The internet is a prominent place. And while it feels like some big names like Netflix, Dropbox, and Facebook are running the show, they are nowhere near the only option available to you. It’s now easier than ever to find a self-hosted alternative to just about any online platform.
What does self hosted mean? Self-hosted platforms are apps that work through their web hosting instead of an important option like Amazon Web Services. In general, as well as being open source (aka free), they’re full of various content, features, and other things worth checking out.
And here’s the best – they’re often cheaper! Here are some of the best self-hosted alternatives to popular services.
A few tips about self-hosted services
Before you dive into the different services that you can try, there are some best practices that you can use to get the best experience possible.
Even hosted servers may not have the best security protocols compared to major platforms. For security reasons, you should always use a VPN when connecting one. Even if you are connecting to a popular online service that is not self-hosted, using a VPN is preferred. VPNs anonymize and encrypt your internet connection, making everything you do in the online world much safer.
As an added measure of protection, some websites may not have copyright over the content they present. Because a VPN masks your IP address, it minimizes the risk of being intercepted by the authorities.
You should also take advantage of great self-hosted communities to learn more about the platform and find other services. For example, you can find a great cloud server by checking out various posts on the notes platform’s blog and seeing what other users are using. You can use several online comparisons and compare the best cloud hosting platforms.
Without further ado, here are some excellent self-hosted alternatives for you to try:
1. Try Nextcloud instead of Google Drive / Dropbox
Most people don’t realize that the biggest names in cloud storage, like Google and Dropbox, are proprietary. While they may be the most accessible and well-known, they generally have policies that give them significant control over any data you upload.
Because of this, self-hosted cloud storage options have become increasingly popular. With them, you can get as many, if not more, features and at a lower price. One of the best examples is Nextcloud, which is free if you have your own server to host.
2. Try Kanboard instead of Trello
Project management software is the backbone of teamwork in all industries these days. You have so many self-hosted project management apps that you might want to try a few to see which you like the most.
An excellent option is Kanboard – a Kanban app. Not only does it have a user-friendly interface, but it also makes it easy to create tasks, assign tasks to team members and integrate with numerous apps. This provides the flexibility that most businesses need.
3. Try osTicket instead of ZenDesk
It is important that your customers are happy. If CRM is critical to your day-to-day success, then you should consider some of the excellent self-hosted options. It’s hard to beat osTicket’s quality. This easy-to-use, multi-user platform and cloud-based platform is not only surprisingly powerful, but also highly configurable.
4. Try Kodi instead of Netflix
Comparing Kodi to Netflix isn’t fair. While Netflix is a great streaming platform, Kodi is a lot more than that. Kodi is open source software that you can do a lot with.
To start off, it’s a great media and home theater app. The whole point of Kodi is to be your entertainment hub. They do this through add-ons that allow you to get live streams, channels from around the world, and much more.
This is an app that you’ll want to make extra use of your VPN on as not all content may be streamed legally and you don’t want to get in trouble just because you ran into it.
5. Try Horde instead of Gmail
Gmail revolutionized email, but it has many flaws. It’s not particularly secure at first, and Google can do pretty much anything they want with your data.
If you have your website and are using CPanel in particular, then you should check out Horde. Horde can do more than just send email and can be a complete communications hub. It connects directly to your site, making contact management a lot easier.
The best self-hosted alternatives
We have just scratched the surface of the excellent self-hosted options out there. In every niche of your life, you can find one that is not only more versatile, but usually free. One example is GitHub and its self-hosted alternatives. There is a detailed comparison there. Say goodbye to the high monthly subscription costs and try them out now.