Cloud storage services are designed to serve two primary purposes – provide a place to securely and reliably backup your important files, and make these files available on all your devices at all times. Space is a limiting factor in such kind of services and the cost of extra storage, although cheap, is recurring. The other is security. If you have highly sensitive data or simply don’t trust cloud service providers, or otherwise, have an inordinate amount of data to synchronize you’ll be better suited if you run your own cloud storage service.
SyncBox is one such solution that completely eliminates the middle man from the equation. Instead of relying on a third party in the cloud to manage your data, your data stays on your machine and is made available to all your other devices, provided the computer where the data resides is connected to the Internet.
To make this happen, SyncBox offers a server software that you need to install on the computer with data that you want to access over the Internet. The installer is available only for Windows, but client programs cover a wide range of platforms – Windows, Mac OSX, and Ubuntu, on the desktop side, and Android and iOS to handle things on mobile devices. Client programs are not essential to access files on the PC, but makes things such as viewing files, upload and download easier through a streamlined interface, not unlike those available for Microsoft SkyDrive or Dropbox.
The server is assigned a unique URL which is automatically mapped to your current IP address, thanks to SyncBox’s dynamic DNS service. To access your files from a web browser, simply open the URL and login with your ID and password which you setup during server configuration.
SyncBox is actually no different then setting up a web server or FTP server on your computer, but the zero-configuration server setup, coupled with easy to use client programs and the integrated dynamic DNS server makes a great package. Running a server on your own PC comes at a cost, but I’m sure you are already aware of it and the various bandwidth bottlenecks that you’ll face from your ISP.