What is Nextcloud all about? Maybe you’ve heard of it, or maybe this will be an introduction for you, but it is, in short, a powerful, private, open source collaboration solution which you can self-host (on any hardware you want which has a network connection) or set up on any virtual private server you choose to use. Unless you are skilled with such things, we do not suggest that you set up your own, as it can become unwieldy. We suggest that you either look into setting it up on a virtual private server or buying it as a service from a reputable provider. We are one of those providers who offer Nextcloud as a service, and I’ll tell you why you should think about using Nextcloud and allowing us to provide it for you.
How does Altha Tech use Nextcloud to assist you in exercising your personal digital sovereignty? Let me tell you about how we use it internally. It enables us to communicate and collaborate privately. We run our own instance and have for 7 years. This allows us to control all of our internal data as well as protecting it from being scraped by advertisers or government agencies which exist to spy on their own citizens. This allows us to own our data, protect our data, and serve our data however we choose. I imagine that if you are interested in privacy, then any Big Tech cloud should be an untenable solution for you. We have a great solution: you can host your data in our iron-clad infrastructure in your own Nextcloud instance. The base price is $49/ month + $3/ mo per user for 300 GB total storage capacity. We currently offer 2 higher storage tiers: 500 GB for $79 and 1 TB for $99 per month, respectively.
How does Nextcloud help us to embody our motto? Nextcloud is a viable near drop-in replacement for Google Workspaces. It helps you to own your data by being an excellent file storage and sharing option which has no strings attached to Big Tech or the government, so no ads and no spying. It assists you in protecting your data by being privacy-centric and open source. Those may seem to be contrary things, but as you’ll see later, they aren’t in the least. Nextcloud is great at helping us to serve your data by providing a transparent and easy to use interface so that you can upload data, store data, and share data with whomever and only whomever you choose.
Nextcloud also has a host of integrations with other open source projects to make it far more useful. The platform itself has a built in chat app and video chat (through a wrapper from Jitsi Meet, which we will talk about in a separate blog post, next month), notes, a calendar, to do lists, kanban boards for project management, as well as file sharing and integrations with either OnlyOffice or Collabora Office to provide synchronous collaboration capabilities. What does all of that mean? You get a one-stop shop for backups, file sharing, collaborative editing, project and team management, and communication (if you set up multiple users on your account, of course).
Why should you trust Altha Tech with your data via a Nextcloud deployment? We make some significant tweaks to protect and help you to access your data more readily when you want it. What are those tweaks? In terms of security, we use Snort, which is an open source packet sniffer, equipped with custom rules so that it can detect any bad actors trying to gain illicit access to your personal or business cloud. We set up a couple of significant performance tweaks: PHP caching improvements through OPCache edits, enabling PHP JIT, as well as increasing the size for individual uploads to your cloud so that you have fewer limits on your usage. We will also help you to get oriented and use the platform better, just as you would with Workspaces or dropbox, or any other similar cloud based solution that you don’t own.
As I said above, we use this tool ourselves. We have used Nextcloud as a whole, internally, for 7 years. It is always in development, always growing, and always getting better. We would not suggest that you use it if we didn’t know from experience that it is a quality option.
So, in short, we believe that Nextcloud should be a cornerstone of your personal and business data sovereignty efforts. This is because it is private, self-hosted, and secure. We also love it because it is open source, and we believe that open source is the way forward out of the mess we currently find ourselves in the midst of.