A number of open source alternatives are available for several Google applications and services. Now it’s time to try open source that is on par with Google Drive, a cloud storage product.
3 Google Drive Open Source Alternatives on Android
Almost all Google Drive features are also available in alternatives. Starting from the client for desktop and mobile, easy file sharing, and other features. Depending on the hardware you have, this option might not cost you anything.
NextCloud is already considered a standard for cloud hosting. This is much more than just file hosting, there are plugins to add task managers, calendars, collaborative document editing (like Google Docs), video conferencing tools, notes, and much more.
Although the Android application only supports manging files, there are a number of Android clients for the NextCloud plugin. For example, the NextCloud News application allows you to synchronize RSS feeds with RSS plugins, providing self-hosting RSS reader services.
Setting up a NextCloud installation is the hard part: You need a PC that must always be able to run server software, or you can use hosting services such as Webo, CiviHosting, or Hostio.
The main feature of the NextCloud Android application is mobile file management. The user can upload / download / share files, synchronize files and folders to the user’s device for offline access, and even upload photos automatically to your server.
This last feature makes NextCloud a substitute for Google Photos too, as long as you have enough storage for all your photos.
NextCloud was originally based on OwnCloud, and while NextCloud has grown considerably since then into a separate project. While OwnCloud develops more slowly. Many ownCloud development teams have moved to NextCloud, including its original founder, Frank Karlitschek.
The function of OwnCloud is almost identical to that of NextCloud: You have to set up your own server (or pay for hosting services), there are many plugins available, and so on.
Although there are a number of plugins in OwnCloud that are not available on NextCloud, most of them focus on the company.
OwnCloud remains largely popular because of the existing user base, but if you are just starting out, it’s better to choose NextCloud.
If you really don’t want to deal with setting up a server, or paying for hosting a server, you might like Syncthing. This is not a cloud service, it uses BitTorrent-based technology to synchronize files on all devices using peer-to-peer data transfer.
Although this has the advantage of being completely free, users cannot share files as obtained with NextCloud or OwnCloud.
The Syncthing application is very simple: synchronize your files to your phone or tablet, and that’s it.
All data is stored in the actual Android file system, so you don’t need to export anything manually that you want to open on your phone.
This also makes applications like Moon Reader easier to use, because they can scan the Syncthing folder for new files themselves.
If you don’t need the advanced sharing and collaborative access features offered by NextCloud and OwnCloud, Syncthing is a free and simple alternative that is worth a try.