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Seafile: Open Source Cloud Storage

Cloud storage services are hugely popular. Chances are if you’re reading this then you use one. Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are some of the most well-known services available, but they’re merely the tip of the iceberg. Trouble is, while all of these services function well, they’re not best suited for business use. While some offer enterprise packages, these are usually just price adjustments to factor in the larger amounts of users. A cloud service for businesses needs to offer features specific to the workplace.

This is where something like Seafile comes in. This is an open-source private cloud sharing system. It is designed specifically for groups that are working together on projects and is best used by small teams, although it can be used by all.

Seafile can either host your data in the cloud, like the aforementioned services, using Amazon storage, or you can run your own server. The latter offers greater privacy and security because it deploys on each machine and uses an encrypted library. This encryption is performed at a client-side, which means that the key to open the data isn’t stored on the server. As such, not even the system admin can view the contents of the file. It offers total individual security.

As the software is open source, hosting your own server is free. If you know what you’re doing and how to maintain it, this is the option to go for. Alternatively, you can pay for additional features (like scalability and AWS S3 support) and priority contact with the Seafile support team.

One great thing about Seafile is that it is very compatible. Oftentimes businesses will make use of all sorts of operating systems and devices – as such, it’s crucial that the software that teams use will work across all of these. Handily, Seafile is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and much more. It can also be installed server-side through Linux, Raspberry Pi and Windows.

Seafile also has an online facility which allows you to upload data and organise it into libraries. You can then share these entire libraries or just individual bits of data. While this isn’t anything new, the best part about this is that you can create groups that you can invite specific people to. These groups can then discuss, edit and upload data into their zone.

Things like documents can be edited within the online interface and Seafile will keep track of file changes. Google Drive offers similar functionality, but Seafile takes it one step further as these changes will automatically be synced to all team members across all of their devices.

Files can also be shared with others on a read-write or read-only basis, which is great when you need to share documents with specific stakeholders that might not require editing permission. There is a tab called Shares which will allow you to quickly see at a glance who your data is being shared with.

For more information on Seafile or to download or buy their product, be sure to check out the {{|official website}}.


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