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Best encrypted cloud storage for 2022

man and woman on laptop in front of large data center
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Selecting the best cloud storage (opens in new tab) provider of encrypted cloud storage for your business can be challenging, due to the many options available. You need secure cloud storage (opens in new tab) that encrypts stored data, and uses end-to-end encryption to protect files when they are being uploaded or downloaded from the provider’s servers. 

The best cloud storage for business (opens in new tab) must also be accessible via the internet at any time; seamlessly share, sync, and update documents; and enable you to recover backed-up files lost from your physical storage hard drives.

There are concerns often raised when comparing cloud storage vs local storage (opens in new tab), such as service costs, the risk of data breaches, and the need to have an internet connection to access your account. Even so, cloud storage offers convenience, enabling employees to connect, collaborate, and share files securely (opens in new tab) online. It's also cheaper than investing in and maintaining your own on-premises solution.

Here, we discuss five of the most secure cloud storage options available.

Google Drive: high performance secure storage (opens in new tab)
Google Drive integrates with Google Workspace, and offers a range of top features including slick apps, third-party integrations, quick performance, and secure encryption to keep files and shared documents safe.

Box for Business: top security and integrations (opens in new tab)
Box for Business offers businesses collaborative and file-sharing tools, alongside third-party integration. Its strong encryption and security features, partnered with an easy-to-use interface, top apps, and comprehensive support offer great value-for-money storage.

What are the best encrypted cloud storage options?

The most secure encrypted cloud storage providers are IDrive, Google Drive, pCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, and Box. IDrive is the top, well-rounded, and value-for-money option on our list, with great features and plan prices, and decent customer support. It's also our top choice for the best cloud storage (opens in new tab) when it comes to premium plans, and the best cloud storage for photos (opens in new tab).

Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are well-known for providing convenient, reliable, and safe cloud storage alongside their integrated proprietary collaboration apps. Box and pCloud additionally provide top-notch privacy and security features for their customers, across business and personal cloud storage.

The best encrypted cloud storage providers, compared
Cloud storage providerLowest-priced planEncryptionStorage capacityMobile apps?Number of users
IDrive (opens in new tab)$79.50 a year (IDrive Personal)256-bit AESUp to 50TBUnlimited
Google Drive (opens in new tab)$1.99 a month (Google One)256-bit AESPotentially unlimitedUnlimited
Box for Business (opens in new tab)$7 a month (Starter)256-bit AESUp to 150GBUnlimited
pCloud (opens in new tab)$4.99 a month (Premium)Zero-knowledge encryption, TLS/SSL channel protection, and 256-bit AESUp to 2TB (per user)Unlimited
Microsoft OneDrive (opens in new tab)$1.99 a month (OneDrive Standard)256-bit AESUp to 1TB (per user)300+

The best encrypted cloud storage you can buy today

IDrive logo

(Image credit: IDrive)
Best value for money encrypted cloud storage

Specifications

Lowest-priced plan: $79.50 a year (IDrive Personal)
Encryption: 256-bit AES
Storage capacity: Up to 50TB
Mobile apps: Yes
Number of users: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Works on mobile and desktop OSs
+
Storage capacity can be upgraded to 50TB
+
Online file syncing and versioning
+
Competitive pricing

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow backup and download speeds
-
Lacks unlimited storage option

IDrive is a competitively-priced cloud storage option with features that can meet the needs of small and large businesses. Its business subscription plans offer more storage capacity depending on your requirements (up to 50TB), and 24/7 priority support via email, live chat, or phone. In addition, there are discounts available when you sign up, with up to 50% off for the first year if you pay for a two-year plan.

Plans start at $79.50 a year for one user, unlimited devices, and 5TB of storage (IDrive Personal). On the business side, IDrive Team offers five users, five computers and 5TB for $99.50 a year. For a limited time, IDrive is offering 10TB of storage for only $3.98 for the first year (opens in new tab).

Its multiplatform and multi-device features enable users to access the service from their phones or desktops, and back up data to a single account. In cases of total data loss on the local storage disks, you can use the IDrive Express feature, where IDrive will back up the bulk data to a physical hard disk and ship it to you. Even though data backup can be slow, incremental backups will lower network bandwidth because you’ll only be uploading modified versions of the data.

The military-grade 256-bit AES secures network drives, servers, and data, delivering end-to-end protection for files in transit to and from IDrive’s servers. IDrive provides a default and private encryption key, which encrypts your stored data, preventing criminals from reading your data if they manage to hack into your account.

