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NextCloud vs ownCloud: Which Cloud solution should you choose?

There now exists a wide range of tools for sharing and synchronizing files on a cloud storage platform. Cloud storage services like Google Cloud, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office Online Server Cloud, for example, and other natively integrated tools, don’t allow you to control the security of the files you’re storing with them, which can become problematic for sensitive data.

If you want total control over your data and prefer to manage your own infrastructure, Nextcloud and ownCloud are preferable options for hosting and managing your cloud storage service.

But what are the differences between these two platforms, and which is the better option for you? Let’s take a closer look at these two pieces of software: owncloud vs nextcloud.

Nextcloud vs ownCloud: what they have in common

Nextcloud and ownCloud share a large number of common points and are often confused with one another. The explanation is for this is simple: these two solutions use the same base code and were founded by the same persion. They are both file sharing and collaborative editing open source and self-hosted alternatives to personal cloud services like Dropbox.

OwnCloud was created in January 2010 from a partnership of open source developers and a venture capital firm. Due to differing opinions, ownCloud’s main developers, including its founder Frank Karlitschek, decided to leave the company and found Nextcloud in 2016. They forked the code and started to develop their own version called Nextcloud.

Nextcloud vs ownCloud: the key differences


Nextcloud server and ownCloud server both have a free version and sell a premium support service. However, beyond support, the biggest difference between the two platforms is that Nextcloud is completely free, while in order to have full access to all of ownCloud’s features, you need to subscribe to their Enterprise package, which adds additional features.


OwnCloud is mainly focused on sharing and synchronizing data. Nextcloud has greatly increased its range of services to offer other nextcloud features, including audio and video communication (videoconferencing) and collaborative work. All your data is available from desktop and mobile devices.

The community

Another important aspect of an open source file manager like Nextcloud or ownCloud is the community that surrounds them. This type of platform works thanks to the community that contributes to it. A quick look at Github is enough to compare the rate of activity of Nextcloud and ownCloud project contributors. The community forum is also very resourceful.

Nextcloud contributors
Number of Nextcloud contributors
ownCloud contributors
Number of ownCloud contributors

Since 2017, the number of Nextcloud contributors has been much larger than the number of ownCloud contributors. These graphs aren’t enough to fully form an opinion, though. It’s possible, for example, that Nextcloud receives a large number of small contributions and ownCloud a small number of large contributions.

However, the point when contributions to ownCloud start to drop off is around June 2016, the date when Nextcloud was launched. It seems, then, that the difference in contributors isn’t related to the type of contributions made but to the fact that Nextcloud was created, and a large number of contributors decided to leave ownCloud to join Nextcloud.

That explains why the Nextcloud community seems more active than the ownCloud community.


Nextcloud security offers protection from brute force attacks, flow restriction, password management, access permissions, end to end encryption, and many other security options. Additionally, a lucrative bug bounty program offers $10,000 as a reward for the discovery of vulnerabilities.

With ownCloud, certain security features, like second generation of server encryption (E2EE), are only available in the Enterprise edition. It’s possible to test the Enterprise version for free for 30 days to check whether these additional features are necessary.

In conclusion

The 100% free aspect of Nextcloud makes it more attractive than ownCloud. Additionally, Nextcloud continually exends its services by adding new features, unlike ownCloud. The Nextcloud community is also more active than ownCloud’s, which allows it to improve its platform. It seems, then, fair to say that Nextcloud is an attractive and practical alternative and more promising for the future than ownCloud.

Nextcloud with Gandi

Gandi offers flexible and tailored solutions for installing Nextcloud and linking it to your domain name based on your needs. You can take advantage of simplified installation and setup. You can also use mobile apps to access your files, and free SSL certificates are available.

Host your Nextcloud cloud storage solution with Gandi !