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Secure cloud storage: which are the most secure providers?

secure cloud storage
(Image credit: Unsplash)

The best cloud storage platforms are designed to enable you to store files, data, and other information in a secure environment. Once you’ve created an account and uploaded your files to your chosen secure cloud storage platform, you will be able to access them from anywhere with an internet connection. 

However, some services really don’t perform well on the security front. In theory, your files may be encrypted and stored away from hackers and other malicious third parties, but things aren’t always as good as they seem. For example, many of the most popular platforms actually control your encryption keys, which essentially means that they can access your data if required. 

They may be forced to do this by law enforcement, or hackers may cause a data breach resulting in leaked information. Fortunately, truly secure cloud storage solutions do exist. These generally use zero-knowledge encryption, which means that you have full control over who can view your files. 

Versatile administrator controls are usually available, and all data is stored in highly secure, well-maintained data centers. For those looking for the best cloud storage for business, these elements are particularly important and key to have in place when it comes to your confidential, vital business data and information.

Below, we take a close look at the leading secure cloud storage platforms on the market today. We focus on encryption, data safety, and all-around security practices, alongside other noteworthy features.

The 3 best secure cloud storage providers right now

1. IDrive: the best secure cloud storage provider
IDrive offers lots of storage for incredibly reasonable prices, end-to-end and at-rest encryption for files, and a private key that can be created to enable zero-knowledge encryption too. It supports unlimited devices, provides extensive file versioning, and other top features including data center security measures.
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2. pCloud: a security leader in cloud storage
pCloud provides encryption services across the board, not least via its pCloud Encryption add-on, which includes zero-knowledge architecture as well as client-side encryption. For business plans meanwhile, user and access controls are available, with the encryption add-on only $4.99 a month on top of subscriptions.
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3: SpiderOak: the top choice for zero-knowledge security
SpiderOak, via the SpiderOak One cloud storage product, offers advanced end-to-end encryption, but also has a strict no-knowledge, so it will never have access to user files. Additional features include file versioning and recovery, while all plans are available for unlimited devices.
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Which are the best secure cloud storage providers?

Our pick of the best secure cloud storage providers available is IDrive, thanks to its range of excellent secure storage solutions for individuals and businesses. Configurable storage and backups, alongside multi-device compatibility, are top features only enhanced by zero-knowledge and at-rest encryption on all files.

pCloud follows closely behind, its pCloud Encryption paid add-on providing advanced zero-knowledge and client-side encryption for an extra $4.99 a month, while business plans benefit from user and access controls as well as multi-device capabilities.

SpiderOak meanwhile is the leader in zero-knowledge, with advanced end-to-end encryption only adding to its zero-knowledge policy, which means the company and its staff cannot access any of your data or information. We also recommend that you consider Sync.com, Tresorit, MEGA, NordLocker, and IceDrive when considering which secure cloud storage solution might be right for you or your business.

The best secure cloud storage providers, compared
Cloud storage providerCheapest planAutomatic backups?Zero-knowledge encryption?At-rest encryption?Support
IDrive$59.62 a year (Personal)YesOptionalYesPhone, live chat, email, online form submission
pCloud$4.99 a month (Premium)YesYes, with add-onYesEmail
SpiderOak$6 a month (150GB Plan)YesYesYesEmail, live chat
Sync.com$5 per user a month (Teams Standard)YesYesYesEmail
Tresorit$12.50 per user a month (Premium)YesYesYesLive chat, phone email
MEGA$5.88 (Pro Lite)YesYesYesEmail
NordLocker$3.99 a month (500GB plan)YesYesYesEmail
IceDrive$1.67 a month (Lite)YesYesYesPhone, online ticketing

The best secure cloud storage providers available

IDrive logo

IDrive is a leading cloud storage option (Image credit: IDrive)

1. IDrive

Best configurable secure cloud storage

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Optional | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Phone, live chat, email, online form submission

Compatible with various devices
Uses full end-to-end encryption
Configurable backups
Support for unlimited devices
User interface can be a little confusing
Upload and download speeds are a little slow

IDrive is a leading cloud storage provider, and it offers excellent secure storage solutions for businesses of all sizes. It’s known for its configurability, which essentially enables you to specify exactly how you would like files to be stored and how backups should work. 

In addition, IDrive offers excellent multi-device compatibility. In fact, accounts can be used with unlimited devices, including on mobile and desktop. End-to-end and at-rest encryption is used throughout, and you can create a private key to enable zero-knowledge encryption. 

