iCloud Cloud Storage comes with all Apple products. It is in-built and offers up to 5GB free storage. From that point, you are charged a friendly fee for various packages depending on your needs. iCloud is best suited for personal use. Its top attribute is the fact that it is well synched across all your Apple devices. Whether you are using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac you can get all your data smoothly synced. This iCloud review breaks down the key features of the storage service and offers recommendations to help you understand its suitability to your needs.
iCloud – General Info
The compatibility of iCloud and Apple devices is unmatched. The service keeps your data safe, up to date and available regardless of where you are. The other interesting thing about iCloud is the fact that it is automated by default. There is no stress about whether your photos or videos will be synced to your other devices.
iCloud is one of the most organized cloud storage services. It organizes your content according to time and place. Through geo-tagging, it can name your photo and video albums. You can easily track your photos from years ago to the latest.
Optimisation is a great benefit that comes with iCloud. Whenever you take high definition photos, you have the option of automatically uploading them to the cloud service. You remain with a lighter version of the photos on your device. You can download the originals whenever you need them.
Plans & Pricing
Apple provides various storage packages. In this iCloud review, you will see the various options you have. The default package is free and comes with 5GB of space. If your device is low on storage, you will most likely need to upgrade your storage to the next package. This applies especially if you have a low storage iPhone or iPad.
You may have to optimize your storage by uploading lots of your content to iCloud. Apple has enhanced its devices to take very high-resolution photos and 4k videos. These all take up lots of storage, and if uploaded to iCloud, you may find your default 5GB storage running low quickly.
Here are the currently available iCloud storage plans:
|Included||Free||5GB||Good for storing all your basics: contacts, notes, calendars, various files.|
|Most Popular||$0.99/month||50 GB||Good for storing photos, files, videos, apps and backing up your device.|
|Lots of Photos||$2.99/month||200 GB||Recommended for those who take lots of photos and videos.|
|Great for Families||$9.99/month||2 TB||Recommended for sharing between family members and storing countless photos and videos, as well as other files.|
iCloud In-Depth Review
So far, this iCloud review has covered the general features of the storage service. However, that alone may not be comprehensive enough to help you decide whether to upgrade or not. It is especially important to understand the features well because there are various alternatives that you can find in the market.
If you are not an iOS or MacOS user, it is even more important for you to understand the features. Some of the things to consider are the ease of use, compatibility, storage, and capacity to share and edit documents.
iCloud offers you the ability to back up your iOS devices. This iCloud review will take you through the procedure for backing up your files. Whenever you are connected to Wi-FI and power, your Apple device updates any changes you may have made since the last sync. In the event that you lose your device or that it gets damaged beyond repair, you can sync the new one to your iCloud and restore all your data.
All your files are kept safe and secure. This includes apps, videos, photos, and documents. When you acquire your new device, all your apps will also be downloaded and installed. This gives you a sense of continuity and a seamless experience.
To back up your data, follow the steps below:
- First, connect to a wifi network.
- Open Settings on your iOS device.
- Tap iCloud.
- Open iCloud Backup.
- Tap Back Up Now and ensure that you stay connected until the process is completed.
To restore your files, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings and tap General.
- Open Software Update. If there is a new iOS release, make sure you download and run it.
- Once again go to Settings. You will see your name.
- Open iCloud and under Storage, open Manage Storage.
- Tap the device that is listed for Backups. This will enable you to see the data as well as the size of the last backup.
- Under Settings, go to General. Tap Reset and select ‘Erase all content and Settings.’
- You will see an Apps & Data screen. Choose the Restore from iCloud Backup and sign in to your iCloud account.
- Lastly, “Choose backup” and select the appropriate backup from the list available on iCloud.
This iCloud review cannot be complete without reviewing the security features of the service. For a start, iCloud’s build matches the industry requirements and standards. It offers you end-to-end encryption for your data.
