How Nextcloud
stacks up

Why is Nextcloud the most popular self-hosted EFSS
and Content Collaboration Platform?

How Nextcloud stacks up

What makes Nextcloud
the best choice

Best security

Nextcloud is developed in a security-focused process as attested by a range of external experts and security pen-tests.

Industry-leading features include machine-learning based login protection, 2-factor authentication measures, brute force protection and unique capabilities like Video Verification, end-to-end and server-side encryption.

We put our money where our mouth is: our USD 10.000 security bug bounty program brings top security expertise in, keeping your data safe.

Largest ecosystem

As the most deployed self-hosted file sync and content collaboration platform, Nextcloud offers the widest range of add-on capabilities and integrations in the industry. Over 200 ‘apps’ offer powerful security capabilities, team productivity features and infrastructure integrations.

With Nextcloud you can eliminate a confusing mess of different SaaS platforms and the security, cost, compliance and productivity problems they bring with them.

Easiest to use

Powerful capabilities often result in complicated user interfaces, lowering productivity and hindering quick adoption in organizations. Without limiting their abilities, Nextcloud does not overwhelm users with unnecessary clutter. Our customers remark time and again how few support tickets it creates for their IT teams.

Accessibility features like keyboard and screenreader navigation, WCAG 2.1 compliant contrast and a dyslexia-friendly font are available only in the leading on-premises content collaboration platform!

How we stack up

See how Nextcloud compares to these popular closed-source services, and switch to a more open and transparent solution to protect your data!

