Update on recommended webdav servers for library >6Gb + tablet use ?

edited July 29, 2019
I have searched on this topic and there are various guides on webdav servers which integrate with zotero desktop. What I am interested in is to hear current 2019 feedback on webdav server options (since old threads on this topic are 4-6yrs out of date) for the following key criteria:

1. Pdf library storage >2Gb or >6Gb
2. Secure https
3. Integrates with tablet apps such as zotpad for ipad.
4. free or a lot more economical than zotero storage ($5 p/mth for 6Gb is nearly 20x more expensive than google cloud storage for example)

Point #3 is important. Currently, I can search to an entry in zotpad, then click "download from zotero" to retrieve the fulltext pdf. If I set up webdav instead of zotero storage, will zotpad recognise those settings and then allow me to download directly from the webdav server instead?
  • edited July 29, 2019
    A list of webdav services with free storage that have been found to work well with Zotero is available here: https://zotero.org/support/kb/webdav_services Of these, pCloud is probably the most popular.

    Beyond that list, many (free and paid) cloud storage services offer WebDAV support (though notably not Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, or Dropbox, as least not without third party plugins for those).

    Note that Zotpad has not been updated in years, and it no longer works. There isn't really a good iPad app for Zotero currently, but Zotero is actively developing its own official app. For now, the best way to use Zotero with an iPad is to use Zotfile's Send to Tablet feature.

    In general, I recommend you consider Zotero storage. It isn't really comparable to Google Drive. It isn't just storage space, it is also supporting the general Zotero sync and group infrastructure. A better comparison would be something like Paperpile or Mendeley storage, for which Zotero's rates are very comparable. Using Zotero storage will certainly give you the smoothest experience.
  • edited July 29, 2019
    Hi yes I'm already actually using zotero storage and it is an elegant user-friendly solution for sure, but it is also a very expensive cloud storage option. $5 per month doesn't sound like a lot, but next thing you know, you're paying for 10 services which are "only" $5 per month each and suddenly you're expenditure on monthly services is not trivial anymore, especially for students or anyone else who doesn't have high disposable income.

    btw zotpad still works. I've got an old iPad with zotpad installed and it syncs to my zotero storage. I'm at a point though where I need to think about future proofing my workflow (which would involve an android tablet and not an ipad) because otherwise my library will just be way too big to troubleshoot manually if I have to.
  • I wouldn’t recommend relying on Zotpad. It hasn’t been updated along with changes in Zotero’s sync system, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to continue to reliably sync changes you make. At least, you will want to be attentive to be sure your changes are being synced. This will all of course not be an issue once Zotero releases its own iPad app (currently in development).

    Of course affordability is a concern, but I’d again just caution against comparing with other file storage services. Beyond file storage, Zotero also operates its citation and group collaboration systems. The costs associated with hosting and maintaining these are reflected in the price. A more analogous comparison would be to Overleaf (e.g., https://www.overleaf.com/user/subscription/plans).

    For lower cost non-Zotero file sync, I suggest you use a WebDAV service like pCloud, as these still use Zotero’s native sync system and will be more likely to work with any iPad or Android app.
  • Hi bwienik, double thanks for your feedback. It's very valuable indeed (probably worth more than $5 per month haha ;-).

    The group collaboration functionality is certainly something I will investigate (I've got about 5 papers in prep currently with co-authors spread all over the world).

    One last question, I'm assuming the app which is in development will be released for both android and iOS platforms? I'm not a big fan of the whole apple ecosystem so any future tablet purchase will likely not be an ipad.
  • No, it'll be an iOS app, primarily targeted at iPads. Other than some low-cost specialized tablets meant mainly for playing Amazon Prime Video or Netflix, there's just not much of an Android tablet market to speak of. (The Wirecutter recommends iPads even for people with Android phones.) iPads are simply too far ahead in most respects, and that gap will likely only increase with iOS 13 and any hardware updates in September, so we're focusing on iOS.

    There are third-party Android apps for Zotero that may work on tablets, though, and you can always use ZotFile to sync files to tablets for annotation without a dedicated app.
  • FYI, Papership is a very neet iPad app for Zotero. Syncing is only done through Zotero accounts though, no WebDAV as far as I know.
  • @LimeCrusher Until the Zotero App is released (which I really welcome), The latest Papership still works with WebDAV and Groups using this workaround described by me here: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/64967/cant-access-webdav-files-from-papership-or-zotero-org#latest. For me the issue was blocking Papership from syncing at all, even with Zotero.org groups.
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