Lifetime cloud storage plans are becoming increasingly popular and can prove a great way of securing a fixed allocation of cloud storage (plus all of the usual cloud features which go along with this) for a simple, one-off payment which covers a whole lifetime of use.
Whilst lifetime cloud storage plans aren’t without their own issues, they do at least provide a cloud storage account and a guaranteed allocation of cloud storage for a single one-off payment whilst also helping to remove the worry and risks of losing data from issues relating to missed and failed payments and such like. These lifetime plans also can work out much cheaper to utilise over a timespan of several years as well, especially so when compared to buying the same allocation of cloud storage on a monthly or annual subscription form the same provider or another provider not currently offering a lifetime subscription option.
In this guide I will be comparing several of the leading cloud storage providers which offer lifetime subscription plans in order to help assess the value which is on offer as well as to evaluate the utility and usefulness of lifetime cloud storage as a concept overall – vamos.
Understanding Lifetime Plans
Many services which we utilise on the web these days are now paid for on a monthly or annual subscription basis, a payment model which has become very popular in recent times and is now almost synonymous with the purchase of any kind of software or IT related service on the web. This includes many popular offerings from services such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office 365 and some of the best backup software titles found on this very site including Backblaze, Crashplan, iDrive and Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office amongst others.
Naturally, this subscription-based pricing model now also extends for the most part to the many mainstream cloud storage providers which exist as of today. As such, anyone requiring more than the typical 5GB to 10GB (or so) of free cloud storage which is often available from such cloud providers will almost certainly find themselves having to subscribe either monthly or annually in order to achieve these larger quotas.
Whilst there are many benefits to buying services such as backup software or cloud storage on a subscription-based model (such as always having free upgrades to the latest version of any software plus enhanced technical support), such ongoing subscriptions can often become expensive over the longer term and might not be the right solution for many could users in certain circumstances for any number of reasons.
Thankfully, this is where unlimited cloud storage plans come into the picture and provide cloud storage users with a means for escaping this monthly or annual subscription model. This is done by allowing customers to purchase a fixed allocation of cloud storage for a single, one-off payment thus guaranteeing access to the service over a lifetime without ever having to make any more subscription payments to maintain the service.
By offering the cloud storage service for single one-off payment, such plans can be very beneficial to cloud storage users as well as, in certain circumstances, to the cloud providers themselves as well (getting larger payments up front can often help such companies to get better infrastructure in place earlier on in the products lifetime). For the most part though, as far as many cloud users will be concerned, the real benefit of lifetime plans is that the service purchased can then be used without the worry of making any additional payments or the worry which might come from losing data due to issues arising from missed or failed payments amongst other similar issues.
How Sustainable are Lifetime Cloud Storage Plans?
Naturally, when purchasing a lifetime cloud storage plan (or any other lifetime subscription service for that matter), it is only natural to wonder how sustainable the service in question might be and if the purchase really will be honoured for an entire “lifetime”.
Firstly, it is important to note that whilst the term “lifetime” is often used when describing such cloud storage services, a check of the terms of sale form such companies will often give more details on how said company defines use of the word “lifetime” and how they might intend to honour such plans. For example, some providers might specify a very high number of years as a lifetime (e.g., 99 years) or simply refer to the lifetime of the product or company themselves as the definition of “lifetime” as opposed to the lifetime of the customer making the purchase (so, please be sure to check the T&Cs of any lifetime cloud storage service before making such a purchase so as to check what these terms might actually be).
Another important (and often overlooked) issue to address when discussing lifetime cloud storage plans is the fact that, as time goes on, computer storage tends to get cheaper and more plentiful and (for the average person at least) we tend to use much more of it as time goes on as well.
NB – I am, of course, basing the fact that disk storage continues to get ever cheaper based on what has happened in the recent past – there is no guarantee this will continue to be the case in the future!
With both of these factors in mind, it stands to reason that the average cloud storage user will continue to require more cloud storage over time and that a lifetime cloud storage plan purchased today might actually be of no use in a certain number of years’ time. For example, it could be that a commonly sought lifetime cloud storage quota (say, 2TB) which is considered very generous today might actually be considered very small in, say, 20 years’ time and the price of subscribing to such an allocation might be very low (or even free) from certain cloud providers by this point in time.
