Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • Cloud backup for Mac – what are people using?
  • finbar
    Free Member

    I’ve just had a bit of a scare with my Macbook – the hard-drive cable failed – so I’ve decided it’s finally time to pay for a cloud-based storage backup.

    I do use an external HDD with Time Machine, but I’m not diligent about doing it as often as I should.

    I only need 200GB or so, and I’m mainly bothered about photos. Ease of use is most important, though it would be nice to have the option to transition to Windows in future if I get a PC.

    Any recommendations? I’m only considering iCloud and Google Drive really, just curious about peoples’ experiences in using them.

    Thank you.

    GHill
    Full Member

    If you’re serious about getting a windows machine in the future then I can’t see why you’d go iCloud. The way it integrates with MacOS is surely the selling point.

    I use both Google Drive (work) and Dropbox (private). Slight preference for Dropbox, but I use more storage than you’ve suggested.

    finbar
    Free Member

    Thanks – as far as I can tell (and sorry if I sound utterly clueless), I can configure Photos on Mac to automatically sync with iCloud. Not sure I can do that with Google drive…? Dragging and dropping would be a PITA. On that basis I’m erring towards iCloud as it’ll be best with the Mac I have currently.

    GHill
    Full Member

    Yep, iCloud sync is pretty seamless with Photos. Genuinely no idea how that would work with a Windows machine.

    finbar
    Free Member

    As I thought – ta.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    I can configure Photos on Mac to automatically sync with iCloud

    I was going to say… does it not do this by default? Do you not actually use iCloud for anything already e.g. Mac/iPhone etc? Definitely do this for photos, pay a few quid per month for extra storage & never have to worry about it.

    For cloud computer backup, I use a service called Backblaze. Cheap enough, unlimited storage, never had to use it in anger but it gets good reviews 😃 iCloud/Google drive etc would get a bit expensive if I wanted to do a complete system backup rather than just documents, etc.

    Genuinely no idea how that would work with a Windows machine.

    you can get Photos for Windows, I’m sure it’ll work just fine. Apple have taken great pains to make things more inclusive for the disadvantaged these days 🤣

    finbar
    Free Member

    Cheers zilog. I do have an iCloud account, but I’ve just checked and I’ve got 724kb (kb, not Gb) of data on there 😀 , so definitely not using it at present.

    I think that’s my mind made up, thank you.

    scuttler
    Full Member

    If you think you might need MS Office, a Microsoft 365 subscription which includes OneDrive (MS’s Dropbox / iCloud equivalent) might start to make economic sense. Not sure how integrated it is with Mac but obviously tightly integrated with Windows and MS Office. You can often get deals on the subscriptions from places like Argos. I typically pay £40-£50 a year for the M365 Family subscription which is full Office suite including 6 x 1TB of cloud storage, so more than I’ll ever need.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    You’ll need the iCloud app for the Windows machine. After that it should be seamless.

    binners
    Full Member

    I do use an external HDD with Time Machine, but I’m not diligent about doing it as often as I should.

    Have you not got it set up to do it automatically every day? Just go into your system preferences and set it up to do that

    I use that and also my Adobe CC cloud storage. Belt and braces as I’ve lost a Mac hard drive in the past and don’t want to take any risks

    Killer
    Free Member

    could you not use a NAS solution wiht auto backup such as the Western Digitial MyCloud things?

    Could give you remote access too?

    PrinceJohn
    Full Member

    I’m currently using GoogleDrive – you can set it to back up folders that you’d store your photos in, but not sure if you’d be able to browse from your photos from it on a phone

    paul0
    Free Member

    I do use an external HDD with Time Machine, but I’m not diligent about doing it as often as I should.

    Have you not got it set up to do it automatically every day?

    This is an easy first step.

    Timemachine seems to work pretty well – just set it automatic backups and forget. For belt and braces you could have a second Timemachine backup disk that is normally kept separately from the mac, but periodically connected to complete a backup.

    bassmandan
    Free Member

    I use the iCloud 200GB plan. Syncs all my photos across all my devices, plus documents and desktop across two macs.

    If I wasn’t going iCloud then I probably wouldn’t use photos for photo storage, but if I did use it, then I’d move the data file to whatever I’m using (Google drive, Dropbox etc).

