The Best ownCloud Hosting: Who's The Best For Your Site? [Updated: 2018]

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What You'll Learn

The cloud continues to rise in popularity as more services come to market. These products provide cloud storage solutions to both individuals and businesses.

Many cloud services offer reliable file storage, but most limit your storage space and don't allow for much customization.

In this article, you'll learn what cloud storage is, what ownCloud has to offer, and how it compares to Google Docs.

We'll look at hosting packages that include ownCloud. And I'll share what you should look for in an ownCloud host.

I share a few of my personal recommendations for hosting that you can use to get started on your search.

what is cloud hosting

What is Cloud Storage?

Before we dig into the benefits and features ownCloud offers, let's talk about what cloud storage is and how it can help you get more done.

Store, Access, and Sync Files

Cloud storage allows you to store, access, and sync important files to web servers, not unlike web hosting services. Instead of files or information being stored locally, your files are stored on a remote database.

File Security

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.

If you prefer to have full control over your cloud storage options, consider ownCloud.

Get Your Very Own Private Cloud Storage Solution

Most well-known proprietary storage services charge a set fee to store data on their web servers. This pricing structure is typically defined by the storage capacity.

ownCloud screenshot

With ownCloud servers, however, you pay nothing. Simply download ownCloud and the open-source software is completely free to use.

Plus, it works on your server, so you know exactly where your data is being stored, plus you control security. Alternately, you can purchase hosting and install ownCloud on your provider’s web server.

Commercial Version of ownCloud

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 sensitive files stay onsite, instead of being sent to some third-party cloud storage located in parts unknown.

Find The Best ownCloud Hosting For You

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A2+Hosting screenshot
A2 Hosting Lite plan
  • Support 4.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
4.5 stars
227 user reviews
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$3.92/mo
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Interserver screenshot
Interserver Cloud Web Hosting plan
  • Support 4.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 5 stars
4.5 stars
207 user reviews
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$4.50/mo
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Cloudways screenshot
Cloudways DO1GB plan
25GB 1TB
  • Support 4.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
4.5 stars
83 user reviews
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$10.00/mo
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DigitalOcean screenshot
DigitalOcean 5 Monthly plan
20GB 2TB
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 4.5 stars
4 stars
13 user reviews
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$5.00/mo
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DotBlock screenshot
DotBlock VPS Hosting plan
  • Support 4 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
4 user reviews
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$9.95/mo
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A+Small+Orange screenshot
A Small Orange Tiny Shared plan
250GB 5GB
  • Support 2 stars
  • Features 2.5 stars
  • Uptime 2 stars
  • Value 2 stars
2.5 stars
32 user reviews
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$2.92/mo
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Dreamhost VPS Hosting plan
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4 stars
  • Uptime 4 stars
  • Value 4 stars
4 stars
230 user reviews
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$15.00/mo
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HostingSource Unlimited Web Hosting plan
  • Support 3.5 stars
  • Features 4.5 stars
  • Uptime 4.5 stars
  • Value 3.5 stars
4 stars
3 user reviews
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$2.25/mo
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What Platforms is ownCloud Compatible With?

Access and share your ownCloud files via a web interface or WebDAV. ownCloud works with Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X.

The mobile interface is available for both Android and iOs devices so you can access your files where ever you go.

owncloud features

What Features Does ownCloud Offer?

ownCloud touts itself as being "the last file sharing platform you will ever need." Both the free and paid versions offer plenty of options to fulfill your needs.

ownCloud Dialogue Box screenshot
Screenshot of ownCloud Dialogue Box.

ownCloud Features Include:

  • Shared calendars
  • External storage server mounting
  • Galleries
  • Themes
  • PDF viewer
  • Mobile and desktop synching
  • Easy collaboration
  • Migration and backup between ownCloud instances

ownCloud features
Screenshot of ownCloud features via WhoIsHostingThis.com.

Are Third Party Integrations are Available with ownCloud?

In addition, more features are available via third-party integrations, 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.

owncloud vs google docs

How Does ownCloud Compare to Google Docs?