Read our full IDrive review (opens in new tab) and our interview (opens in new tab) with IDrive's CEO Raghu Kulkarni on the company's successes, innovations, and plans for the future.

Google Drive logo

(Image credit: Google Drive)
Best encrypted cloud storage for Google users

Specifications

Lowest-priced plan: $1.99 a month (Google One)
Encryption: 256-bit AES
Storage capacity: Potentially unlimited
Mobile apps: Yes
Number of users: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Cloud-native collaboration apps available
+
15GB free storage
+
Seamless integration with third-party applications, such as Microsoft Office

Reasons to avoid

-
Concerns about privacy
-
Lacks end-to-end protection

Google Drive positions itself as one of the best cloud storage platforms, providing reliable backup for hard disk drive and phone data. It has four subscription plans: Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus, which have storage ranging from 30GB to 5TB, and Enterprise, which offers as much storage as you need.

Teams can access company files through shared drives on Google Drive and use powerful AI and search technology to find specific documents faster. Drive’s integration with Google Workspace enables teams of all sizes to create, edit, and share documents through cloud-native collaboration apps, such as Google Docs.

Furthermore, Drive integrates with third-party apps, for example, Slack and Adobe, complementing the technology your team is already using. Data transfers are protected through 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption, and Workspace administrators can control how users share files and folders from Google Drive to contacts outside your organization.

Read our full Google Drive review (opens in new tab).

Box logo

(Image credit: Box)
Best encrypted cloud storage for collaboration

Specifications

Lowest-priced plan: $7 a month (Starter)
Encryption: 256-bit AES
Storage capacity: Up to 150GB
Mobile apps: Yes
Number of users: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced security controls
+
Intelligent threat scan and detection
+
Seamless team collaboration
+
Strict data privacy

Reasons to avoid

-
Inadequate storage capacity
-
More expensive than its rivals
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Minimum of three users required

Box protects sensitive files in the cloud using intelligent threat detection and encryption features. Administrators can use the Box Shield feature to classify sensitive documents, and prevent data leaks by configuring access restrictions. Its deep learning-based malware detector thwarts content-centric risks, such as data breaches and ransomware, and sends a timely alert if your account is compromised.

Team members can collaborate seamlessly in a central workspace through Box’s Cloud Content Management feature. It has built-in integrations with Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365, and over 1,500 third-party enterprise app integrations. The Box Relay feature enables employees to assign tasks, comment, or share files with external teams.

The Business, Business Plus, and Enterprise subscription plans start at $15 to $35 per user a month, offering storage space of up to 50GB. Users can contact Box for a price quote for the new Enterprise Plus plan, which offers 150GB of storage and 24/7 technical support.

Read our full Box for Business review (opens in new tab), and our Box review (opens in new tab) focusing on its personal storage.

pCloud logo

(Image credit: pCloud)
Best encrypted cloud storage for privacy

Specifications

Lowest-priced plan: $4.99 a month (Premium)
Encryption: Zero-knowledge encryption, TLS/SSL channel protection, and 256-bit AES
Storage capacity: Up to 2TB (per user)
Mobile apps: Yes
Number of users: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Top-notch security
+
Comprehensive backup options
+
Affordable pricing
+
Team and file management tools

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks integration with online editing apps
-
Limited real-time collaboration options
-
Insufficient customer support options

pCloud is one of the most secure cloud storage options, as it uses zero-knowledge encryption. This means you're the only one with access to your data, and your cloud storage provider can't view your encrypted files. It comes with 256-bit AES encryption and TLS/SSL channel protection to guard your internet traffic. 

There is also an extra security layer called pCloud Crypto, making it easier to decrypt and encrypt files. With a straightforward interface, pCloud is available on any device, and each user gets 1TB of storage. You can easily organize your employees into teams, control access to shared folders, and set group permissions, thereby enhancing workflow.

Backup options are extensive, as you can upload your data from other platforms, such as Dropbox (opens in new tab), Google Drive, and OneDrive. File versioning enables you to recover old versions of stored content for the past 30 days. However, real-time collaboration and document editing options are not available.

Customer support includes email, web form, and phone. pCloud’s Help page mentions that email responses may be delayed by more than 24 hours, though.

