Self hosted

NextCloud vs ownCloud – Which self-hosted Cloud solution?

NextCloud vs ownCloud - Which self-hosted Cloud solution? Compare Nextcloud and Owncloud, two self-hosted file and collaboration projects

Highlights

  • The Nextcloud community, consisting of both contributors and users, actively works together to develop new features and improve the platform’s security, ensuring that it remains a robust and reliable cloud solution for storing and managing all your data.
  • By deploying your cloud solution on your own server, you can ensure that your files are stored in a secure environment and that access permissions are set according to your preferences.
  • By deploying ownCloud on your own server, you can ensure the privacy and security of your data while enjoying a feature-rich cloud storage experience.

Self-hosted clouds are private cloud solutions where you set up and manage your own server infrastructure instead of relying on third-party cloud storage services. This provides greater control over all your data and its security features, making it an excellent option for home labbers and power self-hosters maintaining complete control over their data and their own files. Two popular self-hosted cloud solutions include Nextcloud and ownCloud, each with unique features and capabilities.

Table of contents

Why self-host your cloud files?

Self-hosting your cloud files offers numerous advantages compared to relying on traditional, proprietary cloud storage services. By choosing a self-hosted cloud solution like Nextcloud or ownCloud, you can gain greater control, security, and flexibility over your data.

One of the main benefits of self-hosting your cloud files is maintaining complete control over your sensitive data. By deploying your cloud solution on your own server, you can ensure that your files are stored in a secure environment and that access permissions are set according to your preferences. This level of control is essential for individuals and businesses dealing with sensitive or confidential information, as it helps mitigate the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.

Self-hosted cloud solutions offer enhanced security features like server encryption and two-factor authentication. These security measures can be tailored to your specific requirements, allowing you to protect your data more effectively than with a one-size-fits-all solution provided by traditional cloud storage services.

Another advantage of self-hosting your cloud files is the potential for cost savings. With a self-hosted solution, you can avoid the recurring fees associated with proprietary cloud storage services, which can add up over time. Furthermore, self-hosting allows you to scale your storage capacity according to your needs, ensuring that you only pay for the resources you actually use.

Lastly, self-hosting your cloud files provides greater flexibility and customizability. Both Nextcloud and ownCloud offer a wide range of apps and plugins that can be used to extend the functionality of your cloud storage solution. This allows you to tailor your cloud environment to meet your specific needs, whether you require advanced collaboration tools, additional security features, or seamless integration with third-party services.

What is Nextcloud?

Nextcloud is a popular self-hosted cloud storage solution offering a wide range of file storage, sharing, and collaboration features. It is an open-source platform that provides an attractive and practical alternative to proprietary cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

By deploying Nextcloud on your own server or using a trusted provider, you can maintain complete control over your data, ensuring its security and privacy.

Check out the official Nextcloud site here: Nextcloud – Online collaboration platform

With a user-friendly interface and an extensive collection of apps, Nextcloud enables users to store, manage, and share their files easily. Additionally, Nextcloud features natively integrated audio and video communication tools, task management, and collaborative editing, making it a versatile solution for individuals and businesses.

The Nextcloud community, consisting of both contributors and users, actively works together to develop new features and improve the platform’s security, ensuring that it remains a robust and reliable cloud solution for storing and managing all your data.

What is ownCloud project?

ownCloud is a powerful self-hosted cloud storage solution that allows users to securely store, access, and share their files from any device. As an open-source platform, ownCloud presents an attractive and practical alternative to proprietary cloud storage services, empowering users to retain complete control over their sensitive data.

By deploying ownCloud on your own server, you can ensure the privacy and security of your data while enjoying a feature-rich cloud storage experience.

With an easy-to-use interface, ownCloud offers a comprehensive set of file sharing and collaboration tools for both individuals and businesses. Along with its core file storage capabilities, ownCloud provides additional features such as file access control, server encryption, and integration with third-party services like Microsoft Office.

