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Yandex Disk Review [2021]- How Good is This Russian Cloud Storage?

Do you know that over 1.6 billion people around the world use cloud storage services? Are you on the list?

Your hundreds of GBs of data is always on your fingertips, accessible anywhere and any time! Not only do they provide you lots of functions, but some of these services are also free! One such cloud storage service is Yandex Disk.

After many hours of testing and research, I’m here with the Yandex Disk Review. For this review, I did speed tests, tested out their file functions, security features, and a lot more!

One thing that really amazed me was their unlimited photo storage, that too for free! But there’s a little catch! Want to know what that is?

Let’s jump straight into our review.

Yandex Disk Review

Kripesh Adwani

Ease Of Use
Privacy
Free Space
Sharing

Summary

Yandex Disk does not come up with something amazing. I think there are better privacy friendly options available in the market.

2.8

Disclaimer : I strongly believe in transparency. If you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a small commission without any extra cost to you. This helps me to keep producing honest reviews. Read More >>

About Yandex

Yandex is a Russian company founded in the year 2000. It builds Internet-related products and services. 

It has its own search engine, mailing app, news app, weather app, maps, calendar app, cloud storage service, and more! We can call it the Google of Russia’. 

Yandex-disk-main-page

Yandex Disk is a cloud storage service offered by Yandex, which is gaining much popularity in the market these days.

Sign Up

The sign-up process for Yandex Disk is quite effortless. All you need to do is: 

  1. Enter your name
  2. Set a username and password
  3. Add your mobile number/a security question

And you are done!

yandex-disk-sign-up-process

The best part is, registering a Yandex account signs you up for all Yandex services like its Mail, Map, Translation service, Cloud storage, etc. It is similar to Google in this case.

With a free account, you get 10 GB of storage space, which is quite good! Also, the login process is made much simpler with handy options like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and QR code!

User Interface

The user interface of Yandex Disk is pretty decent. On the left sidebar, you will find tabs for easy navigation. The bar on the top features other integrated Yandex services like Mail, Notes, Telemost (video calling app), etc.

Yandex-disk-user-interface

Sorting options, along with file arrangement options like list view, box view, and grid view are also available.

But as soon as we scroll down, we see this! ADS!

yandex-disk-ads

Well, Yandex is a free service, so I would have been surprised if there were no ads! The ads are not very intrusive though. They only cover the bottom section of the page. 

The interface is not super impressive, but it’s not bad either!

Comparing it with Google Drive you get 15 GB free and with no direct ads inside Google Drive.

If you want more free storage then check my Best Free Cloud Storage video

Yandex Disk Speed

While doing Yandex Disk review, I tried to upload an 845 MB video file on Yandex drive with a connection speed of 100MB/s upload and download. These are the results:

yandex-disk-speed

Upload time: 2 min 40 sec

Download time: 2 min 5 sec

So, what do you guys think? I think the speeds are nice. Yandex Disk is not super fast like Google Drive, but neither is it super slow! 

The speed is almost like Digiboxx, an Indian Cloud storage service. Check out my detailed Digiboxx Cloud storage review.

Files 

All file types including word documents, presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, etc can be viewed and edited on Yandex Disk. You get the support of MS Office Online here, which is convenient.

yandex-disk-files-editor

Integrated media players let you play audios and videos in the web version. Overall, it offers a smooth experience.

Versioning

Versioning is a significant feature for every reputed cloud storage service. Yandex Disk provides you the ‘Change Log’ option, through which you can restore the previous versions of your files from the last 14 days. The versions do not take up any space on the Yandex Disk. 

yandex-disk-versioning

However, if you go for the paid plans, the file versioning limit can be extended to 90 days!

Sharing

Yandex Disk lets you share links to your files and anyone can view or download the shared data without registering on Yandex Disk. 

yandex-disk-link-sharing

However, if they wish to make edits, they need to sign up.

You can share links via Mail, Facebook, and people can even scan a QR code to access the shared data!

If you wish to share a particular folder with someone, Yandex Disk also presents you with Permission options for folder access, which you can revoke at any time. 

yandex-disk-shared-folder-permissions

The analytics features are also quite good. You can check out the number of times a shared file was viewed and downloaded.

yandex-disk-link-sharing-analytics

Security & Encryption

If we talk about security, Yandex Disk still has a long way to go! 

  • The user’s data is encrypted during transit, but they have not specified if it stays encrypted during rest on their servers, and what encryption standards they use!
  • The user’s data is stored in Russian data centers. If you are aware, a lot of cyber attacks happen there and many of the cyber criminals are from Russia!
  • The server location can either be Europe or Russia, but it is auto decided. If you don’t live in Europe, a Russian server location is assigned to you, which is not the best option.
  • No zero knowledge encryption found!

