Among cloud storage providers, few names ring out as pCloud and MEGA. pCloud is second on our best cloud storage list, while MEGA advertises itself as “the privacy company” and offers a generous 15GB of free storage after the temporary 35GB vanish. We’ll see if the underdog can win in this comparison of pCloud vs MEGA.
Cloud storage services can offer different features for different users, but we can compare most of them using common categories. They include security, speed, storage costs, notable features and user experience. It’s up to you to decide which is most important to you, though. We’re going to provide an overall winner at the end to make the choice easier.
Over the next five rounds, we’re going to compare the services and help you decide which is a better fit for you. At the end of each round, we’ll declare a winner and we’ll conclude by naming our top pick overall.
Good storage cost is determined by the price of subscriptions. The more plans a service has the better your options will be. If you’re looking for a bargain, read our best deals in cloud storage guide. It’s great if a service offers a free plan or trial, too, so you can test it before subscribing.
pCloud and MEGA have good free plans. pCloud’s provides 2GB of storage and you can add 8GB to that by completing a multi-step process after registering. MEGA’s free plan starts with 50GB of storage, but 35GB evaporate after a time. You can get it back but it disappears again after 180 days.
pCloud only has two paid plans to choose from: Premium 500GB and Premium Plus 2TB. The former costs $4.99 per month and the latter will set you back $9.99 per month. If you pay for the year, the prices come down to $47.88 and $95.88, respectively.
1-year plan $ 3.99 / month
$47.88 billed every year
Save 20 %
Lifetime plan $ 4.86 / month
$175.00 one time payment,
Monthly price for 3 years of use
1-year plan $ 7.99 / month
$95.88 billed every year
Save 20 %
Lifetime plan $ 9.72 / month
$350.00 one time payment,
Monthly price for 3 years of use
If you feel that pCloud is a good choice and you want to use it for the long-term, buying a lifetime license will save you money. Buying the Premium 500GB one costs $175 and Premium Plus 2TB is $350.
MEGA has more flexibility with its four premium plans. The first, Pro Lite, gives you 200GB of storage for $5.79 per month. The second expands that to 1TB and costs $11.59 a month, which makes it more expensive than pCloud’s 2TB plan. The third plan offers 4TB, which is impressive, but it costs $23.19 per month. The last plan, at $34.80 a month, doubles the storage without doubling the price.
MEGA has solid plan flexibility and offers a lot of storage. That said, it doesn’t have competitive pricing to match the value of pCloud, so pCloud wins this round.
Security & Privacy
Cloud storage isn’t useful without strong security because there are many dangers on the internet, such as hackers who won’t hesitate to target your data with ransomware or man-in-the-middle-attacks. They might steal your login credentials, too.
To combat that, cloud services use many methods to secure data against potential threats. Two-factor authentication, for example, will stop hackers who’ve stolen your password from accessing your account. Still, you should make sure you have a strong password to start.
The TLS protocol prevents man-in-the-middle attacks from succeeding and encryption secures your data in-transit and at-rest. Private, end-to-end encryption prevents anyone other than you from reading your files.
pCloud doesn’t offer private encryption by default, but it has an add-on called pCloud Crypto that you can get for $3.99 per month. That means the company doesn’t include private encryption with its plans, though. If you use pCloud, your data will fall under U.S. cloud laws and regulations so Crypto might be a good investment (also, it prevents snooping by pCloud staff).
The service uses the TLS protocol to protect data in-transit to servers. Once your data reaches a data center, it will be replicated across at least five servers. Your files will be encrypted with AES 256-bit on them. It has two-factor authentication, as well.
MEGA includes private encryption for free. The level of encryption is AES 128-bit, which isn’t as strong as AES 256-bit, but it doesn’t matter because cracking either would take millions of years. The TLS protocol adds another layer of protection to files in-transit. MEGA offers two-factor authentication, too.
MEGA’s data centers are in Luxembourg, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand, all of which are more privacy-friendly than the U.S. Thanks to that and its free private encryption, MEGA wins this round.
A straightforward and enjoyable user experience is better than one that’s complex, outdated and requires help from an IT wizard. The service should work on desktop, web and mobile, and the apps should have attractive and intuitive interfaces.
pCloud’s desktop interface is bland, but clear and intuitive. It works on Windows, macOS and Linux. In fact, it is the best cloud storage for Linux. You can launch it using a system tray icon or the pCloud drive in your files manager.
The web client has more features than the desktop one, gives you centralized access to pCloud’s tools and offers a fast, streamlined experience. There is a menu on the left that lets you perform various actions. You can mark content for offline use, too. The user icon at the top right shows your account and other settings.
The mobile app is on the level, too, because it allows you to access your files on the move and can automatically upload photos and videos. The icons at the top of the menu let you access your photos, videos, documents or music. The app is easy to use and available for Android and iOS.
