What's the difference between iCloud backup and wifi sync?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by NWI73, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. NWI73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #1
    I have been doing both every night (although the wifi sync has not been working perfectly). What exactly happens with iCloud and what exactly happens with wifi sync? I'm only interested in hearing the responses from someone who actually knows and is not assuming. I need to know since i'm yet to find info online to fully explain this.
     
  2. mreddys10 macrumors regular

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    Jul 29, 2008
    #2
    I'm no expert, but iCloud backup syncs, and backs up your data to Apple's servers (and stays online) under your iCloud account. WiFi sync will sync and backup to your computer (locally stored).
     
  3. kfergiez macrumors 6502

    kfergiez

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #3
    Well, iCloud backup is exactly what the name is. It's a backup of your phone in iCloud. Wifi sync is exactly what the name is as well. It is syncing your phone to your computer via wifi.
    The difference is that any changes you've made to your iTunes library like albums, genius info, purchased apps, etc is updated on both phone and computer when you sync. A backup is just a copy of all that information stored in the cloud so if your computer or phone goes belly-up, you can do a restore and get all of your stuff for your phone back.
     
  4. r2shyyou macrumors 68000

    r2shyyou

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    #4
    Exactly. And I'll add that, with iCloud backups, if your phone experiences problems while away from home and you need to go to an Apple store to get it replaced, you can restore from your iCloud backup right then and there without needing to go home to restore from your Wi-Fi sync backup.
     
  5. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #5
    What you explained is exactly what I am questioning. What is a "sync" and what is a "backup"?

    Should I be backing up to the cloud every night to have a full data backup as well as a sync with my computer or..? Is my wifi sync also performing a data backup to macbook?
     
  6. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I used this example fully when I purchased my 4S. Bought the phone, came back to work and restored from iCloud backup to get my phone exactly where my old iPhone 4 was.

    I am still questioning whether I should be doing both every night or not. When I used my iCloud sync, everything came back except for my music so all I had to do was sync with my MacBook at home to get that back. Everything else came back via iCloud.

    Help?
     
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #7
    Wifi Sync syncs your phone with iTunes, same as it used to do via USB. It copies Music/Videos/Apps etc as needed from one to the other.

    Backup (iCloud or Local) stores your phone settings and App data.
     
  8. coconutxyz macrumors member

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #8
    the names are different;)
    okay so my understanding is when you enabled icloud backup your phone will backup to icloud through syncing between your phone and mac wirelessly if you enabled wifi sync
     
  9. r2shyyou macrumors 68000

    r2shyyou

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    #9
    Gotcha. I don't have much music on my phone at the moment but I'm pretty certain music is one thing that iCloud doesn't back up. As such, while I personally wouldn't back up to both iCloud and my local machine every night, doing both as often as you deem fit is probably a good idea.
     
  10. DefBref macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #10
    Icloud backup : backups all your app data and other data.

    Wireless sync: backups all your app data and other data. Also syncs with itunes to ensure any changes you made in itunes to what you are choosing to sync is in place.

    So no you don't have to do both, but there is no harm in doing both (unless your on a limited data plan). Having a icloud backup means you can restore your device even if your nowhere near your itunes library.
     
  11. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #11
    So if I do all my iTunes app purchases through my iPhone then a wireless sync really isn't necessary, correct? At this point, the only thing I do with iTunes is download podcasts. With that said, the only reason to wirelessly sync would be to get new podcasts, right?
     
  12. DefBref macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2011
    #12
    If thats all you do then yes, you could even get a podcast downloader app (there are several in the app store) and then you wouldn't need to connect to your itunes library at all.
     
  13. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #13
    Wireless (or any other) sync does not backup any data if you have iCloud backups turned on (it does if you don't) - you get a specific warning to that effect when you turn it on
     
  14. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Correct^ but the weird thing is I did a wireless manual sync this morning and the newest podcast is not on my phone.
     
  15. dk831, Oct 18, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    dk831 macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I'm beginning to think that iTunes WiFi Sync doesn't back up the data your phone. It only syncs your media, books, etc.

    Anyone else using iTunes WiFi Sync notice that where it says "Last Backup" on the Summary tab is actually the time and date of the last time you plugged in your phone?

    I was hoping that iTunes WiFi Sync was the 100% equivalent of plugging your phone into the computer via USB but I'm not so sure anymore.

    Here's what I think so far:

    - iTunes Sync via USB will do a contents sync and phone data backup.
    - iTunes WiFi Sync will only do a contents sync.
    - iCloud Backup will only do a phone data backup.
     
  16. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #16
    Right.

    If you have a lot of music/media that was purchased outside of iTunes, then Wireless Sync is preferable. If all your media was purchased through iTunes, you can probably just do cloud backups.
     
  17. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

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    Jul 3, 2011
    #17
    Do we still need to manually download new episodes on iTunes and then do the wifi sync? Is there any way to get iTunes to detect and automatically download new episodes?
     
  18. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I think if you subscribe to it, is automatic but idk for sure.
     
  19. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #19
    You are mixing up two different things: backing up and syncing.

    They are not the same. Backing up can only be done one of two ways: during iTunes syncing or via iCloud.

    Therefore you can sync to iTunes and STILL be backing up to iCloud.

    Syncing is no different than what we always did via USB cable. It syncs your new music, adds any apps added via iTunes and not in the iOS device yet, new music, etc.

    Backing up is the same whether you choose to do it via iTunes or iCloud, with the difference being that iCloud backups are available anywhere you have an internet connection.

    Backing up saves just about everything on the iOS devices except apps, music, etc. (the stuff that "syncs"). So the backup will include app data, settings, camera roll, etc. Many of the items backed up are not included in normal syncing (e.g., camera roll).



    Michael
     
  20. Tones2 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I wonder why you can't do a backup to BOTH iCloud and your computer. Why does it have to be one or the other?

    Tony
     
  21. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #21
    May I ask why you use your computer to download podcasts? You can just as easily download and delete podcasts directly from your iPhone. I've been doing it for years.
     
  22. NWI73 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #22
    Bc podcasts have to be downloaded over wifi and I don't have wifi at work.
     
  23. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    #23
    So you sync with iTunes at work? Can't you download podcasts before work?
     
  24. tigress666 macrumors 68040

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    Washington State
    #24
    I agree but there is a way around it (not automatic though). You can right click on your phone's icon on itunes and it will give you an option to back it up to the computer (it will do so wirelessly and whether you are plugged in or not).

    So long as you can remember to do that occasionally you can have a backup from either.
     
  25. Tones2 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #25
    Thanks. I forgot about the manual way to do this. :)

    Tony
     

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