Cloud computing represents a very important factor in the modern computing, and OwnCloud is just another cloud service available for you. OwnCloud is a client-server software for creating file-sharing services, and if you compare it to the famous Dropbox, you’ll see that there are some similarities. In fact, they are almost identical. Unlike Dropbox, OwnCloud is still an open-source server which means that the price is free, so you can install OwnCloud and operate it without the charge on a private server. OwnCloud is a platform designed for sharing, viewing and syncing data across all devices, which made Own Cloud unique and popular.
On OwnCloud, you can store all of your important data, and I know that all of this sounds good on the paper, but how does OwnCloud fare in real life? Well, I used OwnCloud for quite some time, and I’m ready to give you some straight answers in this review. Let’s start with space first.
OwnCloud Space and Pricing
When it comes to space, OwnCloud plays a very specific game by specific rules. There are few limiting factors here, but the most important one is your space on the hard drive. Yes, this is a cloud service that makes use of YOUR disk space. This means that you’ll need a good and capable storage that can handle all of your data, except if you don’t have that much data to store. And if you don’t have much, you can still use some Cloud services like MEGA to do this, no need for OwnCloud.
Now, more about the pricing. To have an OwnCloud server for yourself, you won’t pay a buck, and you’ll get AGPLv3 Licence and a possibility of purchasing Non-Branded apps. Then we got a standard edition, which can be bought for 50 or 100 users. Now, the price here significantly jumps and it’s $3,600 a year for 50 users and $5,760 for 100 users. Aside from the first two features, you’ll get 8×5 email support and volume discounts. If you compare these two prices, you’ll see that the gap is a little over $2000, which isn’t that much. Plus, the price isn’t doubled from 50 to 100 users, meaning that the second option is still a valuable choice.
Enterprise pricing also includes 50 to 100 users, but the prices are $9,000 a year and $14,40 a year for 100 users. The enterprise edition, however, includes OwnCloud Commercial Licence, as well as Enterprise Apps and customizable/branded mobile apps. And finally, there is a custom subscription for more than 10,000 users, which price depends on the features you choose. Generally, OwnCloud is made either for creating your own server, or for your company, so the prices are tailored to that. Pricing is good here, and it’s in fact very cheap when you divide those prices between 50 and 100.
OwnCloud works well on numerous platforms and clients such as Android, Linux, iOS, Mac, and Windows. I found the interface to be very simple. In the top left corner, there is Account tab, where you can see the uploaded files, you can then click on Add Folder to upload your folder, and you can even Pause the upload and continue when you want. The folders can be easily deleted by clicking on Remove. Generally, it works fast. When it comes to the upload, with my not-that-great internet, I’ve managed to upload various files pretty fast, but there is the main issue here, that really made my life harder.
I’m talking about a disadvantage that doesn’t allow editing of the files upon their upload. For example, if you upload a bigger file or folder that constantly changes, you can surely change the file, but you’ll need to re-upload it, for it to work properly. This is a major let-down of this service, so if you work a lot in photoshop or other graphic design programs, skip OwnCloud for now.
OwnCloud boasts a lot of features, and all of them are easily accessed. For example, it’s easy to upload and share your files, and this is done in just a few steps. OwnCloud also offers sharing of calendars and contacts, as well as rich-text documents manipulation. Given that, you can edit your documents in real-time, view the documents, pictures, watch videos and much more. I also like the notification feed here which always kept me informed of my past activities, and if I’ve mistaken something, I could easily see what.
Although it’s free and open-source, OwnCloud is used by many users, and I didn’t even know it until it was the time to write a review. That being said, there are many features concerning file sharing like notifications, tagging, and comments, password protected public links and much more. Now, as I’ve mentioned the password, let’s check more about security.
OwnCloud has a nice security, and the files are encrypted when they are uploaded and stored on OwnCloud servers, which is nice. But, if you are using OwnCloud, you are creating your OWN server, as the name says, so the possibility of a security breach is higher, as you are partially responsible for keeping your Cloud server intact and safe. Although the data is encrypted by OwnCloud, I like that they give you a freedom to manage the encryption yourself, so you can use some third-party app do it. Overall, the security isn’t that tight, but with few tweaks from the user, it can become pretty good.
Verdict to OwnCloud isn’t easy to write. Yes, it’s a good cloud service, offering great subscription plans for companies, but again, some minor letdowns like editing of the files can be a little complicated. On top of that, OwnCloud is constantly changing and evolving because of its open-source nature, meaning that updates are very often. But, with its simple interface, the great community surrounding this app and few tweaks, you can make the most out of OwnCloud, and I recommend you to try it, at least because it’s free.