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Running a File Locker on Your Own Server

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Peter Bailey

Freelance Wordpress Developer in London (peabay.xyz) @peabay
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Check out: The Smell of Data

File lockers like Dropbox are great, but they’re not cheap, and if you’ve already got a server it doesn’t make much sense to pay for another one just to backup your files. But you do have the option to use that server as your very own file locker.

FTPbox – Windows

WebsiteFTPbox

FTPbox is an open source Windows app that will sync files between your computers and your server via FTP or SFTP. It’s almost identical to Dropbox in functionality and does it’s job well. If you’re especially attached to Dropbox’s web interface you’re in luck. FTPbox will upload a file manager to your server letting you upload and download, but it looks like there are a few files missing from the code so I couldn’t get it working.

One note to add about FTPbox is that apart from the encrypted connection it handles it won’t protect your files while they’re online, so if you’re syncing to a directory that’s publicly available make sure you add that .htaccess file with password protection.

FolderSync – Android

WebsiteFolderSync

Dropbox has that nice feature that will automatically upload your photos, and it’d be a shame to stop using it. Luckily we have a solution called FolderSync.

In my opinion this is actually better than Dropbox’s Android app. As well as the option of instantly uploading, it also lets you choose to sync once every 5 minutes, 15 minutes … an hour … daily, weekly, monthly. It even gives you the option to only sync while on a specific wifi network, or to avoid syncing when on a specific wifi network, which is great if you like to tether via wifi and don’t want to sync over 3G.

The app is quite comprehensive and you’ll find no missing features, so well worth checking out.

If you’re a Linux user you might want to check out Syncany. It appears to be better, with file encryption and support for a raft of cloud storage solutions like Amazon’s S3.

Posted 24th Sep 2012
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