build your own cloud

In this article, titled “Build Your Own Cloud,” NetworkChuck introduces the concept of creating your own cloud using alternative platforms like FileCloud and Nextcloud, which serve as replacements for popular file-sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. He outlines the step-by-step process for setting up these platforms, including detailed instructions for installing FileCloud on AWS, configuring Amazon S3 storage, adding an external hard drive to FileCloud, setting up a domain name and SSL, and mounting a remote share. NetworkChuck emphasizes the freedom and control that comes with hosting your own data, and highlights the additional features and security measures offered by FileCloud and Nextcloud. He encourages viewers to consider these alternatives and invites them to share their preferred file-sharing methods and data safety practices.

In a captivating article titled “Build Your Own Cloud,” NetworkChuck offers a comprehensive guide to creating your own cloud using FileCloud and Nextcloud. He walks readers through the step-by-step process of setting up FileCloud and Nextcloud on various platforms, such as AWS, on-premises servers, and Docker containers. NetworkChuck highlights the benefits of hosting your own data, including increased control, privacy, and access to advanced features. He also mentions the importance of data security and encourages readers to explore alternatives to popular file-sharing platforms.

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Setting Up FileCloud

Install FileCloud on Windows/Linux/Docker/AWS

To set up FileCloud, you have multiple installation options depending on your preference and requirements. You can install FileCloud on Windows machines, Linux servers, Docker containers, or in the cloud using AWS.

For Windows users, simply download the Windows MSI installer from the FileCloud website and follow the installation wizard. For Linux users, choose the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server as the recommended server operating system and install FileCloud using the Ubuntu Deb package.

If you prefer using Docker, you can download the FileCloud server using Docker or Docker compose on your Linux-based system. However, it’s important to note that Docker is recommended for training and testing purposes, but not for production servers.

Lastly, if you want to set up FileCloud in the cloud, you can use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host your instance. Sign up for a free tier AWS account on and access the AWS console. From there, you can launch an EC2 instance and search for “File Cloud” in the AWS marketplace. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up FileCloud on AWS.

Obtain FileCloud license

To use FileCloud, you’ll need a license. If you’re using the community edition, you can obtain a free license from the FileCloud portal. Once you have the license file, you can apply it to your FileCloud instance. This will unlock the full features and functionality of FileCloud.

Configure AWS setup for FileCloud

If you choose to set up FileCloud on AWS, you need to configure your AWS setup to work with FileCloud. One important step is setting up an S3 bucket and an IAM user to access the bucket.

Start by creating an S3 bucket in your AWS console. Keep the settings protected and default for simplicity. Then, create an IAM user in your AWS console and link it with the S3 bucket you just created. This will allow FileCloud to access the bucket for storing data.

Set up S3 bucket and IAM user

To set up an S3 bucket, go to your AWS console and create a new S3 bucket. Choose a unique name for your bucket and keep the other settings as default, or customize them as per your requirements.

Next, create an IAM user in your AWS console. Search for “IAM” in the AWS console and follow the prompts to create a new user. Make sure to provide the necessary permissions for the user to interact with and use the S3 bucket.

Configure FileCloud to use S3 storage

After setting up the S3 bucket and IAM user, you need to configure FileCloud to use S3 storage. Access your FileCloud dashboard and navigate to the settings. Change the storage location from local to Amazon S3.

To complete the setup, connect to your EC2 instance using SSH and edit the config file to change the storage implementation to Amazon S3. Copy the file var/www/html/config/AmazonS3StorageConfig-sample.php to var/www/html/config/AmazonS3StorageConfig.php and paste the S3 access key and secret access key in the file cloud storage settings.

Save the S3 settings and verify that they are configured correctly. Test the S3 storage by creating a new user and uploading a file. You can also enable S3 encryption for data at rest and in transit for added security.

Installing Nextcloud

Install Nextcloud using Docker on Linux

If you prefer using Nextcloud as your cloud solution, you can install it using Docker on a Linux-based system. Docker simplifies the installation by packaging Nextcloud and its dependencies into containers.

To install Nextcloud using Docker, first make sure Docker and Docker compose are installed on your Linux system. You can refer to the official Docker documentation for installation instructions.

