When we consult cloud, we are talking about a storage system that makes data stored and accessible on the internet. In recent years, apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud and other similar convenient data storage options have convinced users to benefits of cloud server.
The problem with these services is that they are all third-party. This often means that their use can involve monthly service fees, the possibility of inaccessibility if the server or service goes down, and security requirements to keep data safe and private. .
What if I told you you could build your own cloud server on Windows? That it won’t be a huge undertaking and that it will offer more advantages over your regular cloud service?
How to Set Up Private Cloud Storage Using Windows 10’s FTP Website
To build your own cloud server in Windows will typically require an upfront investment. To get started, you need a storage system and a fixed broadband connection of at least 100Mbps. This speed is recommended so that the cloud server can be easily accessed from anywhere.
Internet speeds will be limited to local service providers in your area. As for the storage system, there are several options for you to choose from. A possibility is a NASoften comes with its own web interface and online synchronization options.
For this article on how to build your own cloud server, we’ll be looking at repositioning a home Windows computer to enable cloud storage.
How to Build Your Own Cloud Server in Windows 10
You can build your own cloud server in Windows but it requires some plugins to perfect. It can also be a cheaper option than something like a NAS because you probably already have a computer.
One of the steps involved will require FTP components to be set up on your Windows 10 computer. This will make your Windows 10 computer Internet-accessible, meaning you can go online from other devices and give it file management capabilities.
- Navigate to Dashboard and click Programs.
- Below Program and featuresclick Turn Windows features on or off.
- Expand the Internet Information Services (IIS) folder and tick the FTP Server check box. Next, expand Web Management Tools and make sure that the IIS Management Console is also selected. Press ALRIGHT.
- After completing these steps, the components for setting up an FTP server will be installed.
Configure your FTP server site
The next step is to set up an FTP server site that can be accessed over the web.
- Return Dashboard and click System and Security.
- Then click Administration tools.
- Double click Internet Information Services Manager.
- In the Connections pane, expand your computer name and right click Websites. Option Add FTP site…
- Add a name for your website and then find the directory path where you want to store all the FTP files. We recommend creating a folder in the root of the main system drive (C:\) or a completely different hard drive.
- Click Next. Now you will be in Binding and SSL Settings Windows. Set all settings to mirror the image below and click Next.
- Unless you plan to store sensitive data or are using this server for business purposes, SSL is generally not needed. For either purpose mentioned, you should have an SSL certificate.
- Again, mirror your settings with those of the image below. The email address must be the one attached to your Windows 10 account for you to have access to it.
Different firewall applications will have different settings to allow connections to your FTP server. If you are using the built-in firewall in Windows 10, FTP server connections will be blocked by default until manually enabled.
- To activate it, navigate to Windows Defender Security Center and click Firewall and network protection.
- Click Allow the application through the firewall link.
- Click Change settingslocate ftp server and put a check mark on it as well as both Private and Public Access.
At this point, your FTP server is now accessible from multiple devices on the same network.
Access your FTP server from the Internet
It’s time to open Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) port number 21 on your router. Every router is different when it comes to setting up port forwarding.
The steps provided here are general guidelines for How to do this safely?. By clicking on the link you will be able to set up a static IP address and open a port to allow online traffic.
Once set up, you will be able to access your FTP server files from anywhere.
Things to Remember
Using a personal computer as cloud storage has some limitations to be aware of. One possible problem is that automatic updates take place when you are not at home. This will make your PC shut down, inaccessible.
While files are accessible on multiple devices, they are not automatically synced while offline. To solve that problem, you will need a cloud service like OwnCloud or SeaFile.
Another issue would be shared resources between personal usage data and cloud storage usage. Depending on the type of data you’re storing, your hard drive can fill up quickly.
When it comes to storage, PCs are limited to what you’re willing to pay for additional hard drives. Instead of worrying about increasing your monthly fee for a few more gigabytes of accessible data, simply purchase an additional hard drive.
Now that you have the tools and knowledge, you can build your own cloud server in Windows and ultimately drive the cost of cloud hosting down.