ZipCloud Cloud Storage Review
ZipCloud is a cloud backup and syncing service which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. It is a UK company with servers based in the United States. Though advertised as an unlimited cloud storage app, it does not provide unlimited plans. Its basic plans start at $8.69 per month for 75GB.
Most people might not know this, but ZipCloud is a sister company of JustCloud and MyPCBackup. All of them are owned by Just Develop It, a UK company, but its offices are located in the Unites States.
When you look at JustCloud's and ZipCloud's website, you will see how strikingly similar they look. And that's not the only thing they have in common, their pricing plans and interface is similar as well. We will discuss that at length in our review.
Who Should Use It?
Though ZipCloud proudly states on its homepage that it provides unlimited storage, it's nowhere to be found on its pricing page. But even with the limited backup storage plans, there is absolutely no denying that ZipCloud is an affordable backup service, and it can be easily used for personal purposes. Whether you are a student, looking to store bulks of study files online, or you just want to store your big photo album, ZipCloud is perfect for both of them.
This service can prove to be a bit challenging for business users with its limited plans and features. ZipCloud does give you basic control over your data, but it does not let you choose every little detail about the data being backed up, which could be a problem. Also, while some cloud backups provide you with a zero knowledge policy, here is what ZipCloud says in its Terms and Conditions section:
"ZipCloud enforces content recognition and filtering and a manual review of files backed up and stored."
This line could easily leave any business owner spooked. After all, nobody wants a backup company to see their data.
- Automatic Backups
- File Sync
- File versioning
- Keeps deleted files
- Backs up network drives
- Backing up of 2+ machines
- Cross-Platform Compatible
- & more...
Backup and Restoration
Signing up to ZipCloud is extremely easy. You can upload documents through its web app by dragging and dropping, or you can download its desktop app.
But there is something you should know - JustCloud, ZipCloud and myPCBackup share the user data. So if you try to sign up with the same email address, then you will be directed to JustCloud or myPCBackup's website. The installation is easy, and the desktop app looks very similar to JusCloud. It will ask you whether it should automatically upload all the files or you want to select them. Once you click on manual selection, a new window with the tree structure of your drive will open. You can check mark whichever files you want to upload.
You can revisit this by going to the ‘Backup' option, and you can also view all the files that are already on the cloud. There is an option to restore files as well.
The best part about ZipCloud is that it uploads files in their original file structure, whether you are uploading a single file or the entire drive. This feature does not just help in navigating and searching the files, but it also helps in restoration process when you have lost all the data on your disk.
Apart from that, there is also a Sync folder. All the files that need to be synced with their latest version should be dragged and dropped here. ZipCloud keeps its backup folder separate from the sync folder to avoid any confusion and to let the users take the advantages of two very powerful features.
Just like JustCloud, ZipCloud too has a restriction on file size. As a free user, you only get a file size limit of 5 MB, which is gruesomely small. You can increase this limit to 1 GB with Pro plans. There is also an option for incremental backup and volume shadow copy.
With a dedicated file sync folder on ZipCloud, it becomes as easy as drag and drop to make sure your files are always available on the cloud. But for a free account, you only get a 15 MB storage in your sync folder.
File sharing is limited on the web app and the desktop app, but you can share pictures from your ZipCloud account through its phone app. This way it’s super easy to share your vacation picture on Facebook and Instagram.
Privacy & Security
ZipCloud claims to provide 256-bit AES encryption, which are often termed as military grade encryption. But it doesn't have a private encryption where you can set your key. On top of that, ZipCloud stores all its data on Google Cloud Platform. Its servers are located in multiple locations all over the US.
The company states obvious reasons for storing data on Google Cloud including several layers of redundancy and data duplication. ZipCloud also states that it follows high-security protocol to make sure the data is not publicly disclosed. But, what about the fact that Google has an open door policy to the NSA? Even if your data is not disclosed publically, it can still be easily accessed by the government. Since the data is not encrypted on the local side, this could be a major concern for the business users.
Web & Mobile App
Web app and mobile app are limited in features when compared to its desktop counterpart. When you log into the web app, the first thing you see is a download link to the desktop software. You can also check the files backed up and the files in the sync folder.
Once you hover over the files, you can check the different versions of it or share it. Files can either be shared by email, by public links or by sharing them directly on social media. Web app gives you the option to renew your subscription and pay for it. You can also get more free space by referrals or by posting about ZipCloud on social media.
Pricing and Plans
This is where things get confusing. First of all, you cannot view any pricing plans until you sign up for a free trial which could be troubling for users who want to decide on a cloud storage service based on their prices.
There are three main plans available:
- Home - 75GB
- Premium - 250GB
- Ultimate - 1TB
As you can see, there are no unlimited storage plans as advertised by ZipCloud on its home page. On top of that, you have to pay for a lot of extra features like extending file size limit to 5 GB, recycle bin and hourly backup. With the additional services and no unlimited storage, the actual price for ZipCloud goes up tremendously since other services do not charge extra for it.
Even if they do, they should mention it right on the main home page before users sign up for trial.
What's It Missing?
ZipCloud is not as refined as you would want it to be. Its desktop app has some features, but most of the features that you would want from a backup app are not available since they are put under premium features category.
The file size limit can also be a significant issue. Free account only has a 5 MB file size limit and even if you upgrade you only get a 1GB file size limit. This can be tough to work with, especially when other cloud backup apps provide storage for unlimited file size.
- Free Storage: 1 GB
- Free Trial: 14 days
- System: Windows, Mac, Linux
- Price: Starting at $8.69/month
- Mobile Apps: iOS, Android
- Synchronization: Separate Sync folder
- Free External HD Backup: Yes
- Continuous Backup: Yes
- Incremental Backup: Yes
- Backup Scheduling: Yes
- Bare Metal Backup: No
- Exclude File Extensions for Backup: Yes
- Network Drives: Yes
- Bandwidth Throttling: Yes
- Web Access: Yes
- HIPAA Compliant: No
- File Size Limit: Yes. 5 MB for free accounts and 1 GB for paid accounts
- Included Machines: 1
- Local Encryption: No
- Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
- Keeps deleted files: For an unlimited time period
- File Versioning: 7 versions
- File Sharing: Yes
- Multiple Accounts: No
- Share Photo Albums: No
- Music Streaming: No
- Folder Collaboration: Yes
- Outlook Backup: Yes