In this age of data breaches and shady marketing practices, the best way to keep your files out of the hands of others is to control the encryption. During this review, we’ll be checking out Switzerland-based Tresorit, one of the most secure cloud storage solutions available.
Like Sync.com, pCloud and a handful of other options, Tresorit lets you keep control of your file content through zero-knowledge encryption, meaning nobody but you and those you share your files with can ever read them. On top of that, Tresorit protects your files with an option for two-factor authentication, as well as secure file-sharing options like link passwords, download limits and expiry dates.
While more expensive than pretty much any other service found in in our cloud storage reviews library, for those that don’t mind spending extra, Tresorit is worth a long look. If our Tresorit review peaks your interest, you can try it out yourself before committing with a 14-day free trial.
If Tresorit doesn’t make sense for you, our best cloud storage roundup will help you discover other options. If you’re looking for a business cloud storage solution, we also have a best EFSS guide. If its backup you’re after, check out our best online backup guide. If you don’t know whether you need storage or backup, we also have a primer on the difference between cloud storage and online backup that will get you squared away.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Secure file sharing
- Two-factor authentication
- Good platform support
- Unimpressive sync speeds
- No live support (for personal plans)
Tresorit provides cloud storage with a focus on privacy. The linchpin of its approach is private, end-to-end encryption — also called zero-knowledge encryption. We’ll talk more about what that means when we review Tresorit security, below.
In addition to storing files, Tresorit lets you sync them between devices. Computer sync clients are available Windows, Mac and Linux. The Linux addition is somewhat rare among cloud storage services. See our roundup of the best cloud storage for Linux for other options.
Tresorit also has mobile apps for Android and iOS. These can be used to upload mobile files like pictures and videos, and access your cloud storage.
File sharing is another key Tresorit feature. The file sharing and syncing section of this review will give you a better idea of how Tresorit has implemented both features.
In addition to sync folders, Tresorit also has a network drive feature called Tresorit Drive. While in beta, anybody can use Tresorit Drive. The difference between a sync folder and a network drive is that sync stores folders and files both on your computer and in the cloud, while network drives only store files in the cloud.
That said, you can turn sync off for any folder in your sync folder, too, using a feature called selective sync. Both selective sync and Tresorit Drive let you free up space on your hard drive.
Tresorit also provides an Outlook add-on, which provides a more secure means of sharing files than normal email attachments.
Other features of note include file versioning, proxy setup and two-factor authentication.
One thing you won’t find with Tresorit are third-party app integrations like Office Online or Dochub. However, Tresorit has a pretty good excuse for that shortcoming: zero-knowledge encryption prevents such integrations.
For the same reason, you can preview or edit files within Tresorit, nor can you stream music or media. For productivity, Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive are the best bets. Read our articles on the best cloud storage for music and best cloud storage for video for advice on those features.
The biggest deterrent for many users when it comes to choosing Tresorit as their home cloud storage solution is that it just isn’t priced very competitively. There are two personal plans available, one for 200GB and one for 2TB.
$ 12 50monthly
$ 125 04yearly
$ 30 00monthly
$ 288 00yearly
$ 25 00monthly
$ 240 00yearly
$ 15 00monthly
$ 144 00yearly
|Storage||3 GB||200 GB||2000 GB||1000 GB||1000 GB|
Limited free plan: no deleted file recovery, no versioning, no chat or phone support.
1 user maximum
1 user maximum
9 users maximum (2 users minimum)
99 users maximum (10 users minimum)
The 200GB price is more than most cloud storage services charge for 1TB. Meanwhile, Sync.com and pCloud, two other zero-knowledge cloud storage options, both have 2TB plans for $8 per month. That’s three times less than what you’ll pay with Tresorit.
With either plan, you can opt to pay month-to-month or annually. Paying for a year in advance will save you about $72 a year for the 2TB subscription. Still not cheap, though.
Aside from more storage, there are a few other advantages of going with the 2TB Tresorit plan over the 200GB one. These include link password protection, the ability to sync up to ten devices instead of just five, and unlimited versioning versus 90-day versioning.
For those that want to check out Tresorit’s advanced features, you can give the Premium and Solo plans a test run before buying with a 14-day free trial.
Tresorit recently launched a free plan called Tresorit Basic, too, which will net you 3GB of gratis cloud storage. The free plan is missing a few features like file versioning and deleted file recovery, and you can’t store files larger than 500MB. Additionally, sync can only be enabled for two devices at a time.
