iCloud Drive instead of Dropbox?

0098386

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Original poster
Jan 18, 2005
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Hi!
I picked up a Macbook Pro a few days ago and I've been contemplating using Dropbox to sync my work folder between both my devices. I'm a bit wary of using it for sensitive docs (financial stuff, project files) but I'm ultimately hoping to decentralise my workflow.

I've thought about buying Dropbox Pro because it will do exactly what I need (sync files from OSX+Windows on my iMac to OSX+Windows on my MBP, so that's 4 OS's in total). But I'm wondering if iCloud Drive will be able to do the same thing, or if it's any kind of solution for this.

Or is there another, better service? I'm currently trying out a folder sync app, too, but I'd rather use a (secure) cloud service.
 

Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
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Hard to beat Dropbox for this task. For more free storage Microsoft OneDrive is very promising but not as user friendly. I haven't realty messed with iCloud in awhile. I haven't found it too useful except syncing contacts and pictures.
 

0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
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I just ran a quick test and iCloud seems okay. It auto-syncs files and folders on Windows and OSX on all my systems. I need to sync 100gb so Apple's 200gb for £3.99 a month is probably better for me than Dropbox's 1tb for £7.99.
 

Rigby

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Aug 5, 2008
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If you want to sync sensitive documents, consider Spideroak. It is one of the few services using client-side encryption.

Otherwise Dropbox still has the fastest and most reliable syncing from my experience. iCloud Drive doesn't come close at this point. It's slower and not always reliable, forces "undeletable" folders on you, and lacks basic features like selective syncing and sharing arbitrary files with other people.
 

0098386

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I was reading up on Spideroak, it sounds good but I'm worried by the lack of two step verification. I'm inching closure to using Dropbox but with something like VeraCrypt to keep my files a bit more safe.
 

Rigby

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Aug 5, 2008
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I was reading up on Spideroak, it sounds good but I'm worried by the lack of two step verification.
They do offer two-factor authentication, but it's currently only available to paid users. But I don't think it's as important for Spideroak as with other services, since as long as you don't access your files via their web page or the phone app, your password never leaves your computers. So the only remaining attack vector is malware on your computer. But if that happens, your files are exposed anyway.
I'm inching closure to using Dropbox but with something like VeraCrypt to keep my files a bit more safe.
That works pretty well too, but it is slightly less convenient than Spideroak due to the extra step of having to open your Truecrypt/Veracrypt container every time you log in.
 

0098386

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I'm not really up to scratch on how these all work, but wouldn't two-step authentication on Dropbox make it really secure too? (but with the risk of Dropbox employees being able to look into my files)

I'm testing out Spideroak now. Seems to do the job and works out cheaper than Dropbox too.
Edit: Yeah it's great! Not as fast to update as Dropbox but it'll do for me. Thanks Rigby!
 
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Traverse

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Mar 11, 2013
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I just don't have confidence in iCloud Drive yet (which is a big part of trusting your files to it).

Personally, I would wait one year and see how it develops first. I didn't like parts of it. Lack of integration with third parities, no sync detail indicator, not statuses, etc.
 

Rigby

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Aug 5, 2008
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I'm not really up to scratch on how these all work, but wouldn't two-step authentication on Dropbox make it really secure too? (but with the risk of Dropbox employees being able to look into my files)
Remember the incident a few years ago where all Dropbox accounts were accessible without password due to a bug in their authentication system? Two-factor authentication would likely not have helped, since it may have been affected by the bug as well. In contrast, it wouldn't have been a problem for services like Spideroak, since even if someone somehow can access your data, it's useless to the thief, since it's encrypted using a key that only you have. So yes, client-side encryption does provide superior protection against bugs, hackers, government snoops and rogue insiders. Personally, I wouldn't store sensitive information in any public cloud without end-to-end encryption.