Check out the official ownCloud site here: ownCloud – share files and folders, easy and secure

The ownCloud project is actively developed and maintained by a dedicated community of contributors, who work together to introduce new features and improve the platform’s security functions. This collaboration results in a reliable and robust cloud solution that can cater to a wide range of data storage and management needs.

ownCloud vs. Nextcloud: a comparison of open source clouds

ownCloud and Nextcloud are both open-source cloud storage platforms offering a wide range of file storage, sharing, and collaboration features.

They are designed to help users build their own personal cloud or private cloud server, giving them complete control over their sensitive data. Despite their similarities, key differences may influence your decision when choosing a cloud solution.

Comparison of Features and Pricing – ownCloud vs NextCloud 2023

When comparing ownCloud and Nextcloud, it’s essential to look at their features and pricing to determine which cloud storage service best suits your needs.

Both offer a free version with core functionalities, while their enterprise editions come with additional features and support options. Some of the key differences between the two include:

File sharing: Both platforms offer file-sharing capabilities, but Nextcloud has more advanced file-sharing features such as password-protected shares, expiration dates, and file access control.

Mobile apps: While Nextcloud and ownCloud provide mobile apps for accessing your files on the go, Nextcloud’s apps tend to receive more frequent updates and new features.

Security: Both platforms prioritize security, with server encryption and two-factor authentication available. However, Nextcloud has a more lucrative bug bounty program, which attracts more security researchers and contributes to a more secure platform.

Collaboration: Nextcloud offers natively integrated tools for audio and video communication, collaborative editing, and task management, whereas ownCloud server relies more on add-on apps for these features for ownCloud users.

Enterprise pricing – Both platforms offer a free version, with Nextcloud having a more extensive set of features in their free offering. Enterprise editions vary in price, with Nextcloud’s enterprise subscription being more affordable than ownCloud’s for enterprise customers needing enterprise file sharing.

Enhanced Team and Client Communication

One of the most significant advantages of Nextcloud over ownCloud is its emphasis on team and client communication. Nextcloud features built-in audio and video communication tools, allowing users to chat, make calls, and hold video conferences directly within the platform.

In addition, Nextcloud’s collaborative editing features, which include support for Microsoft Office documents, enable users to work together on files in real time.

ownCloud, on the other hand, relies on third-party apps for communication and collaboration features. While this allows for flexibility in choosing the tools that best fit your needs, it may not provide the seamless integration and ease of use found in Nextcloud.

The most important differences between ownCloud and Nextcloud

While both ownCloud and Nextcloud offer robust cloud storage and file-sharing capabilities, some key differences set them apart:

Forked – Nextcloud was forked from ownCloud in 2016 and has since focused on delivering a more feature-rich, user-friendly experience. As a result, Nextcloud often introduces new features and improvements at a faster pace.

Security focus – Nextcloud has a stronger focus on security, with a larger community of security researchers contributing to its bug bounty program and more frequent security updates.

Native collaboration and communication tools – Nextcloud provides native collaboration and communication tools, while ownCloud relies on third-party apps for similar functionality.

Exclusive enterprise features – Nextcloud’s enterprise version offers exclusive features and tends to be more affordable than ownCloud’s, making it a more cost-effective option for businesses that require additional features and support.

Nextcloud Vs. ownCloud: Top 10 Alternatives

While Nextcloud and ownCloud are popular choices for self-hosted cloud storage solutions, other attractive and practical alternative solutions are available. These include:

  1. FileCloud

  2. Seafile

  3. Syncthing

  4. Pydio

  5. Box

  6. Dropbox

  7. Google Drive

  8. Microsoft OneDrive

  9. Amazon S3

  10. pCloud

Each of these alternatives has its own set of features, pricing plans, and user experience, so it’s crucial to research and evaluate them based on your specific needs before making a decision.

FileCloud vs ownCloud vs Nextcloud Files on Demand

FileCloud is another self-hosted cloud storage service that competes with ownCloud and Nextcloud. One of the key differences between FileCloud and the other two platforms is its Files on Demand feature.

This allows users to access and view files stored on their private cloud server without downloading them to local storage. Users can also choose to sync specific files or folders for offline access, making it an efficient solution for managing disk space on desktop and mobile devices.

