Competitor Series: FileCloud vs ownCloud

March 30, 2022

In the expanding horizon of cloud technology and global work environments, companies need a dynamic, powerful, hyper-secure platform that can safeguard their data throughout the document lifecycle and enable that data to be easily shared between authorized users. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, privacy versus access. There are a variety of solutions available on […]

In the expanding horizon of cloud technology and global work environments, companies need a dynamic, powerful, hyper-secure platform that can safeguard their data throughout the document lifecycle and enable that data to be easily shared between authorized users. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, privacy versus access.

There are a variety of solutions available on the market for content collaboration platforms (CCPs) that meet customer needs for privacy and accessibility, but not all of them offer true value, scalability, and resilience (attributes that Gartner points out are increasingly in demand).

Today, we’ll focus on FileCloud vs ownCloud, examining their strengths and weaknesses across common platform functionalities to determine how they respond to customer needs and market development.

Deployment in FileCloud vs ownCloud

When we talk about deployment, this indicates how the CCP is delivered and maintained.

FileCloud and ownCloud are both available as on-premises, cloud, or hybrid solutions, which offers a fair bit of flexibility. Both solutions can also integrate with different storage services, like AWS and AWS GovCloud.

However, there is a key difference between the two...

FileCloud offers more variety and flexibility when it comes to syncing up different storage services, including Azure/Azure Blob/Azure GovCloud, Alibaba, Wasabi, Digital Ocean, Scality, and EMC ECS. Clients can rest assured with FileCloud, knowing that their preexisting storage solutions can be easily integrated with their new FileCloud platform, without sacrificing security or ease of access. Additionally, FileCloud can be self-hosted natively on Windows as well as Linux; ownCloud can only be hosted with Linux.

Admin Capabilities

One of FileCloud’s strengths is the power and information it delivers to administrative users. With a recently updated interface, the admin dashboard can be easily customized to deliver the intel admins actually need and use. Widgets can be added, discarded, shifted, and resized to emphasize and prioritize different information.

FileCloud Admin Dashboard

ownCloud also offers an admin console, but it cannot be customized to suit the admin users or clients, which leaves them with a one-size-fits-all solution that may not support optimal efficiency. This ease of use is a major advantage FileCloud offers over ownCloud.

Going deeper into the actual admin powers, FileCloud and ownCloud overlap on such features as role-based administrative control, the ability to create and modify policies, and access to comprehensive audit reports.

However, FileCloud provides admins with more tools to leverage eagle-eyed scrutiny over system behavior. This includes dashboard reporting on system and user activity, as well as an intuitive map widget that displays all user access by geo-IP.

Furthermore, ownCloud does not offer essential features like the ability to block or wipe remote devices or export system statistics, unless you upgrade to their enterprise edition. FileCloud includes these features as part of the standard plan (on-prem or cloud).

Security Settings in FileCloud vs ownCloud

The Admin features discussed above are critical elements of maintaining a solution’s overall security, which already gives a leg up to FileCloud.

One major security difference between FileCloud and ownCloud concerns Smart DLP, a feature that automatically applies rules to all data within the environment. These rules modulate or restrict file permissions according to metadata. It’s a crucial element of modern security for content collaboration platforms, in that it removes the risk of human error and the monotony of updating permissions for every file uploaded.

FileCloud offers a Smart DLP solution within the platform.

Image of FileCloud Online UI, DLP Rule Builder

ownCloud, on the other hand, offers the option of integrating with an external DLP solution. Relying on an external integration to protect your CCP creates a potential opening for malicious exploitation. ownCloud also forces users to upgrade to the enterprise edition to take advantage of alerts on suspicious or unusual behavior, as well as anti-ransomware protections. These features are included in FileCloud at no extra cost.

Compliance/Governance Tools

FileCloud’s enterprise plans are designed as hyper-secure compliance and governance solutions. This focus has led to heavy investment in developing intuitive, powerful features that can make compliance easier.

