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8 secure cloud storage services from Germany

Lena Wimmer Posted on June 12, 2019
Being a cloud collaboration tool, Stackfield enables a secure and efficient way for networking in teams. All data are stored exclusively on German servers in order to guarantee compliance with the European data protection law. This factor should also be taken into account when choosing the filestorage provider.

With end-to-end encryption, Stackfield supports uploading files up to 1 TB in size. If files exceed this size, they can easily be integrated from filestorage services. We are happy to meet the requests of our customers and recommend safe Filestorage alternatives from the German area.

We live in an increasingly connected world, where a team can work on a project from many distant locations and where data does not need to be stored in-house or close to the office. On one hand, this presents a great opportunity - companies can seek talents around the world and employees are given more and more freedom to work remotely. Administrators can also make sure that data is stored on servers that are close to consumers and located in countries with comprehensive legislation.

Business decision-makers only need to choose the right cloud storage system provider. It may be tempting to use solutions offered by well-known brands, like Microsoft, Amazon or Google. However, we highly recommend considering other alternatives, especially cloud storage systems based in Germany, like Nextcloud, Owncloud, Dracoon, Hornetdrive, Luckycloud, DriveOnWeb and more.

What is a cloud storage system?

A cloud storage system is a service model that allows users to store and synchronize their data easily and safely, to access it online anytime they want and to securely share it with others. Cloud storage is commonly used as a backup or archive in case of damage or theft of the local data drive. When Avere Systems and Gatepoint Research conducted their research about cloud computing (source: https://www.crn.com/slide-shows/cloud/240148574/6-revealing-cloud-storage-statistics.htm), they realized that for most clients disaster recovery is actually the key benefit of using a cloud storage system.

Data is stored on a remote data server (or multiple servers - to increase security and reduce the risk of damage) so clients do not have to invest in owning and maintaining their own infrastructure. Using an external service also allows one to upgrade or downgrade the cloud storage depending on current needs. It is also more environmentally friendly, as cloud computing is efficient and cuts down energy consumption.

No wonder that cloud storage systems have become ubiquitous and equally attractive for both companies and private users. There are solutions coming from both startups and well-known brands, like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Box and many more.

How to choose the right cloud storage system

At first glance, all online storage systems seem to offer similar products and hence consumers tend to choose either the cheapest solution or the one with the most appealing user interface. Although both factors are important, neither of them should be the only argument for making the final choice. A one-fits-all tool does not exist. Every user must first recognize his or her needs and then find the solution that addresses them. Given the multitude of cloud storage solutions on the market, it is not an easy task.

Requirements according to GDPR

The biggest concern when choosing the cloud storage provider should be data security and accessibility. Consumers have a right to be afraid of data breaches, cyber attacks, and not being able to access their data immediately. Security and data protection were on everyone's lips in the first half of 2018. On 25th May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was applied to all companies that process personal data of European Union citizens. The European Commission intended to strengthen the rights of individuals by applying strict regulations regarding data protection, transparency and breach management procedures. GDPR also affects companies located outside the EU - if they process personal data of even one EU citizen then they have to be GDPR compliant.

Before May 2018, many business decision-makers tended to think that it would be a minor regulation that would not change much. The reality is far from that and for many companies, complying with GDPR is a complex project with many unknowns and risks, including potential corporate reputation damage and high fines for breaches.

Cloud computing is a data processing contract and users have to be sure that their data is safe and processed according to strict regulations. We recommend trusting a European provider because their servers, software and architecture are all EU-located and these companies have to be GDPR-compliant.

The problem that comes with the Cloud Act

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) is another regulation that should be taken under consideration while choosing the cloud storage system provider. This United States federal law gives the US authorities the right to access data even when stored abroad. At Stackfield, we only work with European suppliers and partners. Thanks to that, and the fact that we host the data exclusively in Germany, we can ensure that the CLOUD Act means no data breach risk for our customers. This also applies to all German cloud service providers mentioned in this article.

Cloud storage systems "Made in Germany"

Below you can find our comparison of 8 German cloud storage systems. As mentioned before, the tools hosted exclusively in German data centers are reliable in terms of both GDPR and the CLOUD act. We took the following factors into consideration: security, GDPR compliance, features, platforms supported, integrations, support, having plans for both companies and individuals, and pricing.