While Nextcloud and ownCloud also offer similar functionality through their desktop clients and virtual file systems, FileCloud’s Files on Demand feature is more prominent and tightly integrated into the platform, providing a streamlined user experience.

Workflow Automation with FileCloud

FileCloud also stands out for its workflow automation features, which allow users to create custom workflows that automatically perform specific actions based on predefined triggers.

This can help streamline business processes and improve overall efficiency. For example, you can set up a workflow to automatically move files to a specific folder when they are tagged with a certain keyword.

While Nextcloud and ownCloud offer some workflow automation capabilities, they may not be as comprehensive or user-friendly as FileCloud’s workflow tools.

Secure File Sharing

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud prioritize secure file sharing, offering server encryption, password protection, and two-factor authentication features.

They also allow administrators to set access permissions and monitor user activity, ensuring sensitive data remains secure.

Community and Support

Nextcloud and ownCloud both have active communities of users and contributors who work together to improve the platforms, fix bugs, and develop new features.

However, the Nextcloud community is generally larger and more active, which can translate to more frequent updates and better support.

ownCloud Vs. Nextcloud; which is more user-friendly?

While both platforms offer easy-to-use interfaces and comprehensive documentation, Nextcloud is often more user-friendly due to its modern design and frequent updates than the ownCloud project. In addition, Nextcloud’s natively integrated tools for communication and collaboration contribute to a smoother user experience.

ownCloud Vs. Nextcloud; which one is more secure?

Both platforms prioritize security and offer a range of features to protect your data. However, Nextcloud has a more lucrative bug bounty program and a larger community of security researchers, which may result in a more secure platform overall.

ownCloud Vs. Nextcloud; which is the best choice for small businesses?

Both platforms can suit small businesses, depending on their specific needs and budget. However, Nextcloud’s more affordable enterprise package and its focus on integrated communication and collaboration tools may make it a more attractive option for small businesses.

What are the best Nextcloud alternatives?

As mentioned earlier, several alternatives to Nextcloud include ownCloud, FileCloud, Seafile, Syncthing, Pydio, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon S3, and pCloud. Each alternative has its features, pricing plans, and user experience.

Researching and evaluating them based on your specific needs is crucial before making a decision.

Summary of differences between Nextcloud and ownCloud

In conclusion, both Nextcloud and ownCloud are powerful self-hosted cloud storage solutions that offer a range of features for file storage, sharing, and collaboration. The key differences between the two platforms include:

Interface – Nextcloud’s more user-friendly interface and frequent updates resulting in a smoother user experience.

Security and bug bounty program – Nextcloud’s stronger focus on security, with a more lucrative bug bounty program and a larger community of security researchers.

Native apps for communication and collaboration – Nextcloud’s natively integrated tools for communication and collaboration, as opposed to ownCloud’s reliance on third-party apps for similar functionality.

Enterprise edition – The more affordable enterprise subscription offered by Nextcloud, makes it a cost-effective option for businesses.

Ease of installation and setup

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud provide relatively straightforward installation processes. Some users find Nextcloud’s installation more streamlined, with clearer instructions and an easier-to-follow setup process. The below code installs the Nextcloud community edition. Keep in mind, there is a paid enterprise edition as well for business use cases.

However, both can easily be installed using a simple Docker Compose file shown in the next two sections.

Install Nextcloud using Docker Compose

Use the following Docker Compose code for installing Nextcloud. Using the file you can create Nextcloud installation with the required DB and Nextcloud containers.

version: '3'

services:
  db:
    image: mariadb
    container_name: nextcloud_db
    restart: always
    environment:
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: root_password
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: nextcloud_password
      MYSQL_DATABASE: nextcloud
      MYSQL_USER: nextcloud
    volumes:
      - db_data:/var/lib/mysql

  nextcloud:
    image: nextcloud
    container_name: nextcloud
    restart: always
    depends_on:
      - db
    environment:
      NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_USER: admin
      NEXTCLOUD_ADMIN_PASSWORD: admin_password
      NEXTCLOUD_TRUSTED_DOMAINS: "your_domain_or_ip"
    ports:
      - "8080:80"
    volumes:
      - nextcloud_data:/var/www/html

volumes:
  db_data:
  nextcloud_data:

Replace root_password, nextcloud_password, admin_password, and your_domain_or_ip with appropriate values.

