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May 13, 2014

The box that puts YOU in charge of your data

Personal open-source server goes live on IndieGoGo.

By Ben Sullivan

An open source developer has launched a personal web server that comes preloaded with software to run your own web services from a home network.

The Indie Box, which is now live on crowd-funding website IndieGoGo, can automate updates and maintenance tasks, operating system patches and running routine database migrations.

"Your data was created by you and should be owned and controlled by you. Indie Box One makes that possible," reads the description of the device on IndieGoGo.

The device costs $500, which should eventually come down if the IndieGoGo goal is achieved and sufficient funds are raised for the project.


Johannes Ernst, the creator of the Indie Box, says that other developers can put their own products on the device.

"It’s not supposed to be one product from one company," he said. "It’s supposed to be a platform for lots of people to innovate on."

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The initial specs of the Indie Box include 2GB of RAM, two 1TB hard drives and an Intel Atom processor. Software includes ownCloud. Ernst hopes that the box will eventually become a hub for Internet of Things devices.

Ernst uses many Internet of Things devices in his own home already, but said there’s something wrong with them communicating through Google.

"There’s something wrong with that architecture," he said. "I’m much more comfortable with having my thermostat communicating with a computer in my house over my own Wi-Fi than going through Google."

Ernst aims to one day have these devices in every home, and says that there is enough interest for this to be a reality.

"Everyone we talked to wanted to be able to take their calendar data home from Google," Ernst said. "People don’t necessarily want Google to know they have a doctor’s appointment, or what diseases they are being treated for."

"Indie Box One eliminates the need to entrust our personal data to big internet companies who often share and use it in ways we don’t appreciate. By keeping personal data at home under our own control, Indie Box One lets us cut the cord from the ever-more invasive internet overlords and their monetization schemes and become independent citizens of the internet again."

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