There’s no denying that remote work is witnessing a full-fledged transformation. Therefore, investing in a reliable cloud storage tool packed with secure file-sharing options is essential.

While Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, and their alternatives provide decent security and file storage, there’s one glaring problem: files stored are beyond users’ control.

While individuals may enjoy their features, this makes them an unappealing option for organizations. That’s when tools like Nextcloud and ownCloud come to the rescue.

In this article, we do a deep dive into Nextcloud vs. ownCloud and help you zero in on the best tool for you.

What Is Nextcloud?

Launched in 2016, Nextcloud is a free, open-source, self-hosted cloud storage system. It lets the user store, sync, and share files in a secure environment. It’s identical to services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Since Nextcloud is open source, it can be hosted on personal web servers. This means you can enjoy complete control over your data since you’re the only one who can access it.

Some key features include advanced collaboration, file management, and data security to protect your privacy and keep your data secure.

What Is ownCloud?

Launched in 2010, OwnCloud is an open-source, secure, and private file-sharing tool that lets businesses host their cloud services using their server or cloud hosting provider.

Since it is open-source, it is more customizable; businesses can thus tailor it to their own needs.

Users can sync, access, and share files, calendars, contacts, and other documents. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Nextcloud vs. ownCloud

Comparison Nextcloud ownCloud
Interface Modern UI Basic UI
Security High Medium
Installation Easy Complex
Storage Highly Scalable Medium Scalability
Migration Easy Difficult
Cost Low High
Customization Highly Customizable Limited Customization
Custom Apps Available Limited Availability
Integration High Low

Nextcloud vs. ownCloud: What’s the Difference?

In this section, we flesh out the conceptual differences between Nextcloud and ownCloud and discuss them. Below we cover features, pricing, security, app marketplace, documentation, and license.


OwnCloud has an advantage when it comes to documentation. They provide actionable and comprehensive documentation, whether it is manuals, detailed user guides and tutorials, or even API documentation.

In comparison, Nextcloud has only recently started providing documentation. While they still have some detailed user guides, their API documentation is limited, and their manual is more general and less comprehensive than OwnCloud’s.

Another disadvantage of Nextcloud’s documentation is that enterprise Documentation is accessible only to customers that subscribe to the program.


While Nextcloud is completely free, ownCloud offers a free community edition (no enterprise features included) and a slew of paid features for different use cases.

While the cost of the paid editions varies depending on the total users, ownCloud’s standard edition costs 1.63 €/per user and month for every 1000 users, and the enterprise edition starts at 3.92 €/per user and month for every 1000 users.


Both Nextcloud and ownCloud are end-to-end encrypted and come with powerful security features to prevent hackers, manage passwords, and secure content. This way, you don’t need to worry about the deployment of any sensitive information.

Per Nextcloud’s website, it “uses industry-standard SSL/TLS encryption for data in transfer. Additionally, data at rest in storage can be encrypted using a default military grade AES-256 encryption.”

Per Owncloud’s website, “ownCloud protects your data using state-of-the-art cryptographic measures in transit, at rest and optionally end-to-end.”


OwnCloud is open-source software released under the AGPLv3 license. It can be freely used, modified, and distributed by anyone. But the enterprise edition comes under ownCloud’s commercial license.

Nextcloud, on the other hand, is released under the AGPLv3 license and a proprietary license. The AGPLv3 license requires that any changes made to the code must be made publicly available, while the proprietary license allows changes to be kept private and not shared with anyone else.

App Marketplace

Nextcloud has its app store, allowing users to extend the platform’s core features. It has more than 100 native apps, and users can also install third-party apps.

OwnCloud also contains an app store with dozens of extensions, but they are not as popular as the ones on Nextcloud.

Nextcloud vs. ownCloud: Which Is Better?

If you’re looking for an open-source, secure, and private file-sharing tool, both Nextcloud and ownCloud are great solutions. But it all comes down to what you need. If you’re looking for comprehensive documentation and customization, ownCloud is the right choice. But if you need the flexibility of open source and a comprehensive app marketplace, then Nextcloud is the better option.

Best Alternative to Nextcloud and ownCloud

Nextcloud doesn’t offer premium support. ownCloud has automatic file unlocking, no features to limit network traffic, and sharing a file means sharing the entire source code.

If these could be a deal breaker for you, why not try SecureDocSharing?

SecureDocSharing is a cloud-hosted and browser-based free online tool that lets you share sensitive documents. No need to install any 3rd party software!

It works seamlessly with PDF, Word, PowerPoint, JPG, and PNG files and comes with custom sharing permissions. This means you can live-track anyone accessing the file or revoke the viewing permissions anytime.

Key features include the option to require an email to view, allow/disallow downloads, password-protection, expiring document or the link at a certain point, and comprehensive document analytics from who opened it, how many times they viewed it, and how much time was spent on each page.

Is Nextcloud Better Than ownCloud?

Ultimately, it depends on your needs. If you’re looking for better customizability and a more extensive app marketplace, then Nextcloud might be a better choice. If you’re looking for more comprehensive documentation and a safer cloud storage system, then ownCloud could be the right pick.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we discussed the differences between Nextcloud and ownCloud to help you decide which file-sharing software is best for your business.

They both offer a secure, private file-sharing and storage system, but Nextcloud is open-source and has more options for customization and app extensions.

Each service has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and you must figure out which one meets your needs. And if you’re looking for something more robust, SecureDocSharing is a great alternative to both of these.

Secure Your Files with SecureDocSharing!


  • Nextcloud is very reliable. It is designed to be robust, secure, and efficient. It is highly scalable and offers redundancy and failover capabilities. It is also very flexible and can be customized to meet the needs of individual users and organizations.

  • Yes, Nextcloud is free and open-source. The latest version is available for download without restrictions or fees. Other free but private alternatives include SecureDocSharing, which is free to use too.

  • Yes, both Nextcloud and ownCloud are highly secure. They both use industry-standard encryption protocols to secure your data in transfer and, optionally, at rest. They also both feature powerful access control and password management features.