Set Up Private DIY Cloud Server Storage and Access via Mapped Drive

Would you like to have your own private DIY Cloud Server Storage and be able to map a drive to it in Windows, while all is based on Windows and under your exclusive control? Did you know that many cloud storage providers actually have access to your cloud files and can read them? Wouldn’t you prefer to host your own, secure DIY cloud storage service and not have to pay anyone every month?

Below you will find the instructions to set up your own secure storage server and use it like DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. but without the monthly fees and without risking that your files in the cloud will be read by others. The system outlined below is, in fact, a guide on how to set up your own private cloud storage solution. The BackupChain + DriveMaker solution may be extended to add as many users as you need, at no additional cost.

Required Downloads

The system consists of two parts: BackupChain and DriveMaker. DriveMaker is needed on every client as it creates a virtual drive that will show up in Windows File Explorer, as well as in the command prompt. Hence, you may use the mapped drive to your own personal cloud storage just like any other drive and from any application you want, such as Microsoft Office.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Setting up Your Own Secure, Private DIY Cloud Server

First you need to install BackupChain (download link) and open the FTP Server settings:

 

Then set up the basic server settings as shown below:

In above screen, you need to enter the main port and data port ranges. You could use the examples shown above as they are, just make sure you have the correct external IP address entered. The above example uses 1.2.3.4, please replace it with your own IP. To determinate your current external IP, use this link. Note that we assume that your Internet Service Provider has assigned you a static IP address. If not, you could use a dynamic DNS provider, such as no-ip. If you just want to run a quick test, use 127.0.0.1. Using the address 127.0.0.1 will limit access to your server to clients running on the same server.

 

When switching to Production Mode:

Note that the above example will not allow access from the outside if the server is behind a router or firewall. If the server is behind a router, based on our example above, you need to open the TCP ports 21 and the range 60000-61000 and forward those ports to the server running BackupChain. In addition, if you use the built-in Windows Defender Firewall in Windows, there is no need to configure the firewall as BackupChain adds exceptions for itself automatically. However, if you use a third-party firewall, you may need to configure it to allow inbound TCP traffic for the above ports (21, 60000-61000).
If you just want to test out the features, however, you could enter the IP address 127.0.0.1 instead of 1.2.3.4 and use the DriveMaker tool to connect on the same machine.

Adding Users

Now switch to the “Users tab” as shown below:

Click “Add User” in the above screen and then enter your new user details:

In the above example, we create a new user “Bob” with a password that exceeds 8 characters (length > 8 characters is required), and we assign Bob to a folder called C:\Bobsfolder. This is the folder that holds all the files and folders for Bob. After clicking OK, we get the following screen:

As you can see, the user is now added. In order to make this user account compatible with DriveMaker, please click AFD to remove the check, as shown above.

The server configuration is now complete. Click “Turn FTP Server ON” to turn on your server. The screen shows now an indication that the server is online:

Client Configuration: DriveMaker

After installing DriveMaker, click “Add” to add a new profile. Enter your own details as shown below. Note that the address ftp://1.2.3.4 needs to be replaced with the address you entered in the server configuration. If you just want to do a quick test, use 127.0.0.1 if you are running DriveMaker on the same machine.

After clicking Save, DriveMaker will show the drive in its settings:

Click Connect and DriveMaker will now connect to the remote cloud storage and map a drive A: to it:

As you can see above, the drive A: now maps to the internal folder C:\bobsfolder. The user Bob can now connect from anywhere in the world to your server and access the files and folders contained in Bobsfolder through a virtual drive A:. Drive A: appears just like any other drive on his PC or Windows Server, allowing him to copy, paste, and edit files directly from the virtual drive.

Benefits of Using BackupChain + DriveMaker

BackupChain’s integrated storage server is an excellent solution for remote backups, and the above steps also show how it can be used for remote work and accessing your files securely online wherever you are in the world. There are many advantages of the above solution and they are summarized below.

Unicode and Very Long Path Compatibility

BackupChain as well as DriveMaker are Unicode compatible. This means they support all languages and all characters. Most importantly for business users is that unlike most other FTP server solutions in the market, such as the ones included in most NAS servers, BackupChain also supports paths that may reach a length of over 32,000 characters. While not everyone needs such long paths, it’s not unusual for business file servers to go far beyond 250 characters, which is the most FTP servers out there support. If you want your own cloud system for business purposes, it makes sense to use BackupChain as it provides support for very deep, long paths that are common on business servers. In addition, BackupChain includes several critical security features.

Unique Cloud Server Security Features

Your server is protected from brute force “password guessing” attacks by automatically blocking the offending IP addresses. It also supports FTP over TLS/SSL, which is an encrypted link, protecting your user name and passwords from being seen on the internet. Furthermore, BackupChain offers a per-user IP range filter. This filter may be used to allow access to certain accounts only to certain people connecting from certain parts of the world. If you wanted to connect two offices together, or connect your home office to your main office, you could isolate access to just one IP, thereby ensuring that only you can possibly connect to the server and no one else, even if they knew the user name and password.

Unlimited User Accounts

As you may have noticed in the above screens, you may click “add user” as many times as needed to add as many user accounts as you need. There is no limitation to the number of user accounts in BackupChain.

Lowest Cost Solution with Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth

The above solution is not only secure, it’s also extremely cost-effective. You could host as many terabytes as you want and serve as many clients as you need, all by yourself. There are no monthly payments to¬† anyone and additional storage may be added as needed. Even the cheapest cloud provider will be dozens of times more expensive than hosting your own DIY cloud storage.

Especially if you plan to host a lot of information, the BackupChain + DriveMaker solution will be saving you thousands of dollars a year.

Total Privacy and Total Control

Did you know that most cloud storage providers actually have direct control over your files and can read them? A very important aspect is that the BackupChain + DriveMaker solution offers total privacy and total control over your cloud storage. No one can access your files, no one can read them, only you. You have total control over how accounts work. By using junctions within your account, for example, you could allow selective access to other folders on your server, without giving access to the entire drive. Feel free to contact our technical support team for additional tips and tricks.

Combine with Remote Backups

Once you have the above storage server installed and working, you can also use it for remote backups. For example, you could install BackupChain in both offices and back up to each other over the internet, by hosting a storage server in each office. Using the security features described above, you can easily isolate the services so that they are absolutely sealed off from public access and only the two sites may communicate with one another. Then, to allow access to some areas, you could add additional user accounts that are less restrictive and allow only access to certain company folders.

Endless Possibilities for Remote Backup, Remote Work and Remote Teams

All of the above features and characteristics of the BackupChain + DriveMaker solution offer endless possibilities. You could set up a platform for your remote teams to work together securely on company file servers. You could connect several offices together and back up to each site individually to protect your data by copying it to different regions. The solution gives you total control and total privacy, and cuts out the cloud hosting companies that would spy on your files using AI (for example for the purposes of targeted advertising) and charge you steep monthly premiums.

 

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