Signing up for Tresorit Basic can be a little confusing, too: you have to first signup for a 14-day trial, which requires giving Tresorit your credit card details. If you cancel within 14 days, you won’t be charged, and your plan will be downgraded to Basic.
It’s a hassle but still a small step in the right direction for Tresorit. However, if “free” is the magic word for you, we recommend reading our guide to the best free cloud storage options.
Once you sign up for Tresorit, you’ll need to download a desktop client to start storing files. Once the client is installed, which takes about a minute, you’ll need to connect it to your Tresorit account or create a new account.
Most cloud storage services have relatively thin desktop clients, built around a sync folder and a few menu options available via a taskbar icon. Most other tasks, including managing file sharing, takes place via a web GUI. Tresorit, on the other hand, has both a full-featured desktop client and a matching web interface.
While some will like the approach, the Tresorit desktop client does complicate the file management process somewhat in that you have to create folders, which Tresorit calls “tresors,” and then turn sync on for them individually. We’ll look that process more in the next section of this review.
Both desktop and web GUIs are arranged similarly, with navigation links lined vertically down the left margin, while the links themselves are somewhat different.
Both GUIs, for example, have views for tresors and account settings. The desktop GUI has a link for “recents” that the web GUI does not, while the web GUI has a link for contacts, which is a list of people with whom you’ve shared content.
Each object stored has a list of actions you can perform, which you can access via the desktop or web GUI by right-clicking on the object. These actions include “download,” “share” and “see versions.”
File sharing is a key component of most cloud storage services, including Tresorit. You can share at either the folder or file level, with folder sharing having a few more options.
Folder shares let you share with specific individuals by inputting their email address. Or, you can generate a link pointing to that folder that anybody can use. Files can only be shared via link. If you share folders via email address, those you’ve shared with will need to register for a Tresorit account. Link access — for folders or files — don’t share that requirement.
Folder shares also let you grant permissions to others, which include view only and edit access, as well as manager access with share privileges.
Link sharing with Tresorit is nicely done. Rather than just generating a link that anybody can use, you can protect that link with a password, expiry date and download limits. The only cloud storage option that matches Tresorit’s link security that comes to mind is Sync.com (read our Sync.com review for more on this).
So that you don’t lose sight of them, you can audit what links you’ve created via a special “links” view. There’s also a “contacts” tab that you can use to review people with whom you’ve shared folder access.
The only real miss we could find with Tresorit is that there’s no option to create upload links like you can with pCloud and a few other cloud storage options (more on this in our pCloud review).
Moving on to sync, in order to synchronize files between devices with Tresorit, you first need to set up a tresor to do so. Once you have your tresor created, you’ll need to “turn sync on” by clicking the appropriate button in the desktop client.
Once on, your tresor will be added to a special Tresorit file system folder called “my tresors.”
You can add files to directly to this folder to sync them, or add them through the desktop client, which conveniently supports drag and drop.
Any file placed in your tresor will be stored on both your hard drive and in the cloud by default. You can connected multiple devices to your Tresorit account — five devices with a 200GB subscription and ten with a 10TB subscription — to sync files between them.
Whenever a change is made to a file, that change is reflected in the cloud and all devices attached to your Tresorit account in ideally near real-time. We evaluate speed in the next section.
While sync is useful, if you’re looking to save hard drive space, you want to be able to shut it off. To that end, Tresorit supports a common cloud storage feature called “selective sync,” which lets you disable sync at the file level.
Alternatively, as mentioned, you can make use of Tresorit’s new network drive feature, which only stores files in the cloud.
File upload and download speed are critical to ensuring a smooth sync experience. A zero-knowledge service like Tresorit will likely take a little bit longer to sync than a service like Dropbox (read our Dropbox review), but it shouldn’t be noticeably longer on small files.
To find out how well Tresorit stacks up against the competition, we conducted a few speed tests with a 1GB compressed folder. These tests were performed over a WiFi network from SE Asia with 55 Mbps download and 59 Mbps upload internet speeds.
The results were mixed:
|Test One:||Test Two:||Average:|
|Upload Time:||14.5 minutes||14.5 minutes||14.5 minutes|
|Download Time:||9.5 minutes||10 minutes||9.75 minutes|
At 50 Mbps, the fastest that 1GB could transfer is just under three minutes. The 14.5 minutes and 9.75 minute speeds we experienced for uploading and downloading are obviously quite a bit more than that.
