Which cloud based ecosystem is right for me?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Cattywampus_, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    #1
    I have been putting off doing this for a while now as it is such a hard decision to make.

    When you look at what technology I use: iPhone, iPad, Hackintosh running Yosemite and a MacBook.... It seems obvious right? iCloud. And ICloud is certainly one that I am considering going in fully with. And when say going in fully, what I mean is I want as much of my digital life in on place on the Internet somewhere.

    At the moment I am using various bits and pieces of a couple of providers but I want to just deal with one company, just to make life easier.

    So I ask what do I personally want from cloud storage:

    1. Store and access my contacts, calendars and email from any device.
    2. Store, organise and share my extensive photo library.
    3. Store sensitive personal data.
    4. Being able to store my 100+ GB of music MP3s would be handy too though not all of them maybe legitimate so I am guessing this probably not wise whoever I chose.
    5. I want to be able to access my store files from within the OS file browser just Dropbox does. But I would also like to be able to selectively decide what files are synced down to each device.
    6. As I said about all my tech is Apple-centric however from time to time I delve into Windows for periods while playing games so having access to all the data in the cloud from within Windows is important too. This is why I wonder if iCloud is the right choice.

    From what I can gather there are services out there offering all that I ask.

    The one that strikes me the best deal is the Office 365 package. Not only do you get 1TB data, but you also get an exchange email account in some form or another (which is great as I miss push email since Google stopped it). You also get access to the office apps, not that I would use them much... But still handy to have around.

    I could go with Google Drive. I believe they also actually have a service you pay for and you can have an exchange account and get push email back.

    Finally is one more concern overall. While I have absolutely nothing to hide from anyone, I worry about sending all this data to a company, Google for instance, and then their algorithm bots raping my information. I

    Any advice always welcome. Thanks
     
  2. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #2
    I've been through the same questions over the past few months since the introduction of the iCloud Drive, iPhotos, Apple Music..

    All my devices are Apple products as I've gradually moved from a mix of technologies and I'd been having small but niggling issues trying to keep everything synced or to ensure permanent visibility. The solution for me at least became obvious... Move everything to iCloud.

    After the first day or two while everything propagated I haven't looked back. Works like a dream, I can find everything I need wherever I am, my diaries are always in sync and up to date, contacts too, my photos are all visible wherever, and I can listen to whatever music I'd like to hear either on the move or in my office.
     
  3. thekayman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    #3
    For the obvious things (contacts, calendars, email) I use iCloud.

    For my media files (photos, music, video), right now I use a personal WD cloud. I can access it from any device anywhere, but the experience is terrible compared to iCloud.

    Two things keep me from moving everything to iCloud:
    - I find it too expensive still (I would need at least the 200GB option)
    - my photo library is ~100GB. Even with optimization, when that is synced with my 16GB iPhones/iPads I assume it would fill up my limited storage quickly
     
  4. Martin29 macrumors 6502

    Martin29

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    Quimper, France
    #4
    The cost of iCloud storage is high because there is no intermediate plan between 20gb and 200. I for one would like to see a 100gb option
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    Personally, I see no reason why I should limit myself to just one company. I rather prefer to pick and choose the most suitable services. For example, iCloud Drive is lacking at the moment (slow, no selective syncing, somewhat unreliable), so I use Dropbox (which is fast, reliable, widely supported in apps, and works well with Truecrypt containers for sensitive stuff). For email, I use Outlook.com, which provides push in the native iOS mail app, works on all platforms via IMAP, has many nice features (such as good filtering and up to 10 aliases), and Microsoft doesn't scan my emails for advertising purposes. For contacts & calendar I use iCloud which works on all platforms. For music I use iTunes Match. It all works well together and I don't see any issue in the fact that they are provided by different companies.
     
  6. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #6
    I use iCloud for contact, calendars, and such as well as iTunes Match, but as a complete cloud storage system, iCloud is overpriced and doesn't justify that additional cost through quality. Office 365 is a great deal if you're already looking to purchase Office. Dropbox is $10 a month for 1TB also.
     
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #7
    It's true that Dropbox is more expensive if you need more than the free storage (personally I bumped up my account to 16GB through various promotions and referrals, and that's enough for me). But while other services might seem comparable in theory, I found that Dropbox has a few critical advantages:

    - Dropbox can sync large files in small blocks. For example, you can put a 1GB Truecrypt container in your synced folder. If you modify the content, Dropbox will only sync a few modified blocks. All other services I have tried (with the exception of Spideroak) sync the whole 1GB again.

    - Just about any app that can link to a cloud storage service supports Dropbox (even the Microsoft Office apps for iOS do ;)). For the other services it's hit and miss.

    - Dropbox also has a lot of little features that I find indispensable. For example, you can drag a URL from your browser into a Dropbox folder or web app; very handy way to sync a link to other devices across different browsers or share it with other people. They are also the only service that has a good Linux app.

    But in terms of price/GB, I agree that an Office 365 subscription is hard to beat if you need Office anyway.
     
  8. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #8
    I don't think I worded my initial post well, but I agree with you. I was referring to the cost to show that it was half the cost of iCloud, rather than more expensive than Office. I think DropBox is an excellent choice if you don't already need Office.
     
  9. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    #9
    Thanks for the replies and advice.

    I do see what Rigby is saying. There is no reason why to not use multiple providers and I may continue to do so. It would just be nice to have everything all under one roof so to speak.

    Gonna do a bit more pondering I think.
     
  10. Adam Hauter macrumors newbie

    Adam Hauter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Location:
    Cracow
    #10
    If you're worried about data security, I would recommend a private cloud solution. Data is not stored on outside servers and reputable companies absolutely do not go through it. Leading solution such as Sher.ly or MyCloud have the features you deemed necessary, so you will not be missing out.
     
  11. impaler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    #11
    I have everything in iCloud, except for mail. While I've used iCloud mail since 2000 when it was iTools, and am lucky to have a .mac account still, it's been unreliable and silent email filtering has been tough to endure for really important emails. So I tend to use Gmail as it's been rock solid for me.
     
  12. wxnats macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    I'm going through the same dilemma right now. I currently use Dropbox to back up all my photos as I find it more reliable than iCloud. I also use it to back up certain files that I need access to across devices. iCloud still feels clunky to me and not user friendly, which is preventing me from pulling the trigger on iCloud.
     
  13. jhfenton macrumors 6502a

    jhfenton

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Norwood, Ohio
    #13
    I have cloud storage accounts with Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, and DropBox, but I really only use two.

    I use iCloud for Apple (iOS/OS X) stuff, iTunes music, and iOS photos/videos. It's just easier and fairly seamless. I use my 10TB+ of OneDrive for everything else. I have a Office 365 subscription, so I don't pay anything extra for the added storage.

    Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, and DropBox get occasional use, usually with applications with tie-ins (e.g. a cross-platform flashcard program I use stores data in DropBox), but I don't specifically store anything in them.
     

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