Tonido – Run your own personal cloud

Sometimes I might be away from my home, perhaps at a friend’s out or maybe even out of town. While I generally have my MacBook to keep me connected, there are many times when I go to do something and I can’t because I realize everything is stored on my desktop computer. Of course there are services out there that allow you to upload data to the “cloud”, but I don’t like them because they are either too limited or too costly.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, cloud computing is the new terminology used to describe how we interact with our computers and data on the Internet. In the simplest of terms, creating a cloud allows you to make all of your files available online so you can access them wherever you are.

Tonido

Tonido is free software that allows you to turn your home computer into your own personal cloud! Now, you can run your own cloud services similar to that of Apple’s MobileMe and Google Docs with two major differences: it’s free and you don’t have to upload your files to any 3rd parties.

The top 10 reasons to run Tonido:

  1. Secure and private – Use an external DNS name such as cloud.domain.com to access your Tonidio-enabled computer from anywhere in the world.
  2. File management – You can have full access to all of your files.
  3. Tonido WebShare – Create specific file shares for specific users, allowing them to have access to only what you want them to while using easy-to-remember URLs. There is a $29.99 charge to purchase the Pro version of this which enables quite a few new features. See Tonido Webshare for more information.
  4. Stream videos – Ever wanted to take your movies and videos with you on vacation, but could never decided on which ones to bring because you didn’t want to fill up your hard drive? You can now stream any video file directly from your home computer through Tonido Explorer.
  5. Stream music – Just as you would imagine, you can also stream all of your music. No need to bring your entire music collection with you anymore!
  6. Manage torrents – I used to have to wait until I got home to start any torrent downloads I wanted to get, but Tonido allows you to create and manage all of your downloads remotely.
  7. Manage money – There’s an add-on feature that allows you to manage all your finances remotely too.
  8. Backups – Use Tonido to remotely backup your whole computer to another computer on the network or to any other computer on the Internet.
  9. Personal blog – If you’ve always wanted to run a personal blog, but didn’t want to deal with all of the hassle of webhosting, you can use Tonido’s “Thots” to do just that. Make it only available to you or the whole world; you decide.
  10. Cross platform – Tonido is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Remote software is available for those as well as the latest smartphones.

My two cents

From the looks of things, everything is free except the WebShare Pro. Ironically, this is probably the piece of software that you’d use most, so all in all, setting up your own cloud would cost about $30. Of course, you also have to provide your own hardware and be willing to leave a computer on 24/7. After all is considered, you really can’t beat this configuration. Even if you went with MobileMe, you’d have to pay about $99 per year plus deal with storage limitations.

If you’re anything like me, then you probably prefer to do everything yourself because at least you’d have full control of your cloud plus you can un-limit yourself by providing as much hard drive space as needed. My weekend project is going to be setting up such a system. I’ll be posting my final reviews on Tonido once I’ve played around with it a bit.

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