    TiRed
    Full Member

    iCloud for photos, oneDrive for personal documents and oneDrive for Business for work. All works fine on all platforms. Flavour of OS is now irrelevant.

    bensales
    Free Member

    We use iCloud (2Tb plan) for most stuff, photos, documents etc., but recognise it’s not actually a backup solution (apart from for iOS devices). Useful for syncing across devices though.

    So the laptops (Mac and Windows) and desktop (Mac) also have Backblaze subscriptions that do full offsite backups of the entire disc. The Macs also have TimeMachine backups for extra redundancy.

    iCloud works ‘ok’ with Windows 10. Photos taken and stored on Apple devices sync properly into the Windows 10 Photos app and vice versa. Documents too.

    Have OneDrive too, but that’s only really used on my son’s laptop for school (O365 education account). Similarly my work Mac has it too.

    wobbliscott
    Free Member

    Apple works seamlessly with google. My brother does this as he is paranoid about being independent of any OS MS or Apple. He has no issues integrating with google from his work MS laptop or his home Apple stuff.

    Not sure what he does but pretty seamless as far as he reports.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Family of Apple users here, I have some iCloud storage which I share via family sharing. Everyone uses that for photos and documents, as already said you can sync across multiple devices – for example I often take a photo with my phone and then access it immediately from my MacBook. Music etc is all through streaming services these days so no need to store anything.

    Note that iCloud isn’t a full backup of your machine, you need to make sure that photos, documents, etc get written there but it’s easy to set up and you can forget about it after that.

    Rather than use TimeMachine, BackBlaze, etc I just treat my laptop as a replaceable unit. Anything I need to keep goes on iCloud if it’s personal, or OneDrive if it’s work. If my laptop goes pop or gets lost/stolen, I can just build another and carry on without having to bother with restores. Easy peasy.

    shinton
    Free Member

    apple works seamlessly with google

    Very much this, although more google works seamlessly with apple. I have my photos on an external drive connected to my mac mini and I couldn’t get iCloud to back them up, but I’m sure there must be a way. With google drive you can click on any folder whether it’s internal or external and it will backup/sync.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I just use iCloud. i dont actually store anything on the physical device. Its so rare now that you cant access the cloud that I just use that

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    It sounds like what you’re after is a backup service as well as cloud storage.

    Like folks have said, you can store your photos fairly easily on iCloud. Depending on how many you have, you might need to buy more storage. You can share this within your iCloud ‘family’.

    You can also store JPEG copies of photos as well as video files on google. Though you have to pay for storage beyond 15GB.

    If there are things beyond photos that you want to avoid losing if your laptop is stolen/broken then you need backups.

    1. iCloud. This will store your photos, documents, desktop, downloads folder, etc depending on your settings.
    2. TimeMachine. Plugging a drive into a laptop is a pain. You can enable wireless TimeMachine backups with a number of wireless hard drives. Some routers and many NASs support hard drives as TimeMachine backup disks. For example, I use a Synology NAS.
    3. off site backups. I use 2 approaches for this. A regular bootable Carbon Copy Cloner copy of my Macintosh HD that I store at a friend’s. I also use BackBlaze.

    One vital thing to do is check your backup plans work and you can recover data as well as apparently save it. This is fairly easy to do with iCloud and google – you can login and see the files. For TimeMachine, other backups, and cloud-based backup like BackBlaze you need to check you can get it to work.

    The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

    finbar
    Free Member

    Thanks very much everyone.

    Have you not got it [Time Machine] set up to do it automatically every day? Just go into your system preferences and set it up to do that

    That would require me to plug my external HDD into my Mac every day which, to my shame, is simply not something I’ll get round to… :$ . In my defence I also keep my HDD off site in case of fire/flood etc.

    Note that iCloud isn’t a full backup of your machine, you need to make sure that photos, documents, etc get written there but it’s easy to set up and you can forget about it after that.

    Rather than use TimeMachine, BackBlaze, etc I just treat my laptop as a replaceable unit. Anything I need to keep goes on iCloud if it’s personal, or OneDrive if it’s work. If my laptop goes pop or gets lost/stolen, I can just build another and carry on without having to bother with restores. Easy peasy.

