Open Source Self Hosted Dropbox Alternative

Are you looking for a free Dropbox alternative or a file sharing solution you can host on your own server? We’ve explored several different options and complied our notes in this blog post. We hope you find it helpful!

How to set up a self hosted Dropbox alternative on Mac

Using the FTP secure server method

This is our choice for a quick and easy file storage solution. You can set up a folder in Finder where you can drag and drop files for automatic upload to the cloud. However, this method is not like Dropbox in terms of file syncing. Meaning if you put a file in the folder, it goes directly to the could and does not make a copy on your hard drive. This is actually what we were looking for as our goal was to minimize hard drive usage, but if you are looking for a true Dropbox alternative, skip ahead to some of the other options we’ve listed. If you have a server already, you can use Transmit to connect to via FTP to your server.

Setting up a private folder using .htaccess

But how do you protect the files? The directory your files are located in can be password protected using the .htaccess file.
Instructions on how to password protect a directory with a .htaccess file

Downside: Transferring the files is pretty slow…

Overview of Our File Management Problem

Looking for a personal or small business cloud solution?

We want to access all of our files remotely and run them directly from our server. Our goal is to minimize hard drive usage and maximizing remote accessibility to files. We need to easily archive files we don’t use often and quickly open the files we are working on regularly.

Self Hosted Dropbox Alternatives

<a href=”>


Personal cloud storage with very slick web-ui
With Owncloud you have a web interface where you can drag and drop any of your files. Then you can access them remotely via web and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Owncloud doesn’t seem to automatically updated files on your designated folders like DropBox does, but the benefit of having an extremely easy to use web interface seems to outweigh the benefits of automatic back up. Since my goal is to minimize usage of my hard drive, OwnCloud seems to make the most sense out of all of the options I’ve seen so far.
Upside: Very nice web interface and apps are available.
Downside: 32MB upload limit on files via web app. The local Mac app is easy to set up, but hasn’t proved to be reliable.
Conclusion: This is a great iCloud alternative. It’s really just for backing up mp3s, photos, contacts and lite personal data.


File sharing solution that’s great for developers
Requires advanced installation on server and access to servers terminal. Not good for uploading large files, as it requires Github repository and saves allot of version data of every file. I don’t recommend this for personal use like storing your photos and music. Here’s a SparkelShare review from a developer in Stockholm I found very helpful.


The problem with iFolder is that its just copying the files from your hard drive, uploading them to a server and then downloading them to other computers in which you have permitted access to your iFolder account. I haven’t tested this, but it seems like a great open source Dropbox alternative.


Open source Dropbox clone for Windows.

Where can you host these self-hosted Dropbox alternatives?
Most hosting service don’t allow you to use them as servers for backup file hosting. Dream Host is actually one of the only services I found that allows you to use them has backup file hosting.

We still need to find a service that provides secure storage, but does acts as a remote disc.

Self Hosted File Sharing Solutions

Set Up a VPN

How to set up a VPN on Mac

Hard Drive Sharing for Mac

Personal Cloud System
You can’t put things on pocket cloud that are not on your computer

Building your own server with a Mac Pro and upgrading your Mac Pro

Cheap DropBox Alternative
If you would like to skip the hastle of installing your own self-hosted Dropbox, GoDaddy actually offers a very affordable online storage workspace that works the same way.