File and folder sharing is a breeze, and you can add custom branding for a professional look. However, pCloud Business does not have native apps that foster real-time collaboration, and its third-party connections are reserved mainly for data transfers.
05/23/2023 Facts checked
The article has been rewritten to include new cloud storage features.
In our experience, we’ve never had a reason to find pCloud untrustworthy. Specific to business accounts, having client-side encryption with pCloud Crypto provides a space to secure important documents.
From a business and team standpoint, the main disadvantages to using pCloud come from a lack of collaboration and productivity apps. Other cloud storage platforms either have third-party integrations or native apps designed to support teams and projects.
pCloud takes its cloud storage platform and adds in tools and tabs designed to support businesses. Team folders and management are significant elements that come with pCloud Business.
pCloud was founded in 2013, meaning, at time of writing, pCloud has been in business for a decade.
pCloud Business Alternatives
pCloud Business: Pros and Cons
- Private encryption folder
- 180-day file versioning
- Block-level sync
- Selective sync
- Fast speeds
- Robust desktop app
- Few business plan options
- Limited collaboration tools
A pCloud Business account has many cloud features, several of which a veteran pCloud user will be familiar with. The Business plans add account-specific features, notably a dedicated space to manage team members and folders.
Having a dedicated tab for the business aspect of a pCloud account is the standout feature. The business tab lets you add users, create teams or adjust permissions.
The business tab mirrors what other cloud storage services call an admin console. With pCloud, account admins have complete control over their teams. You can create as many team folders as needed and add as many users as your account allows. Additionally, when adding users, admins can determine the storage allotment, if the default amount is too much or too little.
For the analytical-focused, a “users” section next to each user name displays all actions taken on the account by that member. Additionally, under the “logs” tab shows you overall account activity, such as logins and device connections. However, the main focus is on teams. pCloud sets up a few default folders, but as mentioned, you can change or create folders to suit your needs.
pCloud Drive works with your web-based account by creating a virtual drive on your desktop. Any work you do while in pCloud Drive from the installed folder updates in real time across your account. Shared team folders function the same way, capturing and updating work done by other members.
Using the pCloud web app, you can upload files directly or organize and store files as needed. However, to take advantage of all the features, you’ll need to use the desktop and web app together.
The desktop interface has plenty of options and settings, letting you manage and control your account just as you would on the website. Additionally, you can access your pCloud Crypto folder to manage the securely stored files within.
pCloud Encryption: Crypto
pCloud encryption comes in the form of pCloud Crypto; both business plans come with Crypto as part of the subscription. This alone increases the value of a pCloud Business plan, as pCloud Crypto is typically a paid add-on for individual accounts. However, it’s important to note that it has its own login, which only you have access to.
pCloud Crypto provides client-side encryption, making it an ideal place to store sensitive or confidential documents. It’s not practical to store all your data in the encrypted folder, but there’s plenty of space for the important files.
Additionally, no one can access what’s stored in pCloud Crypto without the password. Be warned, if you lose your password, the best pCloud can do is reset your Crypto folder, and you will lose whatever was stored within it.
pCloud can’t be considered a proper cloud backup provider (we cover the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup), but every account comes with a “backups” tab. Any folder designated for backup takes up storage space. Since all storage space is shared, using the backups feature may not be viable for larger teams or projects.
Using the backups feature requires downloading the pCloud desktop app. Through the settings on the app, you can determine which folders on your device to include as a backup. Any changes you make within the folders get synced automatically.
Creating a backup isn’t limited to just a computer. pCloud lets you automatically back up photos and videos from a mobile device. Additionally, you can create third-party connections to Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox for a one-time data transfer or ongoing backups (such as with Google Photos).
pCloud has several applications that work in conjunction with an account, or independently. However, pCloud’s apps are not like Dropbox Paper or Box Notes — none of them support real-time collaboration, which most teams would need. Still, that’s not to say that pCloud’s native apps don’t have value.
Here are the applications that pCloud offers:
- Save — pCloud Save is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox or Edge that lets you save web content directly to a folder on your account.
- Transfer — pCloud Transfer is a stand-alone application that lets you securely send large files without needing an account. We have more details in our pCloud Transfer article.
- Pass — pCloud Pass is a secure password manager that saves your login info for websites and applications.
- Dev — pCloud Dev provides a dedicated space for developers to get the information needed to interact with pCloud’s API.
pCloud supports many file types from several applications (such as Pages for Mac or Sheets from Google). You can see a preview for all of them, including PowerPoint slide shows. Music files play with pCloud’s integrated audio player. Video files play in the web browser. This same functionality exists on the mobile app.
When previewing any file type, you can either download it or share it, the only two options for most document-style files. With multimedia, file previews have a few more options, depending on the type.
If you have a lot of photos, you can start a full-screen slideshow and set the delay between images (defaults to three seconds). You can share an image, and there are more options when clicking on the “three dots” menu. pCloud doesn’t have an image editor, but you can choose from different options like download resize, file info or view revisions.