Licensing Open source open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary [ownCloud Enterprise Edition] open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary. Proprietary open source = any OSI approved license. Anything else is proprietary.
Unlimited storage and amount of files Limits imposed by either the purchased plan or your own infrastructure when self-hosting
The limit is customer infrastructure. There are no limits from the Nextcloud side.
Varies per plan
Varies per plan Max 10 TB
Large file support
10GB
5GB 10GB 20GB 25GB 2GB
Self hosted / on premises
can be hosted wherever you decide, including hybrid.
Global Scalability Sharding across clusters and data centers
single cluster: up to 100K active users. With Global Scale: unlimited.
5K in one group, 10K for educational organizations, unclear limits otherwise
Some limitations exist but nothing is clearly documented
2K users in a share, more limits exist but not clearly documented
Unclear various file limitations exist, unclear user limits
Real limits are unclear
Clients
Mobile clients
free version only supports up to 3 client devices total
Auto upload Images/Video/other files
/
/
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* can do files with external app
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* can be done with external app
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* Only paid. Files can be done with external app
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* Extra paid feature. Files can be done with third party app
/
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* Files can be done with third party app
/
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*
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*
Desktop clients
free version only supports up to 3 client devices total
LAN synchronization
Extensible with Apps Allows third party to write apps that integrate apps in the cloud itself, adding functionality
Over 200 apps available
No third-party apps that can be integrated
Limited to Microsoft Apps
Over 70 apps available
Limited Microsoft office integration
No third-party apps that can be integrated
Limited Microsoft office integration
Pretty wide range of apps
No third-party apps that can be integrated
Server features
Unified Search Cross-application search (Calendars, mails, chat messages, files etc)
Full-text search costs money, cross-application search free
full-text search paid, cross-app search not available
full-text search only in paid versions, with 365 integration no cross-app search
limited
File versioning
limited limited Only for MS Office files
limited 25-50 revisions depending on plan
limited Max 1 month, up to 1 year with Business subscription limited max 3 revisions
File locking/Checkout Block a file temporarily from being edited while you work offline with it
Does NOT block collaborative editing
* not available in web UI or WebDAV
Only for business edition
Multiple link shares
Share note Add a note for the sharee
Dashboard Dashboard app with overview of info like recent files, chats, calendar items and more
Admins have a dashboard, users not
View PDF, Images, Video, Gallery
Integrated Audio/Video/Text chat
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Unsupported
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Microsoft Lync plug-in
Integrated Groupware (Calendar / Contacts / Mail / Kanban)
/
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Only as unsupported (Nextcloud-developed) third party apps
not natively, third party app
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G = through Google Apps
/
Mobile calendar/Contact integration
/
both Android/iOS (Android with integrated 3rd party tool)
/
Unsupported. Available for iOS, Android possible with tool from Nextcloud partner
Online Office web/ Mobile apps Online Office web / mobile apps
/
4 options With Collabora Online, ONLYOFFICE, Hancom Office or MS Office Online
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feature-limited in web and mobile UI compared to desktop
/
3 options Collabora Online, OnlyOffice, MS Office Online
/
Through Microsoft Office
/
Microsoft Office 365
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Microsoft Office 365
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Microsoft Office 365
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Microsoft Office 365
Knowledge management A knowledge base/wiki with articles/pages, sub pages, search and other basic knowledge base functionality is available
Forms and surveys The platform allows creating forms and surveys and store and display the results
User-managed groups Normal users can create and manage groups without having to rely on the system administrator, a power user or a group admin
File Drop (customer file upload) Public link to folder recipient can upload to, which hides existing content of the shared folder
Video verification Protect public links with Video Verification
Inter-server sharing Sharing between separate cloud instances of different vendors. Example, Nextcloud users can share files with users on Pydio and ownCloud servers.
Workspaces Add context to a folder by having a space to add comments, notes and todo lists
* Can pin files to the top of a folder, which gives a big preview.
Accessibility
Keyboard/Screen reader support
Could not find information
WCAG 2.1 support AA/AAA AAA with optional theme
AA/AAA AAA with Box.com accessiblity site
Dyslexia-friendly font
Admin features
Access control lists Permissions on files and folders, inherited by default, can be overridden at any level.
Content workflow automation
Only via third party app
limited to admins
limited to admins
limited to admins
limited to admins
limited to admins
limited to admins
limited to admins
Approval process workflow
Cryptographic document signatures Request documents signed with DocuSign or another technology
DocuSign, EID-Easy and LibreSign
Automatic script execution
Impersonate users
Real time notifications files created, updated, shared, unshared and deleted by user or others, chat or call received etc.
Monitoring web/API interface
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Data retention policy support
limited Max 6 months
Long term support (5-10 years) Life cycle matching your operating system
N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes
N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes N.A. Hosted only, customer has no control over when/what changes
Branding
Easy self-service in UI or full custom CSS
very limited
Using paid ownBrander or manually changing CSS
Varies per plan but mainly yes
very limited
limited
Compliance features
Audit trail Mandatory if you have a legal requirement to find out who did what and when
Imprint and privacy links
Only to their imprint and privacy policy, not yours
Only to their imprint and privacy policy, not yours
Only to their imprint and privacy policy, not yours
Only to their imprint and privacy policy, not yours
Only to their imprint and privacy policy, not yours
* If self-hosted
* When picking on-premises option
Built in data-request/account deletion
You can request (deletion of) data
You can request (deletion of) data
You can request (deletion of) data
You can request (deletion of) data
You can request (deletion of) data
Yes
When picking on-premises option
Terms-of-service
You and your customers you share with have to agree to their terms
You and your customers you share with have to agree to their terms
You and your customers you share with have to agree to their terms
You and your customers you share with have to agree to their terms
You and your customers you share with have to agree to their terms
If self-hosted
When picking on-premises option
Security features
Server side encryption
Client side / End-to-end encryption
Google is working to introduce this
Only offering a web E2EE solution without client support so failing to provide zero-knowledge protection
Video Verification
Optionally verify identity of recipient by video call
Brute force hacking protection
There is an unsupported external app developed by community student, occasionally updated
NIST compliant password policy
Web UI secured with CSP 3.0
Same-site cookie attribute
File Access Control
Can be done in limited way with third party applications
App access rights Allow restricting mobile/desktop/third party applications access to filesystem or other data
Authentication
Enforceable 2-factor authentication U2F/OTP/SMS Signal/Telegram notifications Supports multiple factors U2F/OTP/SMS notifications Multiple factors U2F/OTP/SMS notifications Supports multiple 2nd factor options
Cannot be enforced, only supporting OTP
SMS Supports multiple factors SMS SMS/U2F/OTP OTP/SMS OTP only via Duo Push SMS
ML based suspicious login detection Uses machine learning technology to protect authentication
LDAP/AD
Native SAML Native SAML is implemented directly in the application without a requirements on external software like Apache modules. Native SAML is compatible with all webservers and supports group memberships, flexible session management, multiple identity providers and app specific passwords.
Auth via env variable Authentication through Apache modules allows eg SAML/ShibbolethADFS, OAuth, OpenID, CAS and more.
Kerberos
Storage
File storage (local/NFS)
Object storage (S3/Swift)
Only support for outdated V2 authentication
CIFS/Windows Shares
Also supports Kerberos
Sharepoint
2013/2016
2013/2016
Extensible storage

Based on public information to our best knowledge, gathered July 1, 2021. We understand the world is constantly changing, if you see we missed a feature or made a mistake, let us know. You can use our contact form.

Note that end-to-end encryption in a browser is not the same as client-side encryption as it fails to protect adequately from the server (it does not offer ‘zero-knowledge’ protection). Security experts consider javascript encryption in the browser “harmful”.

Top rated

Nextcloud is top rated amongst many of our competitors on all the major rating platform sites.

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