Benefits of backing up to iCloud vs. local?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by PNutts, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #1
    Ignoring issues that occur with local computers (drive failures, 3 year olds, meteors, etc.) are there clear benefits to backing up an iDevice to iCloud? One I can think of is being able to restore from anywhere, but I've only restored a couple of times in the past four years so I consider that a convenience.

    I reviewed the iCloud backup feature set at http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/apps-books-backup.html and it appears similar to a local backup. I may just be too old and set in my ways but I understand local backups and am comfortable with them and managing them. Moving to a cloud-based platform for backups adds a number of additional layers and risk (IMHO). For example, I know when I plug in the cable and when. But with automatic daily backups when plugged in do folks check to see if they complete successfully? I don't plug mine in daily and I'm curious if the backups are a delta or if there is so little data moved that it is always a full backup. I backed up my iPhone via a cable and and iPad via WiFi. I don't know which is which yet, but one backup is 83MB and the other is 1.6GB. With the various iDevices we have, if that larger backup is the norm then I don't want to push that much data out the door.

    Also is there versioning? Locally I have a number of backups to choose from but is there only one in the cloud and if for some reason it isn't restorable then ???

    Thanks for your thoughts. Sorry if this has all been asked before. I did some quick searching but nothing of any depth.
     
  2. marymc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    I'm wondering the same thing (right down to, does this mean I'm just getting too old and set in my ways?)

    One thing I'm wondering--WHEN does everything sync? I know that, if I create a new contact on either my Mac or my iPhone, it will sync to the other device when I plug in the iPhone and initiate a sync. But now that I've enabled iCloud backup, I created a new contact about an hour ago on my Mac, and it's still not showing up, either on iCloud, or my iPhone. I've enabled and checked every setting I can find--no change.

    I've found lots of vague references to how and when data syncs to iCloud, but nothing specific. Some references make it sound like it happens instantly, whenever you enter data on either device. Some make it sound like it happens once a day. Is it working like it's supposed to here, and I just need to be more patient (not gonna happen--if I have to wait a day for iCloud to sync, when it's good and ready, that's enough to keep me backing up to my Mac via my old cable). Or is something just not working right in my particular setup?
     
  3. Oppressed macrumors 65816

    Oppressed

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #3
    Saved space on your computer, and if you have something like a SSD its worth it.
     
  4. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    Jul 24, 2008
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    Pacific Northwest, US
    #4
    True, but I don't consider those issues (others might). Sorry I wasn't clearer.
     
  5. marymc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
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    Seattle
    #5
    Same here--I have 256 GB free on a 320 GB internal hard drive. It's going to be a while before I have to worry about running out!
     
  6. jmpmntwnty3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #6
    I think I'm just going to stick with my regular, old-fashioned plug-in backups for now. At least until Apple truly explains themselves with all of this iCloud stuff.

    It sounds cool in theory, but at the moment I am really confused about how it all works, and I'm comfortable with how the backups have been, where they're stored on your computer.

    Guess that means I'm set in my old ways too... lol!
     
  7. Candlelight macrumors 6502a

    Candlelight

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    Oct 12, 2011
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    New Zealand
    #7
    I can't wait until an iVirus gets into the iCloud and spreads out to all my iDevices.

    iCaramba!
     
  8. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #8
    Imagine someone without a PC who has an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, being able to back up that iDevice to iCloud is HUGE, since otherwise they cannot, so lose the device, kill the device and you lose a lot of your data and settings. Add to that the ability now to set up an AEBS from your iDevice, meaning if you did not have wireless at home to enable back up, you could now easily buy an AEBS, set it up and have wireless at home is just as huge.

    For me, it was a "why not" sort of thing. It is there, it is free, why not. I never have to worry about having my computer on to back up, and if I am away from home I can still back up. Is it critical, probably not, but why not?

    It also means my wife and son can back their iPod and iPad without thinking about it and without having to connect to my computer to do so, same with wireless sync, they now just use the device, that's it, no back up, no sync, just use it, simple.