Save this file as docker-compose.yml in a directory, and then run docker-compose up -d from within that directory to start the containers. Nextcloud will be accessible at http://your_domain_or_ip:8080.

To bring up the containers in the Docker Compose YAML file, use the command:

docker-compose up -d

You can see if your docker containers are up and running using the command:

docker-compose ps

Begin the installation after logging into the interface. Click Install.

Configuring Nextcloud and installing apps

Once you have installed the application, it will prompt you to install Nextcloud apps.

The Nextcloud dashboard after installing applications.

Install ownCloud using Docker Compose

Use the following basic Docker Compose file to install ownCloud:

version: '3'

services:
  db:
    image: mariadb
    container_name: owncloud_db
    restart: always
    environment:
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: root_password
      MYSQL_USER: owncloud
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: owncloud_password
      MYSQL_DATABASE: owncloud
    volumes:
      - db_data:/var/lib/mysql

  owncloud:
    image: owncloud/server
    container_name: owncloud
    restart: always
    depends_on:
      - db
    environment:
      OWNCLOUD_DOMAIN: your_domain_or_ip
      OWNCLOUD_DB_TYPE: mysql
      OWNCLOUD_DB_NAME: owncloud
      OWNCLOUD_DB_USERNAME: owncloud
      OWNCLOUD_DB_PASSWORD: owncloud_password
      OWNCLOUD_DB_HOST: db
      OWNCLOUD_ADMIN_USERNAME: admin
      OWNCLOUD_ADMIN_PASSWORD: admin_password
    ports:
      - "8080:8080"
    volumes:
      - owncloud_data:/mnt/data

volumes:
  db_data:
  owncloud_data:

Replace root_password, owncloud_password, admin_password, and your_domain_or_ip with appropriate values.

Save this file as docker-compose.yml in a directory, and then run docker-compose up -d from within that directory to start the containers. ownCloud will be accessible at http://your_domain_or_ip:8080.

After creating the Docker Compose file, we issue:

docker-compose up -d

You can view the status of your Docker Compose-controlled containers using:

docker-compose ps

After just a few seconds, you can browse out to your Docker host, port 8080 and login with the configured credentials in the Docker Compose file.

You are greeted with the screen to download the mobile apps.

After closing the mobile app screen.

Below is a look at the Market where you can download apps for ownCloud server. You can find all sorts of apps, including document editing, and many other tools.

Nextcloud interface

Looking at the Nextcloud interface is extremely pleasing. It has a “glass-like” appearance.

A view of the files screen.

Nextcloud photos.

Activity feed in Nextcloud.

Conversations in Nextcloud interface.

Contacts view in Nextcloud interface.

Calendar app in Nextcloud interface.

Mobile apps and desktop clients

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud offer mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and desktop clients for Windows, macOS, and Linux. These apps and clients allow users to access their files, synchronize data across devices, and share files with others.

The Nextcloud app marketplace.

While the functionality of these apps and clients is generally similar between the two platforms, some users may prefer the design and user experience of one over the other.

Scalability and performance

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud are designed to scale as your storage needs grow, but they may perform differently under different circumstances.

Nextcloud offers better performance and scalability, especially for larger installations and enterprise use cases.

This is due to its more efficient file handling and the availability of performance-enhancing features like caching and load balancing.

Integration with third-party services

Nextcloud and ownCloud integrate with various third-party services, such as Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox. This allows users to access and edit files stored in these services directly within the Nextcloud or ownCloud interface.

However, Nextcloud tends to have more extensive integration options and a larger selection of available apps, which may make it a more attractive choice for users who rely heavily on third-party services.

Customizability and extensibility

Both platforms allow for customization and extensibility through apps and plugins. However, Nextcloud has a larger app ecosystem and a more active community of developers, which may result in a broader selection of available apps and more frequent updates.

This can make Nextcloud a more versatile and adaptable solution for users with specific requirements or unique use cases.

