Murena Cloud isn’t just a drive to store your files and photos: it comprises an entire ecosystem that’s designed specifically around providing all the right tools without collecting unnecessary data.
Promises very little user data collection
Packed with features
Expensive compared with mainstream rivals
Online only (unless you buy a Murena smartphone)
Limited support channels
Why you can trust TechRadar
While it may be expensive compared with more seasoned offerings (that do collect your data), it occupies a space that’s likely to grow. Peaking consumer interest may make this one of the major players in years to come.
Murena Cloud: Plans and pricing
As standard, Murena will offer you 1GB of space for free, which is less than the 15GB offered by Google Drive and the 5GB you get with iCloud Drive, which doesn’t bode well given that it’s a company that’s trying to take on these tech giants. Then again, maybe its value is in the fact that it promises to ‘deGoogle’ your life, by committing to not using user data to make its money.
Pricing starts at $2.49 for 20GB of space, rising to $4.99 per month for 64GB, $7.49 per month for 128GB, and $9.99 per month for 256GB. There are also 1TB and 2TB plans available for $15.99 and $29.99 per month respectively. Users looking to make a 12-month commitment can pay in one go for the equivalent of 10 monthly payments, representing a pretty decent saving overall.
This is more than many of its mainstream rivals, indicating that increased privacy comes at a cost, and while it does include other services, the same can be said about other companies. Also factored into the cost is the fact that Murena claims to operate its servers on green energy supply, including wind and hydro.
Murena Cloud: Features
Any users familiar with iCloud will instantly be familiar with Murena. In fact, it has many of the same features and is similarly laid out online, so it’s easy to find things.
Its primary purpose is to provide a safe online space for files, which it does neatly. Expect the usual functionalities, like sharing, activity logging, and even comments for collaboration. In our tests, both uploading and previewing an uploaded PDF using the browser portal were a little slower than expected despite using a strong Internet connection, but the download appeared to be unthrottled, making use of our Gigabit connection.
Much like iCloud Drive and Google Drive, there’s a dedicated space for photos where you can order photos and videos chronologically, in albums (including marking favourites), or in a shared folder.
Then, there’s the email web app, which gives you a free @murena.io email address and another ‘hide my email’ alias. This works with Murena’s contacts and calendar apps, or you can choose to make use of the notes and tasks apps for managing any outstanding work.
The list really does go on, because whether you’re after a password manager, an online office suite, or a curated news app, you’ll find it included in the list of free Murena apps. Use them all, and the pricing begins to make sense.
Murena Cloud: Interface and in use
The Murena dashboard is where you’ll access all of your online apps. They’re neatly laid out and use clean, attractive icons. Most of the apps carry a similar look and feel, be it color scheme, typeface, or layout. That said, there are one or two that look marginally out of place, such as the email app, which is a little strange because the entire Murena concept uses open-source projects to provide its services and products, which suggests that they could be coded to look the same. It’s no problem though, because everything is incredibly simple to use.
What holds Murena back, though, is its availability of clients and apps - or lack thereof. Unless you’re willing to buy one of the company’s open-source /e/OS-powered smartphones, which will cost you upwards of $329 (or as much as €699.90 for the Europe-only flagship device).
Murena Cloud: Support
Like most online services these days, Murena has its own library of FAQs and self-help guides, though there aren’t as many as you may find with other competitors. There’s a forum that encourages user contribution, and an email address or online form for issues that require a more personalized approach.
Murena Cloud: Security
Murena’s key goal is to stop companies collecting unnecessary data from your phone and online footprints, which it says accounts for up to 12Mb every single day. Transparency is clearly important when browsing Murena’s website, which states that all of its servers are based in Europe including its Finnish email and cloud servers, resulting in full GDPR compliance.
Nextcloud, which sets the foundation for many of Murena’s services, is end-to-end encrypted, while a statement on Murena’s website reads:
“We don’t scan your data, we don’t log your app usage, we don’t sell your data, we don’t use ads in our online services.”
Murena occupies a space in a very busy market, however it has its own benefit in that it aims to provide a slightly decentralized, open-source suite of products that promise to ‘deGoogle’ its users’ data. If that’s important to you, then be prepared to pay a premium for this, but in that price you’ll get access to a whole range of products that compare with the likes of the iCloud ecosystem. If it’s not so important, then something like iCloud Drive or Google Drive will work out cheaper, both of which have the backing of companies that can invest heavily in their products, but collect vast amounts of data on their users.
In a world where privacy has never been more important, we think Murena is certainly a service worth considering. The fact that it’s a lesser-known company means that it can stick to its principles, but this may come with its own risks, including potential cybersecurity risks that plague any Internet user. Overall, if you can overlook the price, Murena is an ecosystem that’s worthy of your attention.
- We've featured the best cloud storage.
With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!