A while ago, I wondered if it would be possible to create my own cloud-service, like Dropbox or iCloud Drive. I quickly dismissed the idea: it would be possible on Macs, but not really on iPhones or iPads due to sandboxing.
iOS 8 & Transmit for iOS
I forgot about this crazy little idea until iOS 8 was released, and read Viticci’s review on Transmit for iOS. iOS gives apps the ability to send documents to other apps, and Transmit for iOS happily uses this.
The connection screen, file list and more info about a file.
Transmit for iOS is the mobile counterpart of the famous Transmit FTP app by Panic, and allows you to open documents from a server, send the documents to other apps and save the documents online again.
I quickly purchased the app, plugged a USB flash drive in our router, set up a FTP server using the router and tested it. It worked like a charm (although there are a few minor drawbacks). Transmit is bloody fast in downloading and uploading, looks gorgeous and has all features I need (up- and downloading, sending to other apps, renaming and replacing). I was even surprised to see it can handle my .NEF files, RAW photos from my Nikon camera.
Transmit also made it easy to transfer these screenshot to my Mac. On the left: selecting the path, middle: uploading screen and on the right the send-to menu.
After these successful tests, I got excited and bought two 1.5tb external hard-drives. One will be for the storage, the other one will be used as a backup drive for the files on the other hard drive.
I also bought the Mac version of Transmit. It has an option to mount a disk in the finder, which makes it act like a local folder. This completed my personal cloud setup.
My total costs were a little over 90 Euros. If I use this setup for only one year, it would already cost less per month (€7.50 versus €9.99/month) and provide me with 500gb more storage compared to Dropbox.
Looks great on the iPad too, what else would you expect from Panic?
Long story short
All in all I’m pretty happy with this setup. I’ve been using it fully for a week now, both locally at home as in the train or at university.
The only drawback is that I haven’t found an app yet which can automatically save files without opening Transmit for iOS again. Panic stated that this would be possible when apps provide support for it, but for now I just have to tap export > Transmit and then select the right path for the file.
I feel like the positives outweigh the drawbacks by a lot. Not only is my personal cloud cheaper, it also gives me the feeling of control, has a high geekiness factor and gives me a reason to enjoy Transmits design daily.
Update 26/02/2017: ik heb mijn persoonlijke cloud ongeveer anderhalf jaar gebruikt. Dit door de switch naar Android. Hierdoor stapte ik over naar Stack van Transip. Inmiddels gebruik ik weer een iPhone en ben ik tevreden gebruiker van iCloud Drive.