All of IDrive’s data centers are located within the USA. They are designed with multiple failsafes, and they employ industry-standard security measures to prevent physical data breaches. 

There’s a basic free plan with 5GB of storage, but you will need to upgrade to a premium subscription for full access to all tools and features. Prices start from $59.62 a year for a single user license with 5TB of storage. 

It is worth noting that IDrive does have a few small flaws. Upload and download speeds can be slower than average. The user interface is also a little confusing, and you may find it hard to navigate at the beginning. 

Find out more in our comprehensive IDrive review; across our comparison features pitting IDrive vs Backblaze and IDrive vs OneDrive; and in our interview with IDrive's CEO Raghu Kulkarni, who discusses its most important recent successes, the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, and the future.

pCloud logo

pCloud offers leading secure cloud storage solutions (Image credit: pCloud)

2. pCloud

Best overall secure cloud storage platform

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: With add-on | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Email

Generous 10GB of free storage
Excellent file-sharing tools
Leading client-side encryption practices
Fast and easy to use
Support is a little basic
The free plan has limited tools
Zero-knowledge encryption is a premium add-on

Swiss-based pCloud is one of the world’s leading cloud storage providers. It’s one of our top choices when it comes to secure cloud storage, and it should be easy to see why. 

For starters, pCloud provides all of the expected encryption services across the board. Advanced zero-knowledge and client-side encryption is available through the pCloud Encryption add-on, which costs a relatively small $4.99 a month.

The cheapest business plans also offer excellent value for money. Prices start from just $9.99 per user a month for 1TB of storage per user. Admin team members will benefit from a suite of user and access controls, and there are numerous other tools available to streamline the cloud storage process. 

In addition, pCloud offers excellent multi-device capabilities. It’s available across all popular mobile and desktop operating systems, and its user interface is streamlined and intuitive across the board.  

On the downside, collaboration tools are notably lacking. The free version is a little limited, and customer service is basic, at best. Learn more in our full pCloud review, and in our interview with the company's Ivan Dimitrov, who covers the company's future plans, its growth amid a larger industry, and the impacts of COVID-19.

SpiderOak logo

SpiderOak offers advanced zero-knowledge encryption (Image credit: SpiderOak)

3. SpiderOak

Excellent zero-knowledge storage solutions

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Email, live chat

Support for unlimited devices
Point-in-time recovery tools
Tight security all-around 
Tidy desktop app
Quite expensive
Phone support is absent
Limited mobile support

SpiderOak offers advanced secure cloud storage solutions through its SpiderOak One product. This enables you to create full backups of all of your files and other data, storing it in a safe cloud environment. 

Like most of the providers on this list, SpiderOak offers advanced end-to-end encryption. It has a strict No Knowledge policy, which means that the company and its employees will never have access to your files or any information associated with them. The point-in-time recovery tools are excellent, enabling you to restore previous versions of files or folders. 

In addition, all plans come with support for unlimited devices. Prices are a little high, though, with the base 150GB plan costing $6 a month. There’s a 21-day free trial that you can use to test the platform. 

Unfortunately, there’s very limited mobile support. The desktop client is attractive and beginner-friendly, though, which is nice to see. Read our detailed SpiderOak review to find out more.

Sync.com logo

Sync.com focuses on privacy  (Image credit: Sync.com)

4. Sync.com

Advanced zero-knowledge encryption

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Email

Excellent zero-knowledge encryption
Streamlined file sharing
Unlimited storage options
Support is limited to email
Few third-party integrations
Limited collaboration tools

Sync.com is a clear industry leader, and it focuses on data security and privacy across the board. It’s known for its advanced end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption, which basically means that no one will be able to access your data except for you. 

The secure sharing tools on offer here stand out as excellent. You can set clear access permissions and control which users have what sort of access. For example, you can set permissions to read-only or read-write as necessary. 

On the security front, Sync.com offers advanced two-factor authentication tools. It’s compliant with regulations in various parts of the world, including the USA, Canada, and the EU. All data centers are highly secure and protected by tight controls. 

Prices start from $5 per user, per month for 1TB of secure storage. Unlimited storage can be accessed for $15 per user a month. There’s also a free version that you can use to test the platform. 

On the downside, there’s only email support. In-app collaboration is limited, and there’s only a small number of third-party integrations. To find out more, read our Sync.com review.