Read our full pCloud review (opens in new tab) and our interview (opens in new tab) with the company's Ivan Dimitrov.

OneDrive logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Best encrypted cloud storage for Microsoft 365 users

Specifications

Lowest-priced plan: $1.99 a month (OneDrive Standard)
Encryption: 256-bit AES
Storage capacity: Up to 1TB (per user)
Mobile apps: Yes
Number of users: 300+

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced security features and encryption
+
Automatic backups and document sync
+
Microsoft Office integration option plus productivity tools
+
24/7 online and phone support

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than others
-
Lacks zero-knowledge privacy

Microsoft OneDrive consistently appears on best cloud storage services lists, because it offers secure file backups, compatibility with and access from desktop or mobile devices, and seamless collaboration tools. Its security controls also enable you to manage your account’s privacy settings.

OneDrive’s security options include data encryption for files in-transit or at-rest. File auditing and reporting are easy to do, and the system can monitor and protect sensitive data using the Advanced Data Loss Prevention feature.

The Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium plans provide fully installed and up-to-date web-based and desktop versions of Microsoft Office apps, such as Word and Excel. Your team can edit and share files, collaborate in real-time, and set passwords to safeguard shared links. 

Furthermore, its built-in search and discovery technologies will help your employees find documents quicker. Microsoft Teams is also available to enhance remote work, team planning, and staff video conferencing. Although OneDrive is pricey compared to its competitors, its feature stack is broad enough to cover the cost, and customer support is available around the clock.

Read our full Microsoft OneDrive review (opens in new tab) and our OneDrive for Business review (opens in new tab).


How to choose the best encrypted cloud storage

Choosing the best encrypted cloud storage will depend on several factors: budget, security and privacy needs; third-party app integration; storage capacity; backup and recovery functions; interface usability; safe file sharing; and collaborative tools. With these features in mind, you can identify the product that will suit your business.

For example, if you want a good quality encrypted cloud storage provider that's top overall, your pick should be IDrive. It ticks all the boxes for cross-platform compatibility, automated and intelligent backups, and secure data transfer and storage. Files are synced in real-time, managed from the IDrive dashboard, or restored to your specified devices when lost.

If you rate privacy higher than other features, you should select pCloud, which uses zero-knowledge encryption, TLS/SSL channel protection, and 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data. Its file management, versioning, and sharing features give you greater control over your content.

Anyone seeking a reliable cloud service can count on the tried-and-tested Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive services. They provide adequate security tools, decent storage space, integration with various apps, and online and phone support. Both offer Microsoft Office apps, crucial for creating and editing work documents. Moreover, they use search and discovery technologies to find documents, thereby enhancing collaboration between employees.

Box is a good choice for teams seeking to collaborate securely, as it enables users to create, edit, and securely share documents, and backs up changes automatically in the cloud, streamlining the process for your whole company. You can also transfer and work on large video files and high-resolution images.

Learn everything you need to know about choosing, and then using, cloud storage in our video below

How secure is cloud storage?

The best secure cloud storage (opens in new tab) provides top security via encryption (opens in new tab), though in theory it's not as secure as local storage would be.

When you're looking for secure storage, prioritize end-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge architecture. Encryption means that providers are, for all intents and purposes, hack-proof; zero-knowledge architecture prevents even cloud storage provider staff from accessing your files, even if compelled to by law enforcement.

Beyond these, in-transit and at-rest encryption means that your data is indecipherable, even if a cybercriminal were to intercept it. Most Storage as a Service (StaaS) organizations - top cloud storage providers among them - will have data centers protected by a raft of measures, including 24/7 security, biometric entry, and frequent auditing. 

Finally, additional tools such as 2FA can give you even higher levels of security if required. The bottom line is that while you may naturally be concerned about data security in the cloud, the very best cloud storage providers offer military-grade, cutting-edge features to give you peace of mind.


Further reading on cloud storage

If you're looking for cloud storage but don't have much of a budget, make sure you take a look at our guide to the best free cloud storage (opens in new tab), though we don't recommend this for businesses. 

Wondering what might be best for your business when it comes to cloud and local storage? Our comparison pitting cloud storage vs local storage (opens in new tab) aims to explore the similarities, differences, advantages and disadvantages of both types.

Paul Kilinga
Paul Kilinga

Paul is a technology freelance writer with more than 10 years’ experience handling B2B and B2C software reviews and roundups and tackling complex business topics like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.