In addition to the features available via third-party integrations, such as Ampache for music streaming and gaming apps, ownCloud Documents allows you to collaborate in real time with clients and colleagues.

ownCloud Documents is similar to the popular collaboration and storage solution Google Docs, but offers more customization options and better security.

The table below breaks down a few of the top features so you can determine what might work for your needs.

ownCloud Documents versus Google Docs

Features ownCloud Documents Google Doc
Mobile/Desktop Syncing yes yes
Customization highly customizable not customizable
Real-Time Collaboration yes, with many additional tools yes, with a few additional tools
Cost Free for personal use 15 GB for free, 100 GB for $1.99/month
Security end to end encryption available default security measures are questionable
Storage limited only by your server or host capacity, not ownCloud 15 GB free, but shared w/Google Drive, Gmail, and Photos

owncloud choosing hosting

ownCloud Hosting

The world is moving to the cloud, and if you aren't careful you could get left behind. But, you don't have to rely on external third-parties like Google Drive or Dropbox for your private cloud storage solutions.

If you prefer to create a solution where you can set the rules and still have the ability to access it while working on your website, then ownCloud is the right choice for you.

ownCloud Hosting Packages

Some hosting providers offer ownCloud hosting packages, including pre-installing the open-source software.

They are available for businesses of all sizes, from small- and medium-sized businesses to the enterprise. Some have unlimited transfers built into their plans, too, so you won’t have to worry about bandwidth limitations.

Check for ownCloud Compatibility

You will need to double check with your hosting provider before you try to set up ownCloud on your account. Not every hosting provider welcomes outside cloud services on their servers.

VPS and Dedicated Servers are Ideal

If you already have a virtual private server or a dedicated server, however, there are few limitations to what you can do with those types of web hosting, so you should be able to set up and create the cloud storage system of your dreams.

What are Some Limitations of ownCloud Hosting?

One thing we’d like to mention before wrapping up the hosting section:

Just because ownCloud allows you to create your own cloud solution doesn't mean you are free to upload whatever you want, whenever you want.

Storage May Be Limited by Your Host

Your hosting service will likely limit 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 ownCloud server.

What are the ownCloud Bandwidth Requirements?

Uploading and downloading files can use quite a bit of bandwidth, especially if you are uploading a lot of video or images.

This means you could hit your bandwidth limits quickly, especially if you use your cloud storage often.

Still, if you rent a private cloud server or a dedicated one for your website, you likely have more than enough space to store your files without issues.

This can make it much easier to ensure all your important documents and images are kept safe from even the worst of computer crashes.

Questions to Ask When Looking for ownCloud Hosting

  1. Does the host offer enough storage space for my needs?
  2. Does the host offer enough bandwidth?
  3. Does the host allow cloud storage?
  4. Will the host pre-install ownCloud?
  5. Does the host offer easy installation of ownCloud?

Features to Consider in an ownCloud Host

Regardless of which hosting option you’re leaning towards, keep in mind that your hosting plan will need to account not only for your quantifiable storage needs but also the quality of them as well.

hosting options for cloud storage
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Setup: If you’re not confident enough relying on PHP and MySQL to install ownCloud, then you’ll need a host that offers Softaculous one-click installs

Security: Even if your documents or images don’t contain sensitive information, you’ll want to protect these from theft.

Speed: This doesn’t have anything to do with the speed of your website. This is more about how quickly you can get files uploaded or downloaded from your hosting server.

Storage Capacity: If your hosting plan lumps your private cloud storage into the total amount of website server storage, you may not have as many GB to play around with as you think.

ownCloud Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the cloud?

    The cloud is a virtualized computer made up of many different physical computers. It offers the same kinds of functions a physical computer does like computing and storage space.

  • Is the cloud safe?

    While security is a risk anytime you use the internet, most cloud systems are safe.

  • What is ownCloud?

    OwnCloud is an application that allows you to set up a cloud drive like 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 storage.

  • Is ownCloud free?

    OwnCloud is free for personal use. There is also an enterprise version designed for businesses that is not free.

  • How can I get ownCloud?

    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.

    Many hosting companies offer ownCloud via one-click installation.

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