Once Docker is installed, download the Docker compose file provided by Nextcloud. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where the Docker compose file is saved. Run the command docker-compose up -d to start the Nextcloud container.

Nextcloud will be accessible through your web browser at the specified port. Use the provided credentials to log in and start using Nextcloud.

Importance of having an internet connection

It’s important to note that both FileCloud and Nextcloud require an internet connection for full functionality. Without an internet connection, you won’t be able to access your cloud storage remotely or synchronize files across devices.

An internet connection ensures that you can access your files and collaborate with others, regardless of your location. It also enables automatic synchronization and backup features, keeping your data up to date and safe.

Comparison: Nextcloud vs FileCloud

Both Nextcloud and FileCloud offer robust features and are viable alternatives to popular cloud storage services. However, they target different audiences and have distinct characteristics.

Features of Nextcloud

Nextcloud is primarily designed for personal use and home setups. It offers remote file access, full control of your data, and hyper-secure file sharing. Some key features of Nextcloud include:

  • Data encryption: Nextcloud offers end-to-end encryption, ensuring that your files are secure, even during transmission and storage.
  • File sharing: Nextcloud provides advanced file sharing capabilities, including password protection, expiration dates, and granular user permissions.
  • Collaboration tools: Nextcloud offers built-in collaboration tools such as document editing, task management, and video conferencing.
  • App ecosystem: Nextcloud has a thriving app ecosystem, allowing users to extend its functionality with various plugins and integrations.

Nextcloud is a great choice for individuals who value data privacy, control, and customization. It is an open-source solution, giving users the freedom to modify and adapt it to their specific needs.

Features of FileCloud

FileCloud, on the other hand, is targeted towards large companies and enterprises. While it also offers a free community edition, its additional enterprise features make it suitable for business use. Here are some key features of FileCloud:

  • Data governance: FileCloud provides advanced data governance features such as retention policies, data leak prevention, and audit trails.
  • Active Directory integration: FileCloud seamlessly integrates with Active Directory, making user management and access control more efficient.
  • Compliance and security: FileCloud complies with various industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR. It also offers features like two-factor authentication and remote device wipe.
  • Hybrid deployment: FileCloud allows users to deploy their cloud storage on both public and private cloud environments, providing flexibility and scalability.

FileCloud is a comprehensive solution for businesses that prioritize security, compliance, and scalability. Its enterprise-grade features make it suitable for teams and organizations with complex requirements.

Suitability for personal vs business use

Nextcloud is more suitable for personal use and home setups, offering a user-friendly and customizable cloud storage solution. It provides individuals with full control over their data, privacy, and collaboration tools.

FileCloud, on the other hand, caters to the needs of businesses and enterprises. Its advanced features and compatibility with industry standards make it an ideal choice for organizations that require enhanced security, compliance, and data governance.

The decision between Nextcloud and FileCloud ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as data privacy, collaboration features, and scalability when choosing the right cloud storage solution for you or your organization.

Setting Up SSL and Domain Name for FileCloud

Set up subdomain and DNS settings

To enhance the security of your FileCloud instance and provide a professional touch, setting up SSL and a custom domain name is recommended. Start by setting up a subdomain for your FileCloud instance and configuring the DNS settings accordingly.

Access your domain registrar or DNS provider’s website and navigate to the DNS settings for your domain. Add a new DNS record for your desired subdomain, pointing it to the IP address of your hosting server.

Generate CSR and sign certificate with CloudFlare

To obtain an SSL certificate for your FileCloud instance, you’ll need to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Use OpenSSL to generate the CSR, providing the necessary details such as your domain name and organization information.

Once you have the CSR, you can sign the certificate using a service like CloudFlare or any other SSL certificate provider. Follow the instructions provided by the certificate provider to sign your certificate and download the necessary files.

Configure SSL and Apache

With the SSL certificate and key files in hand, you can proceed to configure SSL and Apache for your FileCloud instance. Access your server and locate the Apache configuration file.

Edit the Apache configuration file to include the SSL certificate and key file paths. Restart Apache to apply the changes and enable SSL for your FileCloud instance.