The service secures information through encryption during transit. It also stores the information in an encrypted format. On top of it, iCloud uses secure tokens for authentication. Simply put, this ensures that you are the only one that can access your information. iCloud is only accessible on authorized devices.
Through the use of two-factor authentication, you get secure codes sent to your trusted devices to help you log in. Whenever you need to sign in to iCloud on a new device, you are required to provide not only your password but also the secure passcode sent to one of your trusted devices.
iCloud allows you to organize your files as you see fit. You can create folders, rename files and even tag them with different colors.
The service also allows updates made on one device to be automatically reflected across all other synced devices.
The other benefit of iCloud is the fact that it is inbuilt in all Apple devices. There is no need for installing third-party apps. Once you have an iCloud account, you can use it across all your Apple devices.
When working on team projects, iCloud allows you to share documents and spreadsheets. By simply sharing a link with edit permissions enabled, you can make changes to documents at the same time. This simplifies teamwork as it eliminates the creation of copies and sending unnecessary emails.
iCloud PROs & CONs
This far, this iCloud review has made you aware of the various features that iCloud offers. Lets now look at the various pros and cons of the service.
iCloud offers the following benefits:
- Allows you to stream your videos and music from the cloud.
- Backup and restoration of files on iOS devices.
- Automatic updates on a daily basis as soon as devices are connected to WiFi and a power source.
- Continuity when you purchase a new iOS device or when it gets lost or damaged.
- iCloud offers sharing web surfing status with all shared devices. Thus you can pick up on your Mac where you left off the book you were reading on the iPhone.
- The cloud service also offers Keychain information across your devices. You can share passwords to various websites and applications across your devices.
- It offers synchronized calendar, reminders, notes and emails.
- You can track, retrieve or delete information that is stored on a device that has been stolen or lost.
- You need to have an internet connection to operate iCloud. You can’t back up data without power and an internet connection.
- It does not back up all files. Media files that are not purchased at the iTunes Store will not be backed up.
- Slow speeds for large media transfer.
- Offers only 5GB of free space.
DropBox is a good alternative to iCloud. It can help you with storing photos, videos, music, and even presentations. It also enables you to share your files with colleagues and friends. DropBox comes with 2GB free storage. One of the key drawbacks of this service is its limitation to 2GB of free storage. Also, administrators have the power to delete information from the free accounts. DropBox has also been having cases of security breaches.
Read more: Dropbox Cloud Storage Service Review
This is Google’s cloud storage service. It comes with an initial 15GB which is a good offer for regular users. Google Drive is also compatible across multiple devices. You can download it on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It also offers an option for offline access to your files. The storage service also has the option of collaboration and file sharing for editing and viewing. Some of the drawbacks of using Google Drive is the fact that Google is a data company that uses advertising to get revenue. It is uncomfortable thinking that the company may not respect your data privacy.
Learn more: Google Drive Cloud Storage Service Review
The other alternative to iCloud is iDrive Storage service. The company also offers 5GB of free storage. From there you will be required to pay for at least $69/ year for 2TB storage. The service gives you uniformity across various devices and introduces a strong redundancy to your data. It allows you to keep multiple copies of your data to ensure that recovery is at its best. The service also enables you to add Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and external hard drives. You can also share files for editing and collaboration with colleagues. iDrive has a rather complicated interface. It requires some time to grasp fully how to use it.
More info: IDrive Cloud Storage Service Review
It is clear from the iCloud review that the cloud service has some great benefits. Although it has drawbacks, most of them are consistent across other cloud storage services. If you use Apple devices, it is recommendable to stick to iCloud. To use the alternative storage options when using Apple devices can give you a hard time to view your information whenever you need it.
However, if you do not use Apple devices, you may find it convenient to stick to either Google Drive or DropBox. iCloud may not be the best storage alternative for you as its package of 5GB cannot compete with Google’s free 15GB storage. Also, Google Drive gives you the option of viewing some of your information offline.
Thank you for reading our iCloud review. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!