Music files open an audio player; if you have a playlist, you can manage it from the web app. Video files play in the web app, full screen, and have the same options in the “three dots” menu.
File Versions and Bandwidth
pCloud keeps older file versions in the tab called “rewind.” Both business plans get 180 days of file versions and can restore to an older file version by selecting a date and time. Any changes made on the date chosen populate with options to restore a file.
Other cloud storage providers include the version data on each file. However, using the rewind function is the only way to see previous versions with pCloud. The rewind feature does not include deleted files, which are located in a dedicated trash bin.
pCloud doesn’t limit bandwidth usage, nor does it place a limit on file sizes. Within the desktop application, you can change the speeds for uploads and downloads by device. However, there isn’t a way to limit the bandwidth usage for a team.
Individual plans have the option to purchase extended file history, which bumps versioning to 365 days. This isn’t an option with the business plans.
pCloud for Business Features Overview
|Sync Any Folder|
|Max File Size||Unlimited GB|
|File Link Sharing|
|Link Expiry Dates|
|Link Download Limits|
|Set User Roles|
|Monitor User Activity|
|Restrict User Storage|
|Remote Device Wipe|
|Deleted File Retention|
|Custom Password Requirements|
|Live Chat Support|
pCloud takes the guesswork out of its business plans, as it only offers two choices: Business and Business Pro. The main difference between the two is storage allotment. The Business plan offers 1TB of storage per person, while the Pro plan has unlimited storage.
However, it’s important to note that each user on the Business Pro plan starts with 2TB of storage, and if you need more, you can request it from pCloud.
The Business plan comes with 1TB of storage for each user, with a minimum of three users. Paying monthly costs $9.99 per user, but the price drops to $7.99 per user on an annual billing cycle. The Business Pro plan with unlimited storage potential has a monthly price of $19.98 per user, or $15.98 per user billed annually.
pCloud competes very well against similar business plans, such as Sync for Teams. Sync for Teams has an unlimited plan for $15 per month per user when billed annually or $18 paid monthly.
Specific to pCloud Business pricing, there’s no risk to trying the service, as either plan comes with a 30-day free trial. If there’s a negative to pCloud’s business plan model, it’s the lack of options and any kind of free storage plan.
If you want a free account, you can try the individual free version that comes with 7GB. Unfortunately, the business versions also don’t come with pCloud lifetime options.
- 1 TB storage per user 3+ users pCloud Encryption Teams & Access control Secure file sharing 180 days file versioning
- Everything in "Business" Unlimited storage Priority support
- Unlimited GB
Ease of Use
The first time you log in to a pCloud account, it’s evident that your data takes center stage. Visually, the interface is clean and could be considered austere, which isn’t necessarily bad. Unfortunately, if minimalistic white isn’t to your liking, pCloud doesn’t let you customize your account aesthetic.
Creating and managing teams is one of the key functions of a business account, and pCloud puts a lot of agency in your hands. It’s easy to set up custom team folders and add team members to them. You’re not limited to the number of folders a team member can access. Additionally, you can add team members to folders directly from a folder by sharing it.
Another small but nice feature with folders and files is the ability to add comments directly from the web interface. This option is only available on the web, but it is a nice way to provide quick instructions or ask questions specific to the contents of a folder or file.
pCloud provides some analytics for teams and members. Each member has a user log that’s accessible by account admins and shows the activity history for each member. Each team member can have additional levels of access granted by clicking on the name and choosing from a list of admin permissions. The same applies to access permissions, letting team managers enable or restrict users as needed.
When you add additional members, you can specify their file storage allocation. While the Business plan says there’s a minimum of three users, if you don’t add anyone else, the account holder gets the total allocation of the 3TB of shared storage.
You can add a logo or other form of branding to your pCloud account folders. Adding the custom branding is an option embedded in the link-sharing feature. Clicking the option “branding” lets you add what amounts to a header on a web page to a folder or a file.
Branding options include adding a title image, headline and description. You can also add a cover image or pattern. However, that’s about it. You can’t add or delete elements from the branding options.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
pCloud Business has desktop apps for common platforms such as Windows, macOS and Linux. For mobile apps, pCloud is available in iOS and Android app stores.
Using the desktop app is nearly a requirement to get the most from a pCloud Business account. It’s needed to work with files on your device, and with it, you can choose from sync options, determine disk usage or limit speeds.
The mobile app isn’t as critical, but if you plan to use your mobile device for images, it can automatically upload photos. Additionally, the mobile app supports file access and sharing while on the go, including access to the encrypted folder.
File Sharing & Syncing
pCloud lets you share files and folders. You can share folders with a link or you can invite people directly using an email address. Additionally, you can determine the level of access (view, edit or manage) for each email. If needed, you can include a message.
The only way to share files is by creating a link. All shared links have the same options to customize access. Choices include allowing downloads (or not), setting a password and implementing an expiration date. As mentioned in the previous section, adding custom branding is also possible.