However, we were also sending those files halfway around the world (remember, the Tresorit servers are located in Ireland and Europe).
The speeds themselves are a bit slower than some other cloud storage services, including Dropbox. Generally speaking though, unless you’re working with large files, it shouldn’t be an issue.
During our limited testing, we didn’t encounter any issues with failed sync processes or missing files. We also didn’t find that ongoing file synchronization negatively impacted our ability browse the internet or otherwise use our test computer.
That said, if Tresorit sync does cause issues for you, there’s an option to separately throttle upload and download speeds. Tresorit even lets you schedule when sync is throttled and when it isn’t, which is a feature we don’t recall having seen with any other cloud storage.
Overall, Tresorit performs a bit slowly, but not to the point where its not worth using. Some of that may be due to the fact that files are encrypted end-to-end. Unlike Dropbox, Tresorit does not (cannot) use file metadata for indexing files to access them more quickly.
Security is Tresorit’s key selling point. It’s one of the few zero-knowledge cloud storage services available, joining the likes of Sync.com and other options found in our list of the best zero-knowledge cloud storage services.
In brief, this means that you set your password privately and your encryption key is generated based on that. Tresorit never knows what that password is, so the company can never decrypt your files — whether for marketing purposes or for something else. The disadvantage is that if you ever forget your password, Tresorit won’t be able to reset it.
The level of encryption used by Tresorit is AES-256, which means the encryption key is 256 bits long. Its estimated that it would take billions of years for a supercomputer to crack an AES-256 key, so your files should be perfectly safe with Tresorit.
However, weak passwords are much easier to brute-force crack. For that, Tresorit lets you enable two-factor authentication.
2FA means that when logging into your Tresorit account from an unfamiliar machine, you’ll be asked to enter an additional credential: a security code. This code can be received via Google Authenticator, text message, phone call or email.
The advantage is that even if someone steals your Tresorit password, they won’t be able to login without also having access to your smartphone or email account (hint: don’t use the same password for your Tresorit and email accounts).
In transit, files are also protected using hardened TLS to make sure it’s really you requesting files. Secure tunnels also help protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and other forms of online eavesdropping, although your files should be safe enough encrypted.
For further protection of your files in transit, you should consider using a VPN service, too. Our best VPN guide has good suggestions for that.
While headquartered in privacy-friendly Switzerland, Tresorit’s servers are located in the Netherlands and Ireland. Both locations have good privacy laws, though not as strong as Switzerland.
The data centers themselves are run by Microsoft Azure. Both centers are audited and certified to the latest ISO standards. They’re patrolled by security 24/7, monitored by surveillance and protected using measures like biometric scanning.
However, even if somebody did gain access to your data via a breach, with zero-knowledge encryption, its not likely they would be able to do anything with them.
Tresorit only has one support channel available for personal users, which is email. Support hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those hours aren’t listed online; we had to contact Tresorit to find out.
To test response time, we fired off an email with a few test questions. Right away, we were a bit put off by the fact that we never received an automated confirmation that our request was received. Most cloud storage services send you an email to let you know your issue is being looked into so you’re not left wondering.
Responses did come fairly promptly, however: usually within a few hours during the week. We would like to see both 24×7 support and live chat added, however.
In the meantime, if you need support on weekends, you’ll have to rely on Tresorit’s searchable help center. There, you’ll find a getting started guide, release notes and feature guides. The articles themselves are well written, although many pertain to business accounts rather than personal accounts, which can be a bit confusing.
There’s plenty to like with Tresorit. We appreciate the zero-knowledge encryption, link security options and two-factor authentication. There’s no question that Tresorit goes to great lengths to ensure your privacy stays intact.
That said, there’s also no question that Tresorit is rather overpriced. $30 a month for 2TB of storage on an annual contract is close to four times what you’ll pay for Sync.com, which provides the exact same security advantages. Think of all the bitcoin you could buy with the savings.
The bottom line is that bottom line is going to be enough reason for most people to look elsewhere. If, however, you don’t mind spending the money, Tresorit is as secure as any other option mentioned in our best cloud storage guide.
Think Tresorit is worth the money? Let us know in the comments below, thanks for reading.