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What Is ownCloud Hosting?
The cloud continues to rise in popularity as more and more services pop up that provide cloud storage solutions to both individuals and businesses. Many of the cloud services available offer reliable storage for your files but often come with limitations on how much you can store. While these services often have free options, the storage sizes are very small and you are required to pay a fee in order to access enough storage to really move all your files to the cloud.
Instead of opting for these services that include industry leaders such as DropBox and Google Drive, you could instead setup your own cloud storage solution. For those of you who would prefer to have full control over your cloud storage options, there is ownCloud.
What is Cloud Storage
Cloud storage allows you to store, access, and sync important files to the storage servers that you access through the Internet. This takes the burden of backing up and maintaining the security of your files off of you and places it on the cloud storage provider. Many of these providers support their clouds with huge data centers filled with arrays of storage servers. While security is most definitely a concern, most solutions offer password protected and encrypted accounts to ensure the safety of your files.
Your Very Own Cloud Storage Solution
Most of the well-known proprietary storage services charge a set fee for a certain storage capacity. Your data is stored on their servers. With ownCloud, you pay nothing. This open-source software is completely free. Plus, it works on your own server, so you know exactly where your data is being stored and you control security. Alternately, you can purchase hosting and install ownCloud on your provider’s server.
OwnCloud Documents is a collaborative, real-time text editing solution. While no where near as features as commercially available apps from Google or even Microsoft, ownCloud Documents can provide you with more than you will ever need to create and share documents with other users.
On top of that, more features are available via third party apps, such as Ampache for music streaming and a game app to play blackjack. So not only can you create and edit documents, but you can even stream music to your friends or log on for a little multiplayer gaming with others.
Access and share your ownCloud files via Web interface or WebDAV. OwnCloud works with Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X. Features include shared calendars, external storage server mounting, galleries, themes, PDF viewer, migration and backup between ownCloud instances, tasks, user avatars, conflict handling, undelete, and activity streams. Both the free, open-source version and the commercial version have mobile device integration so you can access your files right from your smartphone or tablet.
Currently, there are two main versions of ownCloud – the free for personal use version and then the commercial version. The personal use version is available for free for you to download and install on your hosting account and many hosting providers even specialize in providing hosting for you to create your very own cloud.
The commercial version of ownCloud is available for businesses looking for a secure file sharing and storage solution. The enterprise-level solution is hosted on your own servers, so you can be sure that sensitive files are never leaving the company to some third-party cloud storage located in parts unknown.
Hosting providers may offer ownCloud hosting packages, including the pre-installed software. Some have unlimited transfer, so you won’t have to worry about bandwidth limitations. OwnCloud hosting plans are available for small budgets and large businesses alike. If you already have hosting and would like to install ownCloud, be sure to contact your provider to ensure compatibility.
Limits of ownCloud
Just because ownCloud allows you to create your own cloud solution, doesn't mean that you are free to upload whatever you want whenever you want. Your hosting services often have a limit as to how much you can actually store on your server, meaning you won't be uploading 100 terabytes of data anytime soon. You could also face some bandwidth limitations when setting up your cloud.
Uploading and downloading files can use quite a bit of bandwidth, especially if you are uploading a lot of video or images. This means that you could hit your bandwidth limits especially if you use your cloud storage quite often.
Still, if you already rent your very own server for your websites, you most likely have more than enough space to begin storing many of your files on the cloud without causing any problems. This can make it much easier to be sure all your important documents or even your pictures that contain valuable family memories are kept safe from even the worst of computer crashes.
The entire world is moving to the cloud, and if you aren't careful you will be left behind. But you don't have to rely on the big commercial companies for your cloud storage solutions. If you prefer to create a solution that is all yours where you can set the rules, then ownCloud is the right choice for you.
You will need to double check with your hosting provider before you try to set up ownCloud on your account. Not every hosting provider will welcome cloud storage on their servers. If you already run a virtual private server or your very own server, however, there are few limitations and you can setup and create the cloud of your dreams.
ownCloud Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cloud?
The cloud is simply online storage that you can use instead of the hard drive on your local computer. Cloud storage enables you to access your files from virtually anywhere as long as you have a connection to the Internet.
Is the cloud safe?
While security is a risk anytime you use the Internet, most cloud storage solutions including ownCloud encrypt your data and require passwords to access them.
What is ownCloud?
OwnCloud is a cloud service that you can install on your server using your web hosting provider. It will provide you with cloud functionality much like you will find with commercially available options such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
How is ownCloud different from Dropbox or Google Drive?
While the functionality is almost the same between ownCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, the main difference is ownCloud is setup and configured on your server using your hosting plan. This means that you are in control of your own cloud storage and you are not subject to limitations that are often placed on accounts using Dropbox or Google Drive.
Is ownCloud free?
OwnCloud is free for personal use and there are plans designed for businesses that want to move their files to the cloud as well.
How can I get my own cloud?
Many hosting providers allow for installation of ownCloud on their servers. The only limitations you will experience are that of your hosting account. This includes any bandwidth and storage limitations that you may have.
Will my host support it?
Look at the available software that can be installed on your host and then check to see if you can perform custom installations. If so, then you probably can. Since ownCloud is a cloud storage service, your hosting provider may have limitations on that type of software. Always be sure you check with your hosting provider to make sure that ownCloud is approved for use before you try to install it.