Privacy laws have a significant impact on whether the government can access your data stored with a cloud storage provider. We give pCloud top marks as one of the best cloud storage providers, primarily due to its excellent security and privacy. However, there are two pCloud server locations — one in the U.S. — which raises some potential privacy concerns.
Key Takeaways: pCloud EU vs US Servers
- pCloud has data regions in the U.S. and the EU. When you sign up with pCloud, you can choose which region you want on your account.
- If you want to change your data region later on, pCloud charges a one-time fee of $19.99.
- pCloud maintains GDPR compliance and follows Swiss privacy laws for all the data stored on its servers.
In our pCloud review, we briefly discuss pCloud’s server locations. Before 2020, pCloud had one server location based in Dallas, TX. pCloud now has two server locations, with a data region in the EU. This article explores the different pCloud server locations and how that may impact your privacy.
01/14/2023 Facts checked
Rewritten to include up-to-date information about pCloud’s servers, and information on choosing a different data center and potential privacy impacts.
pCloud has data regions located in Dallas, TX, and Luxembourg, in Europe. It’s not surprising that it’s the best cloud storage for Europe.
Tunio Zafer is the founder and CEO of pCloud, which is based in Switzerland. Check out our interview with him.
pCloud charges additional fees for its best encryption and privacy features, including client-side encryption, extended file history and zero-knowledge encryption.
If you want to change your region, you will find the option under your account settings. Note that changing data regions comes with a one-time fee of $19.99
pCloud Server Locations: Where Does pCloud Store Your Data?
pCloud servers reside in two data regions: one in the U.S. and one in the European Union. In the U.S., pCloud’s data center is located in Dallas, Texas. In the EU, its data center is located in Luxembourg. For some, seeing a Swiss company with a data region in the U.S. might raise some questions or privacy concerns.
Digging a little deeper reveals that pCloud maintains and owns its U.S.-based data center. This fact may seem irrelevant; however, pCloud does not pay for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The pCloud team does not rent space on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure.
It’s important to note that the pCloud service you get is the same no matter where pCloud stores all your data. Features such as extended file history or other elements of data security are identical.
How to Choose Your pCloud Server Location
Before pCloud opened its EU servers, new customers didn’t have the option to choose a data location. The only choice was the data region in Dallas, Texas.
Now that the EU data center is operational, all new account users can choose a data region. However, this information is small and easily missed. On pCloud’s home page, you’ll see the option to create an account. There’s a dropdown option to choose a data region underneath the email and password prompts.
Once you create your account, your data will reside on either pCloud’s U.S. or EU data center. It’s worth noting that accounts created in America seem to be assigned to the U.S. data center by default.
How to Change Server Location on Your pCloud Account
pCloud’s existing users didn’t have the option to choose a data region. Now that the EU data center is available, existing users may opt to change their region in the account settings.
Again, there’s a catch that long-standing members weren’t thrilled about. Anyone can change the data region on their account, but only after paying a one-time fee of $19.99. For this reason, it’s important to choose your data region carefully during account setup to avoid any unnecessary costs.
Accounts established before the option of an EU data center will need to weigh the decision to pay for a data transfer. Anyone with a lifetime subscription should choose their preferred data region during account creation or consider changing to their preferred region. If you’re committing long-term to pCloud, then you should have your data stored where you want it.
EU vs US Data Centers: What’s the Difference?
Security and privacy are heavily dependent on where a company stores your data. Different nations have different privacy laws: Some favor the government, and some focus more on an individual’s data privacy.
pCloud is a Swiss company located in Baar, Switzerland, which has some of the best privacy laws in the world. However, before opening its EU data region, having its servers located in Dallas seemed counterintuitive for some, given that U.S. privacy laws favor the government.
As a company based in Switzerland, pCloud complies with Swiss laws and ensures that its practices are GDPR-compliant.
Additionally, information stored at both data centers has the same internal and physical security measures. These measures include data protection at rest using AES-256 encryption and TLS/SSL protection during data transfers from your device to pCloud’s servers.
Additional layers of security and privacy come with pCloud Crypto. pCloud encryption includes client-side encryption and zero-knowledge encryption.
If you have this paid add-on for increased data security, your account enjoys a higher level of protection on servers in either data region. However, even without enhanced security features such as crypto pass, all accounts have file protection supported by SOC 2 Type 2 certification in both regions.
We aren’t legal experts, and this isn’t a legal document, so we won’t speculate what would happen if the U.S. government tried to subpoena information stored on pCloud’s Dallas-based servers.
Ultimately, the decision lies with the account holder on where they want to store data, including encrypted files. You’ll want to choose the European Union data center for better privacy laws.
Privacy and the laws that govern what a government can and can’t do with your information should play a significant role in deciding on cloud storage.
Before 2020, pCloud’s users didn’t have a choice, as it only had a data region in the U.S. Now, new pCloud account holders can choose between the U.S. data center and one located in the EU when they set up a new account. Existing pCloud account holders can transfer their data to its EU data center for a one-time fee of $19.99.
How important is choosing where pCloud stores your data? Are you concerned about potential privacy issues using pCloud’s U.S. data center? Did you create your account before pCloud offered a choice of data center locations? Do you feel confident in pCloud information security management systems and quality management systems? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.