Review technology

Icedrive vs. pCloud: Which one is a better Cloud storage? +Review

Both pCloud and Icedrive are excellent cloud storage options: one is a long-standing favorite, while the other is new to the scene. Find out which service comes out on top in this Icedrive vs pCloud matchup.

Icedrive vs pCloud Matchup


What makes pCloud stand out from competitors perhaps most of all is its unique offer of permanent, lifetime cloud storage.


  • Lifetime cloud storage with a single payment
  • No file size limits
  • Generous free plan
  • Built-in music player
  • Full range of security and privacy options

Rather than monthly or annual payment plans, pCloud users simply put down a one-time lifetime cloud storage fee and are set with cloud storage from then on.

When you pair this option with a functional, easy-to-use interface, no file size limits, and the choice of where to store your data (US or EU) for privacy concerns, pCloud can make a very appealing offer for many personal cloud storage users.

pCloud also offers one hard-to-find feature that is appealing to some: a built-in music player. However, business users might find this setup less appealing, and pCloud lacks certain other features that facilitate collaboration and third-party integration.


  • One time fee — no monthly or annual payments to remember (or forget)
  • Easy to use
  • No file limits
  • Good privacy options


  • No collaboration
  • Lacks integration options
  • Limited support
  • End-to-end encryption (pCloud Crypto) is a paid addon

Pricing plans

There is a generous free account with up to 10GB of storage. Among the paid plans, pCloud offers premium, premium-plus, and business. Each of these can be paid on a monthly basis or with a single lifetime fee.

Free Plan

  • Data transfer: 3 GB
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Cost: FREE
  • Lite Plan
  • Data transfer: 250 GB
  • Storage: 150 GB
  • Monthly plan: not available
  • Yearly plan: $1.67 per month ($19.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $59 (one-time payment)

Pro Plan

  • Data transfer: 2 TB (2,000 GB)
  • Storage: 1 TB (1,000 GB)
  • Monthly plan: $4.99 per month
  • Yearly plan: $4.17 per month ($49.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $149 (one-time payment)

Pro+ Plan

  • Data transfer: 8 TB (8,000 GB)
  • Storage: 5 TB (5,000 GB)
  • Monthly plan: $17.99 per month
  • Yearly plan: $15 per month ($179.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $499 (one-time payment)

Bottom Line

It is easy to think that pCloud is expensive. However, a one-off payment is cheaper in the long run because you won’t have to worry about renewal fees. You can also rest assured that your data is safe, thanks to the strong encryption and extensive redundancies.


Icedrive, founded in 2019, is one of the more recent and up-and-coming cloud storage providers.

Icedrive Features

  • File previews, even on encrypted files
  • Very generous free plan with 10GB
  • File and folder sharing
  • File versioning

This cloud storage option has a lot of potentials, and with a generous 10GB of free storage space, you simply can’t beat Icedrive as one of the most generous free plans.

Much like Sync, Icedrive puts a high priority on privacy and really delivers. It also offers a clean, straightforward user interface that can be great for new users, and the virtual drive means it won’t eat up your hard drive.

Icedrive brings with it some of the most advanced security features out there including file sharing which means that only those who have access to a shared link will be able to see any part of what is inside that particular folder.

Also worth noting is its zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption which means that even if someone were somehow able to hack their way through your password they would not be able to view anything without first decrypting or breaking down your data.

Your privacy is safeguarded with zero-knowledge cloud storage from Icedrive!


  • Amazing free storage plan
  • Strong security and privacy features
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Virtual drive


  • Lacks good collaboration options
  • Doesn’t offer much third party integration
  • Only Windows users will be able to use all features
  • Icedrive Plans and Pricing

Taking our top award for free plans, Icedrive’s 10GB of free storage paired with great features is compelling enough that you may not need one of the paid options.

But if you do, Icedrive offers three tiers: Lite, Pro, and Pro+, mainly differing on bandwidth and storage limits.

Free Plan

  • Data transfer: 3 GB
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Cost: FREE

Lite Plan

  • Data transfer: 250 GB
  • Storage: 150 GB
  • Monthly plan: not available
  • Yearly plan: $1.67 per month ($19.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $99 (one-time payment)

Pro Plan

  • Data transfer: 2 TB (2000 GB)
  • Storage: 1 TB (1000 GB)
  • Monthly plan: $4.99 per month
  • Yearly plan: $4.17 per month ($49.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $229 (one-time payment)

Pro+ Plan

  • Data transfer: 8 TB (8000 GB)
  • Storage: 5 TB (5000 GB)
  • Monthly plan: $17.99 per month
  • Yearly plan: $15 per month ($179.99 billed annually)
  • Lifetime plan: $599 (one-time payment)

Bottom Line

Icedrive is a newcomer to the cloud storage scene, that being said, it’s definitely displaying some very promising signs.

It offers more space than any of its competitors and pricing is great. Security-wise, they offer reliable features like Twofish encryption, client-side encryption as well as zero knowledge of your data which should make you feel safe about storing your files with them for the long term.

On the downside though; they are a relatively new company and if this bothers you then it might be worth looking into other providers such as Dropbox or Sync instead who have been around longer. But if that isn’t a breaker for you, then try out Icedrive today! Your files are secure with zero-knowledge cloud storage from Icedrive!

Which cloud storage wins in terms of Security & Privacy?

Depending on the nature of the files you store in the cloud, making sure that no one else — whether that’s cybercriminals, the government or the company itself — can access them might be of utmost importance, and some services are notoriously bad in this area.

