Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Alternatives to ownCloud | What are the other suppliers?


There are many secure alternatives to ownCloud that are worth investigating if you are looking for file hosting software other than Dropbox and ownCloud. Discover the characteristics of the best alternatives to ownCloud in our article.

Overview of the best alternatives to ownCloud

Supplier Target Features Disadvantages Clients
Seafile Beginner to advanced Reliable, fast and collaborative Some functions are missing for synchronization Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Nextcloud Beginner Easy migration, ambitious development Simplified version of ownCloud Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Syncthing Advance Good web interface No data monitoring system Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
SparkleShare Advance For Linux users, well suited and efficient Not very suitable for beginners, complex to learn Windows, macOS, Linux
Resilio Sync Advance Recommended for file sharing No data monitoring Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Goodsync Advance Complex, with many features in the full version Interesting especially in its paid version Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Data update: February 2024

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The main characteristics of ownCloud

ownCloud is now well established as an alternative to Dropbox. This free file hosting software is designed for use by multiple users, but also allows private file spaces. A important advantage of ownCloud is here user and group management for access rights to stored files. In addition to the free version, a paid version is available, with more options and professional support. Additional features include scaling functions as well as single sign-on integration.

A downside of ownCloud is however the encryption. Files can be encrypted with the open source application, but only on the server side by default. Another problem is the rather low performance when storing many small files.


One of the best-known alternatives to ownCloud is Seafile. It is highly appreciated by users who are looking for open source software. It is almost a clone of Dropbox but the server, like the client, is here on open source code. Seafile also offers end-to-end encryption.

Installation is relatively simple and Seafile's features hold up well compared to ownCloud. Seafile, however, mainly focuses on file sharing and collaboration. A few features are missing, such as the CalDav and CardDav synchronization services.

Seafile homepage
Seafile makes reliability and performance its priority. / Source:

This alternative to ownCloud, on the other hand, can convince thanks to its data management and user collaboration services: comments function, sending messages and version management are among the features. great advantages of Seafile, features which are particularly useful for teamwork. Another strong point is that synchronizations can be carried out quickly and with great reliability. Seafile is available for macOS, Windows and Linux clients as well as iOS and Android. The server can run on Linux, via Docker or on a Raspberry Pi. As an alternative to the free Community edition, users of the paid Pro edition benefit from additional security and administration features.


Nextcloud is resulting from a split with ownCloud. With its familiar structure, ownCloud users will have no difficulty making the transition. There migration, from ownCloud in particular, is very simple. Today, the team is still looking to improve its Cloud backup service. NextCloud would particularly work on better integration of its community of users, to then implement the functions requested by them.

Nextcloud website
Nextcloud is much more than the unofficial successor to ownCloud. / Source:

With their own Nextcloud server, businesses have the perfect alternative to ownCloud for protect and monitor all data and communications, while respecting all legal and commercial requirements. With Nextcloud Hubyou have more than one tailor-made solution for online collaboration without compliance and security risks.

Do you want to create your own server with Nextcloud as a Cloud storage solution? With Managed Nextcloud from IONOS, you not only benefit from a suitable hardware infrastructure, but also from simple “one-click” installation Nextcloud software!


Syncthing can be considered an open source version of Resilio Sync (formerly known as BitTorrent Sync). This ambitious project is constantly improving and has an attractive interface and constitutes a good solution for peer-to-peer synchronization (peer to peer in English).

The downside of Syncthing is that it doesn't have no integrated data monitoring system. This means that the entire Sync repository must be scanned during changes, which can significantly weaken its performance.

Screenshot of Syncthing webpage
Syncthing: open source decentralized Cloud service. / Source:

Upon installation, we can notice that Syncthing not suitable for beginners. For those who are used to and like the simple structure of ownCloud, Syncthing can be quite a drastic change. If you still want to move towards an open source alternative, then it will definitely be worth it.


Open source software SparkleShare addressed to a experienced audience. This complex system is mainly used by Linux administrators. It is indeed a good alternative to ownCloud provided you have good technical knowledge. A major advantage is the use of the system of Git version management. This allows you to track your file changes, which is particularly useful for projects where multiple employees are working on.

SparkleShare Homepage
SparkleShare, an alternative to ownCloud for advanced users. / Source:

On the other hand, SparkleShare users face some limitations in data synchronization. This is why it is advisable to synchronize your music or personal images with complementary software. Additionally, the SparkleShare client encryption is not ideal because it is impossible to encrypt the server file names. In addition, only one password can be configured, and it cannot then be changed. In short, there is no doubt that a better encryption system would have been preferable.

This alternative to ownCloud is, however, worth a try, if you are not afraid of technical complications and if you operate under Linux.

Resilio Sync

The software Resilio Sync allows the file synchronization between any terminals. This is possible thanks to the BitTorrent protocol, which is involved in file sharing tools. As a user, you can benefit from a decentralized network from synchronized terminals. Compatible clients are available for macOS, Windows, Linux and Android. For example, this makes it easy to synchronize documents on macOS and Windows while making a backup on an Android device.

Resilio Sync Homepage
Resilio Sync is decentralized synchronization software. / Source:

With the freeware version of this ownCloud alternative, you can choose to sync your hard drive folders in a similar way to Dropbox. Creating an account is not required. In fact, any folder created generates a secret key, i.e. a random combination of numbers and letters for the file coding. You can then enter the key on the desired device to begin syncing.

Resilio Sync is particularly suitable for data distribution. Then there are some practical functions like the read-only secret key (read-only secret), which only allows downloads, or the one-time use secret key (secret one-time), which allows access to a file for a period limited to 24 hours.


One of the best alternatives to ownCloud for the more seasoned is GoodSync. The name itself should sound familiar to many tech enthusiasts: GoodSync is indeed one of the best-known ownCloud alternatives for synchronizing data across popular operating systems.

A drawback to GoodSync, however, is the complex initialization process of the program, which turns out to be difficult even for the most experienced experts. However, there are plenty of possibilities to customize your initialization and synchronization as well as to structure your files as you see fit.

Screenshot of GoodSync homepage
GoodSync, the synchronization software for professionals. / Source:

The software is available in free or paid version: the free basic version allows you to save or synchronize up to 3 tasks and 100 files. If you have a budget for hosting your files, then you will have access to powerful software without any limitations, available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

In summary

Which alternative to ownCloud should you choose? If you are looking for a solution strongly similar to ownCloud, NextCloud will undoubtedly be your first choice. Seafile also comes very close and also offers many practical functions. For the more experienced, who are attached to good encryption, SparkleShare will be a good choice. Syncthing is also a good alternative to ownCloud, which stands out thanks to the possibility of performing efficient peer-to-peer synchronizations.

With Resilio Sync, the file sharing network is decentralized. However, keep in mind that the full version of this program is paid. The complete edition of Goodsync is also paid but the file hosting service remains particularly complete, which may have the power to convince the most experts. To know which alternative to ownCloud is best for you, you will need to answer these two questions: what use do you want to make of it and what is your level of knowledge?

Nextcloud Managed Hosting

With Managed Nextcloud, benefit from your own smart cloud storage for teamwork: domain name and tools included.

Respects the GDPR

24/7 support

Data center in EU

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