Storing your important documents, pictures and other things on a cloud server so that you may need to access anywhere, anytime is a pretty nifty idea.
However, you should be wary before choosing a cloud storage provider, as they technically have access to everything you store on the cloud. Most of the cloud storage providers don’t encrypt your files, and even if they are encrypted, your cloud storage service provider has the keys — making encryption pretty much meaningless.
I would recommend encrypting your files before storing them in the cloud server, but it will add friction to your workflow as you will need to have the decryption software with you to decrypt your files.
How to Choose a Secure Cloud Storage?
Here are a few things you should look for before choosing a Cloud Storage Provider for your files:
- Jurisdiction: Choose a provider that is based and has servers in places that have robust privacy and security laws, as many countries have laws that demand that encrypted data be able to be decrypted by the government.
- Encryption: Many cloud storage providers implement encryption to protect your files, choose the ones that implement end-to-end encryption while in transit, and encrypt your data at rest.
- Business Model: Look for the cloud providers that don’t rely on personal data collection & monetization, and have good business model.
Alright, enough intro, let’s dig in to find you a secure cloud storage provider where you can store and access your important files and documents easily and securely.
Self-Hosted Cloud Server Softwares
These are self-hosted, client-server softwares that would require you to sign up with a hosting provider like Linode, Bahnhof, Hetzner or an on-premise server in order to use them, but it’s all worth it — your data under your control.
Nextcloud is a suite of free and open-source client-server software that lets you create your own file hosting services on a private server you control — you just need to install Nextcloud on a server you own, and you are good to go.
There are no storage and bandwidth limits apart from the ones from your server provider, it is feature-rich with everything you need like Office productivity tools, files syncing & sharing, private communications & meetings, calendar, emails — the whole shebang!
It combines the convenience and ease of use of consumer-grade solutions like Office 365 and Google Drive with the security, privacy and control that you would love across all your devices.
ownCloud is another free and open source client-server software just like NextCloud, in fact, NextCloud is a fork of ownCloud. You can easily host an ownCloud instance on a trusted cloud server or an on-premise server, and get going.
You can easily share files with no limitations, apart from the ones specified by your hosting provider, integrate with Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3, and manage all of that on any device be it a phone or a computer.
Seafile is a freemium and open source file hosting software system that lets you have all your files in a central server of your choice, that is designed for high reliability, performance and productivity.
There are no limitations on bandwidth and storage, you can easily and securely share files, control permissions, do online collaborations, and much more on all of your devices.
Encrypted Cloud Storage Providers
These are full-fledged cloud storage providers, that don’t require you to set up anything, but they control your data, and are usually closed source, kinda like Google Drive or Office 365, but with superior privacy, security, and control.
Tresorit is a premium encrypted cloud storage service provider based in Switzerland, that utilizes end-to-end encryption, and is feature-rich. You can securely share files with anyone, collaborate on documents from any device, at any time.
Tresorit is is compliant with whole hosts of data protection and regulations like the ISO, CCPA, HIPAA, and more making it suitable for a wide range of corporate applications.
Overall, it’s a great fit for business users and individuals alike, you can use the free version to send files up to 5 GB securely, premium version starts at around $12/month.
Sync is another premium encrypted cloud storage service provider based in Canada, that is end-to-end encrypted. They have plans for every type of user be it individuals, businesses or enterprise.
Sync is HIPPA, GDPR and PIPEDA compliant, you can share password-protected files, collaborate online across all your devices, and much more while not compromising your privacy and security.
All in all, Sync is a great fit for all kinds of all kinds of users, there is a free version that gives you 5 GB of storage and transfer limits if you want to try them out.
Mega is freemium encrypted cloud storage provider based in New Zealand, that is end-to-end encrypted, founded by Kim Dotcom. It is feature-rich, and offers 50 GB of storage for free.
Mega offers some of the cheapest cloud storage services with secure files sharing, collaboration, and communications. Premium plans start at around $5/month.
However, I don’t recommend using Mega for storing important documents and private files.
Encrypted Cloud Storage Summary
You are better off using a self-hosted cloud server software on a hosting provider you can trust or on an on-premise server as it is open source and self-hosted. However, if you are looking for something that requires minimum attention, one of the encrypted cloud storage providers would be a great pick for you.
That’s all folks!
I will be updating this page frequently with more cloud storage software and services providers.