Starting with Icedrive, it’s no exaggeration to say that the newcomer gets top marks in both keeping your files secure from illegal access as well as keeping them private from any prying eyes.

Everything is encrypted using the Twofish encryption protocol, which was the other main contender for the Advanced Encryption Standard (it lost out to Rijndael, now simply referred to as AES).

However, just because Twofish wasn’t selected doesn’t mean it’s significantly weaker in any way, as it provides equivalent protection to AES 256-bit, which is the gold standard. When your files are in transit, they’re protected by TLS/SSL, so that they can’t be exposed in a man-in-the-middle attack.

All encryption is done client-side, making Icedrive a zero-knowledge service, though this is only true for the files you place in the encrypted section of your storage.

pCloud, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated in this regard. Although the service does offer client-side encryption, you have to pay extra for the pCloud Crypto package to get access to it. This costs $4.99 if you pay monthly, or $3.99 per month if you opt for a longer subscription.

While it’s good that pCloud at least offers the option of zero-knowledge encryption, having to pay extra for it is incredibly disappointing, as other secure cloud storage services offer this as a core part of their products. That said, if you do pay for pCloud Crypto, the encryption you get is just as good as Icedrive or other services like Tresorit.

In addition to encryption, both pCloud and Icedrive also let you set up two-factor authentication, which protects you in case someone figures out your password. For Icedrive, this can be done via Google Authenticator (one of the best 2FA apps), hardware keys that support U2F/FIDO and SMS, with the last one being restricted to paid plans. pCloud, on the other hand, only offers Google Authenticator and SMS verification.

Which of them give a better User Experience? pCloud  or Icedrive?

Both services offer 10 GB of free cloud storage to new users, but pCloud gives 10 GB more to those who invite other users to register. What’s more, for each successful registration, they award yet another gigabyte of storage.

Both services have beautiful and clean designs for their web, desktop, mobile, and tablet apps. Files and folders with both cloud storage providers are accessible and easy to manage.

Their website applications also have easy-to-use functionality tools, such as drag-and-drop, keyboard shortcuts, and many others that make the user experience that much more enjoyable.

Icedrive also has an in-built document viewer and its own media player, too. That convenient addition allows us to stream audio and video directly from the cloud, eliminating the need for any third-party apps.

pCloud vs Icedrive Lifetime Deals

As mentioned, both Icedrive and pCloud offer lifetime deals on their services. This means that instead of paying a recurring subscription every month or year, you pay a larger sum up front and get access to the service in perpetuity.

At least, that’s the idea in theory, but as we reported in our state of the cloud, it’s not unheard of for companies to try to rescind offers like this. A company could also simply go bankrupt, at which point they can’t continue to provide their services anyway.

That said, both Icedrive and pCloud’s lifetime deals are excellent options if you plan to use the services for three years or more. Icedrive offers a lifetime plan on all three of its versions, costing $99, $229 and $599 for the Lite, Pro and Pro+ plans, respectively.

However, to avoid abuse, Icedrive imposes a bandwidth cap on lifetime subscribers, meaning that there’s a limit on how much data you can upload or download during the month. The limit is either 250GB, 2TB or 8TB, depending on which lifetime plan you purchase.

pCloud Lifetime, on the other hand, imposes no such restrictions. Only the Premium and Premium Plus plans can be purchased as lifetime plans, and they cost $175 and $350, respectively.

Finally, both services offer 10GB of storage for free. However, Icedrive gives you this with no strings attached, while pCloud requires you to perform certain actions to unlock the full 10GB.

You start at just 2GB and receive 1GB for verifying your email, uploading a file, downloading the desktop app, installing the mobile app and turning on automatic uploads. That means you can easily get up to 7GB, but the remaining 3GB requires you to invite three friends to use the service, which might not be possible for everyone.

All this adds up to two services with very little difference in terms of price. With the exception of the Lite plan, Icedrive gives you slightly more bang for your buck, both in terms of monthly or yearly subscriptions as well as lifetime plan prices.

Because of this, Icedrive wins this round by a very slim margin, despite the bandwidth caps it imposes on lifetime users. This brings our score to 1-1 as we head into our third round, focused on usability.

The Verdict

With that, our pCloud vs Icedrive comparison has come to a close. Both services are excellent options for cloud storage, which is why we’re left with a tie. That said, pCloud wins our file syncing and sharing round, which at the end of the day is the most important part of any cloud storage service. It’s also a bit easier to use and provides more in the way of bonus features.

However, if zero-knowledge encryption or affordability are more important factors for you, then Icedrive is probably the better option.

Is pCloud Any Good?

Yes, pCloud is one of the best cloud storage solutions available, having excellent features, usability, and file syncing and sharing capabilities.

Which is better pCloud or Icedrive?

pCloud and Icedrive tied in this comparison, but we gave pCloud the win due to its superior file sharing and additional features. However, if security, speed or pricing is more important to you, then Icedrive might be the better fit.

Is Icedrive better than Google Drive?

Overall, we think Icedrive is the better service. That said, if you need features like collaboration tools or primarily want to store your photos and videos, then Google Drive is the better option. … Google Drive offers 15GB of free cloud storage by default, compared to Icedrive’s 10GB.

How secure is Icedrive?

You’re only as secure as your key. That’s why Icedrive generates secure 256-bit keys using your encryption passphrase. Keys are generated client side and NEVER get passed to our servers. Only you have access to them.

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