When we talk about the cloud, we are talking about the storage system in which data is stored and accessed on the Internet. In recent years, systems like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and other convenient storage options have convinced users of the benefits of a cloud server
The problem with these services is that they are all third party. This often means that using them can incur monthly maintenance costs, potential unavailability in the event of a server or service failure, and security requirements to keep your data secure and confidential.
What if I told you that you can create your own cloud server on Windows? That it won’t be too big a task and will provide more benefits than your typical cloud service?
How to Set Up Private Cloud Storage Using Windows 10 FTP Site
Building your own cloud server on Windows usually requires upfront investment. To get started, you need a storage system and a fixed broadband connection with a speed of at least 100 Mbps. This speed is recommended so that the cloud server can be easily accessed from anywhere.
Internet speed will be limited by local service providers in your area. When it comes to storage, there are several options to choose from. One possible option is a NAS, which usually has its own web interface and online syncing capabilities.
In this article on How to Create Your Own Cloud Server, we’ll look at how to repurpose your Windows home computer to provide cloud storage.
How to create your own cloud server in Windows 10
How to Create Your Own Cloud Server in Windows 10
You can create your own cloud server on Windows, but this requires a few extras. It will also likely be a cheaper option compared to something like a NAS, since you probably already have a computer available.
One of the steps will require configuring the FTP components on your Windows 10 computer. This will make your Windows 10 computer available on the Internet, meaning you can access it on the Internet from other devices, and also give it the ability to manage files.
- Go to Control Panel and click Programs.
- Under Programs and Features, click Turn Windows features on or off.
- Expand the Internet Information Services (IIS) folder and select the FTP Server check box. Then expand Web Management Tools and make sure IIS Management Console is also checked. Click OK.
- After completing these steps, the components for configuring the FTP server will be installed.
Setting up an FTP server site
Configure FTP Server Site
The next step is to set up an FTP server site that can be accessed over the Internet.
- Return to Control Panel and click on System and Security.
- Then click “Administration”.
- Double click Internet Information Services Manager.
- In the Connections pane, expand your computer name and right-click Sites. Select “Add FTP Site”
- Add a name for your site, and then specify the path to the folder where you want to store all FTP files. We recommend creating a folder at the root of your main system drive (C: ) or on a completely different hard drive.
- Click Next. You should now be in the Binding and SSL Settings window. Configure all the image mirroring settings below and click Next.
- Unless you plan to host sensitive data or use this server for commercial purposes, SSL is generally not required. It is recommended that you purchase an SSL certificate for any of the mentioned purposes.
- Again, copy your settings like in the image below. The email address must be linked to your Windows 10 account in order for you to access it.
- Click Finish.
Different firewall applications will have different settings for connecting to your FTP server. If you are using the built-in firewall in Windows 10, connections to the FTP server are blocked by default until manually enabled.
- To enable it, go to the Windows Defender Security Center and click on Firewall and Network Protection.
- Click the Allow Application Through Firewall link.
- Click Change Settings, find and check the FTP server and Private and Public.
- Click OK.
At this point, your FTP server is now accessible from multiple devices on the same network.
Access the FTP server from the Internet
Access FTP Server from Internet
It’s time to open up Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP / IP) port 21 on your router. Every router is different when it comes to setting up port forwarding
The steps given here are a general guide on how to do this safely By clicking on the link, you can configure a static IP address and open the port through which Internet traffic will pass.
Once configured, you can access files on the FTP server from anywhere.
Things to Remember
Things to Remember
When using a personal computer as a cloud storage, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. One of the problems that can arise is the automatic updates that happen when you are not at home. This will shutdown your computer and make it unavailable.
While files may be available across multiple devices, they don’t automatically sync offline. This requires a cloud service like OwnCloud or SeaFile
Another issue could be resource sharing between personal data and cloud storage usage. Depending on what data you store, your hard drives can fill up quickly.
When it comes to storage capacity, a PC is only limited by what you’re willing to pay for additional hard drives. Instead of worrying about increasing monthly fees for a few extra gigabytes of available data, all you need is a one-time purchase of an extra hard drive.
Now that you have the tools and knowledge, you can create your own cloud server on Windows and finally cut your cloud storage costs.