I have a question for you all. When you send something to a cloud, what does that mean? Where are you sending your file? Does it go high up in the sky and get disappeared in the clouds from where you can access it whenever you want? Well, no. It doesn’t happen like that.
In the world of computers and internet, cloud storage or the word “cloud” refers to the remote storage or computing options that you can connect to via internet and store data or perform computing. These remote storage options are secure, safe and can be accessed from anywhere you have internet connectivity. You can use these services to sync your files over multiple devices, share your files with someone else, or even save some space on your local hard drive by uploading all the not-so-frequently-used data to the cloud.
The main idea is that you store your files on a different computer (as big as mainframes) and can access those files remotely. Different companies like Dropbox and Google offer you services to store your data to their servers (also known as clouds) and let you access on any device. They offer free limited storage but you can go beyond that by paying their monthly or yearly subscriptions.
But storing your personal data to someone else’s computer can not be some times safe right? You might have security issues or you simply don’t want NSA or other people spying or selling out your information (which is very common these days on internet). You can build your own personal cloud where you will buy your own hardware and software and can make it secure so only you or the people you allow can have access to it. This is called self-hosted cloud computing. You can use it to store files or even perform remote computing.
How to make your own private cloud?
Here I will tell you the step by step guide to host your own cloud storage computer with the cheapest build I can think of. The parts you need is a Raspberry Pi computer, keyboard, mouse, SD card (at least 2GB) and a display monitor. You will find most of the parts lying around in home.
Next you need to download the ownCloud Raspberry Pi image and burn it to the SD card by using any appropriate software. Put the SD card into Raspberry Pi then connect power, keyboard, mouse, monitor and then boot it up.
Login into the Raspberry Pi using the ‘pi’ as username and ‘owncloud’ as password. Next run raspi-config and follow the instructions on the screen to expand the storage on your SD card and take advantage of maximum storage. Reboot Raspberry Pi if needed. Run ifconfig to get the IP Address of Raspberry Pi. Then on any browser (connected on the same network as Raspberry Pi) go to http://<ip_address_of_pi>/owncloud and create username and password and explore ownCloud running on your Raspberry Pi. Play around with it to set things up according to your needs.
You can add an external drive via USB or connect it via network to increase your storage options. If you want to access ownCloud from anywhere in the world then you need to set up port-forwarding on your router. You can look up any good article explaining port forwarding. I will try to write a how-to on this topic too.
There are other ready-to-use options available on the market that you can use to host your own personal cloud to store your important data and information. WD My Cloud is a great choice for anyone looking into personal storage.
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