Comparing NextCloud as a private alternative to Google services for Chromebooks

The way to create a non-public different to Google companies for Chromebooks

Likelihood is, if you happen to’re a reader of this web site, you are utilizing a Chromebook or different ChromeOS gadget. And if you’re, you are in all probability additionally counting on Google companies, like Docs, Drive, and Photographs. Sure, you realize you might be offering your knowledge to Google. Do you know you do not have to? This is how one can create a non-public different to Google companies for Chromebooks.

One potential resolution: NextCloud

The non-public different to Google companies that I’m about to focus on is NextCloud. What’s NextCloud?

It’s a free and open supply software program suite that gives software program for creating paperwork, managing contacts and calendars, chatting with others, and storing recordsdata. All of those instruments within the NextCloud suite are accessible by means of a browser. That proper there makes this a viable possibility for Chromebooks. There are additionally cell apps for NextCloud on each Android and iOS.

The important thing distinction between NextCloud and Google, in addition to many comparable companies, is that you just management all the info. It’s because you’re the one who truly manages the service. I will see how to try this shortly.

The above is simply a part of a a lot bigger function comparability between NextCloud and different cloud-based productiveness and private companies. You possibly can view the complete comparability on the NextClouds web site.

Use NextCloud on a Pi as a non-public different to Google companies

Since you are not counting on an organization to supply your cloud companies, you need to set up NextCloud your self. I’ve executed it two other ways up to now. One, which is what I like to recommend for getting began, is utilizing a Raspberry Pi. Surprisingly, this comparatively cheap little laptop can deal with mild to reasonable use as a NextCloud server. And it is easy to get began.

Obtain the Raspberry Pi OS picture offered by the Raspberry Pi of us, for a fundamental Linux system. As soon as the Pi is up and working, use the Terminal to run this command: curl -sSL | sudo bash It will obtain and set up the NextCloud server software program.

If you’d like or want a extra step-by-step method to this complete course of, RaspberryPi Suggestions has a strong assessment.

Run NextCloud within the cloud!

The second possibility I’ve used is to pay for a cloud server and run NextCloud on it. There are various distributors to select from, however I went with Linode. I take advantage of Linode to host this web site and so they do not pay me to say their service. I am only a pleased buyer. And if you happen to select to make use of Linode by means of this hyperlink, you may obtain a $100 credit score for 60 days for his or her companies. I will even obtain a minor credit score on my account, simply to be clear.

In case you select Linode, you do not have to spend a lot to run NextCloud, even after the two-month free trial. For $5 a month, I run a Linode occasion with extra processing energy and storage capability than my Raspberry Pi. It is a shared server with a single CPU occasion, 1GB of RAM, 25GB of storage, and as much as 1TB of knowledge switch monthly. In case you intend to host companies and recordsdata for a number of Chromebook customers, similar to a household, you may want the following tier, which is $12/month. This doubles all the things from the decrease flooring.

NextCloud Pricing

In case you go the Linode route, you may set up NextCloud with one click on within the Linode Market. Under I present the Market with NextCloud chosen. There are some further configuration settings that you will want to enter, similar to administrator passwords and the area you need your NextCloud server in. We suggest that you choose the area closest to you.

Install NextCloud on Linode as a private alternative to Google services for Chromebooks

For a have a look at all the person steps for putting in and configuring NextCloud on Linode, it is a useful information.

How do you entry NextCloud from a Chromebook?

No matter how or the place you arrange your NextCloud server, you should have one IP tackle for it. To entry and use NextCloud from a Chromebook, simply level your browser to that IP tackle! You will want to log in because the NextCloud consumer, which is about up after you arrange the server. However that is all.

Word that you could additionally level a site identify to your NextCloud IP tackle. It implies that I might entry NextCloud from my private web site at Certainly me Carried out do that whereas testing NextCloud, utilizing a subdomain. gave entry to my recordsdata and apps on my chromebook. This can be a extra superior subject, so I refer you to the Linode assist docs, because it’s coated there.

Extra importantly, what does NextCloud appear like on a Chromebook, and what are you able to do about it?

Goodbye Google companies for Chromebooks!

As you would possibly anticipate, the general expertise with NextCloud is much like Google Docs, Drive and Photographs. All apps and companies are built-in in a single place. And also you begin from a house display screen much like the one iCloud supplies Apple customers on the net.

NextCloud welcome screen on a Chromebook

Utilizing the NextCloud internet shopper, I uploaded a few of my photographs to Google and so they confirmed up with out a hitch. Once more, these at the moment are saved on my server, so Google nor some other firm can entry them. You can even arrange the NextCloud cell app in your cellphone to mechanically again up photographs to your server.

Photo of NextCloud on a Chromebook

I do not use Google Docs a lot, however I’ve examined NextCloud’s productiveness instruments. They usually look and work so much like Google. Here’s a brief overview video to point out you:

I additionally arrange and logged into my NextCloud calendar with a Chromebook. Shock, shock: It in all probability seems much like what you are used to.

NextCloud Calendar as a private alternative to Google services for Chromebooks

As an added bonus, NextCloud additionally has a built-in feed reader in your RSS feeds. Google would not even have one at present, because it killed Google Reader years in the past. Then once more, it might come again to Chromebooks in some way.

NextCloud RSS reader

Nowadays, I take advantage of Feedly for my RSS wants. It was tremendous simple to export these feeds to a file after which import them into NextCloud.

Need a non-public different to Google companies for Chromebooks?

Earlier than you undergo any NextCloud setup course of, you really want to ask your self if you’d like a non-public different to Google’s companies. Once more, you are in all probability utilizing a Chromebook or ChromeOS gadget. These present Google with telemetry knowledge and details about what you seek for and the place you browse. That is nothing new.

Nevertheless, you may significantly restrict the quantity of your utilization knowledge going to Google out of your Chromebook with NextCloud. If Google cannot see your paperwork, photographs and recordsdata, for instance, that is an enormous minimize proper there.

Finally, you may not care to provide Google entry to your knowledge from a Chromebook. Alright then. My intent right here is to not choose you. Neither is it to let you know that you’re incorrect. As an alternative, I am merely offering a cloud-based different to Google companies on Chromebooks. One which helps defend the privateness of your knowledge if you happen to’re prepared to set it up and administer it.

After utilizing it, I feel NextCloud is among the greatest companies to exchange these Google companies on a Chromebook. However then once more, I do not thoughts doing a number of the server setup and administration.

Concerning the writer

Kevin C. Tofel has been within the tech since 2004. He is been utilizing ChromeOS since Google launched the CR-48 in 2010, reviewing dozens of Chromebooks since then. He labored for Google’s Chrome Enterprise workforce from 2016 to 2017, serving to roll out Android app assist. In his spare time, he makes use of Chromebooks to review software program engineering at Launch College. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS Curriculum Committee at his local people school.

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