11. Internxt – Best free end-to-end encrypted cloud storage
Internxt is one of the newest cloud storage services, having been around since 2020. Unlike many rivals, it’s built with privacy at its core and doesn’t store your files in a centralised data centre where they could be vulnerable to hacking.
Instead, they’re split up in to small pieces and distributed over many different devices on what’s called a peer-to-peer network. It’s all end-to-end encrypted, and Internxt itself has ‘zero knowledge’. This means only you can access your files, and no-one else – not anyone hosting bits of your files on their hard drive and certainly not Internxt.
The code used to run Internxt is open source, and the system is built on a blockchain.
You don’t need to understand all the jargon: Internxt works just like other cloud storage services: you can upload files, access them on your other devices, share them with other people and more.
There is a downside, though. Internxt is very basic. Beyond uploading and sharing files, there’s really not a lot else you can do. Click on most types of files (including Microsoft Word documents) and you’ll see a message saying “No file preview available”. You can, however, view JPG and PNG images.
As well as using the service in a web browser, you can download apps for mobile and desktop.
These allow you to choose whether to sync or backup files from your devices. Sync is the default: it means if you delete a file from the corresponding folder on your device, it will be deleted in the cloud – and vice versa.
Backups, on the other hand, let you pick specific folders and files to back up: these won’t be deleted if you intentionally or accidentally remove them from your device.
There’s now a Photos service included alongside Internxt Drive. It’s pitched as a secure alternative to Google Photos, syncing your photo library across your devices.
Unfortunately, the only similarity between the two is that it displays your photos in date order. There’s no search, no way to edit photos, and certainly no advanced features like face recognition or the ability to see where a photo was taken or any of the photo’s details.
At the time of writing, there wasn’t even background sync, so photos don’t upload from your phone (or iPad or laptop) in the background. The app has to be open on screen. It’s coming soon, we’re told.
The other thing to bear in mind is that it can be quite slow to view a photo, presumably because of the way files are stored on that peer-to-peer network. The company says upload speeds have been improved recently.
In terms of pricing: 20GB costs $0.89c /89p per month, 200GB is $3.49 / £3.49 per month, and 2TB $8.99 / £8.99 per month.
You can also use Internxt completely free. You get 2GB as standard, with the ability to increase to 10GB by downloading the mobile app, getting friends to sign up – you know the drill.
Bottom line: A very secure, but very basic cloud storage service.
See all Internxt plans