Local storage always remains the favorite choice of most users, however, options like the Google Drive, Dropbox and similar have convinced other users to bet on the storage in the cloud. But all these are third-party services, hence, let me clarify that it is easy to create our own cloud of storage at home only. Besides that, we will not have to pay a monthly service cost, as it will be free beyond the installation costs, and simply gives us many other advantages over these alternatives.
So, how to create our own cloud at home and is it possible right now, as the fixed broadband connections are now much more capable. As there are few users who already have 100 Mbps and above, then it is more than enough to create a ‘server’ at home, a cloud of domestic storage that we can access anywhere, as long as we have an active internet connection in both ends. And as we mentioned earlier, there are many advantages it offers us with respect to local storage on mobile devices, as compare to the third-party cloud storage services.
What is a local storage system in the cloud?
When we talk about storage in the cloud we simply refer to a storage system accessible through the internet. Hence, services like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, are the well-known cloud storage systems, but they are maintained by third parties. However, we can create our own local cloud storage system at home, and combine the advantages of ‘cloud storage’ with full control, while the system will be managed by us only.
Advantages: Personal cloud storage vs Third party cloud storage services
Basically, we have to carry out an initial investment, and we need a storage system, obviously, a network that connects you to the internet and some other resources. But once we have done the installation and complete configuration, which we probably already have partially by the simple fact of having a computer at home, we will not have to suffer the recurring costs of other third-party cloud storage services. Hence, in the long-term savings, we have an important advantage over all these paid third-party services.
But the most important thing is that, since it will be a system which will be managed by ourselves, so the security and privacy will be much greater than the others. As when we allow our photographs to be uploaded to Google Photos, which is a specific image cloud storage service, we are signing an agreement with the tech giant Google whereby they discard certain responsibilities and acquire certain rights over the contents that we upload. In this case, the storage is ours, private, and managed by ourselves at our own discretion.
So, although there are other advantages, what we will gain the most is security, privacy, and economic savings. And not only that even like any other cloud system, it will also help us to free up memory in our smartphone or to automate the downloading of content and its availability of other devices. Virtually all the advantages of cloud storage we will have when we mount a cloud at home.
How to assemble your own cloud storage at home?
To mount cloud storage at home we have different options, the main ones are two, a PC either with specific software, or a NAS dedicated specifically to it. If we want to do it in a simple way it is best to buy a NAS, but if we want to use the resources that we already have available, then we can use our own computer, and simply take advantage of a completely free software. In this second case, we will only have to spend some money if we want to expand the storage of the computer so that our ‘domestic cloud’ has greater capacity.
Assemble with a NAS
With a simple search, we will find dozens of NAS devices that we can buy, from just $100. However, the best thing is that before making the purchase decision, is to review a guide to know what NAS to buy. And once we have the device, that’s it, we can simply start assembling our cloud storage at home.
Although there are some characteristics in the installation and configuration of each NAS, in all we will start based on connecting the NAS to the router with an Ethernet cable. Then, from a computer, with the web interface of the manufacturer, where we will carry out the configuration.
From this, again according to the particularities of each device and manufacturer, we can configure specific functions such as remote access from devices. A NAS is accessible from computers, but also from smartphones, smart TVs and other devices connected to the internet.
Assemble with a PC
The solution that is available to anyone, and without having to spend one penny, except if we want to expand the storage of our cloud, is to create our personal storage cloud, at home, directly with our own PC.
In this case, what we are going to use is software, a program that simply converts our computer into a server accessible through the internet, and with a specific application for managing files. There are several possibilities that we have, as there are several programs that we can install and fulfill the same function.
OwnCloud is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, but we can also use SeaFile which is another good alternative with equal broad compatibility, just like SparkleShare or Tonido. In any case, we will have to download the program that we want for the platform in which we will install it, and start the installer as if it were any other application, following the steps for the configuration. Moreover, it is possible that, as in OwnCloud, we need a specific app on mobile devices to access our personal storage cloud created at home.
Taking OwnCloud as a reference, after installation, the program will simply guide us through the configuration. We will have to configure parameters like the username and password to access and select one or more directories to be available through the web interface.
In the app for mobile devices, when everything is already configured on the computer, it is where we will have to enter the address of the server, which is our personal cloud storage, and where we will also have to enter the login credentials, as indicated above.
Assemble with a ‘hosting’
The third option, as an alternative, is to use hosting, basically, a remote server, but private, to create our storage cloud. In this case, we will have to pay a monthly service for hosting, but the advantage is that it will always be available, not like our computer, which may get turned off. In a way, with personal cloud storage hosted in hosting we will combine some of the advantages of a NAS or a PC converted into a cloud and some other typical services like the Google Drive or Dropbox.
In the case of personal cloud storage mounted on hosting, we will need the specific ownCloud installer for servers and upload it to our hosting.
What is the best option to mount a personal cloud storage system at home?
It depends on the application that we are going to give you, our knowledge, and some other details. However, for most users, the most convenient option will be a NAS. At the end of the day, it is a device which is basically, dedicated specifically to fulfill this function, as personal cloud storage, and its configuration is extremely simple. In addition, even the variety of models is extraordinary and the price, also, at this point is relatively quiet little.
However, if we look for the most economical option, then we should mount our personal cloud storage system using our PC. This will simply give us some problems like the transfer speed will be reduced if the computer is connected via WiFi, or an automatic update when we are away from home will cause the computer to turn off and the files stored in it will not be available remotely. In addition, it will force us to share resources between personal use and use as personal cloud storage.
While the third option, of course, the hosting is quite more expensive than these two options. However, it will give us advantages like using a custom domain and having a hosting also helps us, among many other things, to have a personalized email server as well.
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