Every 14-16 months my girlfriend without fail exclaims that she, yet again, needs a new phone. When I prod her as to why she needs a phone so soon when she only got the one she has last year, I hear "I have no space on my phone". In the past, she's gone from a 32GB phone to a 64 GB one, and the current one is 128GB.

This, to me, seems like really a situation where she needs more storage, and not really a new phone. She seems happy with her current phone but just doesn't have any more space to record anymore videos of her dance classes and our dogs and the cat. When I ask her how she fills her storage up so quickly, I am hit with a "It's a girls thing, you wouldn't understand". Sure - I'm using a phone I got in 2016 with a 64 GB disk that I still have 50% free space on, so yes, I don't really understand.

I looked up her phone manufacturer's extra storage options and they're cheap for a few GB but are expensive for anything over 100GB - and I have no doubt she will fill up 100GB in a year.

So what I'm thinking is that I could somehow get a couple of 4TB SSD (they're only £60 each) and have them act as a personal dropbox of sorts? All I want for now is an app on my girlfriend's phone where she can upload files to those hard disks when she's at home, with an option to browse and download from anywhere.

Is such a thing possible? Where do I start please? Googling for "private dopbox like storage" and variations doesn't give me a lot of options. Ideally the software(s) involved would be free, but I don't mind paying a small one off purchasing fee if it is worth it.

For now, this is good, but in the future maybe it could act as a sort of private storage for both of us to store anything I could want (like security cam footage, purchased downloadables etc) - and access from my PC or phone.

Edit: I wanted to keep the OS/Phone debate away, but I guess it is relevant. My girlfriend has an iPhone, and I'm on Pixel 3. The app doesn't need to manually sync everything and delete automatically on iPhone - if it does't that, it's great, but I'm happy for it to behave like dropbox where we can move the media manually and then delete it from the phone.

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    Hi. Please add type of Phone OS to your description e.g. Android, IOS, etc. There are apps that can sync to a hard disk. But will you also be deleting from phone to free up space?
    – Z Z
    Nov 28, 2022 at 16:09
  • @ZZ hi, added the info. Yes, I'll be deleting from phone, that is the whole reason for me to want to set this up! Nov 29, 2022 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


Decided to enter an anwser, as too much for comments: If you want something like a self-hosted dropbox replacement, you can look at these options:

But if you want something that can sync data across devices, I recommend looking at:

The best thing to do is experiment with both approaches, so you can decide what will work best for you.

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