Earlier I wrote about possible alternatives for Dropbox, that add one or more steps towards a better data protection and control environment. OwnCloud I mentioned as an option, which requires running your own server. In the comments Ole mentioned OwnCube as a way to making the ‚maintaining a server’ bit easier.

OwnCube lets you rent shared server space, in a data center of your choice. You can simply have an OwnCloud account with them on their server, or you can take an ‚admin’ package which means running your own server, with multiple user accounts etc. At 150GB it is the same rate as Dropbox, but in fact it is much cheaper, as disk space is abundant. With the 150GB account you actually get 1TB of diskspace, and by paying for a longer period of time I actually got 30TB (yes, that is thirty terabytes). OwnCube is an Austrian company.

I took their admin starter package, and now have the following set-up:
I registered a Swiss domain name (with a separate registrar), which points to the server with an OwnCube package. The server is located in a Swiss datacenter (I could choose from some 30 datacenters, across the world), which is under my control and configured to use encryption. The OwnCube package comes with an easy way to install OwnCloud.

OwnCloud is open source software and apart from the server software provides desk top clients, mobile apps etc. That makes it seamless across all my devices and essentially provides a better experience than Dropbox can. This, next to syncing and archiving, includes sharing folders or files, which can even be set to expire after a certain period of time, and syncing calendars and contacts. Also the diskspace is more than plenty enough to use it as remote archiving as well as the syncing service I was aiming for. It at the same time functions as remote storage for our NAS archives, as well as a sync for my Mac (next to using a Time Machine NAS at home). In the coming time I will see how this works out for me. Plenty of redundancy at low cost: off site back-up and archiving, seamless syncing and sharing.

Apart from a few apps that sync over it, I have moved everything out of Dropbox now (except for what others share with me there), and also deleted my Wuala experiment I mentioned in the previous post.
Next step is getting the calendar/contact syncing to work, so I can move that out of Google.

Also I will set up a similar arrangement on a separate server / domain / package for Elmine.

[Update 2022: I no longer recommend Owncube, mostly due to their brusque and blunt manner of (not) providing support]

One reaction on “Some more notes on replacing Dropbox

  1. I’ve signed up for an OwnCube account (you can sign up for a free trial at owncube.com) just to be able to compare it to my own Raspberry Pi-hosted OwnCloud installation.

    I can confirm that, speed-wise, it flies compared to the Pi (which is to be expected, given the paucity of resource that the Pi has by compared) when using OwnCloud in the brower.

    Most of my usage of my Pi OwnCloud, however, is via clients on devices (Android phone, MacBook laptop, iPad), where everything is happening in the background so speed is less of an issue.

    That said, having a service that’s no dependent on there being power here in my office is attractive, and it would be nice to be able to take dynamic DNS out of the picture, which is required for external access to my Pi’s OwnCloud.

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