September 03, 2016

Cloud and Backup Services

A few weeks ago Dropbox made some changes to its mobile app, making it mandatory to have its desktop application installed on a personal computer if you wanted to keep activated the camera pictures autoupload feature.

For me this represented no problem since I do own (and use) a desktop computer. Unfortunately, my mother's only connection to the web—as for other million users—is via her mobile phone thus she lost access to this very useful feature which ensures that, in the event of losing her phone, she could keep her most important digital possessions: her pictures.

So, I decided to embark in a quest for the best option in cloud storage service in order to give back my mother the capability of safeguarding her precious image files without worries. Believe it or not people over 50 years old —and even younger— may have serious trouble while trying to operate their intelligent devices.

At first, I thought I wouldn't find something as "good" as Dropbox, since I already knew that the closest competitor ( only gives the autoupload functionality to its paying customers. In fact, I think that Dropbox actually copied that —ridiculous— policy from them.

Anyway, and without further ado, I will present you the selected winner and after a short review I will post a list with all the services I found and tested for further consideration and for you to try if they fit your needs.

The Chosen One

Apparently, this company is one of the major players, and best kept secret if I may add, when it comes to cloud storage. And I said best kept secret because, surprisingly, none of my friends or I knew it, even though is widely used AND pretty popular. And there are nice reasons for pCloud to be popular, reasons that can make it grow and potentially overthrow Dropbox as the "leader" company in cloud and personal storage.

Storage capacity

pCloud free storage starts with a nice 10 GB (suck on 2 miserable GB from Dropbox) that you can increase up to 16 GB when you complete several tasks, such as, subscribing to their newsletter, publishing a link to your Facebook wall or setting an automatic Facebook, Instagram, Picasa pictures backup, among other simple tasks. You get also 1 GB —up to 20 GB— when you refer friends to use their service.

*** Follow this link to get 1 GB bonus if you sign up for your free/paid account ***

They obviously also have paid plans, starting at US$47.88/year for 500 GB.


Their service counts with very fast servers, which translates into really quick uploads and downloads and does not reduce it for its non-paying users.


You can profit of the following collaboration tools:

  • Share folders with other pCloud users who can have the permission to either modify or only read your files.
  • Create public folders, so you can share your files with anybody.
  • Designate folders as «upload folders», so people can put files directly into your account.
  • Share individual files by email or via their own URLs.


pCloud's mobile application is light and straight forward and, guess what, they offer auto-uploads for your pictures and any other folder in your phone so you can backup not only your camera pictures but select any other location, such as your WhatsApp media folder.

For your desktop, they have their software called pCloud Drive, which completely obliterates Dropbox's.

First of all, it displays your pCloud account as a removable drive in your computer, in the same fashion as when you connect a USB-key to it.

Secondly, it can also sync ANY folder you want. Sync, for those who may not know, means that the application detects changes in previously chosen locations and automatically updates pCloud with such changes, creating a de facto automatic backup.


pCloud: fast uploads and downloads; minimum 10 GB of free storage (paid plans starting at less than US$48/month); 50 GB of public files download traffic; great collaborative tools; superb mobile/desktop applications.

Quick facts:

  • Sign up and get 1 GB bonus, so you start with 11 GB instead of the initial 10.
  • Site:
  • File-size upload limit: None (limited to your actual pCloud total allocated space).
  • Download traffic for public links: 50 GB/month.
  • Upload & download speed: unlimited.
  • Restore deleted files: up to 30 days after deletion.
  • File change history: up to 30 days.
  • Mobile platforms: Google Play, App store, Microsoft.
  • Desktop support: Windows, Mac, Linux.

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