Webdav or desktop client?

Nextcloud version: 13
Operating system and version: FreeNAS (FreeBSD)
Apache or nginx version: Apache 2.4
PHP version: 7.2

Hello everybody.
At work I’m using a Windows 10 VMWare virtual machine on thin client hardware so I don’t have administrative rights and storage space is limited.
For some reasons, the Nextcloud desktop client is installed so I configured it to connect to my Nextcloud 13 at home running in a FreeNAS jail with Apache 2.4 and PHP 7.2 and synced a bunch of folders (not all of them because storage is limited).
Now, because I’m worried that the sysadmins can see my files, I was wondering if accessing Nextcloud files using WebDAV would make my files available at work only when I’m connected to my Nextcloud server, right?
Thank you.

1 Like

Just to answer my own question: yes, the files are not synced to a local folder, so they’re only available as long as the remote folder is connected.
That causes some issues though:

  • opening Microsoft Office files (word, excel, etc.) triggers a new credentials request, which can be safely ignored or cancelled, but still it’s a pain;
  • browsing files and folders is a little slower in general
  • browsing is so much slower if you’re previewing images and video clips.

just came across your topic right now.
Webdav is accessing your files on the remote site (e.g. your Nextcliud server), hence you have delays in browsing, showing etc. Webdav as such is a pretty slow protocol. Additionally you have to rely on your internet connection between your client and the server. Bandwith and latency add to the “slowness” of accessing files.
For editing office files you could copy them locally first, change them and copy them back, this would make work a lot smoother, but you could try using Collabora or OnlyOffice on your NextCloud instance and edit them on the server directly.
The advantage would be that your admins at work would never see your own files.
personally, I usually use webdav for copying and syncing only and try to avoid it for “normal” tasks.

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion!
I guess for the time being I’m going to have to cope with WebDAV’s weaknesses. One of the reasons being we’re using thin clients at work and hard drive space is very limited, so if I used the Nextcloud Windows client I would have to sync only a few folders, whereas I want to be able to access all files. So, there is no perfect solution, it’s always a compromise. Although one more idea I have is using a USB thumb drive to expand the local storage… Pair that with local encryption and I might have solved it… Let’s see!