Why the Mac needs iCloud Backup


On the Mac side, Apple has of course offered Time Machine since Mac OS X 10.5, and though it has had its bumps, it’s generally been improved to the point where it’s a solid backup option. And as someone old enough to remember when you needed expensive third-party solutions to back up your entire drive—much less provide advanced features like versioning—Time Machine will always be a bit of a marvel. Simple backups that happen with minimal need for user intervention? It’s hard to overstate how much of an improvement that was over the status quo: Time Machine is a wonderful technology, and while backups are far from an exciting topic when it comes to technology, they are one of those features that simply everybody needs to use… More at Macworld.

Seems so obvious when you think about it.

Categories: Mac

6 thoughts on “Why the Mac needs iCloud Backup

  1. It compares it to the iCloud backup for iOS devices – now, I’m a barbarian who likes plugging in the phone and getting the archive over, but even there, the Apple concept of what’s actually backed up is a little weird? Finessed, not just a simple “here are all the files in some kind of archive”. When I went back and forth from a 6 to an SE, not only did I have to painstakingly ensure they were on the exact same OS version, once I got that settled I found out all my apps on the new phone weren’t what was running on my old phone, but some older versions from some strange app-specific synch in iTunes. I don’t know if iCloud backup is prone to the same oddness, but I’m sure that if they’re looking to minimize per-user binary content needing to be sent up the network and stored, it has similar weirdness about.

    Even with that weirdness aside, I prefer strategies of keeping all my content in something like Dropbox… and not having Applications archived, but if I get to start on a new machine (or have to), I think I went a “fresh start”. At most I’ll have a few .dmg files for some obscure apps under dropbox, and just rely on fresh downloads from the web for the rest. My gut says that’s a better way to keep that “new car smell” and not cruft up everything with legacy stuff.

  2. It’s the storage rental that would get people. iCloud Drive is $10 a month for 2TB. And then you’d have to pay for the bandwidth. Sure it would be nice to have something automatic but how much would you pay for it.

    I use Time Machine for hourly backups, although I’d prefer if it was automatic when I made a change. I have an external drive that I have a backup of my other external drive plus clones of the Macs in our household. Every week I swap that external for one that I keep at my son’s house. So at the very worst, I lose a week. In a disaster like a fire, a week isn’t a big deal.

    Now, if my Mac was my business life and I couldn’t afford any loses, then sure, online backup would be a must. But then the money I spent would be a business expense.

    That said, I wonder how many computer users actually back up any where. Even the online surveys have more than 50% backing up once a year or less. And I’ll be that percentage is far higher for the general population.

    1. Yeah. I think the hoi polloi have a stronger sense of “all is fleeting and transient” when it comes to their data stuff than the technorati.

      Old school geeks like me get sad that all URLs don’t work forever.

      1. “old school geeks”! I don’t want to know what you’d call me. I was a geek before the term geek came into common usage for knowledgeable and obsessive computer enthusiasts.

        I’m just happy there is an internet. It’s like having this massive library that’s always available. Yes, I remember having to go to the library to use an encyclopedia to looks things up. The internet has so much that it’s rare that a site can’t be replaced by something else. And you can always capture that page offline.

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