MEGA’s desktop app has an attractive interface consisting of a sync folder and a system tray icon that manages your sync and lets you access the settings. It presents information in a clear manner that won’t confuse you.
The web interface is fast, simple and new users will feel at home right away. You can navigate using the menu on the left and other features are located in the menu at the top right corner of the screen. You can use the top menu for general actions, but individual ones require you to right-click a file.
The mobile app is user-friendly because it makes it easy to browse your files and lets you upload your photos and videos automatically. You can use it to access files offline, too. It also has a chat feature that takes advantage of MEGA’s encryption to secure your messages. That’s an interesting addition, but its usefulness is debatable given the dedicated chat apps out there.
This category is subjective and will come down to personal preference. That said, both services provide quality user experiences, so we had to split hairs to choose the winner. We chose pCloud because it takes less time to access important features, such as the sync folder from the system tray icon and individual file categories from the mobile app.
Sharing is one of the main benefits of uploading your files to the cloud. It should be easy, fast and capable of going directly to the big social networks, individuals and groups. You should also be able to protect your shares using content controls, such as password protection, expiry dates and permissions.
pCloud does sharing well, which helped it make our list of the best cloud storage for sharing.
The web app makes it easy to share files and folders. When you want to share a file, you can generate a link, which can be protected with a password and expiry date. You can shorten it, too, but keep in mind that the short version is less secure than a normal link because it’s easier to guess.
You can share links to Facebook and Twitter, as well. If you’re using pCloud Crypto, though, you won’t be able to share your encrypted files.
pCloud lets you share folders by inviting others and granting “can edit” or “can view” permissions. Alternatively, you can generate an upload link for others to use to upload directly to your folder or a download link that enables them to download your files.
You can do the same from the desktop app, but in a limited way because you can only copy your file link and can’t send it directly. Folder sharing is the same as it is on the web app, though.
The “shares” page in the pCloud web app shows you what you’ve shared with others and the “shared with me” view tells you what others have shared with you. The service also provides a helpful table that shows statistics for your shares.
MEGA’s web app lets you share files by generating a link that you can protect with a key. That makes them zero-knowledge, so only people you give the key can read them. You can attach the key with your link, which means anyone with the link can access it, or choose to send the key separately. You can also attach an expiry date or password.
Another way to share a file is to send it to anyone you’ve added as a contact using the MEGA interface.
You can share a folder by generating a link, which works the same way as sharing files or inviting others via their email address. If you do that, you can set “read-only,” “read and write” or “full access” permissions. To invite others, including non-MEGA users, to upload to your folder, you can make it a “MEGAdrop” folder.
The web interface has a “shared with me” page, but it lacks one that shows what you’ve shared with others.
The desktop app lets you share, too, but only by generating a link. You can’t invite others to folders or generate upload links like you can with pCloud.
It’s clear that pCloud has more sharing features and provides strong security options. MEGA has zero-knowledge links, but that isn’t enough to tip the scales in its favor. pCloud wins this round.
In this category, we’re going to take a look at features that stand apart from those cloud storage services typically offer. Examples of those are file previews, advanced versioning, productivity apps, media playback and integration with third-party apps.
pCloud lets you preview your photos and documents and you can play video files. Photos won’t be downsized when you upload them, but you can choose to download them in a different resolution if you want. Music lovers will like the ability to create playlists.
The video and audio players are attractive and work well. In fact, pCloud is one of the top cloud storage services for photos and videos.
For those who have multiple cloud accounts, pCloud enables transfers from cloud to cloud. For instance, you can use cloud-to-cloud backup for Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive. pCloud can backup from Facebook and Instagram, too.
MEGA, like pCloud, doesn’t offer much in the way of utility apps, but it does offer you photo and video previews. You can’t preview Office files online, though, so you will have to download them.
One uncommon feature is chat, which you can initiate with contacts you’ve added to MEGA. It uses encryption to secure your communication in real time. The MEGAbird add-on lets you send large files using Mozilla Thunderbird. For those who want a more hands-on approach, MEGAcmd is a command-line tool that lets you use your IT magic to work with files.
pCloud can preview your documents and handle music files in ways that MEGA can’t. It also lets you backup data from other cloud providers and social network, so it wins this round.
pCloud is second on our list of the best cloud storage providers and it beats MEGA in every category except security and privacy, which MEGA won because of its free zero-knowledge protection. That makes pCloud our overall winner.
If you value your privacy, don’t want to pay for an add-on and are looking for a large, free storage plan, give MEGA a chance. Otherwise, stick with pCloud because it has better value, strong privacy and security, capable sharing options and it can manage your music and videos online.
What do you think about this comparison? Which service is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.