Nextcloud Owncloud Dracoon Hornetdrive Luckycloud DriveOnWeb Your Secure Cloud Leitz Cloud
Website https://nextcloud.com https://owncloud.org https://www.dracoon.com https://www.hornetdrive.com https://luckycloud.de https://www.driveonweb.de https://en.yoursecurecloud.de https://order.leitz-cloud.com
Hosting On-Premise/Private Cloud On-Premise/Private Cloud On-Premise/Private Cloud Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Security https://nextcloud.com/secure/ https://owncloud.com/security/ https://www.dracoon.com/product/product-variants/ https://www.hornetdrive.com/en/cloud-storage-features https://luckycloud.de/en/about#about https://www.driveonweb.de/funktionen https://en.yoursecurecloud.de/business/advantages.html https://en.yoursecurecloud.de/business/advantages.html
Authentication Two-factor authentication, Kerberos and other authentication mechanisms like OAuth2, OpenID Connect, JWT, CAS or Any SQL database mediated by Apache modules SSO / SAML 2.0, Active Directory / LDAP, two-factor authentication Authentication via Active Directory, RADIUS, OpenID Connect (Single-Sign-In), two-factor authentication Shibboleth, LDAP, configured API Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication

Encryption AES-256 encryption with server-based or custom key management, industry-standard TLS to encrypt transferred data, server side encryption, end-to-end encryption Encrypting server data at rest, and supporting encryption for data in motion, SSL encryption Client-side encryption, end-to-end encryption Local encryption for all data, end-to-end encryption, symmetric AES-256 data encryption, asymmetric key pairs TLS client server encryption, end to end encryption (based on Seafile), PGP encryption 256-bit SSL encryption, ISO 27001 certificate Swiss SSL certificate, end-to-end encryption, AES-256 encryption Swiss SSL certificate, end-to-end encryption, client-side data encryption AES-256
GDPR-compliance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Features File storage, syncing and sharing; audio/video chat communication service, mail, calendar, contacts, project management tool File storage, syncing, sharing, data infrastructure modernization, tags & comments, document classification, password policy, guests, etc. File storage (both in cloud and client’s own data center), email encryption, private rooms td> File storage, syncing, sharing, backup, document versioning, conflict management File storage, syncing, search, teamwork software, webmail and email hosting File storage, syncing and sharing; image gallery, office tools File storage, syncing and sharing; file viewer, chat feature File storage, syncing, business monitoring
Supporting Platforms Windows, MacOs, Linux, Android, iOS, web interface Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, MacOS, WebDAV, Android, iOS
Integrations Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, ElasticSearch, Collabora Online, ONLYOFFICE and more (open source) Collabora Online, ONLYOFFICE, Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Outlook, Elasticsearch, PaperHive, SharePoint and more Active Directory connection, an open JSON/REST-API, support to SDKs and developers for the integration of third-party solutions such as SharePoint, SaaS and more no information no information Outlook, SAP, CAD software no information Outlook
Support Tailored support, community support, documentation, FAQ Tailored support, community support, documentation, FAQ On-call customer service, documentation, manuals, FAQ 24/7 email support, manuals, FAQ, On-call customer service, documentation, manuals Documentation, manuals, FAQ Email support, FAQ Email support, live chat, manuals (including video), FAQ
Enterprise & Small plans both both both both both both both both
Pricing Basic starting at €1900 per year free ownCloud Community Edition

ownCloud Online for small businesses starting at €180/user per year

ownCloud Standard starting at €3,000 per year incl. 50 users (+8x5 email support)

on request

6-10€ per month and per user

starting at 28,56€ per year starting at €108 per year for small business Business starting at €36 per year per user starting at €48 per year for small business starting at €114 per year

Another German product that is worth mentioning but does not fit in the table above, is Boxcryptor that allows encrypting files stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and up to 30 more other online storage systems. Boxcryptor is free for non-commercial use.

How to link the selected tool to Stackfield

The selected storage tool can easily be integrated into Stackfield. Clicking on the "Add File" button - either via the file or communication module or in individual tasks - opens a drop-down menu that provides access to already integrated tools and to the local files on your own computer. The "Add a link" option allows further tools to be integrated. After inserting the link, a pop-up opens for a first time login to the respective service. As a result, the desired files can be deployed from the now integrated tool in Stackfield. Integrating these files does not affect the memory capacity available on Stackfield, as the files are merely displayed and contain a reference to the original file of the selected service.

We hope that this guide will help you choose the best cloud storage system. Remember that one perfect solution does not exist and consumers or business decision-makers simply need to choose the product that addresses their needs. There is no room for compromise on only one Point - data security.

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About the Author:
Lena Wimmer is Product Marketing Manager at Stackfield. She is passionate about American literary history, great content and cinematography.
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