Nextcloud Hub 19: New security functions and office work in video conferences

“home office” has named Nextcloud version 19 of its free cloud software, which is now available. In line with the name, the new hub release includes an important function for simplified external access: In future, users can use it to access the environment without a password. In this case, authentication takes place exclusively via a hardware key and is based on the W3C standard WebAuthn.

In addition, there are new security settings for the system administrator: Upon request, Nextcloud will automatically log off inactive users after a previously defined period of time. You can also determine whether and when a password expires. In addition, the software optionally blocks a user’s access if he has entered his password incorrectly too often – for example five times. With these functions, Nextcloud also targets institutions with strict compliance guidelines, including the healthcare sector.

Administrators can also assign guests to a group. For example, external users can only exchange files with members of this group, but no other users.

The new release also includes Talk 9, which Nextcloud introduced at the end of May. With the high-performance back-end, now also released as open source software, video conferences with up to 50 participants can be carried out; the standard program can use a maximum of 10 users at the same time in the future. The developers have also updated the apps for smartphones.

Another important change for Talk is that users can now edit documents together during a video conference or in a chat. Nextcloud Hub 19 already includes Collabora Online for this, but it is only designed for use by end users. The reason: due to the simpler installation, the software could not be scaled for use by many users.

Further work has gone into the Kanban board deck and the performance of the server software. All details about the new release find readers in the associated blog entry. Nextcloud Hub 19 appears as free software under the open source license AGPL. The developers also offer an enterprise version with additional functions and commercial support for corporate use.

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