If you use a strong password (which isn't a problem since you don't have to enter it often) and preferably avoid accessing your files through the web interface and the phone app (which requires giving out your password to Spideroak), this is a very secure system. Just make sure you don't lose the password, since you will not be able to restore access to your files without it if you have no local copies anymore.
 

reese2147

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2013
111
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For more free storage Microsoft OneDrive is very promising but not as user friendly.
100% disagree, how do you find OneDrive to be "not user friendly"?

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I just don't have confidence in iCloud Drive yet (which is a big part of trusting your files to it).

Personally, I would wait one year and see how it develops first. I didn't like parts of it. Lack of integration with third parities, no sync detail indicator, not statuses, etc.
I cannot stress on these forums enough that iCloud drive is a **syncing** service since there are no selective sync options available.

Dropbox does the job, but I'm not a fan of its web interface.

IMO, OneDrive is the best true storage option. Plus, you can get an extra 100GB of free storage for two years. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2881318/microsoft-offers-bing-rewards-users-100gb-of-free-onedrive-cloud-storage.html
 

madeirabhoy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
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ive changed a few times, depending on who's given me the most free space and how good the ipad access is.


i used dropbox for years, and still keep some stuff in it, but even with all the offers and signing up friends i could only get it up to 20 gigs.

box.com gave me i think it was 50 gigs free, but i found it slow and unreliable.

copy.com with referrals i got 100 gigs free and it works well so thats my choice at the minute.

thats my only issue with icloud, the free space is mingy.
 

jimthing

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Apr 6, 2011
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ive changed a few times, depending on who's given me the most free space and how good the ipad access is.


i used dropbox for years, and still keep some stuff in it, but even with all the offers and signing up friends i could only get it up to 20 gigs.

box.com gave me i think it was 50 gigs free, but i found it slow and unreliable.

copy.com with referrals i got 100 gigs free and it works well so thats my choice at the minute.

thats my only issue with icloud, the free space is mingy.
Agree, 5GB is rubbish – yes, I know, as said a gazillion times by everyone, of course. :rolleyes:

OneDrive gives you UNLIMITED data if you buy the annual subscription to Office remember, which I think hasn't been matched/beaten yet.
How the heck Apple can expect to charge $20/£15 per month for just 1TB is beyond me, apart from 'brand recognition' from those that want all-Apple, without them realising what really works and is available elsewhere.
 

Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
838
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100% disagree, how do you find OneDrive to be "not user friendly"?
I know it's crazy. I have OneDrive configured on my Win8.1 box and the way folders present themselves stumps me. It's probably my issue but I'm a Windows engineer and it's not intuitive to me at all. Dropbox simply create a bunch of sync folders and I can manage them however I see fit. Supposedly Microsoft is going to switch it up for Windows 10.
 

Peepo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2009
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I know it's crazy. I have OneDrive configured on my Win8.1 box and the way folders present themselves stumps me. It's probably my issue but I'm a Windows engineer and it's not intuitive to me at all. Dropbox simply create a bunch of sync folders and I can manage them however I see fit. Supposedly Microsoft is going to switch it up for Windows 10.
Ya, I think they call it placeholders. The problem was it showed every file that was in the cloud but was difficult for people to figure out what was sync'd or not. An example often given was someone wanting to work on documents during a plane flight then they find out the files were just placeholders.

Microsoft is changing it in Windows 10 so it acts the same across all platforms.
I just wish they would put status icons on files like Dropbox does so I can see the sync status. Apparently Dropbox hacked OS X to do this but I believe Yosemite allows this now so it should be possible for OneDrive.
 

lumencreative

macrumors regular
May 19, 2014
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Lancashire
I too have been contemplating Dropbox for a while. I have a basic Dropbox account which I haven't used for some time, however, I mainly use a 1TB Portable USB Hard Drive.

The only problem with this is that I ALWAYS forget my USB Hard Drive and leave it at work so I have started to think about this again.

As I have a Macbook Pro, iPhone, and iPad, I thought about iCloud Drive, however, I need to be easily able to share files with my colleagues.

