My personal setup

A post on my personal setup (with regards to data syncing), originally posted in another thread.

I use Proton Mail and Proton Calendar (and Proton Contacts).

I do use Proton Drive, but only as a backup. I sync my files between my devices locally using Syncthing.

I also have a Nextcloud server that syncs that same data, but where I also sync notes (which are saved to Nextcloud as files), bookmarks (which are backed up to Nextcloud as files), and tasks (which Proton doesn’t support).

So, I have files, which are stored like this:

  • Synced across my files using Syncthing
  • Synced to my Nextcloud server
  • Backed up periodically to my Proton Drive

Then I use Proton for:

  • Mail (though these are synced to my email client)
  • Calendar
  • Contacts (though these are imported into my phone and backed up to a file - sync Proton doesn’t support syncing them)

And I use Nextcloud (self-hosted) for:

  • Notes (though these are synced to my devices and saved as files)
  • Bookmarks (though these are synced to my devices and backed up to a file)
  • Tasks (though these are synced to my devices and backed up to a file)

The reason I backup to my Proton Drive, is because it’s a cloud storage service that I don’t host myself, so it’s redundancy. I may sync to it in the future, when they release a sync client for Linux. But I like Syncthing, and I will still need Nextcloud for notes, bookmarks, and tasks, so I think I will keep Proton Drive as a backup.

I’m open to suggestions on how to improve this setup!

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That’s an interesting setup. I always love seeing syncthing getting used for what it’s for. It’s a great tool to keep data in sync.

for contacts, I believe nextcloud has CardDev support, that will make syncing them easier across devices. Any reasons why you are not using it?

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I don’t really like the way Nextcloud’s contacts and calendar sync works. That is to say, it’s unencrypted, it uses your system apps (both a positive and negative), and (on Android) it requires a third-party app to actually sync.

Using Proton for calendar is better, since it uses their own app, which is modern and up-to-date (not necessarily the case for Android system apps, or third-party calendar apps).

And using contacts for the same use makes sense in my opinion.

I wish Proton supported syncing the contacts to Android, and supported the calendar and contacts in the desktop bridge. (See this thread.) And I wish Nextcloud on Android didn’t require another app for their calendar and contacts sync.

So far though, Proton contacts is absolutely not a great option for me, but it’s the best option for me. And their calendar service doesn’t really have any issues for me.

Additionally, Proton is off-premise, so it’s safe from anything that may or may not happen to my Nextcloud server. Nextcloud contacts and calendars are not stored in files, so they’re not “backed up” to my Proton Drive as the rest is.

I could use the Nextcloud Android app to take backups of my contacts and calendar, then back those up, but it is not made for this.

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Should this be a reason enough to not use it when you’re running your own instance?
I have personally only gotten nextcloud to install and work on yunohost, docker version has not work for me, no matter how closely I follow instructions.

That’s fair. Stock Apps are not getting updates the same way Google versions of the apps do.

That would be cool, I do see the challenge of doing that, proton will need their own app to ensure it’s secure and they can control the data in it. They could have it be part of the mail app, as long as it doesn’t messes the UI too much.

They should totally allow contact and calendar sync through the mail bridge. I like thunderbird, would love to use it to manage my calendar on it too.
Maybe even storage? That’s the whole point of this app.

Are they in the database? or some abstraction only nextcloud reads? Not that familiar with it yet. This is a strong reason to not use their contacts and calendar.
That’s odd for a company aiming to take over the corporate productivity stack.

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Some database, yes. But a separate one. Apps like Notes store their notes as files. Contacts and calendar are in a database.

Hey, what issue are you having with it? I find docker / docker-compose applications the easiest to setup as it’s most of the times just 1 command

This is off-topic.

I can understand the reasoning behind different ways data is stored, nextcloud need a collective backup option, one click to download copy of all your data in portable formats.

@anon35483798 ping me, we can talk elsewhere if you really must know my failures.

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I’m personally hoping that Proton adds proper contact syncing with mobile devices soon. And I should try that third-party bridge for desktop, although, Proton should add this to their bridge too.

I like Nextcloud, but they really just run a CalDAV and CardDAV server. And then you have the fun things that go along with it, like having to use a separate app on Android, because Android doesn’t support CalDAV and CardDAV. That bothers me a lot, since it’s an extra point of failure I just really don’t want to deal with. Everything should be in the Nextcloud app, or not supported.

I’m not too happy with the setup I have for this, but that’s because the options that exist aren’t really the best, in my opinion. Hopefully Proton and Nextcloud improve.

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I thought I saw this, so I looked it up, proton is planning syncing contacts on the phone. I have not seen any updates on it for 4 years, so who knows when it’ll be done.

Nextcloud is a great suite of products, when someone else manages it for you. it seems to be designed with system administers in mind, that’s been my experience.

Their design is often web first, which might be the issue here. you make a good point, keep it simple.

I hear you, there are trade off to wanting better security and privacy, regardless, we should want equally good software products. Thankfully, it is getting better, slowly.

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At that point it doesn’t make any sense to use Nextcloud and it is also not recommended in that way. That’s also a reason why I voted to remove it entirely. It’s not privacy friendly if a system admin has access to your data.


yeah, that’s a good point, I agree. nextcloud is not user friendly to selfhost at the moment. They lack data encryption implementation that is truly private.

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It does when you’re that system administrator. You can’t self-host Proton Drive, ente, or others. Their servers are non-free. Nextcloud is obviously not perfect, but it’s the best solution if you want to self-host.

Little update on the contacts situation, Connect You and Simple Contacts, contacts apps for Android, let you setup automatic backing up of your contacts to a folder. I have done that, so my contacts are now backed up, locally, to my Nextcloud, and to Proton Drive.

As for calendar, while the Proton Calendar Android app is not open source at the moment, and non exists for desktop, Proton Calendar is still a better experience than native apps. And it also let’s you do stuff like share your events with others, or get email notifications.

And back to what I said before about the way contacts are calendars are stored on Nextcloud, I don’t expect them to be stored as files, but, what I meant was that, everything else I use Nextcloud for so far is either stored or backed up as files, so I can’t lose them. Neither Nextcloud nor Proton support that for contacts and calendar, but Proton is more reliable than my own Nextcloud server, so I dont worry about losing my contacts and calendars when they’re stored on Proton.

I think you two agree with each other, if you read what @ph00lt0 said again :slight_smile:

I’m kind of indecisive on managed Nextcloud instances myself… Using a shared Nextcloud instance run by somebody else isn’t great, but something like a Hetzner Storage Share where the whole instance is yours but updates/maintenance is performed by them seems pretty decent, considering most self-hosters are just going to be using a VPS anyways.

I dunno, this is why we don’t really have self-hosted guides yet lol, it’s hard to say what’s actually good outside of hosting it literally in your own home on your own physical hardware.


Well, I love Nextcloud and think everyone should host their own. But that’s enitely unrealistic. And, this site is called Privacy Guides, not Self-hosting Guides. So we should be recommending private services, not necessarily self-hostable ones (unless they’re also private). I would vote to remove Nextcloud.


I tried setting up mine, but gave up. It’s too costly to make my self-host instance very reliable. There’s electronic going down, my ISP issues, and there’s server maintenance, etc.

Managing my Chia farms is the best I can do, considering I have many other things to do. Even that, sometime I went down a few days without having any time to manage them :joy:

The best self-hosted solution on your own hardware is a NAS, either TrueNAS or Synology. I plan on getting one of them once I have funds saved for it.
Other than just being a NAS, both allow installation of many popular self-hostable software, which I think is great for personal use.
Tailscale or something similar to that would be excellent way to access it outside of your home network if needed.

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