Sharing folders with teams happens by typing in the team’s name after choosing to share the folder (not creating a link). Additionally, you’re not limited to only one team; you can add multiple teams to a folder.
Customization options include letting one team view while another team can edit. If you need to remove a team from folder access, you can do so within the “shared” menu or “shared” tab on the left. The submenu is split between links you’ve created and folders you’ve shared.
No matter your device, pCloud keeps your files and folders synced. pCloud supports block-level syncing, meaning only the changes you make to a file get updated, rather than the entire file being uploaded and downloaded for each change. Block-level syncing helps speed up data transfers, as the volume tends to be smaller.
You can choose which folders to sync within the desktop app, as pCloud supports selective sync. The sync tab lets you add a new sync. Clicking the button pulls up a small window where you can choose a folder or create a new one. Additionally, you can connect local folders on your computer to your pCloud account.
pCloud Business remains consistent across download and upload speed testing, and in our experience, it’s an overall fast service. During our testing, uploads barely taxed CPU resources. Downloads saw a similar result, with little drop in speed or drain on the CPU.
We conduct our testing from a virtual server located in Dublin, Ireland. It has a max speed of 1 Gbps. However, we throttle speeds to 100 Mbps to ensure a consistent test environment. We then upload and download 5GB of combined data, including videos, pictures and documents, twice and take the average.
|↕️||1st Test||2nd Test||Average|
pCloud has no problem handling data transfers, and it makes our list of the fastest cloud storage providers.
pCloud is one of the better cloud storage options for file security, with strong features bolstered by the inclusion of pCloud Crypto. All file transfers are protected when in transit using TLS/SSL encryption protocols. This protects your transfers from man-in-the-middle cyber attacks. Additionally, files at rest on pCloud servers are protected with AES-256 bit encryption.
These two encryption elements protect all your folders and files and, for most data types, are undoubtedly strong enough security measures. However, transferring or storing important data is always risky without client-side encryption.
Account security settings include enabling two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator. Enabling two-factor authentication is specific to an account and is not something that team admins can enforce.
Within the security settings, you’ll see all of the devices associated with your account, which you can delete as needed. Similar to two-factor authentication, remote device wipe isn’t an option for team management. The “logs” option shows you linked devices, but you can’t do anything with them.
pCloud Crypto comes with both business plans, and anything you store in the encrypted folder has client-side encryption. This makes it the best folder to keep confidential and sensitive data, as it can only be accessed with a separate password.
Not even pCloud can access what’s contained in the encryption folder, making it critical that you don’t forget your password. If you do, you’ll have to contact pCloud and have them reset your encrypted folder. Unfortunately, this will erase whatever contents were in there, which could be very costly.
Any time you want to access the encrypted folder, you’ll need to use the password. Team members will need the account manager to set up a sub folder(s) in the Crypto folder for individual user access. Additionally, you can access the encrypted folder from the desktop or mobile app.
pCloud reserves the right to share the data it collects about you as needed, which could include sharing with third-party services. However, your data won’t be used for marketing without your consent.
Additionally, pCloud collects data about your friends and contacts if you connect a social media account with your pCloud account. We find this unusual, and we can’t think of any benefits to be had by pCloud digging into your personal connections.
pCloud maintains two data regions governed by very different laws. You can choose between the U.S. data region or the EU when signing up for an account. The option resides in a small dropdown, and if you are in the U.S., it defaults to the data center in Dallas, Texas.
Knowing where your data is stored is more for awareness than a veiled fear-based warning. However, if privacy is of the utmost concern, store important documents in the encrypted folder and choose the EU data region when you create your account.
The quickest and easiest way to find help with a pCloud account is by accessing the FAQ section. Unlike most cloud storage websites, you’ll only find the help center links in the footer of a page; it’s not part of the main menu options.
However, pCloud does an excellent job of providing a robust database of searchable questions and answers categorized by common topics. Additionally, the business plans have a dedicated tab in the FAQ.
If you can’t find answers to questions, the “contact us” option at the bottom of the page or in the dropdown menu within your account has additional options. There’s a contact form to ask direct questions and two email addresses to choose from if you don’t want to use the web form. pCloud also publishes its address and phone number as additional methods of communication.
The Business Pro account comes with priority support, and inquiries sent using the web form typically receive a same-day response, respective to your local time. However, the FAQ and options on the “contact us” page are the only help methods available. pCloud does not have a live chat or a community forum.
The Verdict: Is pCloud Business Worth It?
pCloud Business makes it easy to set up teams and share documents. It takes a streamlined team management approach and has enough features to keep projects on task. With its zero-knowledge encryption folder, pCloud Business offers a safe location for important documents.
The main drawbacks to pCloud Business stem from a lack of real-time collaboration features and native apps that support businesses and teams. You can share, upload and download different file types, but most of your work will have to happen outside of pCloud. If you’re looking for a full-suite solution, pCloud isn’t your best option.
Do you use pCloud Business? If so, what’s been your experience? Do you prefer an alternative business cloud storage provider? Are there other cloud storages you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below, and thank you for reading.