From those of you with OneDrive, how does OneDrive cope with sharing files? My email is on a Hosted Exchange plan of Office365 and we are considering moving to a subscription that includes Office Desktop Apps but the use of OneDrive would be a huge deciding factor.
 

zOne31

macrumors regular
May 21, 2012
137
29
I'm currently using Dropbox to sync my camera uploads so I can view them on my computer and if I want to change phones, I'd still have the originals. I'm using about 40% of my 5.8 GB which should be fine for a little bit. I wished they had a smaller tier upgrade in case I wanted to get more storage. I'm also using it because I like the interface and it's fast.

What about Google Drive? If camera upload ever comes to Google Drive (so I won't have to use G+), I'll move my camera uploads to Google Drive.

I used OneDrive to sync my photos for a bit but I found it slow and not as good as Dropbox. I do have something like 30+ GB so I'd go to take if I end up not wanting to pay for more Dropbox storage.

I used Copy for a bit but uninstalled it. I'm gonna go back to that and test it out. I'll try sync

I don't really need to sync files that much and if I do I'd probably lean towards Dropbox. I'd just move my photo syncing over to another platform. As for iCloud, I hope that with Photos coming soon, that Apple increases the free storage capacity to a higher amount (maybe something like 10 or 15 GB?). Assuming I stay with iOS, I'm going to dedicate my iCloud space to photos/videos for easy syncing between my phone and my computer. I'll still have another service provide backups.

I'd stick to Dropbox (get Pro if you want to pay), OneDrive, Copy (in that order), or one of the many other syncing services (Box, Spideroak, Sugarsync, etc).
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,059
198
I'm on Dropbox (just signed up for Pro 2 weeks ago) for a couple of reasons.

1) Unlike iCloud, Dropbox isn't attached to one provider. They have clients for all major platforms including desktop and mobile.

2) Dropbox is pretty popular so it's reasonable to expect that developers will support it for syncing. iCloud is built-in, but it's not as platform independent. GDrive and OneDrive are pretty popular as well.

3) Dropbox finally provided reasonable pricing for their Pro tier of service, in line with most larger competitors.

The biggest issue I now face is what I should store in there.
 

clickiphone

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2014
11
0
Dropbox is more popular cloud storage as it released earlier than iCloud Drive. But, I think there are plenty of good reasons of choosing iCloud Drive over Dropbox.

Your requirements of syncing between Mac+Windows+iOS devices can be met easily with iCloud Drive. The more details can be found in this link.
 

reese2147

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2013
111
2
Dropbox is more popular cloud storage as it released earlier than iCloud Drive. But, I think there are plenty of good reasons of choosing iCloud Drive over Dropbox.

Your requirements of syncing between Mac+Windows+iOS devices can be met easily with iCloud Drive. The more details can be found in this link.
iCloud drive does not support selective sync. That is the #1 reason out of a quite a few not to consider it as a viable option.
 

markhort

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2010
1,081
605
UK
iCloud drive does not support selective sync. That is the #1 reason out of a quite a few not to consider it as a viable option.
This is the only reason why I haven't changed to iCloud from DropBox. I don't want copies of all my files on every Mac I own. Especially on my 11" MBA with only a 128GB SSD. I have over 100GB of pictures alone.

I also use DropBox for work, I don't want my work files on my computers, and I don't want my personal stuff on my work desktop and laptop.
 

Trahearne

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2014
418
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Agree, 5GB is rubbish – yes, I know, as said a gazillion times by everyone, of course. :rolleyes:

OneDrive gives you UNLIMITED data if you buy the annual subscription to Office remember, which I think hasn't been matched/beaten yet.
How the heck Apple can expect to charge $20/£15 per month for just 1TB is beyond me, apart from 'brand recognition' from those that want all-Apple, without them realising what really works and is available elsewhere.
Because they provide lower tiers, and they charge you based on the assumption that you really need that space and the bandwidth? Others charge you at a way lower rate, but often bet on most of the users using only a fraction of the space. a.k.a. cost amortisation.

YMMV.
;)