The Cloud is Just Someone Else's Computer

Apr 15, 2022

How can I set up my own free cloud storage?

Cloud storage is still pretty expensive. After all, the companies providing it have to set up and maintain huge quantities of hardware and store them in expensive-to-operate data centers. But, how else can you solve the problem?

If you have more than one computer at your disposal, and one of them is located in an off-site location, it’s easy to create your own personal cloud network using our client software. The 2hO client allows you to create secure virtual connections between computers regardless of where they are located.

Once you have a secure connection, it’s as easy as just mapping a drive to another computer and saving your files there. You now have a secure remote file server in the cloud.

Both computers can be in the same room or in different cities. It works the same way. A lot of people will use their home computer as the main repository for their files. Then they will have a lightweight laptop they use when they travel. In this case, your cloud server is in fact your home computer. And, as you travel, your laptop connects back to it securely through the cloud. You can share access to your new cloud server with others. They just need to install the secure client software.

Unlike other cloud services, your files are not sitting on some publicly accessible web server waiting to be hacked. And if you somehow miss that your credit card has expired, you will not lose all your data. They are all sitting on a computer owned and housed by you.

How to do it

Simply sign up and install the 2hO software on each computer. Now, both computers will be able to see each other as if they are on the same physical LAN. Of course, you can have more than 2 computers. But the process of setting it up is the same.

Then create a file share on the main computer you want to use as the cloud server. This is done using the network sharing feature that is part of your operating system.

E.g. On Windows…

Share a folder

  • Right-click the folder you want to share.
  • Then click Properties, Advanced Sharing.
  • Click Share this Folder, give it a name (e.g. Shared Documents), click Apply, Okay.

Then, on the second computer… Connect to that folder

  • Open the File Explorer
  • At the top, type \\
  • Login with your Windows credentials on the other computer

You now have an online shared folder on your other computer that you can access from anywhere in the world. You can open, save, or copy your files just as you would if you were in the same room.

This procedure is pretty much the same whether you use Windows, MacOS, Linux, or any combination of them.

In fact, If you have a Linux-based NAS device such as QNAP or Synology, you can install the 2hO Client for Linux and access that from anywhere. Any device running the 2hO Network software will appear to you as if it was on a local LAN. This private LAN is always there.

If you want to create a minimalist NAS, it can be as simple as a Raspberry Pi computer with an external USB hard drive.

If you are using The 2hO Network for non-commercial purposes… there is no cost for this solution. It’s a free service limited only by how much space you have on the other computers.