How can I turn these external hard drives into my own cloud storage?

Diana P May 8, 2014
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I have two USB hard drives, one is 3TB and the other is 1TB and I was wondering how I might be able to turn them into cloud drives? I keep my Windows 7 laptop up and running at home and I use Optimum high speed Internet as an ISP, with a basic Netgear router.

Any help is appreciated!

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  1. Tim B
    May 8, 2014 at 12:49 am

    There are actually quite a few options available to you, many of which we have covered in articles in the past. The process depends on which you choose, but generally the most popular solution is OwnCloud, which we have featured here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/owncloud-a-cross-platform-self-hosted-alternative-to-dropbox-google-calendar/

    The process would involve downloading and running XAMPP, downloading and installing OwnCloud, configuring it to use the locations of your choice, configuring your router so that ports are forwarded, ensuring you have a static IP (or use something like DynDNS, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/connect-home-network-dyndns/) then connecting via OwnCloud's own iOS/Android apps for mobile content, or using web access from a PC/Mac.

    The best thing here is that you could run this on Windows 7, rather than running it as part of a Linux distro (some use this method). There are a couple of other alternatives we have covered before, they are:

    Seafile: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/create-your-own-secure-cloud-storage-with-seafile-2/
    BitTorrent Sync & AeroFS: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-self-hosted-dropbox-alternatives-tested/
    Tonido (possibly outdated): http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/run-personal-cloud-tonido/
    Bdrive (same): http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/create-personal-cloud-stream-media-bdrive/

    I found these on MUO, and tried Googling but couldn't really come up with much more (particularly for free). Western Digital do one, but from what I can tell you need a special WD drive for it.

    Good luck, let us know if this is helpful.

    Tim