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Nextcloud 15 review

Changing the game with self-hosted cloud sync and collaboration for businesses

nextcloud 15 review
(Image: © NextCloud)

Our Verdict

Nextcloud 15 offers a highly customizable cloud storage platform for businesses. Self-hosting enables organizations to take control of their data, while open-source storage provides a welcome alternative to the major brands.

For

  • A large number of add-on applications and features
  • Highly affordable
  • Advanced encryption and data protection

Against

  • Requires regular maintenance and security checks
  • Businesses must provide their own storage space

Finding the best cloud storage solution is essential for all businesses. For companies desiring a self-hosted cloud storage solution, it is hard to ignore Nextcloud 15. It is an open-source provider, which separates it from most of its competitors.

Although self-hosted cloud storage solutions require greater oversight and responsibility on the part of the business, for the right organization, Nextcloud 15 could be the ideal cloud storage solution. 

Our Nextcloud 15 review explains the strengths and weaknesses of the platform and explores some of its many features. We also consider which companies would benefit the most from the platform’s products and services.

NextCloud 15 review

Nextcloud 15 offers an open-source, self-hosted cloud storage solution for businesses. (Image credit: NextCloud)

Features

Before we dive into the details of Nextcloud 15, it’s essential to clarify what exactly is meant by self-hosted cloud storage, and what implications this has for your business. With several quality externally hosted competitors such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox available, the decision to self-host should be a considered and deliberate one. 

Put simply, self-hosted cloud storage means that local hardware stores all the data, and no documents or files leave your business’ physical location. There are many benefits to self-hosting, such as enhanced data security, greater customization possibilities, and the guaranteed physical security of hard drives. 

However, with great flexibility comes great responsibility. Organizations using a self-hosted platform must assume significant responsibility for its security and performance, and IT expertise is advised. For large companies, however, or for companies where data security is particularly important, a self-hosted cloud storage solution is ideal.

NextCloud 15

Nextcloud 15 is a DIY self-hosted cloud storage platform. Businesses begin with a core service, Nextcloud Files, and then proceed to add features and applications suited to their individual needs. 

Nextcloud Files enables users to organize their files and documents in folders, and share them among colleagues and team members. Recent updates to Nextcloud Files have made it easier to share documents and work collaboratively on important projects.

NextCloud 15 review

Nextcloud Files is the core application on Nextcloud 15’s cloud storage platform.  (Image credit: NextCloud)

In addition to Nextcloud Files, businesses can add additional applications such as Nextcloud Talk or Nextcloud groupware. These features are optional and allow businesses to customize the platform to best suit their requirements. Several 3rd-party applications can also be integrated into Nextcloud 15. The most important of these is Collabora.

Collabora is an open-source online office suite with collaborative editing. Collabora’s designers have optimized the program to work on all internet browsers, and the platform supports all major file formats. The addition of video conferencing capabilities is another compelling feature.

NextCloud 15 review

The Collabora platform powers digital collaboration on Nextcloud 15.   (Image credit: NextCloud 15)

Collabora-Nextcloud 15 integration enables businesses to design an all-in-one cloud storage and digital collaboration platform. This enables Nextcloud 15 to compete with vertically integrated competitors such as Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. 

NextCloud 15 review

Collabora integration is one of Nextcloud 15’s most appealing features. (Image credit: NextCloud)

Nextcloud 15 is a market leader in administrator controls. Administrators can implement bandwidth limits and download safeguards to ensure that users don’t accidentally download or transfer large amounts of data. Nextcloud analytics also makes it easy for administrators to track usage of the platform and identify issues as they arise. 

Nextcloud 15 is a feature-rich platform that has been designed with flexibility in mind and offers unparalleled numbers of features and customizations for businesses.

Security

One of the greatest strengths of Nextcloud 15, and indeed any self-hosted cloud storage solution, is that data never leaves the business’ local servers. Because data never leaves local servers, there is less opportunity for data theft, espionage, or modification. And, as business leaders know where their data is physically located at all times, physical security is also enhanced.

With Nextcloud 15, your business won’t be relying on a third party to ensure the security and integrity of your data. Given the several significant data hacks that have occurred in recent years, a self-hosted cloud storage solution can provide peace of mind for organizations where data security is crucial. 

However, as we mentioned earlier, with the flexibility of the platform comes a greater responsibility to ensure that data is secure. With Nextcloud 15, data is only as secure as you make it. 

The most important security feature for Nextcloud 15 is encryption. The platform’s administrator controls enable encryption of data-in-transit using industry-standard SSL/TLS encryption, and at rest using AES-256 bit encryption. These features alone make it almost impossible for sensitive data to be exposed or stolen. 

End-to-end encryption is also available for specific folders. So even in the case of a total breach of the platform, your organization’s most sensitive data and documents remain indecipherable.

NextCloud 15 review

Nextcloud 15 offers advanced encryption options.  (Image credit: NextCloud 15)

A recent update also introduced two-factor authentication. With this update, administrators can implement two-factor authentication company-wide or individually. Two-factor authentication significantly increases account security and ensures data remains secure and inaccessible to users outside of your organization.  

NextCloud 15 review

Two-factor authentication adds an additional security pillar for Nextcloud 15 users.  (Image credit: NextCloud 15)

Finally, advanced file access control enables administrators to limit access to certain areas of Nextcloud 15 and ensure users only have access to files they are authorized to see. This feature is particularly crucial for businesses who manage sensitive customer and client data, or for whom legal requirements demand high-quality security policies.  

Pricing

Companies considering Nextcloud 15 for their cloud storage solution should purchase one of three enterprise offerings (Basic, Standard, and Premium). Each offers enterprise-level support and account management, as well as a preconfigured and optimized cloud storage platform. All enterprise subscribers also get early access to security patches. 

The Basic plan starts at €1900 (approx. $2050) per year for 50 users and provides only limited customer support (three-day response times). This plan also includes migration and portal support for businesses.

The Standard plan starts at €3400 (approx. $3680) per year for 50 users and provides business hours customer support, optional Collabora integration, and custom consulting. 

The Premium plan starts at €4900 (approx. $5300) per year for 50 users and provides 24/7 customer support, SLA guarantees, and clustering support.

NextCloud 15 review

Nextcloud 15’s enterprise plans are highly affordable.  (Image credit: NextCloud 15)

With all plans, businesses can add Collabora online office, starting from €17 ($18) user/year.

Nextcloud 15 also offers additional pricing tiers for organizations of up to 10 million employees and provides discounts for organizations in the public and education sectors.

Final verdict

For the right business, Nextcloud 15 offers a customizable, highly secure, and feature-rich cloud storage solution. Self-hosted storage provides greater control over data and users and limits your organization’s exposure to data breaches on third-party platforms. Nextcloud’s numerous add-on applications and built-in features make it a compelling choice for companies requiring a custom, high-quality cloud storage solution. 

However, many companies simply don’t need the flexibility and customization offered by Nextcloud 15. These companies should consider an externally hosted platform such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. These platforms are highly secure, require little set-up or IT expertise, and facilitate effective digital collaboration and file sharing. 

Whether Nextcloud 15 is appropriate for your business is ultimately dependent on the sector in which you operate and the level of data security you require. If in-house cloud storage and data security are essential, then Nextcloud 15 is the best-in-class self-hosted platform.