How to build/buy a personal cloud that works like Google Drive?


Novice Member
Not sure if this is the right forum, but here's the question:

I'd like to host, on my home equipment, media files that I can access when away from home.

The key requirement is to be able to watch a film remotely using a browser, via streaming (not downloading) with NO added client-side software -- as is possible with Google Drive, just by pasting a link into a browser address field.

As I think I have enough hardware to build such a server, my question is mainly about what software, preferably free or low-cost, and preferably that runs on Windows, can do this job?

Port-forwarding router changes will probably be needed, but I think I can handle that.

An optional feature is for the server to downgrade video resolution on detecting a slower connection (or perhaps maintain multiple versions with different resolutions).

I already have a home server that allows file downloads via a browser -- but it doesn't support video streaming in a browser.

Thank you.


Active Member
I think Plex is the one everybody goes for, and from the little I've used it I think it matches all your requirements.


Active Member
As above, Plex will be perfect for your requirements, it is capable of doing everything you need. To transcode files it does need to be quite powerful however. It may also be a small hassle to name everything in the right convention, however it is very easy to pick up and learn.


Well-known Member
Look at Jellyfin very similar to plex, also, open source


Distinguished Member
You might also need to buy a DNS name and register with a DDNS service provider if the Plex system doesn't do this for you automatically.
Last edited:


Novice Member
Thanks to all for your replies.

Regarding Plex (which I use on my local area network), the link sharing is different from Google Drive.

With Google Drive, all that's needed is to paste a video link into a browser address bar, and the browser becomes a video player. And if I email the link to a friend, the video is playable without needing a Google Drive account.

But with Plex, it seems necessary for the viewer to sign into a Plex account, or create a Plex account before being able to watch the video.

Regarding JellyFin, in trying their demo account (which allows creating a share link), the link is a download link, not a streaming link. The browser does not become a video player.

Perhaps there's a way for Plex and/or Jellyfin to work like Google Drive, but I didn't see it.

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES '22 TV Announcement Round-up, Plus, Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 and More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom