Today I was asked a simple question; should I choose Office or Gsuite for my business? Of course, I’m about to take that two steps too far.

How many times have you heard about Google reading email, Microsoft tracking users, or the loss of sensitive data from some cloud service? Too many. When it comes to protecting the privacy and security of your email and documents, how far are you willing to go?

I’m willing to pay a 3rd party email service that encrypts my mailbox and offers an easy way to send and recieve encrypted emails. On the other side of the coin I also have a Gmail account… I know what I should be doing but I am resistant to change just like most other people.

If I’ve already lost you at this point just use Office, it’s normal and fine and does the things. If you’re keen to know what alternatives exist, may I present Nextcloud it’s all the fun of Gsuite for business but private and under your control. It has everything you might need like file sharing and sync, email, contacts, calandars, calls, chats, web meetings, and kanban boards.

You can pay (a lot) of money for a company to host and manage it for you, or you can download it for free and run it on your old laptop in the dusty closet that only get opened when the wi-fi stops working. It can be hosted on AWS, DigitalOcean, or anywhere else that allows you to install software on the interwebs.

There are several alternatives such as OwnCloud and Syncthing but they are not at the same level in my opinion. It’s hard for any open source project to have as nice of a user interface as google or the market penatration of microsoft but the maintainers, contributiors, and commercial team working on Nextcloud have created a great experiance. It might not be as good but if we want to protect our digital privacy and security, sacrifices must be made.