There are, of course, other factors which might come into play over time such as the cloud storage provider themselves going out of business (or been acquired by another company which is unwilling to honour any existing lifetime plans).
With all of the above in mind, I think it reasonable to suggest to people that they think carefully about the real value, benefits and risks associated with “lifetime” cloud storage plans and how this might apply to their own circumstances. For example, if you do require a 2TB cloud storage plan (which will typically cost approx. $100 / year on subscription right now), a lifetime plan offering this allocation for, say $400 might prove a very good buy if the account in question is made use of for 4+ years in total (with any additional years after this proving effectively free versus buying this storage on a subscription basis).
NB – The above is, of course, just my own opinion on the dynamics of lifetime cloud storage and I would invite anyone interested in purchasing such a lifetime cloud subscription to read my own guide called Do Lifetime Plans Offer Good Value for more information on the pros and cons of such subscriptions and for more information on the topic in general.
What Happened to IceDrive Lifetime Plans?
IceDrive have announced that the 2023 Black Friday sales would mark the last time they offer their lifetime cloud storage plans for sale. Replacing these lifetime plans are now 5-year plans with which, starting at just $189 for 1TB of storage, IceDrive aim to capture much of the value once offered by the lifetime plans for which they replace, albeit via a slightly different business model.
This exit from the lifetime cloud storage market leaves, in my opinion at least, only two serious contenders now offering a solid and reliable cloud storage service with just a single and affordable payment due (these are now pCloud and Internxt). Whilst these new 5-year plans do seemingly still offer very good value cloud storage versus paying for similar services monthly or even annually, I feel that IceDrive’s Prescence from the lifetime cloud storage market will for a long time now be missed.
IceDrive 5-year plans are currently priced as follows:
- PRO I – $189 for 1TB
- PRO III – $399 for 3TB
- PRO X – $999 for 10TB
Lifetime Cloud Storage FAQs
There are currently 2 mainstream providers offering lifetime cloud storage subscriptions to take notice of. These include pCloud (with lifetime options from just $199) and Internxt (from €499).
In my own option, Internxt is not only a very impressive and privacy focused cloud storage service in its own right, but one which also happens to offer some of the best value lifetime cloud storage plans of any of the mainstream providers.
The real value provided by lifetime cloud storage plans will, of course, differ widely depending upon the individual making use of such storage and the way in which it is used. Generally speaking, however, lifetime cloud storage plans can often prove a very cost-effective method for anyone with relatively stable storage requirements as well as being favourable for anyone who doesn’t like paying ongoing subscriptions for such a s service as well.
Generally speaking, lifetime cloud storage plans will offer the same features and levels of access as the regular monthly and yearly cloud subscriptions they sit alongside. It is, as with any other cloud service, always worth investigating exactly what is provided from a lifetime plan before making a purchase (and be sure to email the provider directly if anything concerning the lifetime plan remains unclear).
Generally speaking, in cases where a cloud provider might go out of business, any lifetime cloud storage plans which are in operation will almost certainly cease to function any longer from this point onwards (and it is important to be aware of this as a possibility when purchasing such plans).
Having said this, it is always possible that such a failing cloud storage provider might actually be bought by another company before failing and, whilst there are no guarantees here, this new owner might choose to continue honouring the lifetime plans meaning all might not be lost!
The Best Lifetime Cloud Storage of 2024
Below is a list of my current top three favourite lifetime cloud storage service as are tested and reviewed right here on BestBackupReviews.com.
Remember, any ratings given below reflect my own personal opinions and that the lifetime cloud storage plans with the highest ratings might not necessarily be the best for your own personal needs. With this in mind, please refer to my detailed reviews of each entry on the list for more information on the service itself and how it might help with your own individual cloud storage requirements.
Internxt, despite being a relatively new cloud provider, are one which have already developed a leading and privacy focused cloud storage service with several generous lifetime could storage plans currently available.
These lifetime plans currently start at just €499 for 2TB of storage and feature all of the cloud features and functionality found in the regular Internxt plans. This means lifetime plans include use of the highly usable Internxt desktop software, secure file sharing services, unlimited upload and download bandwidth, device backup and folder synchronisation services plus the easy-to-use Internxt web-based interface and smartphone apps (for iOS and Android devices).