Ultimately, choosing Nextcloud and ownCloud will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Both platforms offer powerful, self-hosted cloud storage solutions with various file storage, sharing, and collaboration features.

By carefully considering the differences between the two platforms, you can decide which cloud solution best fits you.

Nextcloud vs ownCloud FAQs

1. What are the main differences between Nextcloud and ownCloud?

While both Nextcloud and ownCloud are open-source cloud storage solutions offering file storage, sharing, and collaboration features, they differ in focus, community support, and available features. Nextcloud tends to emphasize user experience and additional functionalities, whereas ownCloud focuses more on the core file storage and sharing capabilities, emphasizing enterprise customers.

2. Is self-hosting more secure than using proprietary cloud storage services?

Self-hosting can be more secure if you take the necessary steps to protect your data, such as implementing strong access controls, server encryption, and two-factor authentication. By self-hosting, you maintain complete control over your data, which can help prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

3. How do I choose between Nextcloud and ownCloud for my business?

Consider factors such as your security requirements, desired features, ease of use, scalability, and support when choosing between Nextcloud and ownCloud. Both solutions offer robust file storage and sharing capabilities but cater to different needs and priorities. It’s important to evaluate each platform based on your specific requirements to determine the best fit for your organization.

4. Can I migrate my data from one self-hosted cloud solution to another?

Yes, it’s possible to migrate your data between self-hosted cloud solutions, such as from ownCloud to Nextcloud or vice versa. The migration process typically involves exporting your data from the current platform and importing it into the new platform. It’s essential to plan your migration carefully to minimize downtime and ensure the integrity of your data.

5. Are there any alternatives to Nextcloud and ownCloud?

Yes, there are several alternatives to Nextcloud and ownCloud, including FileCloud, Seafile, and Syncthing. Each of these solutions offers unique features and capabilities, so evaluating your specific needs and preferences is essential when selecting a self-hosted cloud storage solution.

6. What kind of support can I expect for Nextcloud and ownCloud?

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud have active communities that provide support, resources, and updates for their respective platforms. Additionally, both platforms offer enterprise editions with premium support options for organizations with more demanding requirements.

7. Can I use Nextcloud or ownCloud with my mobile devices?

Yes, both Nextcloud and ownCloud offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to access, manage, and share your files on the go. These apps provide a seamless user experience and ensure you can stay productive and connected regardless of location.

8. Are there any collaboration features available in Nextcloud and ownCloud?

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud offer various collaboration features, such as file sharing, document editing, task management, and audio and video communication. These features enable teams to work together efficiently, regardless of location.

9. How do I set up my own self-hosted cloud storage solution?

To set up a self-hosted cloud storage solution like Nextcloud or ownCloud, you’ll need a server or hosting provider to deploy the software. This can be a physical server, a virtual machine, or even a container-based solution using Docker. You’ll also need to configure your server, install the required software, and set up access permissions to ensure the security and privacy of your data.

10. Can I use Nextcloud or ownCloud with Microsoft Office?

Yes, both Nextcloud and ownCloud offer integration with Microsoft Office, allowing you to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations directly within the cloud storage platform. This integration makes it easy for teams to work together on files, regardless of the software they use.

11. What are the costs associated with self-hosted cloud storage solutions?

The costs of self-hosted cloud storage solutions can vary depending on server hardware, hosting fees, maintenance, and support. While the software itself is open-source and free to use, you may incur costs for server equipment, hosting services, and additional support or premium features. However, these costs can be more predictable and potentially lower compared to the recurring fees associated with proprietary cloud storage services.

12. How can I ensure the security of my self-hosted cloud storage solution?

To ensure the security of your self-hosted cloud storage solution, you should implement strong access controls, server encryption, and two-factor authentication. Regularly update your software and server configurations to stay protected against potential vulnerabilities. Additionally, consider implementing a backup strategy to safeguard your data during hardware failure or data loss.

Nextcloud Vs. ownCloud: Conclusion

Both Nextcloud and ownCloud are powerful self-hosted cloud storage solutions with various features for file storage, sharing, and collaboration. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific requirements, budget, and preferences.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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