Cloud security has always been a concern slowing adoption among those who take security very seriously, the average consumer has generally been happy with knowing that their data was protected with just a password. However, with the revelations of the past year, more and more people are looking for a more secure option that may be subject to less government intrusion. While nothing can guarantee security in the face of a focused government investigation, higher levels of encryption may help data from being picked up in the massive government dragnet, and using services not confirmed to be participating in PRISM and related programs can only be a good thing. With that in mind, here is a list of some of the better secure cloud services on the market today.
SpiderOak is a cloud storage service that encrypts your data locally before uploading, meaning that (at least in theory) neither the company nor your ISP should have any access to your files. Called ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy, it means that despite physical access to the files, the company will not even have knowledge of the metadata of your files. While not currently open-source, they are working towards the goal of a fully open-source service. The service’s free tier offers 2GB of free storage, and each additional 100GB is $10 per month or $100 per year.
Founded by Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom, Mega is a cloud storage provider based in New Zealand. Billing itself as “The Privacy Company,” they focus on encryption and speed. They are also working on releasing email and chat applications to run on their service, which should offer a similar level of security as their cloud storage. There have been some questions about the security of the service, but they’ve been improving and will certainly continue to work on them. The free tier offers 50GB, and paid plans start at $10 per month (or $100 per year) for 500GB. Mega is also expecting to file for IPO late 2014
Boxcryptor takes a different approach, encrypting your files for use on another cloud services like Dropbox. The free tier offers basic encryption, and they have plans for individuals and businesses that offer greater security and features. This would work great if you have a sizable amount of data in another service that you would like to use.
Overall, if you’re looking to upgrade the security of your cloud presence, there are a lot of options available (certainly more than described here). Mega offers a lot of free storage, and are working towards offering a more comprehensive suite of cloud features that could theoretically replace services like Gmail and Hangouts. SpiderOak has a bit more of an established reputation as far as security is concerned, but you’ll have to pay quite a bit more for the same amount of storage. If you like what you’re using now, Boxcryptor plugs into existing cloud accounts. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but each of these services should offer a good way to get your cloud data a bit more secure than it currently is. Make sure to check out our other post regarding the Best cloud services of 2014 and Best cloud service to back up your Android device