What is the difference between Nextcloud & Syncthing?

I currently have a Nextcloud server, and while listening to Linux Unplugged & other podcasts (not fully paying attention since I usually listen to podcasts in public transit), they mentioned Syncthing as an alternative & performs better compared to Nextcloud in some scenarios. What is the main difference between the 2?
Quick research point me that Nextcloud is centralized, while Syncthing is decentralized, which I don’t understand because they are both alternatives to proprietary services like OneDrive & Dropbox.

Nextcloud is aiming at being a general personal “cloud” application (which includes file synchronization as one feature), while Syncthing does one thing and only one thing; synchronize files.

Nextcloud has webmail, instant messaging, voice chat, video chat, calendar, todo lists, forms (like google forms), contacts management, document editing (like google docs), and yes, file management+sharing+syncronization. Most of these are via official or unofficial plugins.

You run the Nextcloud server on one central computer, and than you access it from clients, either via a web browser or via an app. Syncthing you don’t have one central server, you have a bunch of clients that all connect to each other, there is not one central point of truth, unlike Nextcloud.


Syncthing is really good when you want to share very large files over the internet between two different locations while also having encrypted traffic and no server involved or fixed IPs. Or you can use it to sync files between different workstations on a network without any NAS/cloudbased webdav written in php. :wink:

Nextcloud is a version of Dropbox while Syncthing is peer to peer file synchronization