Best cloudy solution for 3 Macs and about 1TB of old files?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by noisedude, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. noisedude macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    I'm in desperate need of someone making this simple for me. Please help!

    I now have three Macs. Two main ones - a 4K iMac I just bought and a 2015 MBPr, both with 256GB SSDs.

    I also have my 2012 mini with a very elderly 1TB internal drive. Until recently this was my main machine and has everything ever on it. The mini currently backs up to both a USB drive and my Time Capsule.

    I'm a web designer. My MBP goes out with me to work away from home and the mini stays at home. But in a couple of weeks I'm also going to be setting up base in a new office, and I think that's where the iMac will go and become my main work machine.

    So - two objectives:

    1. What's the easiest way to move around from place to place / machine to machine and have my work files with me at all times?
    2. How do I plan to regularly back up nearly 1TB of data (mainly my Photos library, ripped DVDs and then work files and MP3) without getting confused as to which computer they're 'on'?

    I'm willing to pay for extra cloudy stuff.

    Some factors that might help/not help:

    • I don't use iCloud Photo Library and have about 300GB of photos on my Mac mini at the moment. I was scared that iCloud would mangle or lose my photos if I tried to sync such a big library - am I right?
    • I use Apple Music mostly. I also have about 50GB of music on my mini, not all of which is on Apple Music, but it doesn't need to travel with me. It just needs to be safe.
    • I pay for the 200GB of iCloud storage, currently half filled with iPhone backups, and would extend it to 2TB if needed.
    • I have 100GB of Creative Cloud storage which would be plenty for my work files, but I'm not sure I trust Adobe...
    • I have all the usual free cloud storage accounts, plus will be paying for either G Suite or Office 365 soon so could keep all my files and/or backups there.
    • I'm not crazy paranoid about security but I'd like to somehow keep a local backup as well as a cloud one I think?
    So what combination of Apple services, USB drives and other cloud products should I use to make this simple?

    Thank you very much for your time! :)
  2. Zazoh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    I'm in same boat. I only synch contacts notes, reminders that kinda stuff via iCloud.

    I use Dropbox for the documents I want to use between devices. I had it before iCloud and didn't want to move over 800GB to a new cloud device.
  3. carlsson macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2001
    I say: Go with iCloud Drive. Especially if you have High Sierra on all of them.

    When all macs are synced you will have the same data on all of them, reachable from your macs as well as your iPhone, iPad and

    For me this have been great since I now can reach all my documents from everywhere. And it just works.

    There are some caveats, eg if you have older macOS and only want to sync some folders. But for you it seems to be the right choice.

  4. JOSmith99 macrumors member

    May 31, 2016
    As to the question of backing up, that depends on where you keep all the data. My suggestion to ensure that you always have full backups would be to designate one of your computers as the "central" one and then, every time you plan to back up, first check that your other computers have fully synced with the cloud (assuming you have done any work on them since the last backup) and then wait for that main computer to be fully synced with the cloud, at which point you can be fairly sure that any files in the cloud on any of the computers are also on that main computer. Then run a local backup of that computer. Of course, you should also back up both other computers (assuming you are still using the Mac mini), but this should ensure that you will always have one backup you can go to that will have all of your files in it.
  5. noisedude thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Thank you. Is this on the assumption I'm using the Optimise Storage option?

    The amount of storage will be bigger than the internal drives on my iMac and MBP.

    And should I just be brave and trust iCloud Photo Library at the same time?

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