Apple’s new iCloud storage system shows promise, and offers a more convenient method of storing and syncing information between devices. Storing device backups on a computer, however, feels safer for people unaccustomed to cloud storage. Which option is best for you?
iCloud Advantages Apple’s designed iCloud to be very tempting to the multi-device user. Syncing is easy thanks to an unobtrusive backup system. Backing up occurs whenever you’re charging your iDevice and it’s on standby, presuming the device has access to a Wi-Fi connection. Backing up to a computer still means physically connecting the device to the computer.
By storing information in the iCloud, you can access device settings, bookmarks, playlists, notes and other important information from any device. So if you make a note to buy contractor software on your iPhone, the note automatically syncs to your iPad or computer.
iCloud storage makes setting up a new device a breeze; just connect the device to iCloud and the cloud service does the rest. The same simplicity comes into play if a device suffers data loss. Simply resync the device and everything’s back in place. Apple added a small feature to iCloud that turns out to be very helpful. The cloud keeps a record of all your app, iTunes and eBook purchases. If your iDevice is lost, stolen or destroyed, you have proof of virtual purchase and can re-download all your music and apps without having to buy them again.
The Security of the Home Computer While the flexibility and convenience of iCloud is wonderful, a certain comfort comes from knowing exactly where your backup is. You still have to connect iDevices manually to your computer, but all the data remains firmly in your control to do with as you see fit.
Security issues have darkened the cloud over the years, and it’s fair to assume that a storage system as large and well known as iCloud presents a tempting target to hackers. If you’re dealing with extremely sensitive information, you may want to take a more hands-on approach to your back up security.
The iCloud is a great place to keep non-sensitive data, however. Businesses especially should carefully consider what material to store in iCloud, or indeed any online storage service.
Computer backups have another advantage over iCloud. Users get 5GB of space free on iCloud, after which very additional 10GB costs you $20. With a computer backup, you’re only restricted by the size of your hard drive.
Flexibility Means Never Having to Choose Choosing between a computer and iCloud backup isn’t an all-or-nothing decision. After all, it’s always wise to have a secondary backup. Use iCloud for data you access regularly, data settings and bookmarks. Keep a secondary backup on your hard drive, including data too sensitive to trust to the cloud. Scheduling a computer backup for device information every one or two weeks adds an extra layer of data protection. In short, you cover all your bases.
Byline: Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond.