With the internet speeds growing faster and faster over the past decade or so, the question of storing all the information we keep hoarding on our computers has steadily grown in importance. CDs have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaurs, internal and external storage devices are still very much in use, but plenty of people have gone on to a more elegant, less space consuming solution – the cloud server.
The benefits of storing your data on cloud servers are obvious: not only do you free up storage space on your own PC, but you’re also able to access your files from any place with an internet connection, and you’re letting someone else worry about protecting and backing up your files. Most people who are going with cloud servers opt for free cloud hosting services such as Dropbox, iCloud or OneDrive, but these services do come with their own disadvantages. The main issues are privacy and safety of your data.
I’m sure we all remember the incident with the hacked iCloud accounts of many celebrities, an incident which raised awareness of the risks of using said hosting services. Privacy of your stored data is also an issue, with many hosting services wording their license agreements in ways that potentially allow them to use your personal data for various purposes. And, ultimately, there are financial concerns as well, as most of these services allow you relatively small storage spaces for free.
A practical solution that calls for consideration is setting up your own personal cloud server. Doing this is fairly simple, and all you need is a decent broadband connection, a reliable computer and some free software. This way only you and the people you choose will have access to the data stored on your server, and your storage limitations will be determined solely by the capacities of the designated computer. The first thing you need to do is to designate a computer that will serve the purpose of a storage server.
This computer will need to have internet access, and it will need to be kept running if you plan on accessing your data from a different computer. Keep in mind that the upload speed of the internet connection connected to the designated computer determines the ultimate download speed when accessed from other devices. Run an internet speed test to check your upload speed, and consider upgrading if you feel the speed is insufficient.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your electricity bill will be a little bit higher, because the computer will be kept on for long periods. This will also increase the risk of malfunctions and damages, and you should think about backing up the files you wouldn’t want to lose. There is plenty of free software allowing you to create a personal cloud server. Some of the more popular ones are ownCloud, Bittorrent Sync and Tonido, but were listing them simply as suggestions and you should feel free to explore and find the one that works best for you. All of these programs have specific features, but the installation and setup process is similar.
Basically, all you need to do is register, create a URL as an access point to the designated computer and assign a password for access. You can then access it from a different computer through a web browser by going to the URL, typing in the password, and voila! – you have yourself your own personal cloud server that is private, secure, and doesn’t call for any monthly fees.
There might be additional tinkering to be done, depending on the type of your router. If it supports Universal Plug and Play(UPnP) you won’t have to do anything other than to check if the option is turned on or not, but if it doesn’t you will need to set up the Port Forwarding settings manually.
Keep in mind that this is not the only option at your disposal, but alternatives such as using network devices or portable Wi-Fi devices instead of a designated PC will probably call for additional investment. As a conclusion, setting up your cloud server is not just possibly, but fairly easy and shouldn’t take up more than ten minutes of your time. If you don’t trust the various popular cloud hosting platforms and want unlimited storage capacity, this just might be the option you’re looking for.
Hope this article helps! share it with your friends on social media