In addition to being a great overall cloud storage service, Internxt is also a service which stands out thanks to its clear commitment to providing very high levels of data security and enhanced privacy for each and every one of its users (no need to pay extra to get this, even on the lifetime plans). This commitment to data security sees all data which is uploaded to the cloud subject to zero-knowledge encryption using strong AES 256-bit encryption technology and ensures no-one except the account holder themselves can see any file contents at any point during its time stored upon the cloud.
Further security practises see the option for anonymous account creation (with very minimal personal details required to open and run an account) plus Internxt as an organisation themselves operating from within the privacy friendly EU and operating subject to strong GDPR regulations making this a very safe, secure and privacy friendly operation overall – one made even better thanks to the option of getting a generous lifetime cloud storage account!
Internxt is priced form just €45.99 / year for 200GB of cloud storage with regular plans up to 10TB available for just €299.99 / year. Lifetime plans start at one-off payment of just €499 for a 2TB lifetime account with up to 10TB also available for a single payment of just €1499 – more information on all of which can be found via the official Internxt website.
pCloud is a popular and well-known cloud storage service noted for its very generous pricing plus the huge number of features included across their full range of pricing plans, plans which also include some very generous lifetime deals amongst various other options.
Despite offering some very generous cloud storage plans, it is cloud functionality where pCloud really stands out thanks to the service itself including a huge number of useful features and functionalities for all users of the service. This includes use of the excellent pCloud desktop software (for Windows, mac OS and Linux devices), secure file sharing and file upload folders, device backup functionality and folder synchronisation, apps for iOS and Android plus the ability to play both audio and video files directly via the pCloud web interface amongst many other useful features.
Security wise and pCloud is a solid offering providing very high levels of data security and data privacy for all users of the service. This sees the service itself based and operated form privacy friendly Switzerland with server options (specified at sign-up) available in both privacy friendly EU locations as well as optionally in the USA as well.
Other security features found at pCloud include use of the pCloud Vault service, a service which sees a separate part of the pCloud account subject to zero-knowledge encryption for all files uploaded to it (although note that pCloud is not zero-knowledge encrypted outside of this vault area). Unfortunately, despite this Vault service being included on all regular plans by default, be sure to note that pCloud do charge a small additional fee for including this service on their lifetime offerings.
pCloud is priced form just $49.99 / year for 500GB of cloud storage on an annual plan with 2TB also available for a very competitive $99.99 / year as well. Lifetime plans start at just $199 for 500GB with 2TB priced at $399 and a massive 10TB of lifetime cloud storage available for just a single payment of $1190. More information on all pCloud pricing plans can be found via the official pCloud website.
Best Lifetime Cloud Storage Summary
Despite there being only a relatively small number of providers offering lifetime cloud storage plans in general, as cloud storage users we do still have several really good options available when selecting such a service including my top 2 picks of Internxt and pCloud as are mentioned in this guide just above.
Whilst the headline pricing for the lifetime cloud service itself might initially seem like the most important factor when it comes to selecting such plans, I would urge anyone seeking such a lifetime service to try and look beyond this initial pricing figure and be sure that the provider chosen meets most (or ideally all) of you other cloud storage requirements. This means providing enough storage to last at least several years into the future, the provision of all necessary cloud storage functionality such as file sharing and folder synchronisation, zero-knowledge encryption, provision of good desktop software (which works well on your own devices) plus the option to use good smartphone apps as well.
NB – All of the lifetime cloud storage providers found in this guide also feature an allocation of free cloud storage as well. As such, I would recommend signing up for a free account and testing out any potential cloud storage service and ensuring it meets your needs first before considering upgrading to a lifetime plan when applicable to do so.
Overall, lifetime cloud storage plans can be a great investment both from a financial point of view as well as form the point of view of never having to worry about losing cloud data due to factors such as missing subscription payments and the like as well. They key to getting the best lifetime cloud storage is to try multiple options out first and ensure that you find a service which works for you and your own cloud storage needs before committing to a lifetime plan.