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Start your own cloud

Start your own cloud - it's quick and easy

In our article "What is a cloud?" we have already briefly discussed the subject of cloud storage in the past. We have explained the basics of this type of data storage and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of a cloud as a central storage location for your data. Due to the high demand from our readers, today we would like to show you as a small addition how you can create and manage your own cloud for home with relatively simple means.

All you need is a router and an external hard drive. So it's best to get started right away - we will of course show you step by step what you have to do.

What is a cloud and what does it mean for me?

The term cloud is usually used to describe storage space on the Internet that can be accessed from anywhere in the world using special access authorizations. The advantages of storing your data on such a web server instead of locally on your own PC are obvious:

  • no separate storage space (hard drive, SSD, etc.) has to be bought - an important point with large amounts of data
  • you only have to save each file once in a central location
  • You can now access this from any device
  • you never have to worry about different versions of the same file or about synchronization again

There are now countless providers of cloud solutions on the market, the most well-known among them are Google, Amazon, Onedrive (Microsoft) and Dropbox, to name just a few. If you decide on one of these providers, then your own cloud is ready to go in a few seconds. Most of the time you only need a user account, which you can create with your email address and password and you can get started.

Only trust yourself (as far as your data goes)

The only disadvantage: you (or your data) are at the mercy of a third-party provider for better or for worse. Of course, this requires a fairly high level of trust in the relevant company. Of course, every single provider, apart from the providers mentioned, appears extremely serious in one way or another, but in the end you cannot really check whether your data is handled as sensitively as always claimed. Of course, this does not mean that it is drifting with your data. We don't want to assume that in this article - so please don't get it wrong! But you still lack ultimate control over what happens to your data

So why not just set up a cloud yourself? It's not as difficult as you might think now and doesn't even require a lot of equipment. To be precise: an external hard drive and a router.

The advantage of this: Your data remains in your network at all times and therefore under your control, but can still be reached from outside at any time - if you want that.

Router + hard drive = private cloud for beginners

Basic settings

Method 1 is without a doubt the cheapest, easiest and fastest option if you want to have your own cloud. The only thing you need is a conventional DSL router that can handle connected external storage devices - most can now - and an external hard drive with a USB port. The cloud construction kit is ready.

Note:The good old Fritzbox is still one of the most widespread router models in Germany. Therefore, in this example we would like to illustrate the procedure using a Fritzbox 7490. But what is shown is almost identical for almost all modern router models. If in doubt, a look at the manual for the router or the online documentation will help.

Step 1: activate memory

If you connect your Fritzbox to an external hard drive for the very first time, then it doesn't know what to do with it. By activating the option "Storage (NAS) active", you signal to your Fritzbox that a storage device has been connected and that it must manage it accordingly as storage.

You can easily get to the corresponding menu by clicking on “Home Network” and “Storage (NAS)”. See picture on the left.

Here you check both the item "Storage (NAS) active" and the hard drive that you want to use. Now you just have to make sure that your Fritzbox becomes a member of your home network and that all other devices can communicate with it.

To do this, give the Fritzbox an individual name and tell it the name of your home network. You do both under the heading "Home network release" in the two corresponding lines. You can freely determine the name that you assign to your Fritzbox, you have already assigned the name of your home network when you created it. If you have forgotten it, a quick look at the network settings of your PC will help.

Danger: The name of your home network has nothing to do with the name of your WiFi network. Do not confuse them, these are 2 completely different networks!