# Opinions about the usefulness or otherwise of data synching services

• sophiecentaur
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Along with a lot of other people, I chose to use Apple iCloud without thinking too much about what it can do for me.
iCloud offers Synching and I pay £6 pm for 2TB of storage. iCloud gives synching on your boot drive and you can only use the remaining space with zip files.
But is Synch actually much use for regular computers? It will give access to loads of data to a smart phone with very little storage. I need educating about Synching; do you guys make use of it in any novel way that I could try?

I guess I should downsize to the minimum Apple package.

## Answers and Replies

Staff Emeritus
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iCloud gives synching on your boot drive and you can only use the remaining space with zip files.
I'm not sure what you mean by this, but it doesn't sound right. iCloud storage is used for iCloud mail and iOS device backups, and optionally, messages, your photo and video library, and documents and desktop folders. Specific applications can use the storage to keep data to be shared across devices as well.

I use a Mac and find iCloud storage incredibly useful. Most of my documents and other files are in the cloud, so I can sit down with my laptop or at my desktop to work on stuff without the hassle of manually transferring data over or keeping track of various versions on that end up on different systems. When I'm setting up a new system, I don't have to restore from backup or transfer tons of data from the old system to the new. All I have to do is enable syncing, and most of setting up other than installing applications is done.

As for sharing documents, you can do the same with other syncing services, like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. Because I use Macs, iCloud beats the other services out because of the tighter integration with the OS and applications. If I used only one computer, I'd probably find it much less useful.

I used to use Dropbox until iCloud Drive got good enough. I use Google Drive with my work account. Instead of having students turn in work done on paper, I just share Google docs with them and they do the work in it.

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I'm not sure what you mean by this, but it doesn't sound right.
iCloud Drive won't allow uploading folders. That basically means they don't want all that storage capacity to be used for backup. And I couldn't keep putting stuff into the drive by drag n drop because I got messages saying the limit is the capacity of my 'boot drive'. I have nearly three times that amount of file space so how can I use it with iCloud?
If I used only one computer, I'd probably find it much less useful.
Having read your post, I think this is the bottom line; you have put it into proportion in my mind - thanks. The entry level subscription will allow my emails and some other stuff (iPhone requirements). Also, iCloud is not good for backup because you have to do it with inconvenient folders.

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I don't think Apple intends iCloud to be used for backing up your computers. For online backups, I use Arq to back up to Backblaze B2 cloud storage.

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I don't think Apple intends iCloud to be used for backing up your computers. For online backups, I use Arq to back up to Backblaze B2 cloud storage.
You are right; they don't intend us to use what we have bought (does a hard drive manufacturer do that trick?). They cleverly offer a cheap package that's just too small for most people and a bigger one that's not fully usable by many people (clever GB steps here)
The system seems to be designed to be underused. Firstly, we are told that the boot disc capacity is the usable capacity limit for synching then we are told that FOLDERS are not uploadable into my space that I paid for. To use the space I paid for, I need to break my stuff up into zippable chunks (with impeccable admin) and upload many GB at a time. That's not very helpful.

OK, there are alternatives but that doesn't excuse what looks to me like sharp practice. Dear old Time Machine works very well and the spare 1TB that's sitting unused in iCloud would do the job fine. Caveat emptor.

StevieTNZ
For online backups, I use Arq to back up to Backblaze B2 cloud storage.
Thanks for mentioning Arq! I currently use CrashPlan. But Arq looks better priced - and the Premium version offers support for up to 5 computers! I'll investigate further. (I'm using Windows)

vela and sophiecentaur
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Ars Technica published a review today of several online backup services. Their top choice, iDrive, offers 5 TB of storage for $80 a year. (I'm paying about the same for just over 1 TB of storage on Backblaze B2.) There's a deal for people with a .edu email address that cuts the price in half. The company is also currently running a promotion that cuts the cost for the first year to$8.

The review did seem a bit light on details, though, and only the Windows 10 client was tested. I'd take the review perhaps as a good starting point, but you'll need to investigate further to see if a service meets your needs.

https://arstechnica.com/information...m-top-cloud-backup-services-worth-your-money/