But Yandex also provides some very reassuring security features like:

  • Email notification when a new device logs in to your account.
  • Easy access to your account’s activity log like where, when and using which device your account was logged into, how many devices are accessing your account and more!
yandex-disk-activity-log

  • In case of any suspicious activity, you can log out from all your devices with a single click!
yandex-disk-log-out-of-all-devices

  • Yandex scans up to 1 GB of your uploaded files for viruses.
  • Two Factor Authentication is available, so you can receive an OTP on your mobile to log in to your account. Pin and Fingerprint lock is also available in the Android app. 
Yandex-disk-2FA

Russia Government and Privacy Laws

Yandex Disk is a Russian product, and the Russian government demands the users’ data and the encryption keys!

Do you know that two years back, they had banned Telegram because it refused to offer its encryption keys to them! Weird, right?

You can read more about Telegram Ban in Russia.

I don’t think Russia is the best place when data protection is concerned. 

Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of Yandex Disk raises some eyebrows on its security. Apart from the usual data, they also collect all the data that a user uploads. 

What I did not like about their privacy policy is that they will share your personal information with advertisers in order to run targeted advertising on your accounts!

Unlimited Photo Storage

This is an interesting feature which lets you upload unlimited photos on Yandex Disk, but only if your photos are set on Auto-upload. 

Pictures clicked from your camera will be uploaded on Yandex Disk and only they will be counted under unlimited photo storage. 

All other photos uploaded separately or by turning off auto-upload will be counted under your 10 GB free space. 

Also, this feature is not applicable on videos. So, when you upload your videos, they will be counted in your 10 GB disk space!

Plans

Yandex-disk-plans

Other than the free plan, Yandex Disk features three premium plans. 

  • 100 GB cloud space for $2/month
  • 1 TB cloud space for $10/month
  • 3 TB cloud space for $30/month

Fun fact: There is absolutely no change in the features of their paid plans, except for the storage space. 

I wish they had provided advanced features like zero knowledge encryption, better sharing options, etc. 

Pros

It has some very impressive pros. Have a look:

  1. You get 10 GB of free cloud space.
  2. Support of MS Office Online and integrated media players. 
  3. Decent speeds.
  4. Unlimited photo upload in the Auto-upload option.

Cons

  1. Security features are not that great!
  2. Privacy policy looks weak.
  3. Ads in the free account.
  4. Sharing options are quite limited.

Should you use Yandex Cloud Storage?

Well, I will leave that on you to decide. Personally, I would prefer Google over Yandex any day. The Privacy Policies of both these services are almost the same. 

Both Yandex and google are collecting your data and serving ads to you. So, there’s not much of a difference. But my trust in Sundar Pichai (Google CEO) is a bit more than that on Yandex, a Russian company! 🙂

But, if we talk about storing sensitive data, then I suggest you not to use any of these. Cloud services like pCloud, Icedrive, Tresorit and Sync would be much more safe and efficient for storing private data. You can check out my Cloud storage comparison video here.

Is it a suitable alternative for Google Photos?

You must have heard that Google is ending its unlimited storage soon! And we all need an excellent alternative for it, that too for FREE! Isn’t it?

Well, I suggest you not to run after free services. They might offer you an entire TB of space for free, but there must be a catch to it! 

Either their speeds would be terrible, or security and encryption would be weak, ad programs would be intrusive, privacy policy might be questionable, etc. So, you will be tricked and trapped. 

Instead, you can do either of these:

  1. Purchase an external hard disk for storing all your important data.
  1. Sign up for the free accounts of trusted cloud storage companies like pCloud, Icedrive, Sync, and you can have around 20-25 GB of free storage space in total!

Finally, if you just need space for keeping all your random images that hold little importance, you can go with Yandex Disk. 

But, for storing sensitive data – for example, pictures that you are not ready to share on social media – Yandex Disk should be avoided in my recommendation. 

At the end, it’s all up to you. If you still want to use this service, you are free to do so!

Conclusion

I personally won’t be using Yandex Disk even if they gave me free 1 TB of storage. Google Drive is way better in my opinion.

Ultimately, Yandex Disk is a decent cloud storage service, but I would never recommend it to my friends and family because its security and privacy policy is a bit weak. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this Yandex Disk review and found this information helpful. Subscribe to my Newsletter to never miss another update!

This is Kripesh signing off! Take care and keep learning, people. I’ll see you in the next article! 🙂

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