Single instance hosting + installing apps

I am quite new to Nextcloud, so please forgive my any ignorance or misconceptions apparent from my questions.

My understanding so far is that each Nextcloud deployment has two interfaces, for one for administrators and one for regular users. Administrators may manage users, as well as make global changes such as installing applications and enabling encryption.

For individual users, the most economical option is to buy an account from a hosting service operating a shared deployment.

But in this case, it seems that one is limited to whatever applications and encryption settings the service has chosen.

Are any options available, in a lower cost range, for buying a single hosted account, but with freedom to install any application and to determine encryption settings?

Thank you for being patient while I am learning about these issues.

Yeah if you go for the cheapest hosting services then you are restricted to what they offer, but most of the time I’ve read people complain for speed more than other thing.

You might wanna rent a vps along with added disk space according to your needs, that could give you the most freedom to build according with what you need.

And let you build your stack according your needs and budged.

Throw me a message if you need help with that.

Cheers! :beers:

Thank you for the clarification.

Like I say, I am a newcomer to the platform, but I am wondering, would it be reasonable to suggest that these considerations point to a design limitation in Nextcloud?

It appears that the presumed use case is that an administrator would determine the applications and encryption settings that all apply to all users. In a firm or organization, this assumption may be valid, but many individuals are, like I am, are seeking a way to get personal use from a single account, but still wanting access to the full range of features and extensibility of the platform.

If a VPS is the only solution, then it is an extremely inefficient effect. A VPS entails a complete installation of the OS, plus the overhead of virtualization, an enormous marginal increase on hardware resources compared to adding an account to an existing Nextcloud instance that is accessed periodically. For simple needs, like storage capacities of around 5GB and occasional background synchronization of incremental data updates, then the cost difference is very substantial. Can an OS installation be restricted to 5GB of storage, or is 50GB a more reasonable requirement? In practical terms, from reviewing service options, the cost difference between shared and VPS service is roughly one order of magnitude.

Whatever the needs are for performance, as long as they are in the lower range, then the most efficient solution would not be a VPS rather than a shared Nextcloud deployment.

Shouldn’t the design of Nextcloud reflect these considerations? Wouldn’t the platform have a greater benefit to a broader range of users if it had a design that could accommodate a higher level of per-user configuration, where private individuals can share a deployment with strangers for a low cost and still select their own application set and encryption configuration?

I seems that you are asking an Enterprise level platform to boild down to 1 user.

Please do remember that you can self host on hardware as low cost as a RPi.
Use your own internet connection and work on your lan.

Once you get experienced you can tweak your setup to meet your specific use case.
If you want stability and speed I still recommend a personal small VPS.

At the end remember,

You get what you pay for.

I understand your thoughts.

I am approaching the question from a different direction, however, from the standpoint of flexibility of use cases. Although I think I understand why you said it, I would not say that I am asking that the enterprise level be built down to one user. I think this presentation suggests that it is already agreed that one set of features is available in enterprise and another set of features available to individuals buying accounts from shared deployments. I would suggest dropping this assumption, in favor of flexibility. I am suggesting that the platform, as whole, could have a design that is flexible enough to accommodate a broader range of possible cases. A global toggle for allowing or disallowing installation of applications on per-user basis would mean that the same platform can be variously configured for a broader range of deployment needs. The toggle would be disabled for enterprises that need to provide members with a preselected set of functions, and enabled for hosting services that want to sell single accounts to users who benefit from added flexibility without added cost.

I support the heuristic that you get what you pay for, but I think maybe it is a red herring. It is better always to pay for only what you need. I think most would agree that the functionality of a software deployment is not determined exclusively by the amount of hardware needed to run it. Some deployments are inefficient. In the VPS case, each user’s system has its own kernel, its own network stack, etc. And for what? Are they running completely different sets of applications? Is one of them running an e-commerce site and the other running a bank? If everyone is running only Nextcloud, then five hundred OS installations for five hundred users is a less efficient solution than one OS installation for five hundred users. If it is possible that a design improvement in the software would allow the functionality of the former configuration for the cost of the latter, then it is an improvement.

When seeking for more functionality, we should first ask whether we can achieve it without vastly augmenting hardware requirements, and then add hardware only as a last resort. Whether you are getting what you pay for, you could be paying for things you don’t need.

Please note that I never said there are no good hosting plans out there, but as you mention you are new to the platform I would suggest you test it so you know what you want.

In my experience once you get to use nextcloud you’ll see the build up potential and start building workflows on it.

Then having the ability to add all the apps and modules you need/want is worth it.


From what I have found, an account on a shared server with a capacity of around 5GB costs less than $1 per month and is offered by some services at no charge, whereas a VPS starts around $5-$10 per month. So the difference is about an order of magnitude, and the VPS would be straining my budget. A VPS also requires manual configuration and maintenance, which is unpleasant. If you are aware of more promising options, I would certainly be interested.

I have found one service, owncube, that offers “admin cloud hosting” services, starting at EUR 1.50 per month. This option could be a good one, but one problem is that some of the features that I would consider indispensable (e.g. updates, office document editing) are only offered as addons that incur substantial surcharges.

I am based in the US so data centers and support staff being located in North America would be greatly preferred.