Modify server URL in FileCloud settings

Finally, modify the server URL in your FileCloud settings to reflect the custom domain name you set up. Access your FileCloud dashboard and navigate to the settings. Update the server URL to match the custom domain name you configured earlier.

By setting up SSL and a domain name, you ensure that your FileCloud instance is accessed securely over HTTPS and provides a professional and branded experience for your users.

Adding Users and Setting Up File Access

Create new user accounts

After setting up your FileCloud instance, you can start adding user accounts to provide file access and collaboration capabilities. Access your FileCloud administration dashboard and locate the user management section.

Click on “Add users” or a similar option to create a new user account. Provide the necessary details, such as the username and email address, and configure any additional settings according to your preferences.

Once the user account is created, the user will receive an email with instructions on how to log in and access their FileCloud account.

Access FileCloud through web browser and apps

Users can access their FileCloud accounts through various methods, including web browsers and dedicated FileCloud apps. To access FileCloud through a web browser, users can simply navigate to the URL of your FileCloud instance and log in with their credentials.

FileCloud also provides mobile and desktop apps for seamless access and synchronization of files across devices. Users can download the FileCloud app from their respective app stores and log in with their credentials to access their files.

Share files and folders using FileCloud Drive

FileCloud offers a feature called FileCloud Drive, which allows users to synchronize files and folders from their FileCloud account directly to their local file system. This enables easy file sharing and collaboration between users.

To share files and folders using FileCloud Drive, users can simply right-click on a file or folder and select the option to share it. They can then specify the recipient’s email address and set any additional sharing settings, such as access permissions and expiration dates.

FileCloud Drive simplifies the file sharing process and provides a seamless experience for users, allowing them to access and collaborate on files directly from their file system.

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Alternative File Sharing Methods

Introduction to Nextcloud

In addition to FileCloud, Nextcloud is another viable alternative for self-hosted file sharing and cloud storage. Nextcloud offers similar features to FileCloud but caters more towards personal use and home setups.

Nextcloud provides a user-friendly interface, full control over data, and a wide range of collaboration and file sharing features. It is an open-source solution, meaning you can modify and customize it according to your needs.

Considerations for personal data control and business security

When choosing a file sharing method, it’s important to consider personal data control and business security needs. Both FileCloud and Nextcloud offer features that prioritize these aspects, but their target audiences differ.

For personal use, Nextcloud provides a great option to have complete control over your data and privacy. It enables secure file sharing, collaboration, and customization, making it suitable for individuals who value data sovereignty.

For business use, FileCloud offers enterprise-grade features, such as data governance, compliance, and security measures like two-factor authentication. It is designed to meet the security and scalability requirements of businesses and organizations.

Consider your specific use case and requirements when deciding between FileCloud and Nextcloud. Evaluate factors such as data privacy, collaboration tools, security, and scalability to choose the solution that best fits your needs.

Encouragement to seek alternatives to popular platforms

While popular cloud storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox offer convenience and accessibility, it’s always beneficial to explore alternative options that provide more control over your data and privacy.

Self-hosted solutions like FileCloud and Nextcloud allow you to take ownership of your data, ensuring that you have complete control and security. By hosting your own cloud, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data is stored securely and accessible only to authorized users.

It’s always a good idea to research and experiment with different file sharing methods that prioritize data safety and user privacy. By exploring alternative platforms, you might discover solutions that better meet your needs and improve your overall file sharing experience.


In this comprehensive guide, we explored the process of setting up FileCloud and Nextcloud as alternatives to popular cloud storage platforms. We discussed the installation steps for both FileCloud and Nextcloud, highlighting their features and suitability for personal and business use.

We also discussed the importance of setting up SSL and a domain name for FileCloud, as well as adding users and configuring file access. Additionally, we introduced Nextcloud as another option for self-hosted file sharing and emphasized the importance of seeking alternatives to popular platforms.

By taking control of your own cloud storage, you can ensure data safety, privacy, and customization. Whether you choose FileCloud or Nextcloud, both solutions offer a great opportunity to create your own cloud and reap the benefits of self-hosted file sharing.

Remember to prioritize data safety and always seek feedback from commenters and fellow users to gather insights and improve your file sharing practices.

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