image of clouds

Foreword: cloud storage is not a replacement for (offline) backups. It is always a good idea to look for solutions that can be replaced (vendor) easily, which is easy to do in the case of cloud storage.

TLDR, my solution:

  • Cryptomator (15€ one-time for the Android app) + OneDrive (5€ one-time as a student) 1TB
  • If you only need 5 GB cloud storage anyway, this is also a very good solution If you need more storage, you can opt for a managed nextcloud hosting or any provider like iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox etc. the offer from Microsoft seems to me as a package, so if you can use Office anyway, almost unbeatable. With Cryptomator, the provider doesn’t matter.
  • for critical data use something like Syncthing

That meets my cloud storage requirements for now: cheap, secure, simple.

After extensive searching for a cloud storage solution, I ultimately landed on Microsoft OneDrive in combination with Cryptomator. I get 1 TB of cloud storage at Microsoft OneDrive for very little money (about 5€ one time, student). Due to the encryption with Cryptomator, the data in OneDrive is “safe”, only I or rather my devices have access. Together with the costs for the Cryptomator Android app (15€), I have invested 20€ and hopefully my peace for the next years.

My journey so far with cloud storage As a Google user from the very beginning, Google Drive was of course used, along with GMail. After that I switched to Microsoft OneDrive, why I can no longer say exactly. Probably there was more storage. 🤷

Then followed the switch to Nextcloud for the following reasons:

  • Storage space at OneDrive was expensive, on my server I still had a lot of unused space
  • Client for Windows, Linux and Mac
  • privacy / data protection
  • fun and time for the small project “Nextcloud”

Over time, there were some points with which bothered me with the self-hosted Nextcloud:

  • performance (server was not so great)
  • Updates annoyed me for various reasons, they took more time than originally expected
  • data is stored encrypted by the Nextcloud, but if my server is hacked and the attacker gets access to the file system is over. Only end-to-end encryption helps here, if I don’t trust my hoster and myself. This is now also available in some form with Nextcloud, some features are still on the roadmap

solution for end-to-end encryption

Cryptomator, can be used with any cloud provider, also with Nextcloud. But you lose all other features of the respective cloud solution. No editing documents on the server, no preview, no Office etc. – unless you put the files next to the encrypted Vault.

solution for the other problems

the obvious solution here was to look for a managed nextcloud provider, like Hetzner. Cost for 1 TB: 5€ per month. That would have been my choice as well. But since the solution with Cryptomator works in principle with any cloud storage, I use my existing Office 365 subscription with OneDrive and save some money, at least as long as I don’t have to pay as a student. Note: even if you buy Office 365 at the regular price, 1TB 69€ alone (there are often cheaper offers) or 99€ (there are also often cheaper offers) for 6 TB and 6 people, the prices are very good just for the storage, plus of course Microsoft Office. I myself used Microsoft Office for work, but for everything private LibreOffice.

further thoughts

selfhosting at home is not an option for me, I don’t want to open my network to the outside. In addition, potent hardware and electricity are simply too expensive, and i would consume a lot of my time.

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