    Back ups are a delta, the first one to iCloud is a full, then delta after that, and I do check to see if they completed successfully. Well at least now I do because it is new, I am sure I will check less frequently in the future.

    ----------

    Yeah because viruses for IOS are so common and even if they did exist, your home computer is so safe from them over a managed network. I do not think that is the biggest worry about backing up to iCloud.
     
  9. svkrzn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #9
    i switched to icloud for one reaseon: i often use calendar and plan everything everyday. It was boring when i was adding any appointment on my iphone and i had to plugin my iphone to the mac to sync it. Sometimes i just couldn't remember to sync my calendars. Now if i add it on my iphone, it syncs automatically with my mac and i don't have to worry about it. I can leave my phone in the bedroom and check my appointments from my mac, knowing that it's already sinced.
     
  10. rowley macrumors 6502

    rowley

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I like the idea of backup and restore in the cloud - if my iphone resets I can just hook up and restore my old settings.

    One thing that does concern me though is this:

    I presume that once iOS 5 is Jailbroken, data from those units will be backed up.
    I don't think that people who write code for jailbroken idevices are malicious that would be counterproductive.
    Even if there were viruses out in the wild being transferred that way, propagation would be pointless, as it's a restore back to the same device, not to other ones.
    Botnet code on the other hand would keep coming back. If its in the backup, the code would be reinstalled as part of the restore.
    So in theory, botnets could happen this way in idevices, but each machine would be jailbroken, and iin my opinion jailbreaking is becoming more and more redundant. The average Joe that has a iphone wants it for, well, a phone with perks, and does not jailbreak.
     
  11. NorfolkMustard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Indeed, there are 3 versions of backup stored in iCloud for each device.
    some more details http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4859

    You could always use iCloud AND iTunes backup. setup iCloud to do it, and when you connect it with a cable flick it to local backup in iTunes, sync, flick it back to iCloud, sync.
     
  12. PNutts thread starter macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #12
    lol - I was thinking about experimenting with my kids iPod on it since there isn't really anything that needs to be saved and playing with backup / restore. (OK, I'll copy their high scores off it first). :D

    We had MobileMe and that was a great feature. I had the wife's and kid's calendars on my phone and they sync'd everywhere automatically. You will love it!

    Good information. I read that help document and like at work I must have got bored and never read to the bottom. I think I will do both for awhile until I get comfortable with it. Like with most clouds, there is a little too much turbulence right now to trust the iCloud with my only backup. I can't imaging the infrastructure to make this all work. And right now probably pales in comparison to iTunes Match.
     
  13. PNutts, Oct 16, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    PNutts thread starter macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #13
    Quick test. For an iPad turned on iCloud Backup b(oth iTunes and iPad). Backing up the iPad manually in iTunes still performs a backup to the PC. Obviously backing up to iCloud from the iPad goes into the ether.

    Storage used locally is 83 MB. iCloud backup size is not given but will take around 45 minutes.

    Edit (next day): iCloud storage was 483 MB which is expected because iCloud backs up more for me than iTunes. I forced a backup this morning and it is still 483 MB. I saw a post that it does a delta but I don't see an indication of that. My Phone checked in at 2GB for a backup (1.1 GB photos and videos) and that's is an amount I don't want to send out daily. Is there any way short of a packet sniffer on my network to see if the backups are delta? I suppose I could trigger another backup and see if the estimated time is 45 minutes or five minutes. :)

    Edit: Another backup completed in seconds. Yay. The backups appear to be deltas.
     
  14. phillipc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #14
    This is a good Idea to try. I think I will...
     
  15. phillipc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    #15
    I can see the benefits especially for my wife & son who never plug their devices into their computer. However If I make this change I will still need to plug into iTunes because it's the best way to sync my many podcasts that I listen to daily. I've tried some of the apps but none seem to prove the features I need or actually work as advertised.
     

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