If you are going to store your files in the cloud then you should want to store them as securely as possible. That is where zero-knowledge encryption comes in, the short version is the service cannot see what you are storing in your account and cannot decrypt it. Not all services offer zero-knowledge encryption and I will admit I am not a security expert, I have to go by what the individual websites say about their service.
Now you might be wondering why would you want or need that level of encryption on your cloud storage. The reality is zero-knowledge encryption offers you some of the following benefits:
- Increased Privacy: With zero-knowledge encryption, the cloud storage provider cannot access or read the content of the files. This means that even if the provider is hacked or subpoenaed, the data will remain private.
- Data Security: With zero-knowledge encryption, the user has full control over the encryption keys, which means that only authorized parties can access the data. This helps protect against unauthorized access or data breaches.
- Compliance: Certain industries, such as healthcare and finance, require strict data privacy and security regulations. Zero-knowledge encryption can help meet these compliance requirements and avoid potential legal issues.
- Trust: Zero-knowledge encryption can help build trust between the cloud storage provider and the user. Since the provider has no access to the data, the user can be sure that their data is being stored securely and privately.
With that in mind here are my top five for best encrypted cloud storage services for 2023.
Sync is a privacy-focused cloud storage service that uses zero-knowledge encryption to protect your files. The service is based in Canada and is subject to Canadian privacy laws. They offer a free 5GB plan for people to use and try the service and if you decide to purchase personal paid plans start at $96.00/year for 2TB. Personally I use Sync.com to sync photos from my mobile devices to my computer and I have been very pleased with them.
For the record I am also a Sync.com affiliate and they will pay me a commission if you purchase a plan and I will be very thankful for your help in keeping this site running.
Tresorit is a secure cloud storage solution that offers end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and other security features to protect your data. They are located in Switzerland. You can try them for free for 14 days before you decide if you want to purchase a plan or not. Personal plans start at $143.88 billed yearly for 1TB of storage. I have always been impressed by Tresorit, and if I did not already have a Sync.com I would probably sign up with them.
ProtonDrive is a secure cloud storage service from ProtonMail, the popular encrypted email service. The service uses zero-knowledge encryption to protect your data and offers a free 1GB plan. It is not a great deal of free space but considering it is a part of a larger secure office suite (think Google Workspaces but secure) it is a good place to start. Paid plans start at $59.88/year with 200GB of storage and again I believe that includes the entire office suite of Proton Mail, Drive, Calendar and VPN. If you want to replace your entire Google accounts Proton and their suite of products is an excellent choice. I believe they are another company located in Switzerland.
Mega has a bit of a sorted history being originally owned by Kim Dotcom and the disaster that was Megaupload. It does appear that since his departed Mega has become more reputable and is considered a secure cloud storage provider. They are still based in New Zealand and offers end-to-end encryption and other security features to protect your data. They still offer free accounts starting with 20GB but with limited transfer limits. Paid personal accounts start at $74.00CAD (it would only give me a price in Canadian, I think it be roughly $50.00USD.) for 400GB of storage and 12TB of transfer. As far as I know this is the only service that keeps track of your transfer bandwidth, and honestly I don’t know why.
SpiderOak is a secure cloud storage and backup provider that uses zero-knowledge encryption to protect your files. The service also offers versioning, which means you can revert to previous versions of your files if needed. I have always liked SpiderOak but it has been a few years since I tried them again. I used to use them when I was regularly using a Linux laptop and I would use SpiderOak to sync my files between my desktop and laptop. The only reason I stopped using them was because my Linux laptop died and I no longer had a need for SpiderOak to sync files. They were zero-knowledge before zero-knowledge was cool. Unfortuntely it appears they need a new marketing department to make it clear on their homepage of what product does want. To be clear if you want to use sync and backup I think you want SpiderOak One Backup, so ignore all that other crap. (Note to SpiderOak, fix your website marketing it sucks! If I can’t sort out what product/service I am looking for no one can). I linked to the download page in the heading, scroll down and look for One Backup to find the version you need.
There are other zero-knowledge cloud storage services available. Some offer it as an addon some you can use additional tools to encrypt your data before uploading it to them, but the five I listed are my top five if you are looking for a zero-knowledge cloud storage service that has it as a built in feature.
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