I will not lie, I rely on Google Drive. I use it every day and have been doing it for a long time. At the same time, I’m always looking for other services to take up disk space or be used for those cases where I don’t have to trust my data to Google. If this sounds like you, I have a service you may want to try.
The specified service is Internxt, which is an encrypted and decentralized zero-knowledge platform that is also open source. In fact, you can see and check the source not only for desktop and mobile customers, but also for the service itself. All this code is hosted on Internxt GitHub repository. Internxt has desktop clients for Linux, macOS and Windows, as well as mobile clients for Android and iOS.
I found Internxt an exciting entry into the cloud storage game, mainly because of its decentralized nature. What does this mean? Simply put, a decentralized platform allocates resources (hardware and software) to multiple locations, so it does not rely on a single server or data center. This not only shares the workload, but also offers a better security model and better service reliability. If one system fails, there are still many others working to reduce groin.
It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
So Internxt is a decentralized cloud storage service, which means that your files are fragmented and encrypted before they leave your device. Therefore, a third party will fight to steal your data. If this sounds like a must-have for your cloud storage needs, read on.
Internxt currently offers four different plans:
10 GB storage – free
20 GB storage space – $ 0.94 / month
200 GB storage – $ 3.69 / month
2TB storage space – $ 9.49 / month
Internxt currently has two different products. The first is called Drive and is used for files. The second product is called Photos and is used for, you guessed it, photos. They are working on a third product called Send, which will allow you to send files from your account.
You probably need to start with a free account so you can test the waters before diving into the deep end of 200GB of 2TB of storage.
The biggest question I always ask about cloud storage solutions is do you have a desktop client? If the answer is yes, I will give them a chance. If not, I usually move on to the next option. Internxt has a desktop client, although it is quite ordinary. In fact, the Internxt desktop client is really just a way to add a local directory to your account to keep in sync. The only caveat to Internxt is that there is no file manager integration. You can link your account to the desktop, specify the folder to be associated with the account, and even back up other folders from your local drive. But if you’re looking for a file manager context menu (such as when you right-click a folder, you can easily add that folder to your Internxt cloud storage), you’re out of luck. If you want to sync a folder with your account, it will need to be configured in the desktop application preferences, and anything you add to that folder will be synced to your decentralized Internxt account.
This isn’t necessarily an obstacle for most users, because you can just work from this synced folder and you’re done. For experienced users, it would be nice for Internxt to add file manager integration. Maybe, with a little encouragement, they will do that.
After installing the Internxt desktop client (which is downloaded from your cloud account – Figure 1), you can then open the application and change the location of your synced folder.
After installation, open the Internxt client and click on the gear icon to access the preferences. Within preferences (Figure 2), you can activate the service to start at startup and change the default folder.
I ran into a problem with the desktop client on both Pop! _OS Linux 22.04 and Ubuntu Desktop 22.04. Once the desktop client was running, there was no way to start it. If I accidentally run it twice, I would have two copies, and the only way to kill them was to do it manually (using the killall command or the System Monitoring Center). In macOS, double-tapping the Internxt icon in the top bar reveals a pop-up menu with two options: Show / Hide and Exit.
One last problem is that you have to manually create a checkmark for your Internxt local directory in your file manager. Again, this is not a hindrance, but it is something you will want to know when setting up Internxt on your local machine for an efficient workflow.
My warm welcome
Internxt is not perfect, but it is one of the few user-friendly decentralized cloud options on the market. So if you’re looking for a more secure service to meet your cloud storage needs, and you don’t want to have to work through a large number of configuration options and complex settings, Internxt is a great option. We hope that in the future they will not only fix the problem with the Linux desktop application, but will also add file manager integration. If Internxt does these two things, their service could be a major change in the cloud storage game.