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The Compromise of Cloud Storage

These posts describe my digital privacy journey. Some decisions were mistakes in hindsight, but I want to show all the steps I took.

I decided that I could no longer trust Google Drive and Dropbox for cloud file storage, due to privacy concerns. I was beginning to learn about self-hosting, but did not (and still do not) trust in my own IT skills enough to be fully responsible for securing my own files. It does seem wise to store your files in several different locations, in case of fire, theft or hardware failure.

I embarked on a hunt for cloud hosting companies with these features:

Two contenders emerged: Tresorit and pCloud. Both promise secure and private file storage. Both have good features, like image previews and an in-browser media player. I tested them side-by-side for a few weeks and chose pCloud. pCloud lets you decide a server location (US or EU) and offers pCloud Crypto for extra user-end encryption. I liked Tresorit too. It offered end-to-end encryption by default and it was recommended by Tutanota, but it was more expensive for less storage space, and I just found the user experience with pCloud's interface better.

I paid for a lifetime subscription, and moved most of my files out of Google Drive and Dropbox, a process which took some time. I deleted my Dropbox account but kept my empty Google Drive for occasional file shares from family members.

I set up free pCloud accounts for my children and showed them how to automatically back up their files online.


I like pCloud's lifetime subscription plan, but if you work with larger audio or video files, the limited storage space can become a problem.

pCloud has a good reputation when it comes to data protection, but you still have to put your trust in them. While I like the lifetime subscription model, the cost benefit only works if company never folds.

Current use and looking ahead

I still use pCloud today, but rarely use the crypto folder and have started using Veracrypt instead. I will cover this in a future post.

I now run my own Nextcloud server, but I still feel nervous about being 100% responsible for the safekeeping of all my files, so I will continue using pCloud.

As an extra precaution, I back up all my files to an external hard drive monthly, and I clone my entire system several times a year.




Self-hosted Nextcloud snap on Linux. This is not a straight-forward solution for non-technical users, but it can be done.

Discussion: Reddit

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