Google Drive is a Big No!
Despite Google Drive being one of the world's most widely used cloud storage platforms, I hate to use it. Privacy and ownership of data becomes a huge concern for me. Occasional use is fine (for less important files) but for files like, Photos, Bills, Invoices, etc. its a big no.
Google says files on Drive are encrypted using an encryption key for every user. Yes, Google is true but, I believe the people who make Drive know the logic behind generating an encryption key, where it's stored, etc. and hence, in future if needed could decrypt the encrypted data stored in drive.
External Hard Drives?
I used to copy all my Photos (including family) to an external hard drive. But, sharing them with other members of the family proved to be difficult. Every time someone needed a photo, you had to connect the hard drive to a computer, copy the photo from the disk to your phone connected via USB (WhatsApp didn't exist widely a decade ago)
To Streamline this process, in Grade 10, I decided to Host a NextCloud Instance on Docker with properly configured docker volumes to prevent loss of data on recreating containers. These docker volumes are frequently auto-backed up to the GlusterFS network filesystem (somewhat like a hybrid of NAS and SAN).
NAS indicates Network Attached Storage and SAN indicates Storage Area Network
Desktop and Phone Syncing
All of my photos and documents, my family's personal photos including ones which are shared among us are synced and accessible use the NextCloud App on Android, iOS and Windows, Linux or macOS.
Desktop apps are configured to enable real-time sync for certain essential files. Photos on our phones are upload as soon as they are clicked to ensure real-time backup from all devices with convenience. This proves to be really really essential as sharing them and backing them up without much effort and time one of the major goals of self-hosting a NextCloud Instance
WOPI (Microsoft Office Docs on the Web)
Web Application Open Platform Interface better known as WOPI is a protocol that enables a client to access and change files stored on a server. The protocol was first released as v0.1 by Microsoft in January 2012, but as of November 2020 the current specification is v12.2. The protocol has been adopted by applications outside of Microsoft, such as by Google, ownCloud and Nextcloud.
All of us use Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations almost daily. While I'm on someone else's device, it becomes really inconvenient to download an excel spreadsheet from my cloud instance, edit it and re-upload it (some computers in the network do not have auto-sync in place. To overcome this difficulty I self-hosted an instance of WOPI based OnlyOffice Document Editor. Know more about it here.