Nextcloud vs. ownCloud

Cloud storage is ideal when you want quick access to your personal files, documents, videos or images. With the cloud, your data will be stored on hardware in a remote physical location, which can be accessed from any device via the internet.

You can enjoy the advantages of cloud storage while also maintaining control over your data. For this, you need a mechanism that allows hosting and managing your own online cloud storage service. This article features two impressive and popular applications that are capable of delivering quick and personal access to your personal cloud storage: ownCloud and Nextcloud. This guide will help you understand the pros and cons of each.

Technology

ownCloud, and Nextcloud, are both designed with built-in Hypertext Pre-Processor (PHP) scripting language. Further, both of them also support SQLite or MySQL/MariaDB database engines. The installation process of both is also similar.

Since both ownCloud and Nextcloud are open-source, you can keep a track on the changes that occur in their development. A comparison of the ‘commit activity’ graphs of the software gives us an insight into their working. Nextcloud appears to have almost twice the amount of commits.

The former also has more ‘code frequency’ than the latter. It is indicative of the fact that Nextcloud has made considerable development with its codebase as opposed to ownCloud. The trends are clearly stacked in favour of Nextcloud. However, ownCloud seems to work on the principle of fewer but larger commits.

Since the formation of Nextcloud in the year 2016, it has rolled out more releases than its competitor. It is to be noted that Nextcloud has made considerable advances over ownCloud despite the fact that both started with the same base codes.

System Requirements

Nextcloud GROUNDS OF
COMPARISON
ownCloud
Ubuntu 14.04/16.04, Debian 7, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3/12, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS 6.5/7 OPERATING SYSTEM Ubuntu 14.04/16.04, Debian 7, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3/12, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS 6.5/7
MySQL, MariaDB 5.5+, Oracle 11g, PostgreSQL DATABASE MySQL, MariaDB 5.5+, Oracle 11g, PostgreSQL, SQLite
Apache 2 (mod_php, php-fpm), NGINX (with PHP-FPM-Modul) WEBSERVER Apache 2.4 (with prefork-MPM-Modul and mod_php), alternative: NGINX (with PHP-FPM-Modul)
PHP 5.6+ SCRIPTING LANGUAGE PHP 5.6+

Pricing

ownCloud and Nextcloud can both be used free of cost. Both products also offer unlimited usage. Further, there are no limitations on the consumption of data or the number of users. Both the products are effectivly free.

Apart from being free to use, ownCloud and Nextcloud are both open-source. This means the download and installation of both are going to be absolutely free.

One might have to be careful while looking through cloud storage options.. Some products might require you to pay thousands of dollars annually for expenses in the development and maintenance of their technology. However, this is far from the truth. The costs, if any, are only for the optional support subscriptions.

Features

Both the products come with a number of impressive features. Take a look at the features offered by each.

Nextcloud


  • 1. Collaboration On Office Documents
    With the help of Collabora Online, Nextcloud allows any member of the team to edit Office documents directly using the front-end of the cloud storage service. This feature is compatible with Microsoft Office and LibreOffice.

  • 2. Audio-Video Communication
    Nextcloud offers the means to communicate with either cloud users or external people. It uses WebRTC technology to establish direct connections.

  • 3. Workflow Management
    Workflow features such as file access control and automatic file capture help administrators stay in control of the ongoing tasks. You can choose to block an individual or a group by simply configuring a set of rules.

OwnCloud


  • 1. Collaboration On Office Documents
    Just like Nextcloud, OwnCloud also provides a link to Collabora online to allow collaborative editing of Office documents. It supports MS Office and Libre Office.

  • 2. Activity Stream
    This feature provides an overview of all the actions being performed by cloud users. When a file is uploaded, edited, or shared, the activity stream feature will automatically record it in the event log

  • 3. File Saving And Versioning
    ownCloud lets you lock the files at any time in order to prevent complications when accessing them later. Further, ownCloud ensures that the clouds are versioned. This is useful for restoring the previous versions of the files at any time.

Security

For any cloud service provider, there are certain factors that are given utmost priority. If a factor is compromised, the entire infrastructure of the business can collapse. This includes factors like brute force protection, password management, rate limiting, content security policy, integration with different enterprise authentication methods, among others.

Nextcloud has invested heavily in upgrading the security features in their products. It comes equipped with a public vulnerability scanning tool which can scan instances of both Nextcloud and ownCloud. Similarly, ownCloud also has a security scan tool to keep you safe from external troubles.

To keep it protected from unwanted threats, Nextcloud and ownCloud both have a Bug Bounty Program at the HackerOne. Hackers stand a chance to earn a bounty of $5000 to reveal vulnerabilities for the team to fix.

Nextcloud GROUNDS OF
COMPARISON
ownCloud
STANDARD ENTERPRISE
Yes SERVER ENCRYPTION
FOR THE PRIMARY
STORAGE UNIT
Yes    Yes
Yes TWO-STEP
AUTHENTICATION
Yes    Yes
Yes SAML/SSO
AUTHENTICATION
No    Yes
Yes PASSWORD RULES No    Yes
Yes END-TO-END ENCRYPTION No    Yes

Community and Support

The support pages of both ownCloud and Nextcloud provide you with links to documentation, internet relay chat channels, forums, etc. For the enterprise category clients, both offer premium support.

If you take a look at Nextclouds’s public forums, the most widely discussed post appears to be ‘Migrating From ownCloud To Nextcloud’. This has garnered more than 90,000 views. The most popular topic on ownCloud’s public forum deals with the unlocking of a locked file which has over 40,000 views.

The YouTube channel of ownCloud has 67 videos with a subscriber base of 1.29k. Nextcloud features 215 videos with a subscriber base of 5.75k on its YouTube channel.

Further, a Google search for both led to 23,60,000 results and 30,00,000 results for Nextcloud and ownCloud respectively.

Conclusion

Nextcloud and ownCloud are two market leaders in the field of cloud storage. Both have a strong foundation which is regularly buttressed by add-on applications. Between the two, Nextcloud seems to be more popular owing to its features and services. However, ownCloud is an old player and is capable of holding its own.

Published On: 06. May 2020 / Categories: General /