One such example is the Compliance Center. This dashboard provides customized configurations of best practices and recommendations to support compliance with major regulations like ITAR, HIPAA, and GDPR.

These configurations monitor the CCP, flagging any potential issues for swift resolution. Rules provide links to external documentation of the regulatory requirement and a brief description of how FileCloud supports compliance. Reports and audits can be easily exported for management or external regulatory reviews.

Image of FileCloud UI - Compliance Center, HIPAA configuration tab

ownCloud does offer compliance support for HIPAA and GDPR through its own enterprise plans, but it does not offer a coordinated, easy-to-use dashboard, which is a major difference between the two platforms. Nor does ownCloud offer compliance support for as many regulations compared to FileCloud.

Content Management in FileCloud vs ownCloud

With endpoint backup, archival support, and content analytics, FileCloud ensures consistency and security across the document life cycle. These powerful features are essential in preserving a large array of files and records, particularly in medium-to-large businesses and organizations that store and analyze reams of data on a daily basis. ownCloud does offer these features, but they are only included with the enterprise edition.

Furthermore, FileCloud offers sophisticated metadata within the platform. Default metadata sets can be applied immediately, in conjunction with Smart DLP. Admins also have the option of creating custom metadata sets to capture and tag relevant information.

In ownCloud, custom metadata sets are not available at all, and metadata tagging occurs automatically. To manually adjust tagging, clients must, once again, upgrade to an enterprise plan.

Collaboration & Sharing

In this list of features, ownCloud and FileCloud are fairly comparable. They both offer the ability to edit files in a web browser (without leaving the secure environment). File activity is recorded in activity streams, users receive notifications on files they have shared, and a built-in document preview makes it easy to find and quickly review in-progress files.

Other functional features support ease-of-access and one-platform collaboration, such as commenting on files and folders, @ messaging to send notifications directly to users, and drag-and-drop uploading.

Furthermore, users can take advantage of granular sharing of files and folders, public, private, and password-protected sharing, and the ability to set expiration dates. These are time-tested features that any CCP must have to compete in the current market.


Integrations are becoming a key element in facilitating collaboration across different teams, geographies, and external partners. These include integrations with application suites like Microsoft, Google, and OnlyOffice.

Both FileCloud and ownCloud offer integrations with Microsoft Office and 365, Outlook, Gmail, and OnlyOffice. However, FileCloud distinguishes itself through its swift development of a Google Apps integration, in response to customer feedback. Now, FileCloud users can open, edit, and sync files with Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. ownCloud does offer the ability to integrate with Google Drive storage (through a fairly lengthy API integration process) but does not yet offer an easy integration with Google Docs.

UI of FileCloud, open files with Google Docs

Remote (Mobile) Access

Remote or mobile access is a major component in providing an accessible CCP. Both FileCloud and ownCloud offer iOS and Android apps so clients can utilize their platforms on a mobile device or tablet. Additionally, admins in both solutions can extend policies and rules to mobile access. However, only FileCloud includes automatic media backups for iOS and Android devices, as part of its commitment to hyper-security.


After conducting this deep dive into features and functionalities across ownCloud and FileCloud, it’s apparent which one provides better ROI.

One caveat to note is that customers can use the community edition of ownCloud, which is completely free. However, this CCP is not for the faint of heart or those without IT experience. For any troubleshooting needs, customers would need to take advantage of the forums and implement any solutions themselves. To gain access to official support from ownCloud, clients must opt in for one of the paid plans.

For a company focusing on exchanging and collaborating on documents with low-security requirements, ownCloud may be an appropriate option. The company has focused on optimizing and streamlining core services related to content sharing and storage. Other features pertaining to security and data control are lacking though.

For organizations that need advanced control over their data, hyper security, content management options, and governance features, FileCloud offers a robust, adaptable solution appropriate for any industry.

Also, check out the comparison between ownCloud vs Nextcloud.

To learn how FileCloud can support your company, check out the tour page or sign up for a free trial!


By Katie Gerhardt

Jr. Product Marketing Manager