Introducing Cloud Server – an app making network-attached storage easy
Recently I released an app on the App Store called Cloud Server. It’s a Mac app that tries to simplify the process of making storage available on the network. Combined with my iOS client application called Cloud - Self-hosted storage and the available web app, it creates a nice environment for home and also professional use.
Multi-user support 👫
The app will allow you to easily create and manage users who have access to the storage. Each user can have their own allocated space on the server. The users can also share files and folders with each other with the ability to select between read-only and read-write levels of access. The server administrator can also suspend any user from accessing the data kept on the server, even if it was downloaded to their device.
Sharing via links 🔗
Users can also share their files with anyone on the local network, simply by setting the option Anyone with link in the sharing menu. This generates a unique link that can be used to access the file freely, without the need to sign in or register yourself on the server.
Remote Access 🏖
The feature that might be the most useful, however, is the remote access. It comes as a part of the Unlimited tier of the app and allows to connect with the server from anywhere using the iOS client. Remote access, however, cannot be used during the setup and login process. Users connected through remote access have the same functionality available to them as the users connected locally. Although, there are some limits regarding upload and download sizes of the files due to the limits imposed on the central server. However, the data being sent using remote access is never kept on the central server. The server also does not create any logs, so you can be sure that your data is always safe and secure.
Simple container 📦
The app uses a custom container designed with ease of use in mind. It makes changes of storage device, backups and replacement of the server easy and convenient. It’s also designed in such a way to minimize the risk of your personal information being compromised, even when the storage device gets breached. The data of each user is stored anonymously on the server, it cannot be associated with any particular user. The personal information of each user is encrypted and securely stored inside the container.
Easy to use Web App 🌍
The server contains a web app for access to the data from a device where the user might not be able to use the official client application. It enables most of the features supported by the client app, such as downloading (by simply clicking on the file), uploading (by dragging a file into the browser), quick looking or creating a new folder. And even more features are coming in the future. Apart from the file browser, the user can also view his account details, modify them and remove any unused devices. This is really useful, when the user might reach his device limit and needs to remove some old devices.
Great Client Applications 📲
Cloud Server works even better when combined with my official client apps. The available iPhone and iPad apps make it super-easy to setup and use the full potential of this storage solution. Thanks to automatic server detection, you will almost never have to manually pass configuration details, as it will automatically be configured. After enabling the provided extension in the native Files app, you’ll be able to use the Cloud Server data storage just as any other commercial storage solutions. This approach gives you the ability to use all of the features, you’re accustomed to, such as tags, favorite ranks and recently used files list, all nicely integrated into the native UI. Support for more devices is coming soon…
What’s under the hood? 🔨
Cloud Server is written entirely in Swift. It’s made possible thanks to Vapor, a framework designed for writing code for web servers using SwiftNIO. The other key part is my own CloudServerKit, which enables all of the available features of cloud storage. It’s also responsible for managing containers and data flowing through the server. Another big role, in making everything work flawlessly, plays the central server. That’s what makes it possible to view and edit your files from anywhere, where there is an internet connection. Using a very clever technique of transferring data, I was able to develop a system, which can send files without caching any data, making it very secure and anonymous.
What will come in the future? 💡
As the app will grow, more features will become available. There will be a much better support for different operating systems with greater number of available client applications. Improvements to the web app will also come quite soon. I’ll try to make the web app available remotely using the central server, just like the client applications. As for the storage options, there will be a way to make specific groups of multiple users with shared storage space. Folder sharing via a link is going to be available, as well as, securing files with a password. Some of these features, however, will only come as part of Unlimited subscription tier, so make sure to subscribe right now to get them as soon as they become available.
Still have questions?
If you still have some questions feel free to contact 📧 me here: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m always happy to answer any of your questions or help you fix any problems, you might have. You can also visit my website 🌍 for some more information about my current and future projects: thecloudsolutions.de