    I think I’ll take this approach – I’m now paying Apple a couple of quid a month for lots of storage – retaining the Time Machine backup for music of which I have loads. But I don’t add to that very often, so not too much hassle

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    That would require me to plug my external HDD into my Mac every day which, to my shame, is simply not something I’ll get round to…

    Mine is plugged in all the time. I run two external drives – one stays at work, the other comes home with me. And I rotate them regularly so no back-up is more than a couple of days old.

    I’ve lost too much data in the past to take risks. Swapping drives soon becomes routine.

    bridges
    Free Member

    Plugging a drive into a laptop is a pain

    In what way?

    I use various external drives for backup and file storage, plus a NAS that acts as a media server. I need many terrabytes of storage, so cloud services are currently a little more expensive than I’m willing to pay. I am considering cloud storage for the really important stuff I can’t afford to lose, though.

    iamtheresurrection
    Full Member

    I’d second or third using an offsite backup that keeps versions or snapshots of backups. If you have a problem with iCloud (be it ransomware, accidental deletions or some MacOS/iOS update with a bug) then any changes will be mirrored in the cloud.

    The last time I looked, you can’t look back at snapshots of your iCloud files or folders such as you can with TimeMachine for example. It’s not a backup service, as opposed to syncing files/folders across devices – plus everything has to sit within the iCloud folder.

    I use Arq, and B2 from Backblaze, similar to the standalone Backblaze but cheaper – 300Gb for example is costing me about $1.70 a month ($0.005 per Gb per month). In my case it’s configured to black up an external drive if t’s present, OneDrive, a SharePoint folder, iCloud folders and some photo folders… Easy enough to set up.

    scrumfled
    Free Member

    After some bad experiences with cloud backups, I went back to time machine/NAS and a seperate periodic backup to external SSD.

    I’d like to find a decent cloud service again, but Im finding myself increasing cynical 😉

    Arq seems to have potential, although the documentation is a little light on stuff like encryption/security.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    That would require me to plug my external HDD into my Mac every day which, to my shame, is simply not something I’ll get round to…

    You can use Time Machine over WiFi if you have another computer which is permanently on (which is what I do), a NAS or possibly even just a HDD plugged into your router (if it supports file storage).

    I need many terrabytes of storage, so cloud services are currently a little more expensive than I’m willing to pay.

    how many is many? Backblaze is “unlimited” for $7/month/computer (they may have some kind of fair-use policy, never investigated”) or their B2 option is $5/TB/month so probably not going to break the bank.

    After some bad experiences with cloud backups

    which ones, specifically? Would be helpful! 🤣

    bridges
    Free Member

    how many is many?

    Many. Cloud storage would cost me several hundred pounds a year. For that, I can easily buy a few suitably large HDDs and stick them in my NAS. My current solution doesn’t cost me on a monthly basis. A decent NAS and a set of HDDs lasts for years. Cloud storage isn’t yet economical for my needs.

    iamtheresurrection
    Full Member

    Cloud storage would cost me several hundred pounds a year. For that, I can easily buy a few suitably large HDDs and stick them in my NAS

    I don’t think anybody would argue that local NAS for large volume backup is always going to be more convenient and likely cheaper. 4TB for example with B2 would cost about £170 a year, which would get you a couple of hard drives in RAID 10, and those drives would likely be replaced ever three years or so, so about a third of the cost before enclosure.

    In the event of a disaster, I like the security of an encrypted, easy to access off site back up. I still back up locally, cloud doesn’t replace it in my case.

    Most of my friends don’t think about backups at all. Keeps me up at nights 😉

    bridges
    Free Member

    But… you are the resurrection?

    iamtheresurrection
    Full Member

    Sadly just the song that was playing when we all had to recreate our accounts, as opposed to the ability to miracle terabytes of data from thin air…

    scrumfled
    Free Member

    @zilog6128, it was idrive. there were a few niggles, but the dealbreaker was when it spat the dummy and decided not to backup some folders, but not to tell me it’d done that.

    FYI, the encryption schema on ARQ seems to be limited to SHA1 or SHA256.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    it was idrive. there were a few niggles, but the dealbreaker was when it spat the dummy and decided not to backup some folders, but not to tell me it’d done that.

    not good!! ta, was wondering if it was Backblaze, have heard good reports about them but never actually had to retrieve any files from them despite having used their service for years! Maybe I should try just to make sure it works ok 😃

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

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