Sandstorm Hosting – Common Questions – All Users

Q. What is Sandstorm?

A. Sandstorm is an open source project aiming to fundamentally change the way we use web apps, led by ex-Google-engineer Kenton Varda. Sandstorm makes running your own personal web services as easy as running your phone. You can install apps like e-mail clients, document editors, blogging software, and more, using a simple app-store-like interface. No config files, no command lines. Everything is done through your web browser. The Sandstorm name and logo are trademarks of Sandstorm Development Group, Inc.

Q. What is the service offered by iWebz?

A. iWebz provides a cloud-hosted Sandstorm platform as a service for users who do not wish to setup and maintain a stand-alone personal Sandstorm server.

Q. What type of support is included in the iWebz-hosted Sandstorm software service?

A. We offer quick customer support via a ticket system during business hours (see off-days and holidays) for issues with iWebz hosting service availability, account sign-in or billing issues, etc.

Q. Do you offer any training or documentation to use the cloud-hosted Sandstorm software?

A. The Sandstorm software is quite intuitive and easy to use and it requires little guidance. There is a free online demo you can try out here with this hands-on tour. The Sandstorm system/software we host is the latest original un-modified version available for use "as-is". User documentation is available on its official website. We do not provide any further support or documentation for using, troubleshooting or customizing the Sandstorm system. For more details see section 2 in our Sandstorm System Terms of Service.

Q. Why should I use a cloud-hosted Sandstorm system from iWebz?

A. iWebz handles the hard hosting-related stuff — patching and upgrading, 24x7 server ops and security, build systems, failovers, and more. Also, you are not locked-in to iWebz. Sandstorm is free open-source software and you can cancel your service (plan) at any time to self-host Sandstorm. Simply download all your grain data from our cloud-hosted Sandstorm and upload it to your own Sandstorm server before you cancel your service.

Q. Is iWebz an official Sandstorm partner?

A. No. There is no official partner program available, and Sandstorm Development Group, Inc. is not affiliated with us in any way. We only provide cloud hosting of Sandstorm so that you get to use it without any hassle at a minimal cost.

Q. How can I try out the Sandstorm system?

A. There is a free online demo you can try out here with this hands-on tour. Avoid submitting any private or confidential information to the demo system as it is not hosted by iWebz. We also offer a 7-day free trial for all new users.

Q. How do I signup for a Sandstorm user account?

A. The signup process for a Sandstorm user account is quite simple and can be completed in minutes:

  • Sign-in to and add some basic one-time contact/billing info.
  • Select the signup / trial option below any paid plan of your choice.
  • Select either PayPal account sign-in or the Debit/Credit cards option to setup your subscription via PayPal.
  • Within the next few minutes you will receive your Sandstorm login details via e-mail.

Q. What are Apps and Grains?

A. Sandstorm apps are web apps that you can install from an app store to use and share a specific functionality like text-editing, spreadsheets, email access, file storage, web publishing, etc. To use an app you need to create a grain (private copy of an app's workspace). You can also share grains to work together in real-time with guest users. Simply define their edit/read access and then invite them using their email address.

Q. How is Sandstorm secure?

A. Each app runs in a secure sandbox, so a bad app cannot harm the rest of your server. Sandstorm provides a unified login system, so you don’t have to log into each app separately. Sandstorm's sandboxing model makes it possible to securely share an  app's grain without access to other grains of the same app.

Q. How does Sandstorm take care of data privacy?

A. All your data is stored in one place, rather than fragmented across the internet. The developer of an app (Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, etc.) cannot spy on you, perform experiments on you, or mine your data for advertising purposes. Even we cannot see your data as it is stored securely in each app's grain. Only you can choose how much access others have for each of your app grains. If you want to stop using a specific grain, or stop using our service entirely, you can download your data from each grain.

Q. Where is my Sandstorm data stored?

A. All software and data is currently stored, backed-up, and served from within Amazon AWS data centers in India.

Q. How do I download my data from the Sandstorm system?

A. To do so, login to your account, open each grain and click the download backup button in the top bar, which looks like a down-facing arrow. This will give you a ZIP file that contains all the data from that grain.

Q. How do I move my grain to my own server in future?

A. First setup your own Sandstorm server. Once you have downloaded data for your grain(s) from our service, install the app that your grain was created with in your account on your server. Then visit the Grains tab, click Restore backup , and choose the backup ZIP file that you downloaded before.

Q. I have signed-in to using Login OTP/Google/facebook but I cannot login to your Sandstorm hosting. Why is that?

A. The password-less sign-in will show you active & inactive service accounts across all our cloud services with their respective subscription and payment information. To use our cloud services such as Sandstorm cloud hosting you will need a password. You can set that password from here. If you are a first-time user you will need to wait a few minutes till you receive the email with login details from iWebz. If you still have not received this email check the Spam/Junk folders for your email address you signed-up with.

Q. How do I install and use a Sandstorm app?

A. If the app is pre-installed then you only need to create a grain (private copy of the app) to start using the app. You can create as many grains as you need and invite guest users to collaborate/share files in some or all of them. If the app is not pre-installed, navigate to Apps > Install (+) and install the app from the App Market. see video

Q. How does secure collaboration work in Sandstorm?

A. In Sandstorm, each app copy (also called a grain) is private by default and no one else has access to it when it is created. In order to work with others, you can trigger an email invite from Sandstorm with permissions to a guest user so they can access your grain only as per those permissions. To do so:

  • Click the Share Access link in the black top bar.
  • Choose a Send an invite option.
  • Enter a valid email address.
  • Select the right permissions (optional)
  • Write a personal message (optional)
  • Click Send

Alternately, you can get a sharing link with the right permissions by clicking on the Get shareable link option under the Share Access link. Anyone with this link can access your grain with the permissions granted to that link.

Q. Do I need to use or connect an email service for sending out emails from my Sandstorm account?

A. You do not need to add an email service. Unlimited email notifications are included. The Sandstorm system sends out emails to enable account registrations, grain access sharing, event notifications, and guest user invites. They are all sent using the domain. Email delivery is affected by many factors which are beyond our control, hence, we cannot be held responsible or liable for any issues arising out of non-delivery of notification emails. Please note that due to our commitment to NO SPAM our email notifications allow recipients to unsubscribe from future email notifications. This may permanently affect email notification delivery to such persons.

Q. We have not received some emails sent out from the Sandstorm system using your email service. Can you fix this?

A. Delivery of emails sent using our email service is affected by many factors which are beyond our control. If guest user invites are not getting delivered, send the access sharing link for that grain using your own email service/address.