Tresorit logo

Tresorit offers feature-rich cloud storage solutions (Image credit: Tresorit)

5. Tresorit

Versatile secure cloud storage for businesses of all sizes

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Live chat, phone, email

Excellent encryption tools
Encrypted file sharing available
Real-time collaboration tools
Slow upload and download speeds
Expensive compared to some alternatives

Tresorit is known for its advanced cloud storage solutions which are backed by a suite of collaboration and other productivity features. It uses zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption across the board. 

The secure file sharing tools also stand out as excellent, particularly for those dealing with sensitive data. All links are encrypted, and you can set clear access permissions to ensure files are only available to selected people. 

In addition, Tresorit boasts full compliance with various regulatory bodies. It’s fully HIPAA compliant, and its Swiss roots enable it to offer leading privacy features. 

The collaboration tools also stand out as excellent. You can work alongside other team members to edit files. All changes will be tracked, and you can mark files that you’re working on as “editing” to notify your colleagues. 

Some users will be concerned by the slow download and upload speeds, though, which are somewhat lower than we would expect with a leading cloud storage provider. Prices are also a little high, with the cheapest plan starting at $14.50 per user a month for 1TB of storage.

Our full Tresorit review covers the service in more detail.

MEGA logo

(Image credit: MEGA)

6. MEGA

Mega has a great free forever plan

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Email

Very competitively priced
Great free forever plan
Tidy user interface
Built-in team messaging tools
Slow upload and download
Limited support options
Few third-party app integrations

MEGA is our clear choice for those looking for a free secure cloud storage platform. It offers 20GB of storage with its free forever plan, which is backed by a full range of premium tools. 

As expected, all files are protected by zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption. Two-factor authentication is available, and you can set clear link permissions to ensure only the right people can access shared files. 

On top of this, the MEGA user interface is tidy and packed full of advanced features. The collaboration tools are excellent, enabling you to work alongside your colleagues and other team members. There’s a built-in secure chat tool, and there’s even a MEGAdrop tool that enables third parties to upload files to your cloud. 

The lack of support options will be a little concerning for some, as will the limited number of third-party app integrations. Upload and download speeds are also a little slow. Learn more in our full MEGA review.

NordLocker logo

NordLocker offers leading file security (Image credit: NordLocker)

7. NordLocker

Competitively priced secure cloud storage

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Email

Great user-friendly interface
Leading encryption and security tools
Very competitively priced
Global data center locations
Only available on desktop devices
File sharing is a little limited
Limited support options

Unlike most of the other platforms on this list, which focus on cloud storage with encryption and security added as extra features, NordLocker uses an encryption-first model. In short, it offers advanced encryption services with cloud storage capabilities. 

One thing that stands out about NordLocker is its local encryption services. You can drag and drop files or folders to upload them to a secure cloud server, or you can encrypt your files locally for even more security. 

All cloud-stored data can be accessed from any desktop device, at any time. On the downside, though, there are no mobile apps, which will be frustrating for some users. File sharing is also limited, as you can only share with other NordLocker users. 

Prices start from just $3.99 a month for 500GB of secure storage. There’s also a free version which offers 3GB of storage.

It’s worth noting that customer service is limited to email, which is certainly a downside. However, there’s a decent knowledge base, and the platform is simple and intuitive, so you shouldn’t have too many problems anyway. 

IceDrive logo

IceDrive is a newcomer making moves in the cloud storage space (Image credit: IceDrive)

8. IceDrive

Highly affordable secure cloud storage

Automatic backups: Yes | Zero-knowledge encryption: Yes | At-rest encryption: Yes | Support: Phone, online ticketing

Uses Twofish encryption algorithm
Attractive web, desktop, and mobile apps
Very competitive prices
Somewhat limited support
Lack of collaboration tools

IceDrive is a newcomer to the cloud storage space, but it offers excellent secure storage solutions nonetheless. It uses the advanced Twofish encryption algorithm, rather than the more widely used AES encryption. This is a much more secure option, which is nice to see. 

In addition, IceDrive offers web, mobile, and desktop apps. These are attractive and highly functional. Collaboration tools are notably absent, though, and customer service is limited to phone and email. 

Prices start at a very competitive $1.67 a month for 150GB of secure storage. Lifetime licenses are also available from $49.99, and there’s a basic 10GB free forever plan that you can use to test the platform. All purchases are backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee. 

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields.