Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

OwnCloud: Build Your Own Secure File Storage System

File storage space in the cloud is all the rage these days and for good reason. Services including Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Box, OneCloud and probably a dozen others offer low-cost, high-security online file storage space to individuals and businesses alike. Optionally, most of these services also offer the ability to share some of the files with others, such as with friends, relatives, or business associates. However, a few people do not trust any file storage service that is owned and controlled by Apple, Google, Microsoft or anyone else.

owncloud-logoOne product allows you to create your own file storage system. You own it, you control it, and you install the server(s) wherever your please, such as at home or in your own office. ownCloud allows anyone to set up a cloud storage on an office server or on your own external service.

ownCloud comes in both a free and in a business version. The only real difference is that the Enterprise Edition has support and more integration with other cloud services. For example, with ownCloudEnterprise Edition you can integrate it with Amazon S3 and Microsoft’s OneDrive. You can also use the WebDAV protocol, an HTTP extension, to directly integrate ownCloud drives into your local file system.

With ownCloud, you can obtain as much storage space as you want. A terabyte? 30 terabytes? ownCloud will store as much as you want, as long as you supply the disk drives. With ownCloud, you keep your files, contacts, photo galleries, calendars and more synchronized amongst your devices. One folder, two folders or more – get the most recent version of your files with the desktop and web client or mobile app of your choosing, at any time.

With ownCloud, you can share your data with others and give them access to your latest photo galleries, your calendar, your music, or anything else you want them to see. With or without password or time limit. Share it publicly, or privately. It is your data, do what you want with it.

ownCloud also offers start-of-the-art AES-256 encryption. Files stored in ownCloud servers are protected from hackers and government spies. All the data remains encrypted when sent to or from the end user’s Macintosh OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, or Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) computer. See for details about the encryption offered.

Best of all, ownCloud is open source. If you do not trust the software, simply download the source code yourself and look for security holes. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of programmers have already done just that and have closely examined the programming code for problems. That’s better quality assurance than you will get with Dropbox, Google Drive, or the other commercial services. Oh yes, since it is open source software, ownCloud software is also free (although a paid Enterprise Edition for businesses is also available).

You can access your ownCloud server from any Linux, Macintosh OS X, Windows, Android or Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) computer.

ownCloud is not a good choice for a computer novice. It requires some technical skills to configure and maintain although one doesn’t need to be an experienced system administrator. Some Linux experience is preferred, however.

ownCloud is a cloud storage solution for anyone who wants the maximum amount of control over their storage and doesn’t mind doing some extra work to get it just right. You can learn more about ownCloud and even download the software by starting at

If you prefer to not maintain your own server, several companies will install the software for you in their data centers. For one example, see Digital Ocean’s offer at where ownCloud servers are available for $5 a month or more, depending upon the storage capacity and processing power needed.

Categories: Online Privacy & Security

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.