NextCloud Options for Non-Techies
If you read my previous post about hosting my own e-mail server and collaborative suite, you might be thinking that while what I have setup seems great, it’s really just too much work or perhaps that you are simply uninterested in the “weeds” and only want to use something that just works so you feel like NextCloud might not be for you. Well, don’t jump to any conclusions yet!
The good news is, there are much easier options. Let’s take the e-mail server part out of the equation for now and focus on the file sharing and collaborative suite aspect as there are some seemingly decent alternatives out there that can help you achieve your “privacy vs convenience” balance without having to managing your own servers or cloud services from scratch. In fact, beyond just privacy, there are some really great features in NextCloud that even Google’s and Microsoft’s offerings can’t do which can greatly enhance your daily workflow.
For those who don’t want to deal with managing anything at all, there are options out there that still give you relatively better privacy and the right functionality for free or at most, a small monthly fee. There are a lot of these types of providers so here are just a couple that have free offerings for you to try things out:
If you are somewhat technical savvy with a decent internet connection at home or office, here are two places that sell you devices with NextCloud already pre-installed so you can just turn it on, whip up the browser, and configure it like you would with a QNAP or Synology NAS:
So What Should I Choose?
Most of these privacy focused managed service providers are only there because of wanting to provide their customers with more privacy and so we should technically be able to trust them a bit more than those who are purely capitalistic. However, nothing beats fully owning your data rather than having it sit on some unknown server out there encrypted or not. So if you are somewhat technically inclined and have the internet connection to back it, I would definitely suggest a “Ready-to-Use Appliance” as it is more of a private option and may give you better performance especially when you are working at home or your office. However, if you just want to try things out or you are simply uninterested in managing anything yourself but still want the relatively better privacy and the additional features that NextCloud brings to the table, then I would say a “Managed Service” is the way to go for you.
I have not signed up, purchased, or used any of the products or services mentioned above except for thegood.cloud free account to test briefly. This is simply a sharing from doing some surface level due-diligence. Please do your own research to further validate the products and services for your own use.