Is it advisable to use iCloud Drive as ones main document store?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AbingdonBod, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. AbingdonBod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    #1
    I am wondering whether to move all my documents on my MacBook into my iCloud Drive. My iCloud Drive would then become my main and only document folder for files of all types, including photographs, music etc.

    Where are the documents I create and save into my Mac's iCloud Drive? Are they on my Mac's hard drive and backed up to iCloud? Or are they only in the cloud? Will I be able to access all documents off-line, incuding those I've created or edited in iCloud Drive using my iPad? Assuming I've synced everything before going off-line of course.
     
  2. 0d085d macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    #2
    This post talks about a bug that iCloud Drive used to have, but also indicates that documents are not always stored locally as well as in the cloud. I don't think you can guarantee anything will be available offline without explicitly copying it out of the iCloud Drive.

    I'm not sure whether Apple's intention is for iCloud to be used as everybody's main storage place. I'm inclined not to use it as such as the intricacies of how it works appear to change often enough that I feel I'm always only one misunderstanding away from deleting everything irreversibly.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    I pay for extra "cloud" storage and I often use it as if it was my "home" folder but I never intend for the "only" copy of a file to be sitting on somebody's cloud somewhere. You never know when these things are gonna crash or even go unavailable for a few hours.

    For instance, google docs went badly belly up last year and a lot of users lost access to google sheets for several hours. I already knew that I shouldn't keep anything in "only one place" but I was "too busy" to back things up. Not. Any. More.

    Using icloud drive as if it was your home folder is permissible and is no worse than using some competitor's cloud for the same thing (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Dropbox, etc), but remember to keep redundant copies of things. It's always worth the time it takes to do regular backups.
     
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #4
    Not a good idea to have only one place where you keep your important documents. They aren't made of stainless steel, but bits and bytes. They can and will get corrupted at some point. That's why you need multiple copies.
     
  5. AbingdonBod, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

    AbingdonBod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    #5
    Very well phrased. :) (Bold). Interesting link that too. It's enough to put anyone off.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2016 ---
    r0k and Gregg. Thanks for your comments. I currently use time machine to back up everything on the macbook's hard drive. I understand this would also back up what's in the iCloud Drive. But given 0d085d's comments above, I'd be worried it was only backing up place holders.

    I was hoping that using iCloud Drive would be like backing up to a remote site. Files would then be saved in three places (I thought): on my hard drive, on my external hard drive (via Time Machine) and in the cloud. It doesn't seem to work quite like that.
     
  6. 0d085d macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    #6
    You're right - iCloud seems to work more like a remote network share. Dropbox would be better for "backups".

    Quotes because these instant sync services aren't strictly speaking backups. They protect you against hardware failure, but if you inadvertently select-all-delete you'll lose both originals and backups in one fell swoop. Of course if you have a proper Time Machine backup as well then it's less important, and how much effort you want to put into your backups depends on how important the data is to you. See RAID is not a backup.
     
  7. AbingdonBod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    #7
    Yes, I agree. Sync services aren't backups. A belt and braces might be what I have in mind. A cloud repository accessible to several devices, backed up Time Machine fashion to the cloud and to a local external disk.

    I think I'll just stick with using iCloud for occasional sharing of files between laptop and iPad. Meanwhile keeping main stuff in my laptop's documents folder and pictures folder on my local hard drive, backed up with time machine to external disk.

    Interesting you mention Drop Box. The workings of Dropbox seem a bit better explained on their website than Apple explain iCloud Drive. I get the impression (probably delusional) that I understand Dropbox. That I think does keep all files saved locally on the local HD whilst also syncing them to the cloud. Unless someone knows different of course.
     

Share This Page