As you might have noticed I am working on some projects. And if you are in the same situation you will also know the following problem: When you need to switch back to an old project, nobody knows why, you need a good documentation. Typically I am taking additional internal notes while working on a project. Another really common problem is that more and more people have multiple devices and nobody wants to keep his data on an USB-sticks or copy data manually all the time. So in this post I am going to describe my used tools.

Proprietary data-synchronization

Everybody knows Google Drive and Dropbox. Their ecosystem is very good and many applications use them to gain data-synchronization. So why NOT use them? Because of privacy issues! Google and all the other providers state in their general terms and conditions that they want to provide you a great experience and help you with different funcionalities. That is great, but wait a second: In which way are they going to do this? Yes, they need to scan, analyze and index your content! (Some of them also state that they are allowed to use your information!)
I want to have full control over my intellectual property and I do not want to pay for some services with my ideas and thoughts!
The paragraph What if you still do not trust your provider? shows up a possible solution if you want to work with such a proprietary product and do not want to miss privacy.

Self-hosted data-synchronization

So I was looking for a self-hosted alternative and found ownCloud / NextCloud. A lot of the proprietary functions are covered in this projects. There are also clients for all the platforms. To get your own instance you have to find a hoster who meets the requirements. Ideally you also use SSL to secure your connections. (Some of the providers offer Let's Encrypt for free certificates.)

You can also host your own instance in-house. (Some IT-knowhow is required! E.g.: firewalls, port-forwarding, etc.) Possibilities are:

  • Set it up based on an extra hardware
  • Use your Bare-Metal-Hypervisor (ESXi, Hyper-V, etc.)
    If you do not want to set up a hole server you can have a look at virtual appliances from bitnami or turnkey. You should check all the settings like the firewall and the webserver before you expose this appliances to the internet!
  • Use a device like a NAS
    Some of the buyable devices (e.g.: QNAP) offer ownCloud / NextCloud in their specific app-store and you can set them up within a few minutes.

Self-managed but not self-hosted

If you do not want to do updates, configure a server or something else you may have a look at providers like or
You may ask yourself: Where is the difference to the proprietary clouds? The difference is that you get an own instance of NextCloud / ownCloud and you are able to do all the configuration yourself. And here is the benefit: If you have a look in the settings you will find a chapter "encryption". In this menu-item you can encrypt all your server-side data. This means that your hoster will not be able to access it without your password!
(At the moment (2016-10-26) I am using (they are upgrading their instances more frequently) with an instance of NextCloud.)

What if you still do not trust your provider?

"How can I be sure that the buttons are not fake?" Well if you do not have a FTP-access to the hosting server you can not be sure! This is the reason why some guys developed tools like Cryptomator and Viivo. These tools encrypt your data on the client-side and push the encrypted duplicates to the cloud. You can also use this products with the proprietary clouds.
One downside of this method is that you need to install the client-side encryptor on every client you want to access your data. (E.g.: At the moment (2016-10-26) there is no android-client for Cryptomator. But they are working on it and it will be released in the near future.) And you can not access the data via the webinterface of the cloud.


Your privacy, ideas and thoughts should not be your payment for a service. (Normally they have a higher worth compared to the buyable solutions!)
Despite some of the products, stated in this posting, are free it would be great if you would spend a few bucks. The contributors spend a lot of time and they really appreciate a (few) cup(s) of coffee ;-)

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