1. Build your own little cloud
Everybody seems to be searching for ways to integrate digital communication into their home-office environments or client/customer workflows. But many are not willing to pay huge monthly fees or rely on services like Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Slack.
For smaller teams meetings, or webinars for people up to 6, their is an alternative! You can easily use Nextcloud and its integrated Talk application for chat & webrtc video/audio streaming capabilities. Combined with the calendar app this becomes a very effective and low-cost solution.
2. Nextcloud Talk
Nextcloud Talk is a fully self hosted audio/video and chat communication service. It features web and mobile apps and is designed to offer the highest degree of security while being easy to use.
Talk makes it easy to call customers and partners in one-to-one or group-scenarios. Users can invite external chat participants with an URL into public rooms. The chat enables participants to easily exchange messages, links and notes.
Share the content of a single window or a full desktop screen for presentations with chat-partners. Manage participants by inviting, muting or removing them. Schedule meetings and be notified when they start. A lobby is provided for guests to wait until the call starts.
Calls are end-to-end encrypted so no communication can be intercepted. Chat logs are stored securely on your own server.
The peer to peer nature of Talk does inflate network traffic, creating one incoming and sending stream per other participant. This places practical limitations on calls that depend on network capabilities.
A typical private Nextcloud Talk setup should handle dozens of calls with each up to 4-6 participants, more if all participants have a good network connection.
3. All the benefits of using Nextcloud & Talk
- 100% open source
- Self-hosted so no leaking of metadata
- Encrypted, peer-to-peer audio/video calls
- WebRTC for cross-platform support
- Individual and group calls & chat
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
- Easy screen sharing
- Mobile calls & chat with push notifications
- Commands to enable integration with other tools
- Webinars & public web meetings
4. Setting up Nextcloud
Nextcloud is part of many hosting offers and can often be installed with one single click. You will also find hosting providers, that are specialised on Nextcloud hosting and offer you a preinstalled setup to use.
But any decent hosting setup should be enough to roll out your own. Setting up Nextcloud is really easy, as it offers a simple guided installation process.
If you need help setting up your own private instance, get in touch and we can work something out. Depending on your server setup and apps you want, it should not take longer than 60-90 minutes to get it up and running.Alex, Contact Me
5. STUN / TURN Server
Nextcloud Talk tries to establish a direct peer-to-peer (P2P) connection, thus on connections beyond the local network (behind a NAT or router), clients do not only need to know each others public IP, but the participants local IPs as well. Processing this, is the job of a STUN server. As there is one preconfigured for Nextcloud Talk, still nothing else needs to be done.
But in many cases, e.g. in combination with firewalls or symmetric NAT, a STUN server will not work as well, and then a so called TURN server is required. Now no direct P2P connection is established, but all traffic is relayed through the TURN server, thus additional (at least internal) traffic and resources are used.
Nextcloud Talk will try direct P2P in the first place, use STUN if needed and TURN as last resort fallback. Thus to be most flexible and guarantee functionality of your Nextcloud Talk instance in all possible connection cases, you most properly want to setup a TURN server. COTurn is an open source solution, that offers just that.
If you need to setup your own TURN Server I can help. There are pretty cost effective ways, to host your own.Alex, Contact Me